Super Mario 3D World Review

I should start off by saying, I LOVE MARIO. I have played, for the most part, every single Mario game made by Nintendo. As most of you probably know before Super Mario 3D World were a bunch of those New Super Mario Bros. titles. These were pretty much rehashes of the good old NES Mario. Sure, there were some twists and turns, but the level design just didn’t intrigue me. Don’t get me wrong I loved it, but it kept me yearning for something more.

Enter Super Mario 3D World. Straight from the title screen you see this adorable little Goomba pounce across the screen. I knew from that point on that the game was going to take me by surprise. I came across the character select screen and saw my choice of character: Toad. I like to go fast and each of the characters have special abilities. Mario is average, Luigi jumps higher than Mario, Peach floats, and Toad is fast. Some have a downside, Peach runs slower and Toad can’t jump as high. Your best bet on picking characters is to pick someone you like.

The way the maps are set up is that the overworld gives you kind of a glimpse into the upcoming level that you are about to jump in. You able to free roam around the overworld map and find some hidden goodies or play a small jackpot mini game to get coins. There are also mushroom houses with two boxes that you can pick and possibly get your choice of around 4 items. The free roaming feature, albeit kinda simple, is a welcome addition and adds something in between levels.

Absolutely breathtaking.

When I jump into World 1-1 I had no idea what awaited me. I looked at the screen and this beautiful colorful world jumps to life. I see Goombas in the distance and the all too familiar item boxes. The world is absolutely breathtaking, even though the levels are small they are immersive. The shading is wonderfully done and the lighting effects in some areas are pretty neat. There were times when I would just sit and look at the world and then realize I had a 100 seconds left. Then, there is the soundtrack. The soundtrack is nothing short of amazing. There are a lot of old familiar tunes that have been remixed, but for the better. There were times where I played through the same level over and over and the soundtrack never got on my nerves.

Let’s get to actual gameplay, now. The game is extremely simple. It boils down to: Run, Jump, Dodge, Hit Boxes, and get Items. The level design is absolutely astounding. There was never a time I thought it was too hard or too easy. It was very balanced and I enjoyed that. I could relax and know that I had to actually pay attention rather than just kinda blindly run through a level.

One new item is the propeller box.

There are some new items to the game. The most notable being the cat suit. Oh my gosh, is that thing fun to use. It lets you climb pretty much any wall, which aid in getting to green stars and stamps. It also lets you climb to the top of the flagpole at the end of a level so that you can get a gold flag. Something about that silly cat suit is magical and you don’t want to take it off. You can also get a boomerang, Goomba suit, propeller box, ice skates, double cherries. By the way, double cherries can be your downfall. These cherries will create a clone of you, which for some puzzles you need 4 people to solve. It is incredibly hysterical to watch upwards of 6 Toads throwing fireballs trying to kill one guy. There are a few more power-ups that you’ll find like, the fire flower, tanooki suit, mega mushroom that just add to the list and makes this the most items in a Mario game. EVER.

There are rewards when completing a level. One, being the aforementioned gold flag. Second, being the green stars and stamps. Now, these stars and stamps are hidden throughout the level. Finding them is extremely rewarding and it’s nice being able to find them without a guide. Although, a couple did stump me in the time that I played and I did resort to a guide. (I’m sorry, Mom.) Getting all the stamps is something that is extremely rewarding and gives a lot of players something more to strive for. You can also use these stamps in Miiverse in handwritten posts. That’s pretty cool. You can leave notes for people, but in my experience most people just used the stamp and called it a day.

There are some sub levels where you fight Fire Bros, or you use Captain Toad to navigate a level and get stars. The best one to me was where you go through this like speed round of stars. You have 10 seconds to get one and if you screw up you have to start all over again to get the stars you missed. It’s short and sweet and these levels gives you something to do in the break between levels.


Let’s get to the boss fights, I mean what’s a Mario game without boss fights? The boss fights are a little easy in my opinion. I was always able to quickly dispatch the boss within a few seconds and move on. That’s not to say I didn’t have fun. For instance, I was fighting this boss in World 6 who would shoot fireballs at me and I had to knock him into a tube to jump on his head. That boss fight was incredibly fun. Was it easy, yeah probably, but it was fun. That’s what we play video games for right?  Every time I played a boss fight I felt like I was somebody conquering evil. I felt like a kid again. I haven’t felt like this in a long time and that’s something magical that Nintendo did.

The multiplayer is great. I saw great because it’s not without it’s flaws. When two people are playing, for instance, and one person dashes ahead the camera doesn’t zoom out all the way to show both players it just kind of forgets the other one and puts him in a bubble. It’s not bad, but it’s annoying sometimes. You also share lives so your friends can quickly run you out of live if they so choose. If you’re connected to the internet and Miiverse you’ll be able to see random people’s Mii and post in the overworld as you’re traveling from level to level. That’s pretty cool.

All in all the content you get out of this game is incredible. You get more than 8 worlds, a ton of items, ton of content to collect, and a sweet multiplayer mode that is a ton of fun with other people. There’s honestly a lot more content that I just couldn’t cover because it’s just so much. But it’s fun to find out some stuff for yourself anyway. I won’t just say this is the best Mario game in a long time. I feel like that is undershooting it. This is an incredible game where Nintendo not only raised the bar, but skyrocketed it into oblivion. It’s something of a marvel, because playing it I thought back to when I was a kid in my room playing Super Mario Bros. 3. Only this was better. I give this game a five out of five.


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About The Author

I come from a small town in South Carolina and I'm going to school for Electrical Engineering. I grew up on Nintendo games. The first game I ever played was Super Mario Bros. for the NES. I loved that thing and still have it to this day. I have had every Nintendo system, save for the Virtual Boy, since the NES that was given to me. Nintendo has brought me joy where every other form of entertainment falls short. My favorite game is either The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask or the entire Mother series. (Yes, I'm counting the Mother series as one game. Deal with it.) I'm currently playing Super Mario Bros 3D World on Wii U and Animal Crossing: New Leaf and trying to finish up Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon on 3DS. NNID: Mr.Lockthorne

  • Wow man! Nice review! Keep up the great work :) Thanks for writing this we really needed one! You should keep doing stuff like this in the future :)

  • David Aguayo

    Very nice review. Of course the score was more or less expected, but it’s always fun for me to read people’s opinions X] Can’t wait to get my hands on this game.

  • Michael Waddell

    Thank you for the kind words. I try not to give out scores. I feel opinions speak louder than numbers. :) It’s a great game and I can’t recommend it enough.

  • oddleaf

    Great Review, pretty much a purchase for me now.

  • Michael Waddell

    Thank you for the kind words! It is definitely worth the money!

  • You still get the general point though. It’s not always possible to have perfect grammar and it really doesn’t matter either. It’s still readable and that’s what counts :D I’m sure that the writer will fix it sooner or later though :)

  • See it’s fixed now :D

  • See it’s fixed now :D

  • Michael

    My sincerest apologies are in order. I thought I caught all my mistakes proof-reading it, but that’s why you always have a second pair of eyes look at it. I hope it didn’t detract too much from the article itself and I hope to hear what you have to say about it, disregarding the grammar. Have a good day!

  • Michael

    Thanks! That must have been something I missed while proof-reading. I’ll be better about it next time. I promise. ;)

  • Michael

    Glad to hear it! It’s definitely worth the cash!

  • Michael

    Thanks, I’m trying to write more and more. I’m working on a retro review right now. Hint hint, it involves a certain bounty hunter in space.

  • I look forward to reading it :D

  • I agree :D Keep it up Mike!

  • Rinslowe

    Nice review. Looking forward to seeing more.