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on May 30, 2016
Being an avid fan of the Mario series especially Super Mario Bros. 3 for NES, Super Mario Land 2 for Gameboy, Super Mario 64 for N64 and the vastly under appreciated and underrated Super Mario Sunshine for Gamecube; i felt there was a massive void between my favorites and now. I played galaxy 1 and 2 but didn't feel the same about them. Then i get my hands on Super Mario 3D Land, what a great effort to bring Mario back in a way that's familiar and reminiscent of the classics but with a new school 3D twist. After hours upon hours of playing it i realized that this game has become a top 5 Mario game for me. If your a big fan of the old Mario games like me, you will fall in love with Nintendo all over again with this one. :)
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on September 7, 2015
Now that I've had the game for a while now, I feel like I've earned the right to write a review. I haven't finished the game yet, but I'm more than halfway through the main worlds.

Mine came in a red box instead of a white one like the normal 3DS box. I don't know if that was just me or what, but it isn't all that important. Inside is the manual and the game, as one should assume. This stuff is unimportant so I'll just get right into the actual game.

The first thing I have to say about this game is that it looks very good. The graphics are quite sharp and the text is easy to read, which is good. Some games don't have that. Story is introduced immediately, and it's what you've probably come to expect from Mario games. Princess Peach was kidnapped, you gotta help her, that whole scenario. It does its job as a story, it drives the game along. Don't expect the riveting story and amazing plot twists of Bioshock here, there are other places for that.

So you're thrown into level 1 in world 1 and there was one thing that absolutely drove me insane immediately; Mario runs very slowly. I feel like I'm playing as a new slug character or something, but it's just normal Mario. There is an option to dash, which helps a little, but even the dash is barely faster than a leisurely jog. One gets used to it quickly, after the first couple of levels, but it really does get on my nerves.

Speaking of dashing, there are special moves you can do in the game. You can long jump, crouch, side somersault, ground pound, roll, all that good stuff. However, you are NEVER told any of this stuff while you're actually in the game. No tutorials about it whatsoever. Instead, you are expected to read the manual. I have never had to read the manual of a game to learn essential parts of a game until I got this. I never read the manuals because they always teach you what is needed to play in the game, so you don't have to waste time. I am on world 5 and learned about these moves the day I wrote this review.

That said, it isn't actually really needed to play the game. You can learn to dash easily, and that's the only extra move needed to successfully play the game. The other stuff can help, but only in niche situations.

So I haven't said too much positive stuff about this game yet, but I wanted to get the negatives out of the way first. Let's get on with the positive aspects of the game.

This game is a lot of fun. I have no clue why, but I thoroughly enjoy this game every time I play. There's just something about the game play that is really addicting, which is a good thing. It's just a lot of fun being able to run around in 3D environments, finding cool secret passages, trying to find a quicker way to clear an obstacle. Sometimes, story isn't always the driving factor in a game, and this game proves it in my opinion.

Power ups. There is the Tanooki (or Tanuki) suit, which is by far the most helpful if you ask me. There is the fire Mario power-up, and there is the grow mushroom. I have yet to come across a giant mushroom, but I am fine without them. The Tanooki suit lets you glide around after jumping or falling, which is beyond helpful. It also lets you do a tail attack, which is helpful as well. The fire suit is best for clearing out enemies or an enemy that is far away from you. The grow mushroom lets you grow back to normal size if you were shrunk, and otherwise gives you 10 coins.

The levels are all different, even if they are in the same world. Some add new features, some add new enemies. Some give new uses to old features, some just use old features but with a different layout. In any case, I have yet to come across a level that I particularly dislike. They all feel well designed, and there aren't really things that try to kill you in a manner that feels like cheating. I do wish the levels were a bit more difficult, but I am still not done with the game and they keep getting harder as I go.

