Release Date: 11/13/2011
Available Exclusively On
Here we are again. Another Mario game to prove how good a new Nintendo system is. Super Mario 3D Land is another addition to the New Super Mario Bros./Galaxy formula that pushed Mario into a new generation. Honestly, I’m tired of it, but it still proves to be solid and entertaining.
The game has 8 worlds to play through and each stage is completely different, so at least there’s variety. Each world feels like a mini one from Super Mario Galaxy mixed with a New Super Mario Bros. level. The whole point is to just get to the end, but there are 3-star coins in each level. Here’s the problem with collecting all those: There’s absolutely no reward for doing so, it’s just to scratch the completionist OCD itch. Mario has his usual NSMB abilities like the fire flower, Tanooki Suit, Boomerang suit, and the white Tanooki suit. Honestly, the game lacked any new abilities which is a shame. I found that the Tanooki suit was vital to winning some levels and to even getting to some star coins.
At the end of each world, you fight Bowser, but there’s no variety to it. You work your way up to him then you just avoid his attacks until you get to the button that knocks him into lava. Every so often you will fight Bowser Jr. or the Koopa Twins, but they are all very easy. Speaking of easy, the first 6 worlds are a breeze with nearly zero challenge. The enemies are easy to avoid, and if you die more than 5 times you get the White Tanooki suit which makes you invincible through the whole level, they basically just let you cheat your way through. I really hated this, but at the last word, I found that I needed it because the game went from super easy to extremely difficult in no time flat. It took over an hour to beat the final Bowser level.
The 3D effects are pretty nice and work well here. There are a few instances in levels where 3D will benefit you to see the level layout better, but just like most 3DS games, it’s just for flash, and not gameplay. I did find the graphics to look crisp and very pretty for a 3DS game, but they still look like Super Mario Galaxy and haven’t changed one bit, I’m bored of it. There are no extra modes, and once you beat the game it’s hard to have a reason to come back. The story in Mario games is pretty simple so I won’t even go there.
The severe lack of challenge through 70% of the game just really brings the experience down. Enemies are a breeze to avoid and there’s just nothing new to the overall Mario formula to make it groundbreaking like Mario used to be. Nintendo has been riding this formula for so long that it’s a wonder people keep buying it. I thought this would be kind of like Mario 64 in the sense that it revolutionized the genre and console, this game had that potential. While the game is just plain fun, I wanted a challenge. I wanted something new like more abilities, a new art style, new enemies, and just a larger challenge. When you hit world 7 you will be in for a world of hurt because the game is just so damn hard. It’s the way the level is laid out, enemies are placed in tricky spots, but it’s not the fair type of hard.
Overall, Super Mario 3D Land is a fun game, but not the genre changer like everyone thought. It sticks with the same tired NSMB/Galaxy formula that everyone is getting tired of. There’s no challenge 70% through the game and the bosses lack any variety. There are no extra modes and the star coins offer no reward. What we have is just a fun Mario game with great graphics and 3D effects, that’s all.