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Super Mario 3D Land – Nintendo 3DS

Super Mario 3D Land

Platform:  Nintendo 3DS

Release Date (NA):  November 13th, 2011

Developer:  Nintendo

Genre:  3D Platformer

Rating:  7 out of 10

 

Super Mario 3D Land

As the first Mario title released for Nintendo’s 3DS, Super Mario 3D Land had a lot of expectations to live up to, both as a Mario game and as one of the first games to show off Nintendo’s new hardware.  For the most part this game shines bright in both colors.  Mario’s powerups have been trimmed down compared to other surrounding releases, being only the all new Boomerang Suit, a raccoon/fox tail, the fireflower, the mushroom, and a somewhat rare version of the old Tanooki suit from Super Mario Bros. 3.  Enemies are of the usual fare but this time most of Mario’s challenges stem from his 3D environment.

Super Mario 3D LandAs usual the levels are extremely varied and vividly rendered, with bright colors and flawless animation.  To be fair I don’t spend much time with the 3DS in 3D mode, but I do crank up the slide occasionally to see its impact on games.  Super Mario 3D Land looks exquisite in 3D and adds a lot of life to his environment.  Even without the 3D, shading and size manipulation are usually engineered in such a way that gameplay isn’t hindered in the least.  The 3DS itself surely has it’s own limitations when it comes to graphics, but I am separating this issue from the game at hand.

At times in predominately side scrolling, closed-off underground levels, the 3D aspect can lead to some confusing occurrences.  I can’t say for certain what generates this discrepancy, but I tend to lean towards the homogenous backgrounds of formerly described stages.  It is very easy to bump into enemies, jump into walls (or really to miscalculate any jump across the plane), and walk off narrow bridges or platforms.  This is true both in and out of 3D; whether it is intended as part of the challenge or a simple design flaw is unknown to me.
Super Mario 3D LandThe levels themselves all contain their fair share of challenges, straight from the opening of the game.  Traversing the 3D landscapes of Super Mario 3D Land is tricky as well as fun and will likely be remembered as the defining feature in addition to setting apart from other Mario titles (until Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U at least…).  The precision control offered by the 3DS’ control pad keeps the tasks doable, but it does take some time to get used to executing carefully planned leaps and bounds across 2 dimensions of space.  Hint, keep an eye on his shadow!  Throwing projectiles such as fireballs and boomerangs is also a recurring challenge taking quite a bit of practice to master.  Other notable challenges include a few appearances by Cosmic Mario and some nasty “beat box” and flip switch levels.

Super Mario 3D Land

Although dying will become a regular part of a player’s Super Mario 3D Land experience, lives are in abundance.  My 6 year old son is constantly dying and even as I write this he has accumulated some 212 lives!  Besides defeating Bowser (a moderately difficult task), Super Mario 3D Land again implements the gameplay element of gathering “stars,” this time in the form of Star Coins as in New Super Mario Bros.  This game may not have broken many boundaries, but it is a nicely fine tuned effort to combat the inadequacies of 3D gameplay and it looks amazing on the 3DS.  Hopefully it won’t be too overshadowed by its upcoming successor on the Wii U.

Reviewed by The Cubist

Written by The Cubist

The Cubist


Co-founder, Head Author, & Site Technician

Find out what these ratings mean and how I rate video games.

I collect as much video gaming paraphernalia as I can get my hands on, especially when it comes to hardware. With over 40 systems including oldies like the ColecoVision and Intellivision, obscurities like the CD-i and 3DO, and the latest and greatest including the Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, and PS Vita, I get easily overwhelmed. Most of the time you can find me firmly nestled sometime between 1985 and 1995 when it comes to my games of choice, but I’m also having a great time seeing what the 8th generation has to offer.

Currently in love with: Mortal Kombat

Email me anytime, about anything: thecubist@nerdbacon.com

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3 Comments

  1. Excellent review. Or rather, excellent writing style. It didn’t move too slowly and gave a decent amount of information about the game. I wish the review went more in depth because this alone wouldn’t help me decide if I should try the game or not, however, of the 3 reviews that I have read so far on this site, this one is the best. I personally found the game way too short and had beaten most of it in 3 hours and accumulated over 100 extra lives with no effort (even with replaying levels just for entertainment value).

     
  2. Pingback: Super Mario 3D World – Wii U

  3. Pingback: New Super Mario Bros. 2 – 3DS

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