A review of: Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)

It’s been a while since I’ve done an actually review… as in, over a year. But, there are so many games that have come out this month, I thought I might as well do one or two. So, in the words of that famous Italian plumber, “Here we go!”.

Super Mario 3D Land

While it might be the most catchy title out there, Super Mario 3D Land certainly does what it says on the tin. It’s Mario, in 3D. I honestly could just end it here, but then I’d have loads of space left to fill. But, apart from an extra dimension, what else does Nintendo add to this latest instalment?

The best way to explain Super Mario 3D Land is a blend of Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES), New Super Mario Bros. (DS), and Super Mario Galaxy (Wii). While some levels are very much “Galaxy” based, with the camera angled behind Mario and less linear level design, other are very much more side-scrolling classics. With each level different to the last, it feels like all the best bits from all the best Mario games. However, I get the feeling Nintendo have aimed this more at new gamers more than Mario veterans, as I found myself only an hour or so in, with over half the game beaten.

4/5

While it may be a bit easy and quick to beat, the great level design and overall playability will have you replaying each level, looking for new secrets every time.

The visuals here are sharp and well-defined, but still the friendly and colourful world of the Mushroom Kingdom… But in 3D. There’s no drop in frame rate when switching between 2D and 3D (A problem which other 3DS games have), and, in this game, having access to the third dimension really adds to the game play. Platform hopping is a whole lot easier with a good sense of depth. The music and sound effects are hardly awe-inspiring, but they definitely sound “Mario”, and that’s what the people want.

5/5

A great display of the 3DS’ visual capacity, and it’s not just for show, as it works alongside the game play seamlessly.

The control have barely changed since Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64, but hey, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. While moving about in 3D can be a bit fiddly at times, it generally works very well.

3/5

Nothing outstanding,but simple enough for anyone to pick up and play.

In my opinion, this game was released a year late. It is, I believe, a homage to all the Mario games before it, and as such would have been fitting for the 25 years of Mario. It features the original sprites from Super Mario Bros. , the return of the tanooki suit from Super Mario Bros. 3, loads of similarities to the Super Mario Galaxy games, and even classic-styled artwork in the cut scenes, in the for of photos from Peach. If a Mario fan needs a definitive game, it’s probably this one.

5/5

If you’re not a Mario fan, you’ll probably not be too keen on this. For everyone else, this is one of the most entertaining games on 3DS… At least until Mario Kart 7 comes out.

While the game is great fun to play, there’s nothing really that special about it. Sure, the 3D graphics help the portly plumber into the next generation of gaming, that’s about the only thing separating this and almost every other main series Mario game. That’s no bad thing though. I mean, why change a winning formula?

3/5

Nothing amazingly inventive, but when you’re the best-selling video game character of all time, you don’t need a flashy new gimmick every game… Although, it helps.

20

While it might not be as long as it’s Wii counterparts. Super Mario 3D Land is the one of the best 3DS games around, and probably still will be 5 years down the line. As well a being great fun, it’s mostly a great show-piece for the 3D capabilities of Nintendo’s latest handheld.

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