Monday, November 21, 2011

Review: Super Mario 3D Land

Yes! Finally a game for the 3DS that actually uses the 3D well and was built with it in mind. A game worth owning the 3DS has come out for those who haven't already gotten one and it's a great game. TANOOKI IS BACK!

The story like most Mario games is Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach and now Mario has to save her. This time around they added a tree with Tanooki leaves that also has all it's leaves blow away and Bowser and his minions are using them against you.

The game plays like every other Super Mario game, mainly like New Super Mario Bros but with a 3D world to run around in instead of 2D. You'll do the usual running, jumping and ground pounding you've done before but in a 3D environment.

Power ups will be your main weapon since Mario is back to the basic get hit and you lose the power up game we're so used too. The main power ups like the Super Mushroom, Power Star and Fire Flower return along with an old friend from 1990 know as the Tanooki Suit only this time it's a Tanooki Leaf. The game also has a new power up and it's the second time we get an enemy power up, the Boomerang Flower which gives Mario the power of a Boomerang Bro. If you die a bunch of time you'll also get access to an Invincible Tanooki Leaf as well as a Power Wing which will warp you to the flag pole at the end of the stage.

The game has 8 worlds each with 6 stages(7 in World 8) and each one has the same goal, get to the flag pole before time runs out. Even the Castle stages follow the same formula but you have to take down a boss before getting access to the flag pole. Within each stage there are 3 Star Coins to find and collect, these are used to unlock stages to progress and are also used in the Special world you unlock once you finish the game. Also in each world you'll either find a mushroom house which will have an item or a bonus cube which will get you a Star Coin if you finish it within the time limit.

The first run is fairly easy to finish for veterans and Golden Age gamers and will take about 4-6 hours depending on how efficient you get through the stages. Once you finish the game you'll gain access to the Special world which has more challenging stages to complete and you can also unlock Luigi to play as. The stages vary from the regular kinds, low time limit that require you to find clocks to boost the time and Dark Mario chase stages. These stages are designed for the highly skilled and some of these can be real tests of patients and can and will be REALLY FRUSTRATING! Picture this, Bowser castle stage with a low time limit and you have a Dark Mario chasing you with no check points... absolute frustration, especially when trying to get all the Star Coins in one run on the stage.

Believe it or not the 3D actually helps with playing the game. It helps determine jumps a little better and you notice how well it works more when you're lining up a jump from above while the camera is above you. I played the entire game in 3D but if you decide not to play it in 3D it will be tougher to play.

Man Mario game reviews are hard to pad out with waffling. Is the game good? Hell Yeah! The game is fun during the first round and the special worlds are really challenging. Plus the return of the Tanooki Mario! THE TANOOKI! Sure you could clear it in a day, that's what I did but I recommend doing maybe a world a day to extend it. It a game to enjoy, not rush through. What's the score? Duh Perfect Score! It's a Mario game and like all Super Mario games it's never a waste of money and will be fun guaranteed!

Score 5/5

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