Super Mario 3D Land
Super Mario 3D Land Review. Timeless & Exhilarating
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The Nintendo 3DS’ ingenious system seemed like it was destined for oblivion, until Super Mario 3D Land breathed new life into it, with superb effects, cutscenes, and 3D as a gameplay mechanic.
3D Land is an outstanding mix of 2D side-scrolling and explosive 3D effects that capture the essence of the old Mario titles, aided by the 3DS’ hardware. There’s the usual bursts of color and distinct character mash-ups. You can oscillate between views whenever you want. However, this game is built for 3D play, with some effects such as gyroscopic viewing for binoculars and cannons deliberately made for this system.
Like other Mario titles, you are caught in a battle with Bowser who kidnaps Princess Peach and takes all the leaves of the ‘Tail Tree,’ which has the power to bestow Tanooki Tails on the bearer. You’ll, therefore, make your way through 8 levels trying to save the princess and Luigi who is also kidnapped. Two new moves are introduced in this title; the barrel roll and the roll jump. A dash button is also introduced to add fluidity to your movement.
You’ll get the old Mario items such as the Boomerang Flower, Super Mushroom, Starman and plenty of other power-ups including the new Super Leaf, which bestows a Tanooki suit on you. This last power-up gives you levitation abilities, allows you to attack with your tail and grounds you as a statue.
While the first four levels of the game are easy, you’ll still need to meticulously collect star coins which you’ll use to unlock later levels.
Controls on the 3DS are generally quite seamless and intuitive, and you won’t need to perform any complicated analog inputs. The Tanooki tailspin and Boomerangs require you to press X or Y, while for a Rolling Long Jump, you can press an R+Y combination. The game also allows you to shift perspectives by simply turning on 3D. You can also switch between views easily in 3D using the D-pad.
Replay Value: 4.5
Super Mario 3D Land isn’t the longest Mario release. In fact, you can blaze through the first four worlds in a few hours if you play intensely. However, there’s much to be discovered in the different levels when you’re searching for star coins, and you’ll soon find out just how important 3D is as a gameplay mechanic here. There are hidden levels for you to unlock which are more difficult than the main stages.
The Nintendo 3DS system greatly needed a boost with a quality game, and Mario 3D Land gave it just that. It will seem perfectly familiar to Mario enthusiasts. The use of 3D, beyond just adding visual appeal, makes this game thoroughly enjoyable and gives life to little details that you might not have noticed in 2D side-scrolling. Mystery boxes and hidden levels round off this package to present another superb Mario title.
3D Land is a mix of old Mario gameplay and what new feats technology has to offer, and it stays true to the Mario spirit.
Pros : Excellent visuals.
Stays true to original title characters and gameplay.
Cons : Few worlds.
Some levels may be difficult to unlock.
Replay Value 4.5