Latest Game Reviews

Super Mario 3D Review - 3DS

6.5
Gameplay: 6 stars 6
Graphics: 7 stars 7
Audio: 5 stars 5
Innovation: 6 stars 6
Share |
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
game for it, couldn’t handle some of the bigger spaces.

And so it is that instead of Fluffy Bluff Galaxy or Upside Dizzy Galaxy you get World 4-1 and World 6-3. Instead of one-off planets and flying and surprises and whimsy it feels like you’re looking at the game through a microscope, playing scientifically calibrated, miniature pipetted doses of Mario’s chemical formula. It’s like Miyamoto and the team collided Galaxium with Landinum in a particle accelerator, and ended up with a new third element that has features of both, gives a rather pleasant tingle to touch, but never quite glows as bright.

Super Mario 3D Land is oddly emotionless – and not just because the now tongue-in-cheek ‘Peach needs rescuing’ plot is a barely animated decoupage. When you know that Mario can be so much more delightful, it’s kind of sad to see it be so formulaic. It’s probably why I never got into New Super Mario Bros. either. I think I’m past these kinds of experiences now. I’ve played side-scroller Mario before a hundred times. I want to see new Mario experiences – the familiar aesthetic that ushers in a chewy new gameplay concept.

When the game extends itself into exciting new areas, like the levels that see you progressing down and away from the camera, it’s exhilarating. Every second that it embraces the fuzzy adventurousness of its bigger brothers, from the timed platform flipping to the floaty Tanooki suit levels, it feels grandiose, but when it is content to send you through another sewer or water level, it falls flat. It’s fun to see them reinventing classic tropes like the button that collapses Bowser’s lava bridge, but I’m a bit over two bosses that alternate at the end of each world. I’m sure you can think of some exciting new ideas, guys.

All that aside, it must be noted that the game does play well. The 3D is used surprisingly sparingly, with only a few courses really needing it for tricky platforming, though of course it helps throughout if you have the battery life and eye strength to do so. With its short (often less than five minute) courses and your inevitable familiarity with the mechanics, it is a game best played in short doses. The pop-in is noticeable but not particularly detrimental, and the new items (particularly the propeller block) do add a bit of spark when combined with clever depth-related platforming. The ability to keep a spare power-up on hand and swap it out when needed is an appreciable inclusion.

Graphics

In many ways this is a pretty game, with the 3D legitimately helping you position yourself with pinpoint jumps. It’s hard not to marvel at the sight of a three-dimensional console-esque world that quite often approaches the visual quality of its Wii equivalents, yet is running on a platform in your hands. It’s not like they took many chances or made any particularly daring statements like Retro Studios did with its silhouetted Donkey Kong Country Returns stages, but Mario has a ... (continued next page)


Reader Comments:

No comments have yet been added, feel free to add one by clicking below...