Don't Diss the Plumber
"Super Mario 3D World" isn't just another amazing Mario game and the best platformer released since "Super Mario Galaxy 2". It's the very best title ever released for the Wii U hands down.
I'm not sure why I ever doubted that "Super Mario 3D World" would be the incredible game that it is. Perhaps it was because the game isn't "Super Mario Galaxy 3," or perhaps it was the revelation of the cat suit power up. "Gee they've really run out of ideas" I recall thinking. After finally getting my hands on the title and devoting countless hours of my life to its sheer unabashed brilliance I have reached an inevitable conclusion: The game designers at Nintendo possess a far greater level of genius and creativity than I could ever hope to achieve.
"Super Mario 3D World" copies the same blend of mixing the free roaming mechanics of the 3D Mario titles with the gameplay style and level design of the 2D Mario titles first features in 2011's "Super Mario 3D Land" for the Nintendo 3DS. Building off of what it's predecessor and "Super Mario Galaxy 2" accomplished, "3D World" feels both familiar and incredibly fresh at the same time.
Add in the absolutely charming art style, gorgeous visuals and an incredibly catchy soundtrack and you've got yourself recipe for yet another amazing "Super Mario" adventure.
New power ups like the amazing cat suit which allows for wall scaling open up a whole new sting of level design possibilities, which the latter half of "3D World" capitalizes upon in every way imaginable. The "double cherries" allow you to "clone" yourself multiple times. Even baseballs can be thrown. "3D World" is jam packed with so many unique and creative innovations you'll be astounded by the sheer variety seen throughout the levels.
The title is a blast to play whether your alone or with friends. In addition to Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad all make appearances as playable characters in the title and with slightly altered abilities for each (i.e. Peach can float in the air for a while but cannot run as quickly) making playing as each character worth a try.
"3D World" is the first title in the series to allow for co-operative multiplayer in a free roaming 3D environment. Unlike the cooperative multiplayer modes seen in the "New Super Mario Bros." titles for Wii and Wii U, which while fun, inevitably ended with each player attempting to humorously impede the other's progress; I found myself playing more cooperatively with my fellow gamers and I truly attempting to clear levels to the best of our ability.
That being said, due to the open nature of the levels when 3 or 4 players are on screen, the camera can at times become cumbersome.
The title can also prove to be quite hard. However, it increases in difficulty so gradually that both new players and hardcore series veterans should be able to enjoy the title equally. Although the first half of the title is, in retrospect, a little too easy.
It's unfortunate that Nintendo couldn't have this title ready for the launch of the Wii U last year. A far better piece of software than anything else released on any platform in 2012, "3D World" could have given Nintendo's struggling console the immediate boost it needed to attract a following.
Super Mario 3D World isn't the killer app the Wii U needs (Metroid, Zelda, please!), but it's the one it deserves. A quality piece of showcase software that's nothing less than an absolute blast to play either alone or with friends. While it doesn't quite reach the unfathomable heights of the "Galaxy" games, 3D World stands as another brilliant addition to Nintendo's flagship franchise.
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