AVAILABLE ON: 3DS
RELEASE DATE: November 3, 2011
The creation of Super Mario 3D Land began with the most obvious and logical thoughts; the Nintendo 3DS didn't have any launch titles starring Mario, or any big plans for a Super Mario or Legend of Zelda title to be outed in the handheld's first months. Since this was a handheld that boasted on fancy 3D graphics, the new game was a near-obligated 3D title, but there was no way the most recent Super Mario Galaxy series could be ported to the Nintendo 3DS with full steam. So, Mr. Miyamoto once again had a fantastic idea. How about they made a 3D game that played out like a perfect cross between New Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Galaxy, a 3D game that 2D Mario fans could just as easily access, one that would serve as a sort of "bridge" to those old-school gamers just getting into 3D Mario? As always, Mr. Miyamoto had a fine nose for this stuff - but this time, he outdid himself. Super Mario 3D Land is basically New Super Mario Bros. 3DS - just lightyears ahead of that series of games, no less than one of the best Mario games ever made. Especially considering the system it was exclusively released on.
Mamma mia, this is awesome!
I don't think I've ever used this word to describe a game before, but there's no way around it this time: Super Mario 3D Land is an extremely "attractive" game. The box art is pure Mario. Classic enemies, classic power-ups and Mario himself appear in a fancy, colourful 3D setting that really tells a lot more about the game itself than you could imagine. The back cover blurbs "Classic Mario Action with a Modern Twist!" and "Jump and Dash Your Way to the Goal Pole in an all-new adventure" sound like blurbs for New Super Mario Bros., but looking at the screenshots, we're more reminded of a Super Mario 64 of the new age. An image of a game that plays out like a classic Super Mario Bros. game, but looks like Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Galaxy (and is named after an 80's handheld classic) seeps into our minds. What's even better, that's exactly what the game is like. Super Mario 3D Land is as close to a new Mario classic than a new Mario game could possibly get, and very likely the singled-out best game the Nintendo 3DS has to offer.
|It's classic from the start.|
The NEW Super Mario Bros. you always wanted
|Our princess is probably in another castle.|
|Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm loving this.|
Not one bad word, huh? Well, not exactly. Super Mario 3D Land is just that damn good; here goes, nevertheless. The first round is a bit short and easy, with the exception of a few strings of really difficult levels in World 6. The worlds that unlock after the first playthrough are not different enough to spark interest for a second playthrough right away, but the extra challenge is interesting. The third playthrough, well that's starting to feel like the game is outright bullying the player. The levels are still designed pretty much the same, but they're ultra-hard to the constant point of total frustration. ...Here I'm talking like that's a bad thing. Die-hard Mario fans eager for challenge will love the shit out of those levels.
Instead of starting it simple with New Super Mario Bros. when I first got the Nintendo 3DS and started to collect all the Mario titles I've missed during these years, I went straight for Super Mario 3D Land, 'cause it was just so damn attractive. I was most pleased to witness that the attraction is real. If you've long craved for a bridge, the smack middle, of the two graphical dimensions of Mario, you should go, get yourself a 3DS (preferrably the new one), and dig up Super Mario 3D Land. You will not be disappointed. This game is fucking awesome.
+ Looks and sounds delightfully perfect
+ The perfect cross between 2D and 3D Mario
+ Innovative and constantly surprising level design
+ The perfect atmosphere for a bridging title
+ Great tempo, great controls, great power-ups
+ The Bowser fight is one of the best in the best company
- The rest of the boss fights
- Three playthroughs is a bit too much for perfect completion
- Some problems with the game screen blurring up, probably fixed when playing with the New 3DS
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