If you want a depression cure, get this game. Super Mario 3D World is a joyous occasion, packed out with so much fun it probably should be illegal.
Super Mario 3D World on the Nintendo Switch
Super Mario 3D World hit the Wii U back in late 2013. Ever since then, we’ve championed it as arguably the greatest game from the series.
Despite the Wii U‘s relative lack of success, the game was the second best-selling title on the console.
Now it’s back on the Switch with a re-release (and additional content in Bowser’s Fury), we got a chance to see if we’re anywhere near correct.
Answer? Yes. We bloody well are. The game is so outstanding in its delivery, with the most consistently masterful level design. We’re in love with the thing all over again.
We mean, look at the way this level develops—Beep Block Skyway. The 3:30 mark when you realise you have to get down that thing.
This is the thing with Super Mario titles. Just that relentless imagination. We struggle to think of a bad level in the entire game.
And 3D World is enormous. There are some 12 worlds and 82 levels, all of which are packed with delightful intricacies.
It’s a fast-paced Mario game, with rewards piling on quickly. There’s a natural flow to levels, one where your intuitive knowledge from previous Mario games pays off.
And then there are the mental ones with out-there ideas. These provide a proper good platforming challenge.
The quality of the title is so outstanding we found it following us around in our brains after playing periods—the Tetris effect as that’s sometimes called.
So where does this platforming genius come from? Why is Nintendo so ahead of the game with its approach?
Certainly, it’s had decades to perfect its art. But the company has an uncanny ability to inject fun and a sense of joy into every single moment.
Koichi Hayashida and Kenta Motokura directed Super Mario 3D World. Series creator Shigeru Miyamoto, of course, oversaw the project.
At the time of its release in late 2013, he told Polygon in an interview:
“We are proud of the Mario cat suit. The reason that we decided to incorporate the cat transformation is not just that it is cute, but when you incorporate 2D and 3D you need a certain element of freedom and we felt that the cat item could pull these elements together.”
There’s a nod to one of the game’s main power-ups—the cat suit.
It’s the most essential item in the whole of Super Mario 3D World, as it lets you scuttle about and climb up walls. Kind of like a cat.
That opens up a whole new level of freedom to Mario’s 3D world, as he can scale vertical walls and claw his way through barriers.
It sets the scene for many a level and is a damn lot of fun.
Throw into that a four-player mode (online or with friends), endless delights, intricacies, and a vast gaming experience… and it’s just epic.
We could bang on all day about what a delight it is to play. But it’s better to just own the thing and give it a whirl.
Super Mario 3D World’s Soundtrack
Nintendo’s legendary Koji Kondo, plus his wider team, worked their magic again.
It’s a magical soundtrack. There are uplifting, funky, and orchestral flourishes for each stage, all of them well suited to the environment you’re in.
As with Double Cherry Chase above, when you’re trying to control up to four Mario clones at once, it adds a sense of frenetic energy to your antics.
You’re just about clinging on for dear life getting these Marios around the screen, the music spurring you on.
Whereas Snowball Park seems hellbent on giving you a lift no matter the mood you’re in.
It’s simply a wonderful complement to such an enjoyable experience.
We’ve always said it—a game’s soundtrack is one of its most essential factors to creating an brilliant title.
And here we have another fine example of how it embellishes Mario’s world with endless moments of delight.