There are a lot more things to cover, but those things should just be experienced instead. It's really hard to describe one specific thing about the game that makes it fun, so you have to play for yourself to see. This game is also suitable for all ages. If you're an adult and you own a 3DS, then you should get this game for it. It doesn't feel overly kiddified, which I come across on many occasions when playing games on the 3DS console. If you're a parent looking to buy this game for their kid, I would get it. It's a very enjoyable game that doesn't take a whole lot of processing power to understand, which is a nice change of pace from a lot of modern games. There are also multiple save slots on the cartridge, so you could have multiple players sharing this one cartridge if they were willing to do so.
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on October 27, 2013
Simply put, this game is delightful. It's pure, blissful fun that hearkens back to the old school games while introducing thoughtful and interesting new elements. (I feel like a Nintendo PR person writing this, but just thinking about this game puts a smile on my face).

The game is divided up into worlds, each with a certain number of levels. You pass through a linear overworld and complete each level, earning up to three stars in each world. Completionists can also strive for one other accomplishment - I'll let you figure that one out when you play.

It's the little touches that make the game shine. The way you kill Bowser will bring back memories for many gamers (I'll leave it up to you to find out if you don't already know).

The 3D effect is well done and often makes for awe-inspiring scenery. When you fly downward or upward ("out of" or "into" the screen) you'll see why the 3D effect is both useful and entertaining. It can also be used to solve puzzles. While it can be nauseating, it's also a thrill for the times when you do have it on.

For those who got started with a 3DS with Pokemon X and Y, this is a great second game. You'll be thrilled with the allusions to Mario's past. And, more likely than not, you won't be able to put it down.
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on November 5, 2017
So, Mario is back for Super Mario 3D Land where you run, jump, glide, slide and what Mario does to survive maddening courses of death to do eventual battle with the Bowser. If you do well enough the first time around a certain brother of his also joins Mario in his adventure...
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on August 26, 2017
Such an awesome and easy game. It has everything you love about Mario. The level designs are incredible, the power ups are amazing, the game-play is a lot of fun, and Mario is just as chipper as ever. Not too big on story, but most Mario games aren't, and it's okay. Whether 9 or 90, Mario is a ton of fun to play. I recommend adding this game to your collection to awesome games.
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on November 4, 2016
This gets more like 3.5 stars than 4. Definitely fun to play but it gets boring rather fast. The 3D gets old quick and you will end up playing with the 3D switched off very soon after playing like I did. Typical Mario game. Nothing to rave about but not a bad game either. You know what you are getting when you buy this game.
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on December 23, 2011
It's pretty amazing how successful Mario has been for the 25+ years he has been stomping Bowzer and his army of koopas in order to save Peach. Each Mario release is hailed as a veritable masterwork in the platforming genre, both in 2-D and in 3-D. The reason I say it's amazing because Mario games have all essentially boiled down to the joy of two simple things, running and jumping. Sure there has been a lot of additions to this formula over the years, additions like suits, triple jumps, long jumps, and other things, but it's all on the backbone of traversing the magical Mushroom Kingdom through running and jumping. Super Mario 3D Land does not change this, it never needed to, *but* it does provide quite a few changes to what you'd expect from a Mario platformer. Prior to release, it had a lot of pressure on its shoulders to be the premier "killer app" that would prove the 3DS' worth as a game developed specifically for the system. Let me just say right now, Super Mario 3D Land definitely succeeds in that endeavor, but honestly, this is a fantastic Mario platformer, period.

Do I really need to cover the story here? With some very rare, unusual exceptions and the Mario RPG games, Mario games have always been about the Italian plumber embarking on a quest to free his Princess Peach from the evil clutches of the Koopa King Bowzer. Nothing is different here. The only thing that stands out is the fact that a tree full of Tanooki leaves releases them into the wind and now Bowzer and his minions will, for the first time, utilize power-ups for their own nefarious use as well as Mario. The story is virtually non-existent here, but that's ok. "Stories" in Mario games have always fulfilled their purpose of giving context to the gameplay and then letting that take over, and it does so here.

