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170 of 193 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Mix of Mario Greatness New and Old
When this game was first revealed many were unimpressed as it seemed like a rehash of the 3DS game super Mario 3D Land. Then we saw more and saw how wrong we were. This game is amazing. It is the culmination of all Mario games and a mix of old and new. Before even going into the multiplayer aspects I have to say that this game has so much to offer.
There are many...
Published 13 months ago by Jonathan Balofsky

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's definitely fun, but just not what I'm looking for
This is an ok Mario game. It's very similar to the 3D World on 3DS. I was very much looking forward to a full blown open world 3D game for Mario and not a timed level quasi 3D game. It's definitely fun, but just not what I'm looking for.
Published 1 month ago by Jim


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170 of 193 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Mix of Mario Greatness New and Old, November 22, 2013
By 
This review is from: Super Mario 3D World - Nintendo Wii U (Video Game)
When this game was first revealed many were unimpressed as it seemed like a rehash of the 3DS game super Mario 3D Land. Then we saw more and saw how wrong we were. This game is amazing. It is the culmination of all Mario games and a mix of old and new. Before even going into the multiplayer aspects I have to say that this game has so much to offer.
There are many secrets to unlock (including a 5th character), so many modes of gameplay and so much innovation. Whether it's the double cherry that creates copies of your character or the powerups that let you fight ghosts or the throwbacks to old powerups like the Kuribo's shoe, this game has it all. There are levels with Music reminiscent of Super Mario 64, Boss battles that are incredibly fun and amazing visuals throughout. This game must be seen to be believed. Running at 720p (upscaled to 1080p) at 60 fps, the game is gorgeous! At times you will simply stop and look and admire the visuals.
Speaking of the levels there is so much variety putting this on the same playing field as the Galaxy games (made by the same team) and other 3D Mario games. There is a level with silhouettes, a level that plays like an overhead shooter (with the double cherry as special powerup) and a Mario kart themed level and that's just some of it. The levels start out somewhat easy but this is to ease you into the game. It gets harder as you progress and it makes you want to play until you beat it.

The music is amazing and varies between big band music and orchestral remixes of older Mario music. It really fits the game well and you will want to listen for hours.
Now about the multiplayer, it's fun but be warned, the more players, the more chaotic it becomes. This isn't a bad thing though. Playing in single player and then in multiplayer will give you very different experiences. Playing with four players locks the camera up while playing in single player or with less than 4 characters allows freer roaming camera angles. As for controls, there are so many options, ranging from the gamepad, to the pro ctontroller, thewiimote to the nunchuck and the classic controller and they are all awesome!

While there isn't online co-op, the truth is that online co-op isn't needed and the game is fun without it, however there is an option to go online and submit your playthroughs of level and access other peoples' playthroughs and race against other peoples' ghost data. There are also stamps that can be obtained in the game and shared on miiverse and take part in the online community.

The different modes in this game are amazing, whether its speed running with the clock starting at 100 seconds, or the bonus levels, there is so much variety offered (including a hidden bonus game) and the game never stays constant and is always changing things up. There is no way to get bored and so much to unlock. This is the reason to buy a Wii U right now if you haven't yet!

This game marks the beginning of a new era of awesomeness for Nintendo and the Wii U. Its time to get hyped!
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94 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 / 10 A STUNNING MASTERPIECE IF YOU DON'T OWN A Wii U, BUY ONE NOW, November 28, 2013
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This review is from: Super Mario 3D World - Nintendo Wii U (Video Game)
If you don't own a Nintendo Wii U Game Console yet ... RUN OUT AND BUY ONE NOW !!! This game alone will justify its purchase, but its not the only great game for the Wii U (Wii Fit U, Pikmin 3, Super Mario Bros U, Luigi U, Resident Evil Revelations, Zen Pinball 2, Nintendo Land, COD Black Ops 2, Assassin's Creed 3 & 4, Deus Ex Directors Edition, Runner 2, Edge, Puddle, Batman Arkham City Amored Edition, & Rayman Legends are some of my favorites not to mention it also plays Wii Games and Virtual Console games too.

Mario 3D World appeals to new comers and gaming veterans alike. Nintendo is the only company out there that has the unique ability to create games that appeal to everyone. Now that might seem like a simple statement but when you look at most games from other companies, they have a target market and generally only appeal to that demographic. Games made for kids simply do not hold the attention of adults and games made for adults are dropping the F Bomb and are inappropriate for kids.

How does this game appeal to everyone?

Graphically, it is stimulating for everyone. Nowhere does it even try to look realistic but it almost makes everyone else look like they got the whole HD thing wrong. How is that even possible? Well, it creates an environment which is entertaining and very visually stimulating for people of all ages causing them to smile, be shocked, and even laugh. It transports you to another world in a way that games that try to look realistic simply can not do. To put it mildly the game looks stunning and runs at 60 frames per second as smooth as silk even when you have 4 characters on the screen at once who have all multiplied themselves 5 times and are all throwing fireballs! That's 20 characters on the screen at one time all moving around and throwing fireballs! AMAZING and great fun too!

Variety .. There is so much variety in this game it is actually hard to believe. Interesting gameplay scenerios are thrown at you and you say wow, thats really neat, then the next level is copletely different and you must shift gears, then its on to something new! Too many games these days are the same level after level after level but in this game you have to adjust your thinking and play style depending on what it throws at you.

Gameplay - This game appeals to young or casual players in that the characters are easy to control and do not have complicated schemes and casual players can simply have the goal of getting to the flag pole and trying to stay alive. Veteran players on the other hand will seek out all the hidden goodies such as green stars, stamps, and secret areas. They will try to land on top of the flag pole to get a golden flag. Veterans will not rest until they have unlocked all the areas of the game and completed it 100%. Both styles of players will really enjoy themselves.

Power Ups ... folks there have never been so many different types of power ups in a single Mario Game before .... there are boatloads of old and new power ups in this game.

Multiplayer ... If you play this game with others either as cooperative or competitive, you will be satisfied. It is a much better experience than in previous games because of the isometric perspective. Each player has room to move about in a more open space now making multiplayer a joy to play. If you play competitively, you race to flag pole getting as many points as you can along the way and try to get there first and land at the highest point on the flag pole. If you do, you will earn a crown and will wear it in the next level you play. If you win the next level wearing the crown, you are awarded bonus points but watch out, others can try to physically steal your crown as you all race to the flag pole! Its a lot of laughs and great fun for everyone.

This game does not have the same difficulty as say Mario 3 or Lost Worlds but that broadens its appeal in my eyes. Its fun no matter how you play it ... casually or 100 percenting it. It will challenge those who want a challenge and those that don't can find ways around them.

The only people this game will not appeal to is someone who refuses to play it for some reason ... but if one of those types of people are sitting in the same room as someone who is playing it, just give them a few minutes, they will buckle down, and say do you have another contoller?

It is a sight to behold and will give you a real feel good feeling, it will shock you with its graphics, and it will make you smile, laugh, and even angry too. What more could you ask of a game?
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94 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully designed game that has something special for every kind of Mario fan, November 22, 2013
This review is from: Super Mario 3D World - Nintendo Wii U (Video Game)
Color me surprised. I thought there was no way Nintendo could possibly match the Super Mario Galaxy games in terms of quality and creativity, and yet, somehow, they have with this gem. Super Mario 3D World has taken the stellar core premise of Super Mario 3D Land (it itself a fantastic Mario game and one of the best 3DS games) and launched it into the stratosphere with exceptional execution, staggering density of content, and breathtaking creativity. It's amazing to me how a game that is, at its core, centered around the simple joys of running, jumping, exploring, and playing, can be so full of brilliance and inspiration. If it's not already obvious, my wife and I both absolutely love this masterpiece. This is a *huge* game full of ideas and concepts both new and nostalgic, and while I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum, this will be a long, detailed review. It's the only way to do such a wonderful game justice. Either jump ship now or continue reading, you've been warned.

The story in Super Mario 3D World is as simple as it is in any Mario game, but 3D World's story is noteworthy simply because Peach's kidnapping is not the plot device used to introduce the exquisite gameplay (it also shows Mario and Luigi actually fixing something as plumbers, something I cannot recall a main series Mario game showing before, so that's special :D).While going for an evening stroll, Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Blue Toad stumble across a clear pipe, out of which pops a unique pixie-like princess from the Sprixie kingdom. She then informs them that Bowser has attacked and taken over her kingdom and requests help when, all of a sudden, Bowser pops out of the pipe, kidnaps this new princess, and absconds back into the recently conquered Sprixie Kingdom. Our four heroes give chase into the pipe to help their new friend, like any good Samaritans would do, thus beginning 3D World's platforming euphoria. Interspersed throughout the adventure are very simple cutscenes that are enjoyable and appealing.

The visuals in 3D World are exceptional. This is the first Mario outing in genuinely glorious HD, all at a smooth 60 fps, and it is beyond gorgeous. I've always loved the art design in Mario games. The focus on clean, imaginative style and vibrant color has always made Mario games stand out as some of the most beautiful releases on their platform, and 3D World is no exception. Impressive lighting effects and exceptionally well done textures make levels like Bowser's oceanside castle during a sunset, or sunny grasslands, or snowy wonderlands such beautiful, enchanting playgrounds to run and jump through. Character designs, whether friend or foe, are all very nostalgic and the new ones feel very fresh at the same time. Seeing classic enemies like Chargin Chuck from SMWorld is so nostalgic. The audio is equally charming, with many iconic sound effects returning. The real audio highlight, however, is the soundtrack. Anybody worried that this game would drop the beautiful orchestrations of the Galaxy games can rest easy. Whether the tracks are reminiscent of the symphonic majesty of the Galaxy soundtracks or more of the jazzy 3D Land variety, all songs in 3D World are super catchy and full of warm nostalgic magic, as befits a Mario game (even brand new songs immediately cultivated nostalgia in me). You'll be humming the tunes long after you turn off the game. From a visual and audio perspective, this game is a definite winner and a showcase for the Wii-U.

I've always loved the core concept behind Super Mario 3D Land/World: Take nostalgic gameplay concepts and goals from the classic Super Mario Bros. 1-3 and Super Mario World, and play through them from Mario's perspective in a 3-D game with all the refinements and conventions 3-D Mario games have introduced over the years. It's a perfect marriage of classic conventions and creative innovation, made so that fans of every style of Mario can enjoy themselves. For example, each level has you going for the end-pole as your goal, just like the 2-D Mario classics. However, each level features three green stars (first seen in Galaxy 2) that encourages 3-D Mario style exploration of the levels in order to collect them, and the levels are so well designed and massive, you'll enjoy every second you spend exploring them. It's a marriage of two different Mario styles that compliment each other very well and offer something to every Mario fan. That's great. The world map may seem to be styled after the New Super Mario Bros. games at first glance, except that you're given free rein to run all over the whole thing like some sort of 3-D playground overworld, another example of 3-D and 2-D Mario combining into something new and special, appealing to everybody.

The controls in this game have been refined to near perfection, to the point that characters on the screen feel like an extension of yourself. Like everything else in the game, they feel like a perfect marriage between classic and modern Mario styles. Like the classic 2-D Mario games, you can't double or triple jump, which is jarring at first but ultimately makes for unique, old-school gameplay that feels new for a 3-D Mario game. Using just the control stick has you move in a leisurely stroll pace. Holding down X/Y makes you run and if you keep running uninterrupted, the character breaks out into a fast sprint. The rolling spin and rolling long-jump (returning from 3D Land) are wonderful additions to Mario's acrobatic repertoire. Jumping and stomping on enemies has never felt more satisfying. What's awesome about all of this is that you get to choose between several equally well-designed characters to play as, and all offer unique abilities and traits. Mario is an all-around balanced character, Luigi's controls are more "slippery" and he jumps higher, Peach runs slower but can hover like in SMB2 which makes her good for beginners, and Blue Toad runs faster than the others but he drops faster after jumps. That's not all, as there is an unlockable character with their own unique abilities and gameplay style too! This is such a great aspect of 3D World. Having so many unique characters practically guarantees that gamers of any skill level or play style will get the most out of their experience with the game, and that's awesome. Bravo Nintendo! On the new side of things, you can knock shells off of Koopas and, in addition to throwing them as always, you can go inside and ride them as they slide along the floor. Talk about a blast! The new clear pipes introduce a ton of new gameplay possibilities that require good reflexes and strategy. So many new gameplay concepts, and all are super fun.

The suits that return from 3D Land (Tanooki, Fire, Boomerang Bros., propeller box, etc) all play extremely well and are super satisfying to use. New suits/items, such as the already-iconic Cat Suit or the new canon box fit in with the rest very well. The Cat Suit is ridiculously fun. Others are bizarrely appealing, like the double cherry, which creates a new clone of your character each time you grab one. Imagine the hilarious chaos that results from 10-12 fire balls bouncing around hurled from 5-6 Marios with fire suits. Boss fights that incorporate the double cherry are super fun too. There are many new items you can grab and carry along with you, like a baseball to throw at enemies, or potted Piranha plants that can rapidly eat enemies and other obstacles. Of course, these are just a few examples, and the game features many more.

The utterly brilliant level designs compliment the gameplay mechanics beautifully. There are so many new level ideas for a 3-D Mario game too, including but not limited to: riding a Loch Ness Yoshi monster named "Plessie" through a tropical paradise, a level exploring a Japanese-style castle, a light/shadow/silhouette themed sewer level that really messes with your perception of size and distance, a level based on the classic Super Mario Kart (complete with overwhelmingly nostalgic music), the Captain Toad puzzle levels, the mystery houses, the speed run levels, a golden express segment that makes New Super Mario Bros. 2 look conservative by comparison... I could go on forever. Although a bit on the easy side, boss fights in the game overall are better than they were in 3D Land, full of variety and new ideas, although I still prefer the Bowser fights from 3D Land (3D Land's Bowser battles are among my favorite in the entire series). Seriously, this game is bursting with creativity. New concepts are introduced at a breathtaking speed. Much like Galaxy 1 & 2, Super Mario 3D World feels like standing before a seemingly bottomless well of brilliant new ideas. If it doesn't top Galaxy 1 or 2 in that respect, 3D World at least matches them. That alone is impressive, especially since the overall focus of 3D World is more "conventional" in comparison to the mind-bending Galaxy games. The fact that it is easily as big as the first Galaxy game makes this even more amazing. Once you beat the main worlds, several more pop up, and the farther you get into the game, the more challenge there is to be had. This game has a fantastic density of content.

Another aspect that makes Super Mario 3D World a milestone for the series is its excellent multiplayer. This is the first 3-D Mario game to implement multiplayer and it is incredible! I was worried this would have the lazy multiplayer of the NSMB games where all characters play the same and offer no real variety, but thankfully 3D World delivers the goods. Each player gets to control a unique character (no generic, recolored Toads for player 4, thankfully), and as I said earlier, each character controls uniquely as well, so everyone will have their own experience! It also never become frustrating like it does in the NSMB games, where other players too often become obstacles to your enjoyment rather than enhancing it. In 3D World, it's super fun and really hearkens back to the old days where playing video games with friends and loved ones on the couch was a bonding, joyful experience. Any game that my wife and I bond over always gets bonus points in my book, and 3D World is superb in that regard. The game is so well designed that you will get the most out of your time with the game, regardless of whether you're playing alone or with others. That's awesome. Bravo Nintendo!

You might wonder how 3DW functions as a Wii-U exclusive and what features there are. Well, for starters, the touch screen and mic are used in several, unique ways that affect the levels you play through, adding complexity to the mix. The gyroscope can be used to get different angles in the levels, which is really helpful for finding collectibles. There are so many other things you can do using the gamepad, it's easy to lose count. Personally, I find the gamepad a lot more useful with more complex series, like The Legend of Zelda for example, but it works surprisingly well in 3D World. Miiverse is also utilized in the same fun way it was in NSMBU, but has been deepened with collectible stamps hidden in the levels that adds spice to messages. I like the Miiverse system here, it's a nice novelty at the very least. Overall, the Wii-U exclusive features don't feel like gimmicks, thankfully, and the game works well because of them and not in spite of them, which is all I ask for.

So, to all you who stuck around with this review, I really cannot emphasize it enough: this game is an absolute masterpiece. I really can't think of a single flaw or complaint to say about the game. Nintendo EAD has been on a roll for years with 3-D Mario releases, and with each new game, I always doubt and worry that they can't possibly top the game that came before it. With Super Mario 3D World, they have indeed continued their streak of top-tier quality. It may not have the brilliant gravity defying concept of the Galaxy games, but the sheer amount of creativity and innovation they poured into this game despite it being more "conventional" in its style just astounds me even more. The huge addition of well-executed multiplayer makes this a 3-D Mario milestone in yet another way. I bought this game at my local *cough cough* as soon as it opened and have been playing since then (alternating with The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, another masterpiece). In addition to its awesome creativity, this is one of the most celebratory Mario games I've ever played too, filled with salutes and homages that pretty much every Mario fan can appreciate and enjoy to the fullest. So do I recommend it? Oh yeah, you better believe I do. This is the undisputed Wii-U "killer app" and is an absolutely essential game for any Wii-U library. I'd even say the game is worth buying the system over. Seriously, it is such a masterwork in game design. Buy it immediately, enjoy the game either solo or with others, and experience another magical masterpiece with Nintendo's famous plumber hero.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the game that will make you get a Wii U!, December 7, 2013
This review is from: Super Mario 3D World - Nintendo Wii U (Video Game)
Before I start my review, I would like to say that I am a big PlayStation fan, I currently own a PS4. I never really wanted a Wii U until I started seeing these nintendo exclusives that we all know are worth it. It's no secret that Nintendo had a fatal launch with the Wii U and their marketing is not helping their cause, however the Wii U is worth getting just because of this game. Super Mario 3D World really shows how underrated the Wii U is. This game is the best Mario game I have ever played. From the extremely good looking graphics to the incredible soundtrack, this game deserves a 10/10. I love how I don't even have to turn the tv on to be able to play, I can just take the game pad with me to my bed. The levels are fun, different, yet somehow they are able to bring memories of all the previous Mario games. It reminds me of when I was kid playing Super Mario World. One thing I really like is the fact that is a multiplayer only if you want to, so if you have kids or family this game is great but if you are playing by yourself is just like Mario 64, Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy. Highly recommend it. I have had the game and Wii U for about a week and everyday I realize how underrated it is.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beginning of a Beautiful Promise, December 8, 2013
By 
N. Johnson (Winston-Salem, NC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Super Mario 3D World - Nintendo Wii U (Video Game)
This is a super fun 3D Mario game! Fans of the Galaxy series on last generation's Wii should absolutely give it a try. It really establishes the Wii U's capabilities in terms of graphics, creative gameplay, and overall entertainment value. The vibrant colors of this game make each individual level its own beautiful puzzle to solve. Skeptics of the Wii U should realize that Super Mario 3D World is a promising start to the Wii U's future. If we truly want Nintendo to have a voice in the future of video games we must let that market know with our dollars.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sell Whatever Games You've Got And Go Buy This Game, December 8, 2013
This review is from: Super Mario 3D World - Nintendo Wii U (Video Game)
I'll keep this short and sweet. Whatever games you own, go sell them now and buy this game. Cause whatever you've got, it's not as good as this. People talk of which game deserves "Game of the Year" and what not... well, forget all that. This game is "Game of the GENERATION" material. Matter of fact, I would dare say this is one of the greatest video games ever made. It's THAT good.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On world 6 already and got it just 12 hours ago.. This game is... AMAZING!!!!, November 24, 2013
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This review is from: Super Mario 3D World - Nintendo Wii U (Video Game)
So far, I've been playing this game for 9 hours straight and I'm loving every minute of it.

I'm the kind of person to take my time with video games. I like to find little secrets and hidden passages. So far I've gotten every green star (and stamp) in every level up until 6-2. I need to take a rest though. My eyes are killing me..

Anyway, more about the game!

It is absolutely a MUST if you own a wii u. The level designs are completely original and replay worthy. They're set up in a way that doesn't make it insanely difficult getting to the top of every flag pole, and getting every green star. I'm not happy, or upset about this (as some gamers are pretty peeved off saying it's "WAY too easy".. Trust me, this isn't true. It's got some hair ripping levels just like SMG1&2). In the end of the day, it's a video game.. and I had lots of fun!

Anyway, there are many little details you'll notice in this game that will make you go "OH MY GOD... LOOK AT _____ ! Me, my two little brothers, and my sister were playing multiplayer for about an hour and it was MADDNESS! So many laughs and so much fun! It's pretty much like new super mario bros wii&wiiu, except you can walk in all directions and (obviously) do more intricate things. I strongly recommend buying this game if your family enjoys mario multiplayer.

The artistic design to this game is amazing as well, I can't express how happy I am to see mario in HD. The worlds look more beautiful than ever..

Another thing I really enjoyed is that there are 4 different characters always at your disposal! With certain strengths and weaknesses, it's great if you're having trouble with a level and one of the other characters can ease the pain a little with faster running/higher jumping/levitating.

I also enjoyed the throwback looks they gave the characters icons! Made me feel like I was little kid again. I also enjoyed the fact that on the map, you're not secluded to just using the directional pad to automatically move you from one world to the next.. Nope! You walk around the map in free direction! Amazing!

I give it a 10/10. I love this game, worth the money for sure..

****UPDATE 11/26/13******
Just beat the 8th world, I've gotten every star and stamp up until the first level of the star world!! Beware, the star world can get very frustrating if you're trying to get all the green stars and stamps..

Anyway, I was not disappointed with this game at all. The last boss did justice to it. I was very pleased. It was challenging to the point where it wasn't annoying, but fun. It made me laugh and go "all right let's try again" whenever I died, not throw the the remote across the room and say "THATS IT IM DONE" Like some previous mario games! So I was pleased with that!

But If you're a hardcore mario fan looking to unlock/collect everything. This game probably gives out a good 20-25 hours of gameplay in order to beat it. (And that's not including the star world) so it's pretty decent.

I strongly recommend this is if you own a wii u as it's a whole different animal from the other mario games you've ever played. It's not familiar territory at all, it brings a breath of fresh air to the franchise and it's exactly what I needed!

****UPDATE 12/6/13*****

Getting all the green stars and stamps in star world, mushroom world, fireplant world, and crown world Is HARD.

Jesus.. I'd like to see all the people who are saying this game is "too easy" try and beat some of these levels. Some of em require intense concentration. Not to mention, while you're concentrating on not dying.. you have to remember to find all the green stars and a stamp!

I'm still working on the crown world and It's pretty tough. Can you do it without using the invincible leaf? Cause there have been times where I contemplated whether i should use it or not. THAT'S how frustrating it got. A mario fanatic tried to cheat his way through a level...but I didn't. You just have to concentrate, and eventually you'll be able to do it without any help.

I strongly recommend this game as it has a great amount of content on it!

Also, you unlock a secret character in star world. That's 5 players to choose from! Pretty sweet if you ask me. It's a great selection for anybody.

Cheers for Super Mario!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun For the Whole Family!, December 5, 2013
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This review is from: Super Mario 3D World - Nintendo Wii U (Video Game)
This game has amazing, inventive levels and will bring a smile to your face. What more can you ask out of something that is first and foremost supposed to entertain you? It's fun for the whole family. I've played co-op with both of my daughters, 5 and 2. The two-year-old doesn't really know what to do at all but I just pick her up in-game and carry her to the next area or she follows along in her bubble. This is a game that can be enjoyed by all generations. The Wii U has many great games now but this one is worth the price of admission alone!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 Lives of Mario: A Mario 3D World Review, December 27, 2013
This review is from: Super Mario 3D World - Nintendo Wii U (Video Game)
Game: Super Mario 3D World
Platform: WiiU
Genre: Adventure
Subgenre: 3D Platformer
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Released: November 22nd, 2013

When Super Mario 3D World was announced, I thought it would be a gimmicky, throwaway tech-demo title for the WiiU, much like Super Mario 3D Land was for the 3DS. I watched people play the E3 demo, and the demo levels looked simplistic and uninteresting. The cat suit threw me off, too. It seemed a bit out of place and a little creepy. However, as the release date drew nearer, the high-resolution screenshots made the game look really good. One the game released, rave reviews poured in. I decided to try it for myself.
3D World is one of the first games that I got for my WiiU, and it's the first one I played. My suspicions began to immediately dissolve as I played through the game's bright levels. The creative, beautiful, and genuinely fun levels kept bringing me back for hours of play time.

Story
For once, you aren't saving Peach (thank god). Instead, Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad all have to save a race of androgynous fairies from Bowser's clutches. The plot is simple, but it's a Mario game, so you should know what to expect.
At the beginning of the game there appear to only be 6 worlds, and the first few take relatively little time to complete, leaving you with the impression that the game is on the short side. This is an illusion, as every time you finish a world, you end up unlocking a new one. There are actually 12 worlds in all, counting the final levels, so you'll be unlocking new levels far after the game has finished.
There's also a bonus character to unlock, but I'll leave that a secret for now.

Gameplay
3D World has some of the best Mario gameplay. First, let's talk about the controls. If you've played Mario 3D Land, you'll know what to expect, however if you haven't, it's a blend of 2D and 3D Mario controls. You'll largely be running in the cardinal directions, however you can move freely using the analog stick. Familiar 3D Mario moves return, such as the spin jump (a la Mario Sunshine), skid jump, long jump, wall jump, and more. One of the best moves is one where you hit crouch and run at the same time (LZ and Y on the gamepad), then jump (B) to do a somersault jump. This allows you the maximum distance for your long jump, and is much faster than a normal long jump. Basically, the controls are pretty fantastic. I found on some of the more difficult stages that they can be a bit on the floaty side, but most of the time you won't even notice it. You can play the game with the gamepad, a Wii remote, or the Pro Controller. The Wii remote wasn't all that great, but the gamepad was pretty fantastic. The game supports full mirroring with the gamepad screen, meaning that you get the same display on the gamepad as you do on the TV. This allows you to play the game fully without even turning on your TV. There were also a few things you could do with the gamepad that you couldn't do with other controllers, such as blowing in the microphone to move certain platforms or reveal hidden blocks and platforms. You could also use the gamepad's touchscreen to stun enemies, activate platforms, trigger ? Blocks and more. I found this to be a bit frustrating, because the game often wanted you to move and use the touch screen at the same time. I only have 2 hands, Nintendo. I can't do both at the same time. Still, if you play around with the touch screen and mic, you're sure to find neat ways you can use them to solve problems.
The game lets you choose between any of the four playable characters before you start a stage, so you can swap out depending on which character you're feeling. It also doesn't lock you into a character like the New Super Mario Bros games, so if you really don't want to play as Mario, you don't have to. Each character also has their own distinct differences when it comes to control. Mario is well-rounded, Luigi jumps high, Peach can hover in midair, and Toad is the fastest. This allows you to pick whichever play style suits you the best, and also makes multiplayer fun.
Some familiar powerups make their return in 3D World, including the Fire Flower and Tanuki Suit, however there are also some new ones. There's the Cat Suit, which allows your character to move faster, dive bomb in midair, scratch enemies, and climb up walls. At first it seems really overpowered, especially since you start wanting to climb every wall in the game to find any secrets, however I found it to be a welcome addition to the roster of powerups. There is also a Boomerang Bro Suit, which is basically the Hammer Bro Suit from Mario 3 meets the Cutter ability from Kirby. Essentially you can throw boomerangs to knock out enemies. Sokka would be so proud. The last powerup is a cherry that splits your character into protean clones. This powerup gave me extreme anxiety, mostly because it was hard to keep up with multiple clones, and levels often required a specific number of clones to get certain secrets. There were also a bunch of block powerups that your character can wear on their head, including an auto-fire cannon, a propeller, the gold coin block from NSMB2, and a light for ghost levels. I always enjoyed getting the powerups, with the exception of the cherry, and most of the time the game didn't force you to rely on them (except for getting certain secrets). There were some levels that were very hard without a specific powerup, but none were impossible.
Now, the levels. These were easily the best thing about 3D World. Remarkably, each level managed to bring a unique theme and experience to the game, and I would wager that all of them were fun. Some were frustrating and hard, but that never ruined the fun of the level, and not once did I want to give up (with the exception of the brutal final bonus level). Most of the levels were pretty straightforward platforming, but there were the occasional few that did something different, like one level that had a huge open savannah in which to run around. Most of the levels were structured like the challenge levels from Mario Galaxy, but with more platforming. One of my favorite things about the levels is that there are almost always multiple paths through the level, meaning that you can approach them from whichever angle suits you best (again, Mario Sunshine comes to mind).
Each level has it's own secrets to collect, namely three green stars and a stamp in each level, as well as a gold flag from reaching the top of the flagpole at the end of the level. These are often tricky to locate, and some require specific powerups to attain. If you take the time to nab them all, you'll get the most out of the game. However, they're hard to get in multiplayer, so I would recommend skipping them when playing with friends. The stamps can be used when doing Miiverse drawings in the game, a feature which Nintendo pushes very strongly. You can turn on Miiverse within the game, which will show posts that people have made after each level and in the overworld. These can be pretty helpful for finding secrets, but are sometimes pretty mundane. It's also weird to see people's Miis just floating around your overworld, and seems rather invasive at first, but you get used to it. You can also see ghosts of other players' runs through levels which you have completed.
The difficulty of the game seemed paced a bit poorly to me. The first few worlds are really easy, but they reach a cliff where they become much more difficult. However, there are a bunch of surprisingly easy levels mixed in amongst the tougher ones, so you'll be playing a really hard level, only to find that the next one gives you no trouble at all. This threw me off a lot in the bonus worlds, especially when the punishing final level came out of nowhere. Still, the levels are fun, so I can forgive Nintendo for having uneven difficulty.
Mario 3D World is revolutionary in the sense that it is probably the first Mario game to have a co-op mode that doesn't make you want to slaughter the people with whom you are playing. In the NSMB games, the screen advances with whoever is in front, and if anyone's staying behind to try to get a big coin, oh well. The screen pushes them off a platform or crushes them against a wall without so much as a warning. In 3D World, the camera zooms out if players are far apart, letting each player take their own path. If a player is lagging too far behind, the game will put them in a bubble which will move towards the other players. This can also be activated by pressing the L or R buttons on the gamepad/pro controller or the A button on the Wii remote. This allows less skilled players to opt out of difficult sections, and is a much less punishing way of moving them along than just killing any player that gets too far behind. Also, as it's a 3D game, you don't have the issue of players crowding each other on platforms and accidentally pushing each other off. Essentially, this game is much more multiplayer-friendly than other Mario games, and makes it fun to play with friends.

Presentation
The presentation is probably the best thing about Mario 3D World. Each level is bright and colorful, and looks fantastic in HD quality. The lighting engine for the game especially brings out the shine in the setpieces and characters, making them look almost real, despite being cartoonish in design.
The music for the game is beautiful, and features many jazzy pieces that give the music an exciting swing. I personally can't wait for the soundtrack to be released in the US. I was so glad to hear that there was barely any of the "wah wah" from NSMB. Interestingly enough, there was a lot of Mario Galaxy music in this game, not to mention a bunch of other references. Maybe Nintendo is planning a Mario Galaxy 3?
**TL;DR**
Mario 3D World is one of the best Mario games of all time. Seriously. It manages to blend elements of both 2D and 3D Mario games perfectly to make something new and fresh. Each level feels alive and genuinely fun. The music is a joy to listen to, and the visuals will continue to impress you well into the endgame. 3D World is miles better than the mediocre New Super Mario Bros U, and if you own a WiiU, you're really doing yourself a disservice by not playing this game.

Pros:
-Fantastic level design
-Beautiful visuals
-Controls like a dream
-Extensive amount of levels

Cons:
-Uneven difficulty
-Some bonus levels feel unfair
-Touchscreen controls feel wonky

Final Score: 9/10
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody wants to be a cat... including Mario and friends!, February 13, 2014
This review is from: Super Mario 3D World - Nintendo Wii U (Video Game)
Kudos to you if you can get the reference from the review title. :)

When this game was first announced, I was a little shocked that the next 3D Mario game would be a 3D Land sequel on a home console, like most people were. But there were two aspects that excited me for the game: being able to play as 4 different characters, each controlling differently (just like in SMB2), and the cat power-up (I'm a huge fan of cats!). And now that the game's released and that I'm close to 100% completion, I'll say that it's not just a worthy successor to the 3DS game, but also around the same level as SMB3, SMW, SM64, and SMG1 in terms of greatness!

Since this game is a sequel to 3D Land, the gameplay is very similar to that game - classic side-scrolling Mario gameplay in a 3D view. 3D Land was all about the tanooki suit, and this game, as you can no doubt tell by the game's front cover, is all about the cat suit! When you're an adorable kitty, you can scratch bad guys (M. Bison: OF COURSE!), do an air pounce, and climb up walls (my favorite thing to do as a cat, and get this: you can climb up flagpoles!). And when you finish a level as a cat, you hear your character meow! I might be a little biased, but Mario and cats are two of my very favorite things, so I was so glad that Nintendo made a cat power-up for Mario and co. :D

When you start the game, you're given the choice between 4 characters, as I've mentioned earlier: Mario (well rounded), Luigi (is a little hard to control, but can jump higher), Peach (I'm gonna think Bowser is getting tired of kidnapping the same person over and over again, I don't blame him... anyway, she floats while in midair), and Toad (your man if you wanna do speedruns). One little thing I really love is that you can change characters between stages - you can even randomize who you're gonna play as, if you wanted to! I've used the random character feature throughout most of my playthrough.

Every power-up and item that appeared in 3D Land appears in this game too (fire flower, tanooki leaf, boomerang flower, propeller block, and the cheating block that appears when you die too many times), and there's some more of them in this game too. There's a clone cherry that makes you clone yourself, a baseball which you can throw at enemies, an ice skating shoe which you can ride on in snow levels, and a flashlight block that lets you get rid of those dumb boos. Oh, and the mega mushroom is in the game too. You can also take a shell from a koopa troopa, go inside the shell, and start sliding away, just like how the blue shell works in New Super Mario Bros.! This game has A LOT of power-ups/items, both old and new, rivaling SMB3's amount of items! I've always loved how Mario games have a lot of cool power-ups you can acquire, they keep the gameplay stay fresh, and 3D World certainly does a great job at that.

The game has great level design too. This game is like a combination of Galaxy and 3D Land - some level ideas include riding Plessie (the big Yoshi-type creature) through water streams, levels that take place in circuses, trains, and Japanese-style castles, and (my favorite) a Super Mario Kart-themed level! If you're an expert Mario player, 3D World shouldn't give you too much trouble when it comes to the difficulty, but there are definitely a handful of challenging levels. During my playthrough, I also made the bosses look like a piece of cake, but I think the bosses are quite creative! Unlike 3D Land, you're not fighting Boom Boom and Pom Pom at the end of most worlds over and over (though they do come back in this game). You'll face a giant boulder monster, a giant clown, and Bowser in his brand new car, to name a few. One new thing that appears in levels is the clear pipes. Think of it like the tubes you go through in Chemical Plant from Sonic 2, only you're able to control your character. It adds a puzzle element to the game. Some clear pipes also act as cannons, a lot like the launch stars from the Super Mario Galaxy games. I love how you can fully control your character while you're on the world map too (though with limited jumps)! They put coins, blocks, and 1up mushrooms throughout the world maps, giving you some incentive to go explore for a bit.

If you want to get the most out of the game, you'll want to 100% it, obviously! Just like its predecessor, there are green stars for you to get, serving the same purpose as star medals (and star coins from the NSMB games). You'll also want to get gold flags too (done by touching the top of the flagpole), and in addition to that, you can also collect stamps to use them on your miiverse posts.

There's also a feature which automatically downloads ghost data from other players, so that you can race against them for the best time in levels you've finished before. It's very similar to how in Mario Kart 7, you can race against multiple ghosts in time trial - you can race up to 3 ghosts in a level. If you like speedrunning, it adds to the replay value.

The Wii U gamepad is put to good use too. You can use the touch screen to reveal hidden things, and use it for certain levels to let you progress. The touch screen controls are nice, no question about that, but they can get in the way if you're doing a speedrun (that's one of the VERY FEW negatives I can think of). You can also blow into the microphone to blow away micro goombas, and move the propeller platforms.

The graphics are excellent, and the game runs at a full 60 frames per second! The game's soundtrack is awesome too, and I'm really glad they actually took the time to make a lot of new music, instead of shamelessly rehashing the entire soundtrack from a past game (I'm looking at YOU, NSMB2!!!!!!!!!). Yeah, there is a few reused tracks, but most of those tracks you've heard before from past games are actually nice remixes, like the snow level theme.

And of course, there's the multiplayer. It works quite well, and you have a lot more space to move around, unlike the home console New Super Mario Bros. games. I don't like how you pick people up by holding down the dash button, though. The last negative I can think of, though it's more of a nitpick than anything, is that you can't fully control the camera. I think they meant to just have fixed camera angles for this game, though, so whatever. You can switch the camera setting so that you can move the gamepad to move the camera in any direction, though.

So, bottom line, this is a near-perfect game, with great level design, loads of power-ups and variety, and an awesome soundtrack! This is a game I would highly recommend to anyone, and it's one of the very best reasons to own a Wii U.
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Super Mario 3D World - Nintendo Wii U
Super Mario 3D World - Nintendo Wii U by Nintendo (Nintendo Wii U)
$59.99 $54.65
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