If there's one reason to buy a Nintendo
3DS than SUPER MARIO 3D LAND is that reason. Although the 3DS
is an amazing console, some of the games, especially by third party
developers have been a little lacklustre and we won't mention any
games, shall we Mr. Tom Clancy? Needless to say with the good come
the bad but Super Mario 3D Land is one of those games that washes
the sins of other developers away and delivers one of the most
enjoyable games on this console. Nintendo, hold your head in proudly
in the air!
As the stamp on the back of the case so
cleverly states "Classic Mario action with a modern twist!",
the classic 2D Super Mario game merged with Mario 64 but with a real
element of 3D and the child of this union would be Super Mario 3D
Land. Best of all, you actually need to use the 3D aspect of this
console in order to successfully complete those puzzles and master
those sometimes precarious jumps. Given all this, the game is oozing
with Mario references and in this repetitive world of first person
shooters and sport games, Super Mario 3D Land was the title that the
gaming world sorely needed.
The game starts in classic Mario
fashion and once again the carefree and beautiful Princess Peach
has been kidnapped by Bowser and it's up to Mario to save her... yet
again. Princess Peach really needs to invest in some body guards
with all those royal dollars. From here the gamer is slowly
introduced to the world of Super Mario 3D Land and thankfully the
game doesn't drop you in the deep end straight away.
The key aspect to Super Mario 3D Land
is the gameplay. With the innovative 3D of the console, the
developers have created a true 3D gaming environment that the player
must use in conjunction with the gameplay to successfully complete.
Level design is amazing and would make M.C. Escher proud with its
sometimes complex puzzles with quite a bit of diversity. There are
plenty of worlds to explore that include forests to deserts and
everything else in between such as lava filled castles. Controls
work brilliantly on the 3DS, especially with the inclusion of the
circle pad that makes controlling Mario a rather flawless
experience, except those difficult blocks in the air.
Although there's a few familiar faces
in the game such as Bowser and co, there are plenty of new villains
such as the Goombas and the very awesome Piranha Plant that spits
ink onto the player. Add in boss levels and more power-ups that you
can poke a stick at and this is classic Mario gone wild... even with
animal activists are important, I actually laughed when some of them
had a go at this game because the classic Tanooki suit from the 2D
games returns which allows players to attack enemies with the tail and even
float from great heights. Apparently, this condones people wearing
fur suits! Did I say Boomerang Mario? Well Boomerang
Mario returns with his awesome helmet, turtle shell and boomerangs
to cause some serious damage as you throw these chevron shaped
sticks to clubber your foes. However you cannot beat the Tanooki
suit in battle as you wiggle your tail to knock out your enemies or
just jump on their heads.
Apart from making your enemies
disappear by attacking them and the very cool boss fights, Mario is
also about stars. Stars are located in some very obscure places
at times which definitely opens up the title for another play or
two. Add in mushroom houses and mystery boxes and like the blurb on
the back says "Classic Mario action with a modern twist!",
the game is oozing with fun.
clever aspect in the game, especially for newbie players is the
invincibility leaf and p-wing. If you fail a particular area in the
game 5 times then you be awarded the leaf which gives Mario the
white Tanooki suit which basically makes you invincible. Whereas the p-wing
zooms you to the end of the stage, provided you have messed up 10
times. Okay... I did use the invincibility leaf near the end of the
game which helped Mario be reunited with Peach. Although the game is
not easy, it will offer you a healthy amount of challenges and most
seasoned gamers should easily be able to complete this great playing
and looking title in around 8 to 10 hours.
Graphics & Audio
Graphically, this is a very good
looking game on the 3DS. The 3D is used surprising well and the game
really jumps out at you. Level design is also quite clever and
it looks like some 2D Mario game come to life, especially with its
cartoon characters and colourful environments and special effects.
Sound and music only enhance an already good game, however the music
is easily as memorable as those classic 2D games.
Super Mario 3D Land is a game that can
be played by anyone, young or old. With elements of classic 2D Mario
games, Mario 64 and more recently Super Mario Galaxy, 3D Land
successfully combines all these elements on the 3DS. However with
that said, the game is not easy which is the reason why the
developers have added the p-wing and invincibility leaf. Timing and
skill is needed to successfully finish the title as you explore and
8 wondrous worlds, filled with colourful enemies and sometimes
challenging bosses. Mario has returned and he's bigger than better
and this is a must have game for the 3DS!