‘Super Mario 3D World’: Hands On With The Newest Game

From cat suits to giant bullets, everything you need to know about the new Nintendo game.

Super Mario Bros. Do we really need to say more? Practically everyone on the planet has heard of the fantastical exploits of this portly Italian plumber; maybe-maybe-not royal girlfriend, Princess Peach; his lanky, second banana, Luigi; and the always-princess-napping, Bowser. Jumping and smashing through the brightly colored acid trip of the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario has appeared in what seems like a million different Nintendo titles over nearly three decades of gaming. This time he and his pals are back for more on the Nintendo WiiU:

Classic Gameplay
The Super Mario games have never over-complicated the experience. The only things you need to know are that Mario can jump pretty high, stomps most enemies when he lands and collects power-ups to take out the rest. Though, don’t take the simplicity as a sign of child’s play — SM3DW can be downright difficult. Finding every secret, collecting every coin, and finishing with top honors will test the skill of even the most veteran of Mario players.

STAMPS!
One of the coolest thing about the WiiU is the built-in community features that let you share and comment on victories and defeats. After each completed level, you can post a response letting others know how well you did. Furthermore, each level has a collectible stamp that you can use to spruce up your comment. The stamps are simple illustrations ranging from Mario and pals, to various baddies and items. There are even comic speech bubbles included so you can make up your own mini Mario comic!

Mario Madness
As an avid Mario fan, we delighted in rediscovering many classic enemies and powers. Several levels make deep references to past Mario titles; one in particular had us smiling like idiots. There is a “Mario Kart”-themed level complete with old-school music and nods to the Kart series as a whole. Forgotten villains return as well, such as Chargin’ Chuck (sports crazy Koopa Troopa) and Bonzai Bill (a massive Bullet Bill).

Given that the title includes the word “World,” many of the throwbacks can trace their origins to the classic Super Nintendo title of the same name. Longtime fans should keep an eye out, as you’ll relive your childhood memories of frustrations and triumphs with a new HD look!

A Brilliant World
Speaking of the HD coat, Mario has never looked better. The WiiU shines with vivid, imaginative levels with jaw-dropping graphics. While Mario has always been cartoony, the color-drenched visuals make the game pop out of the TV. Slick level design give the look and feel of the best of that Nintendo can offer.

Power Up!
Mario games have always included unique and weird power abilities. The newest one, a Cat Suit earned from a shiny bell item grants Mario the ability to climb up walls and scratch at enemies. Our favorite, however, was the Boomerang Bro suit that transformed Mario into a specialized Koopa Troopa with a nifty boomerang weapon. From the cute to the outright bizarre, Mario and co. have everything they need to overthrow Bowser and his thugs.

Everyone Gets A Turn!
The last few Mario titles like “New Super Mario Bro. WiiU” have allowed up to four players a chance to play together. “3D World” continues the trend with players choosing Mario, Luigi, Peach, or Toad on a journey through exciting new worlds. In a huge recall of another Mario game, each character has their own strengths and weaknesses; so be sure to try them all as some levels have hidden areas that can only be accessed by specific characters.

“Super Mario 3D World” is the game to get right now on the WiiU. Jaded hard-core gamers will be softened as they soak in the melted crayon world of Mario, while first-timers will find out why Nintendo’s most popular character is what gaming is all about.

Our Recommendation: BUY IT!