Two years ago, Super Mario 3D World quietly hit the gaming shelves and, just as quietly, wrapped up astonishing critical acclaim and several Game of the Year awards. Unfortunately for Super Mario, 2013 was dominated by the release of the blockbuster GTA V, meaning superior titles were nudged out of the way by headline grabbing ultra-violence from Rockstar.
It’s time to look back, reflect, and redress the balance. This game is phenomenal – an all time classic which everyone should be forced to play. At gunpoint, if necessary! Whatever gets folks in front of the thing. It’s on Nintendo’s Wii U, which can now be picked up at fantastic prices, and it’s one of the few genuinely perfect games we can think of. A bold statement? Onwards to learn more!
Super Mario 3D World
It’s Christmas and we’re in the mood to spread good cheer and laughs, and few companies have managed to make people happy on such a colossal scale as Nintendo. Over 30 years there have been 16 Mario platformers, each one of them a classic, and several providing gaming landmarks which changed the industry.
Super Mario 3D World, we’d say, is flat-out the best of the lot. In an era where video games are becoming increasingly like movies (which involves, highly irritatingly, having to sit through endless lengthy cut scenes with the worst dialogue imaginable), Nintendo exists to remind people of what video games are – fun.
Super Mario 3D World delivers this in spades. Nintendo resorted to more traditional Mario platforming for this edition, as opposed to the reinvention of the series seen in Mario Galaxy on the Wii. They also reimagined the series on a grand scale, drafting in relentless imagination to create a wonderful gaming experience.
Bigger than Everest!
It’s set out in stages which one must complete, and introduces special powers to Mario in the form of suits and traditional power ups. The best of the lot is the cat suit, which allows Mario and his buddies to scale objects they come across, which opens up the game a great deal to new possibilities.
The imagination on display here is relentless. Each stage (and, holy cripes, there are a lot of them!) has something wonderful to offer, and the way everything flows into each other is incredibly satisfying. You can, for instance, blow into the Wii U GamePad to operate certain areas of a level, jump into cannons and fire yourself off far into the distance of stages, plus there are some levels where you can simply sit back and enjoy the fantastic soundtrack whilst the beauty of the game sweeps off into the background.
And it never ends! You’ll become disappointed as you realise you’re reaching the end, but then Nintendo dump a new batch of stages on you over and over. The time and effort they put in is staggering, making the tired argument Nintendo just regurgitates sequels null and void. Super Mario 3D World is a total masterpiece, dear, and we expect you to play it. If you don’t, we’ll cry. Boo-bloody-hoo!
There’s a heavy emphasis on cats in this Mario outing. The cuteness is quite overwhelming at times – almost nauseating! As you can see in this clip, Koichi Hayashida describes the outright brilliance of the cat suit and the game’s multiplayer options. We discussed the Japanese obsession with kawaii (cuteness) last week, and as Mr. Hayashida explains, you can do all sorts of stuff as cat Mario, “plus you look very cute!” Indeed, sir. Indeed.
There are few games we’d consider to be absolutely perfect. Super Metroid is one. Add in the Metroid Prime Trilogy. Half-Life 2 is another. Then there’s Tetris, Shovel Knight, several Zelda games, Super Mario Bros 3… so more than a few. A handful, let’s say, and of course there’s Super Mario 3D World.
The thing with Nintendo is they understand how to inject borderline illegal levels of fun into video games, whilst creating a gaming landscape which is perfect for all ages. Whether you’re a kid or a fully grown adult, this one’s perfect. Aiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie.