It's a Mario game…what else needs to be said? It seems that Nintendo decided to get out 3 big titles the week before Black Friday, probably anticipating a large amount of sales. I couldn't wait till then and picked this up as soon as I could.
Mario has never really focused on a heavily detailed storyline, and 3D World is no different. Instead of kidnapping Princess Peach, Bowser kidnaps 7 Princesses of the Sprixie Kingdom. It's up to Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Peach to save the Sprixie Princesses from the clutches of Bowser.
For all intents and purposes, it's just the next Super Mario 3D Land, but with more character options and a two new power-ups. If you've played Mario 2 you'll know the basis of each of the 4 main character's play style: Mario is balanced so no real perks or flaws, Luigi has the highest jumping height but has poor traction which may lead to some unexpected slipping, Toad is the fastest runner but has the shortest jump and fastest falling speed, and Peach can glide for a short amount of time but is the slowest runner. There's also an unlockable 5th character who has the ability to double jump and attack enemies using a spinning attack as long as they are not using any Power Up except the Super Mushroom. Oh, and there's Captain Toad levels where you must guide Toad through a 3D Maze to collect Green Stars.
All Power Ups from 3D Land return with the same abilities so Tanuki Suits, Fire Flowers, and Boomerang Flowers are available. Several New Super Mario Bros. 2 special blocks such as the coin box and even the Mega Mushrooms are back. 3D World adds two new power ups into the mix: The Cat Bell and Double Cherry. The Cat Bell dresses our heroes in Cat Suits allowing them to claw enemies and climb walls and flagpoles. At times this power is a little overpowered as the Tanooki Suit was in 3D Land since it can be used to clear chasms that would require precise timing onto floating platforms or save you from a bad jump. Still it was fun for exploration, opening some new areas to explore within levels. The Double Cherries creates doppelgängers of whoever grabs one. Now you'll have two Marios on screen who will move exactly as you move so there's no isolated movement or anything, they will jump when you make the original jump or throw a fireball when the original fires a fireball. Perhaps I'm using the word "original" loosely since all of the duplicated characters are the "real" thing, but if any of the clones get hit, they disappear until there is only one left, even if that one wasn't the original character. Regardless, this feature was just as fun to use, however I will gripe with the few stages that had this function available and for the fact that the ability does not carry over into other levels.
Level design was mostly created around the Cat Suit to be used as much as possible but the other power ups get equal screen time. There's an excellent Mario Kart, themed stage, numerous challenge houses, and even some of the Ghost Mansions were darn fun to play. There's speed run maps, chasing levels, and even ghost killing levels. The Bosses were well made and a bit challenging, but you never really felt over or under powered save the final Boss Stage. There are 3 Green Stars to collect in every level and a special Stamp that you can grab for making MiiVerse Posts. Oh and completing worlds 1-8 unlocks a special version of Mario Bros. called Luigi Bros. All in all, the game is jam packed with interesting levels, a diverse cast that really do feel different from each other, and collectibles that motivate you to collect em all.
Multiplayer mode is a lot of fun, but at times having multiple people playing can be more of a hinderance than an advantage since I've often found myself killing my partner by accidentally jumping on their head over a lava pit and such. But it can be a time saver since certain levels require a certain character's trait to grab a Star or Stamp.
Nonny's Rating: 9.5/10. Yes, this game is the real deal, as all Marios are. If any title on the Wii U right now is a must have, this is the game. Play with your friends and family or tackle it alone, either way, you're in for a treat.
Nonny's Tips: If possible, keep a Cat Bell as your sub power-up. It'll save you time in certain areas where they don't appear if you're looking to get all of the goodies.
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