Time goes by so fast, but I was glad that my favourite Mario games were not left behind. As technology advances, the game developers have never stopped finding ways of creating new features to offer us. For several years of playing Super Mario and its game variants, I was used to the just imagining the world that Mario was in and how it felt being there. But Nintendo has made that a reality for me with its latest 3D offering for Wii U.
Being able to explore every corner of Mario's world has always been my dream. I can still remember how my impeccable joy while making my way around the island—transforming the world and making new paths, and then going back to see my progress. Super Mario 3D also adapts the same idea—a map-based scale and exploration—but with a twist. You can now freely visit one place after another while in-between stages. No need to level up first before you can move to the next location. The top-down three-dimensional angle map consisted of at least seven islands with shops, coins, levels and enemies just like any modern title should.
While giving us the joy of experiencing Mario's world in Super Mario 3D, the game did not deviate from the original structure of the game. In fact, I found some similarities of the 3D version to that of the older versions such as Super Mario Galaxy and Wii's 2007 hit. I missed the playing the old bit-sized Nintendo game, where I just have to play, being tossed into the middle of a wide and mysterious places, without seeing a finish line ahead and just roam around the area in whichever direction I chose. But still, I'm amazed at how 3D works.
Setting the nostalgia asides, there is an interesting level of the 3D called "Bowser's Bullet Bill Brigade," In this level, you will encounter tons of parading war tanks just like that of 8-1 of the old Super Mario Bros. 3, which had armed goombas, wood tanks and shrapnel that contributed to making that level pretty difficult to beat.
As much as I enjoyed the classic Super Mario games, Super Mario 3D World did not disappoint me either. The latest version of Super Mario game offered a lot of new tricks that would surprise every Classic Nintendo games player like me. One instance was a crazy fight I had with Bowser. I thought it would some kind of a face-to-face battle or something, but it turned out to be a car racing where I have to chase Bowser as he drove his purple Cadillac. It wasn't just an ordinary car racing. It was one hell of a fiery car racing as Bowser was spilling flaming oil and tossing bombs back at me. That was a bit scary, unexpected and yet it was more fun than the old sets of obstacles I had back then.
It was a surprise how Super Mario 3D World made use of shadows. One of which was for deception of character's size, such as a giant Piranha plant, which silhouette would look small on the wall when it's near to the source of light, making it easy to devour its prey. The character can also control its shadows during a 2D-view action, the shift of which brought shades of an indie Contrast—another product of Nintendo's intelligence and creativity.
Every Mario game is distinguished by its power-up features such as flying cap for Mario 64 and raccoon tail for Super Mario Bros. 3. Super Mario 3D World also has its signature power-ups—not one but many. One is the symbolic cat suit which was introduced in the E3 2013 trailer. The next one is a double cherry, a cherry fruit that enables you to make another copy of your character each time you encounter each piece of this fruit. The more cherries you stumble upon, the more clones you can create. At the end of each level, all five Luigi characters shout, jump and shot fireballs all together in appalling unison.
Aside from the two power-ups that I've mentioned, there is also a cannon that your character can wear to fire explosives to our enemies, and the sleeping Piranha Plant to eat all Bowser's underlings, not to mention the Goomba costume which Mario can wear to spy an enemy area without being caught. I'm not sure if all of the can be brought all the way to the next levels or just for a specific level or battle, but these are really cool features you can enjoy using to your heart's content.
Another amazing thing about 3D World is that you can play it with your friends because it has a multiplayer version. It records each player's achievements—from the number of coins collected to the number of enemies defeated—and computes each equivalent points. The biggest point can be achieved by and is given to whoever gets the highest spot on at the end of the stage where a flagpole is standing, while the rest will just have to do their best before their time is up. The points then will then be totalled for the final score. The highest scorer gets a crown as a reward which he can wear onto the next level. If you get first twice in a row, additional rewards will be given to you.
I never expected playing Super Mario 3D World multiplayer would give me that awesome feeling. As a matter of fact, playing with your friends, competing with each other to see who can get into the finish line, is more fun and exciting than playing alone. You will eventually realize that there is much more to see in every stage that you don't mind replaying over and over again—with the same set of friends or a different one. All in all, Super Mario 3D World is the most exciting and most fun of all Mario games!