Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, Review: Mario For Everyone


The Wii U platformer is reborn on Switch with online multiplayer, major control tweaks, and a modern expansion.

Saying this won’t surprise anyone, but Super Mario is the best selling video game saga of history. It adds to this day more than 350 million copies sold, and is a figure not included side effects like Mario Kart or Mario Party. Platform games only. No need to congratulate managers or investors for opening by commenting on something like this Nintendo, you are certainly very happy with the results of your pet, but remember that saga does not reach those numbers without combining a number of factors. Longevity, accessibility, the ability to retell yourself. Talents that sometimes have small disadvantages, however, because the number of proposals and fans also expands eliminating situations that you can’t satisfy everyone. And for example, the relatively widespread disappointment that followed the original announcement World of Super Mario 3D for Wii U..

At that E3, the console was just an installment of the New Super Mario Bros. series. get half a year earlier, so much was expected from the new Mario project of greater scale and creativity, to find out where the amazing Mario Galaxy 2 would leave them, or return to the more open world of Mario 64 and Sunshine. But what they saw instead was an expansion of the concept of 3D Earth, a portable game designed to close the gap between the 3D platform and its closest audience. scroll side. Of course, putting it that way is half the story. Or rather, a quarter. Because 3D World uses this formula to multiplayer four now, seven years later, not only does it re-evaluate next to Mario Odyssey that satisfied the need for the “fantastic” Mario 3D, it also weighs less. various basic settings in the control and add expansion, Fury Bowser, which adds several hours of single-player content.

Cats and vertical platform

While we’ve already expanded on this in the preview, for those who come from the beginning it is not enough to quickly remember that one of the most notable features of the 3D Earth / World period is to suppress some foundations of the three-dimensional era installed by Super Mario 64 as the analogue acceleration or the movement in 360 degrees, and also techniques like the triple jump or prep, as well as a significant reduction in the access of others like the long jump. None of these changes were arbitrary, all of them responded to suggestions as enable the use of scatterers, maintain a specific address in cramped places or balance multiplayer so that there would not be a huge gap between players with different skills.

Up to four characters running across the same screen are also required new considerations about the smart space required to move without moving towards each other —Review of levels much wider than 3D Land levels—, and so that the camera would allow the action to be followed even if each player focused their attention on different parts of the stage. With that need in mind, it’s easy to see why, despite other shortcomings, Nintendo has won a spinning jump absent from Sunshine and, above all, why the power up central was cat suit What allows you to travel long distances perpendicular over almost any surface. While the ultimate goal is to achieve a flag that is positioned – as a rule – at the far right of each level, they always introduce elevations that prevent, or at least limit, running forward while being ignored. on the group.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, Review: Mario for everyone

It’s not an insurmountable design principle, and is sometimes completely ignored for the sake of variety – as in the Mario Kart-inspired stage that fills the floor with turbo panels – but it clearly or casually builds conditions. Even in cases where the basic path is kept horizontal, the game always attracts us on the different sides or heights with questionable blocks that can be included power-ups to our advantage, tickets to bonus areas which draws all the players inside to take part in a quick challenge together, and the three green stars hidden or placed in visible places that are difficult to access to reward observation skills and platforms.

Green stars are one of those solutions so Nintendo is focused on performing several functions at once. Alone, they offer meaningful rewards for spending some time exploring instead of running towards the finish flags, like a good handful of level or even it is necessary to add a specific number to various points in the main development. It’s quite a critique light of the Super Mario 64 formula that allows developers to fill the levels with distractions (not all of them result in stars, but the player does not know, so join in to find out) and also it encourages usability as the high-level worlds start asking for more (the number required to access the final boss isn’t too high, but the requirements to unlock content continue to increase after the credits).

Green stars and exploration

Continuing with the other functions, one of them has a larger function in the short term and for a multiplayer view: since the level winner —But even crown bearer at the beginning of the next – not the first to reach the goal, but the one with the highest score, the stars one of the most valuable items as they are worth more points what to catch power-ups, repel enemies or touch the flags. On the other hand, and ending with them, these stars are also in charge plot a parallel difficulty curve primarily because, although a certain number is needed to progress, it does not cover all of them, so the study can suggest more stringent challenges with no consequences for those who will give up – unless we go for 100%, of course, in which case it’s time to give it a try.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, Review: Mario for everyone

Another important consideration about the dichotomy between multiplayer 3D World and single-player 3D World is that this way of conceptualizing the design has been shifted to the potential pros and cons of play. The need for cooperation to stand above switches that are only activated by two or more players, for example, was certainly the cause of the cherries, new power up What clone the character that takes them in order to complete these tasks individually. This, far from being a simple “patch”, creates some of the most fun and crazy scenarios in the game, since in a group it increases the chaos by multiplying the number of characters on the screen more, but alone it also presents original challenges for the require the player to coordinate his own clones in order to survive to the point where you can use them to get a star.

