Mario Mario Mario, ahh Mario. How long has the plumber with the moustache been plying his trade now? It is many a moon, but personally I have made very few trips into his world with Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U my first visit since Super Mario Galaxy. What have I made of his latest adventure I hear you ask, well hit the jump and you can find out.
The first thing I did after receiving my (loan) copy of the game from Nintendo was to head around to ex-Reticule writer, Mark Reece’s house and get into some multiplayer action with him and his wife. I had the Game Pad and they used the normal Wii Remote’s and we had a blast. It was easy to get into the game with Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach (who hasn’t been kidnapped this time) exploring the beautifully crafted levels. I had a feeling that playing the game with others would be the best way to experience it, and having played it by myself, I stand by my initial perception. 3D World is wonderful when playing on your own, but it is just so much better when playing with others.
One level, Double Cherry gives you a clone of whichever character you are playing as, this clone will merrily follow you around but will get a bit lost through more confusing sections of the level. When you add in two other player characters and their clones, you are just asking for trouble. We were in hysterics as various bodies fell of the edge of the level and when we had six characters running around in cat suits. The only trouble was that in a little over two hours of game-time we had managed to get half-way through the third world. It was great fun, but I was left feeling like we were making too much progress, too fast.
I didn’t get to play with Mark and his wife again unfortunately, but I did get to invest quite some time on my own into the game. I was able to get up to the end of the fourth world before work and real life caught up and prevented me from being able to finish the game off. While I have heard rumour of a bonus world after completing the main game, I get the distinct feeling that you might blast through the game really quickly and then just be left to 100% each level. Of course this isn’t a massive problem because, as mentioned, each level is a small piece of magic and the different characters have different play styles…but it is something to keep in mind. I will say that this seems like the perfect game to play with younger family members, it really feels the ideal game to play with a group of people. In short, don’t come into 3D World looking for quite the depth of Galaxy, though I will say that the sooner Nintendo get working on a new Galaxy game the better.
Some people might say that the cat suit is the highlight of the game, and while it is certainly cute, I don’t think it quite matches up to the wide variety of levels. There are traditional Mario platforming levels (just in 3D of course) augmented by bouts of ice-skating or riding a dinosaur down a massive water slide which has been filled with coins to grab and baddies to squish. Perhaps my favourites include a level filled with marching ants, they start off small but get bigger and you go through the level until you are jumping on monsters to get to the finishing pole, the highlight goes to a take on Luigi’s Mansion. You enter the ghost house which is filled with boo’s and a myriad of different routes to take, in a game full of character, this one level grabs the top spot in my eyes alongside a splendid silhouette experience.
Bonus levels and special Star rooms haven’t been forgotten either. Some of the rooms in a main levels where you must grab a star are better than the level they are based in as concepts come and go in a 10 second flash. Make a tune my touching every single square of the floor in this one, catch all of the coins as they appear in another. Toad’s bonus missions are a wonderful change of pace, no jumping in there. Instead you have to carefully weave him through the obstacles as you look down on the entire level changing your point of view to ensure you are guiding him properly. I won’t ruin the boss fights, but there are some mighty fine experiences to be had in them.
I’m sure that if I was a fully-clued up Mario fanatic I would be able to write a few thousand words, but I will leave it here. If you have a Wii U, you really should buy this game as it is packed with brilliant moments, if you can play with some friends, even better. For some who don’t have a Wii U, it might prove to be a system seller, but having played it, I’m not convinced that by itself it really is. On the whole though, this is a must buy.
Verdict – Red Mist
Platforms Available/Reviewed – Wii U
Review copy supplied on loan basis by Nintendo’s PR agency. Please check this post for more on our scoring policy.