Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
We all love Mario, it’s just a fact, and why wouldn’t we love him. He started it all and he’s kept it going even up until now with amazing titles like the Mario Galaxy and New Super Mario Brother titles. When we see a Mario game these are the titles we are expecting him to live up to, or the titles of old like Super Mario Bros. 3 and dare I say it, Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels. Super Mario 3D Land is none of these. It’s still fun but it’s negatives out way it’s positives, and for Mario this is just something I can’t accept.
The main thing all the Mario games we love have in common is that they are actually pretty challenging. Maybe through the years you’ve figured out how to use the many useful warp pipes to gain an advantage and skip through certain levels in just minutes, but if you actually play each level through without skipping Mario is one of those games that makes you want to throw your controller through your television set in frustration, or maybe you threw it through you television set because you weren’t wearing your wrist strap these days. either way, there is a graveyard somewhere full broken Nintendo brand controllers and they have Mario’s name written all over them. I can tell you one thing, I won’t be throwing my 3DS into that graveyard any time soon.
This game is ridiculously easy for any seasoned Mario player, or any other platform player for that matter. The levels remind me of the original special Super Mario Sunshine levels with the turning blocks, winding clock gears, and swinging pendulums. I loved the Super Mario Sunshine levels however, as when I got to the sprite at the end I felt as if I’d actually accomplished a great deal, seeing as how I died a good many times to get to it. 3D Land however pitches anything challenging out the window. I literally ran through the first six worlds almost without stopping, I only went back when I realized I needed more special coins to move on in the game and unlock more content, prompting me to go back through a few levels to catch some missed special coins. So basically the difficulty level of this game is dependent solely on collecting the big special coins and has nothing to do with level design. Think about that for a minute, it’s Mario! The greatest platformer of all time (arguably) and the level design is no better than a Rayman or Crash game.
If your ego wasn’t shot from the poor level design then you can think about this. There were three levels in the game that I had trouble with and died more than five times. If you die you are rewarded with the worst item Nintendo has ever come up with, a white raccoon tail with star powers. That’s right, since you died we’ll reward you by letting you run into any enemy instantly killing them and just go ahead and feel free to fly through the whole level with your tail. The very last level requires the player to beat Bowser twice, it was a huge challenge as fireballs, spiked spinners, and lava flowed all around me. The white raccoon tail with star powers enabled me to run through every fire-ball, throw the spiked spinners clear off the screen, and touch Bowser as I walked directly into his dragon fire and pass him to the winners circle.
Regardless of the disappointments the game did have its positives. A new item I enjoyed was the boomerang flower essentially allowing me to become a boomerang wielding turtle. The player is able to pick up items and destroy enemies with the boomerang item making it sometimes more useful than the classic fire flower which only allows you to kill enemies. The raccoon tail item is also modified so that instead of pressing the button down over and over to control the tail, you only need to hold down the button to glide, a simple change that is well suited for the 3DS button configuration.
The visuals in the game are also stunning and make great use of the 3D screen capabilities. Block rooms can be turned and viewed at a different perspective and if not observed carefully may be overlooked as just a flat surface. Graphically I’d venture to say it’s one of the best looking titles I’ve ever seen on a DS. It has a beautiful color scheme and vibrate background displays creating the loving Mario environment we’ve all come to love.
All in all this is one to put on the “buy it used” list. It’s worth the play through for a quick fun platformer but it doesn’t stand up to it’s Mario predecessors when it comes to difficulty. We’ve come to expect more from Nintendo when it comes to Mario and we should because we know the wonderful pieces of art that can become a Mario title. Super Mario 3D Land isn’t what we expect. Better luck next time Nintendo.
Super Mario 3D Land gets MF MF MF out of five
+Great 3D usage
-Basic Level design
-Way too easy for a Mario game