While the biggest consequence of multiplayer is, of course, the introduction of variety characters with differentiated handling which enriches the proposal even playing by itself. Taking notes from Super Mario Bros. 2, Mario is the fairest, Luigi jump higher the cost of less ground haulage, Peach able to swim a little in the air at the expense of being slower than the rest and A toad has the highest top speedAlthough it also falls faster and requires more skill to master. Another subtle difference between them all is the time it takes to reach that top speed, since 3D World deals with acceleration in a different way than any previous installment. And on Switch, in turn, is different than on Wii U.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, Review: Mario for everyone

As in the 2D deliveries, designed for remote controls with digital cross-control – also applicable to Wiimotes compatible with the original version of 3D World -, on Wii U edition, running it is necessary to keep pressing down at all times. Not doing it meant moving at a very slow pace and seeing very limited jumping actions. Therefore, there was no option to push the button, and said the race then had to add a little turbo after a few seconds – Variable by character – slightly increased speed that has not yet reached the speed of other deliveries. This three – rhythm system is similar to the orthogonal direction correction, simplified things and helped players who were unfamiliar with the three-dimensional platform, but as a result created secondary effects such as involuntary interference with other characters because running, catching and using objects was sharing a button.

Fortunately, while a combination of such actions continues on Switch, the new version makes a key change that helps alleviate the initial problem: while button usage is maintained for running, the standard speed —Movement of output— it has greatly increased, and with her the scope of the jerseys also, more agile handling as a result like Mario 64 or Odyssey. It is something that the Joy-con, that too can be used horizontally which NES controller not to lose the benefits of the sticks. In this way, the button sprint and the slowed turbo are additional tools that, like the long jump or the new forwarding address (pressing the crouch and roll buttons simultaneously during a current jump), enrich the store without devaluing alternatives.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, Review: Mario for everyone

It can be expressed in many ways, but it is the main idea. Super Mario 3D World on Switch doesn’t have the Wii U news factor – for those who have already played it on that console, of course – but it does smoother control, portability (at 60 fps and no increase and decrease in quality), upload dock solution (from 720p to 1080p), new photo mode (where we can use the stamps with hidden drawings on the levels and as soon as they are dedicated to the Miiverse service), implementation Multiplier in Captain Toad Trials puzzles in the code of the dioramas that emerged in their own game – and online. The latter is a slightly limited plugin, yes, since adheres to games between friends Y. able to perform well or show jerks depending on the connection of the participants. We’re familiar with both types of games and, while it’s not a game that requires Smash Bros. precision, it’s clear that this feature isn’t yet on Nintendo’s strong suit.

Cherries and analogs for the individual gamer

Yes, instead, it is the design, and 3D World that illustrates it: level after level, level after level, the game is a constant stream of ideas It doesn’t stop for several hours. The difficulty curve, very smooth at the beginning, has time to climb to some of the highest points in the whole series, and on the way introduce mechanics and obstacles at unmatched speed by any platformer. It is true that its enormous diversity is achieved by sacrificing unified themes such as the Mario Galaxy space opera or the Odyssey world tour. And that too the level of bosses and mini-bosses is slightly below average at this point – another consequence that each element requires to work for four simultaneous players. But as a compilation album of the best hits that also releases some new ones and addresses the public decades ago, his ability to put together a harmonious whole is not one lurch to praise.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, Review: Mario for everyone

And if the basic content isn’t enough (it’s hard to make accurate estimates as some unlocking is recommended, but it’s easy to go over 15-20 hours), Nintendo has also proven unpublished extension to accompany. It may not come as a surprise after Pikmin 3 Deluxe and, above all, Xenoblade definitive did the same thing when they came to Switch, but here the company has certainly gone another step: though it ‘s relatively short (it almost took us by surprise) three hours take out the credits and then two more complete it to 100%), Bowser’s Fury it stands out and offers a differentiated experience, sometimes closer to adventurous deliveries like Sunshine or Odyssey than 3D World itself despite sharing a graphics engine and many of its playable concepts.

This is because of their independence (you can just start, not touching the rest of the game) and, above all, with single player approach. Although he admits asymmetric cooperative thanks to Bowsy —Transforms a temporary alliance that can attack enemies and deliver goods to Mario scattered around the environment—, exploration and platforming are controlled by a single person, allowing the camera to rotate freely and move freely between challenges that are no longer divided into their own level, but scattered over a vast archipelago through which we sail on the back of the dinosaur Plessie.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, Review: Mario for everyone

Each individual component is inherited from 3D World, be it Plessie himself, power-ups like the catsuit or the boomerang flower (five notable at the time to be retrieved at any time), stage elements such as the transparent pipes waves guidance platforms, common enemies and even some panties, all of which are now decorated with feline features. But they are pieces used to build new mini-rigs, a lot more open not only in terms of body space that extends to us – which sometimes comes with small performance costs – but also of the objectives we can achieve and the order in which we can achieve them. Of course, not everything is available at the beginning and we have to unlock the belts gradually gathering sunshine and repulsed Bowser, but his brevity makes this expansion the most flexible structure from Mario 64.

While it is strange that Mario Sunshine seems to be the most honorable delivery of the study, from which he recovers the aforementioned Bowsy, gradually clearing the idea environment contaminated by black paint or call the main collectible sun (well, feline sun). Each area, moreover, is crowned by a lighthouse that is tested around it, and while many are in themselves, suitable for the specific design of the area in question (flying to a solid top in the air, making your way into an invisible tower, slide on spikes using sliding, etc.), other tasks are repetitive and as soon as they consist of collecting a set of blue coins against the clock as chase an ink specter that is in the form of Luigi Or look for a key to free a cage sun.

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