The gameplay in 3D Land is both a jam-packed package of nostalgic concepts from Mario's history, most notably his 2-D outings from the NES and SNES days, and a game where he seems to continue his momentum of reaching ever forward, as seen in the stellar Super Mario Galaxy 2. Of course, Mario's masterfully intuitive, excellently implemented platforming controls are here. You'll be running, jumping, wall jumping, etc. You won't be triple jumping, however, which was jarring at first. The suit system makes a return, and so does the Tanooki suit from Super Mario Bros. 3. New suits, like the Boomerang Bros. suit, the helicopter block, as well as the 3D iteration of the Tanooki suit, all feel so good to use, and in the form of the hovering jump of the Tanooki suit, can really make the game easier, which is nice. Old returns like the fire suit are also implemented well in this new 3D environment. The level design is exceptional and the journey to the end pole is so fun and satisfying!

Playing this game really feels so nostalgic. In fact, almost everything in the game is really reminiscent of the classic 2-D masterpieces, Super Mario Bros. 3 in particular. It's hard to explain, but imagine your favorite, most masterfully designed Mario Bros. 3 levels, but from Mario's perspective and made into a full 3-D environment. Toss in familiar Tanooki and Fire suits. Remember the classic songs and art design, and re-imagine them with a Super Mario Galaxy 2 quality makeover. Also toss in the linear, flagpole objective from the original Super Mario Bros. game, as well as the type of Bowzer fights that classic offered. Add all of these classic ideas to the more modern 3-D platforming mechanics and that's a pretty good idea of the sort of experience this game offers. Personally, I adore it all. Sure, we've seen many of these ideas before, but never in such a weird, Frankenstein-esque combination. Despite all the familiar ideas, this game felt strikingly fresh playing through, and that is high praise indeed. It's quite large too. I played through the main quest, about 8 worlds, but after beating it, another 8 worlds open up, as well as a new quest to save Luigi from Bowzer's grasp. This latter half of the game is a lot more challenging than the first half. A lot of value here.

The art design here is what you'd expect from a Mario game. It seems to take to the style first seen in Super Mario Galaxy and continued in its sequel. The implementation of this imaginative, aesthetically pleasing design is absolutely incredible. This game looks really, REALLY good. Imagine a portable GameCube (which is essentially the type of power the 3DS has) utilizing that sort of art design, with 3-D added in, and you get a fantastic game. Speaking of 3-D, this is some of the best I've seen on the system yet. This is the first truly great game where the 3-D is actually quite essential to successfully traversing the world and clearing trials, and the way that is put into effect is both clever and a delight to behold. I'm very impressed here. Sure, Ocarina of Time 3D and Star Fox 64 3D had fantastic 3-D effects, but not to the point where it was absolutely essential to enjoy the experience to the fullest. This game really pulls through on fulfilling the 3DS' third-dimensional promises.

The sound and art design is, much like the rest of the game, full of nostalgia. Some of the original effects from the old NES classics appear with no changes whatsoever. Others are reimagined using more modern sounds. Same can be said for the music. I've recognized several OLD classic Mario tunes (especially Mario Bros. 3) that really sent me back in time and that was truly a joy for me personally. You just can't beat the classics. :)

All-in-all, Super Mario 3D Land is a triumph, not only for the 3DS, but for Mario in general. It not only lives up to the tremendous expectations put upon it to be the "killer app" of the 3DS, it greatly exceeds it. Made by the same champion Nintendo EAD team that created the masterpiece Super Mario Galaxy 2, this game continues in their momentous trend of putting out mind-blowingly stellar games. I love Mario as a series, I expect the highest value from its games, and yet this entry actually surprised me in its exceptional quality. So if you have a 3DS and your library is lacking, get this game immediately. If you are a moderate-big-huge fan of Mario (Personally, I fall under the "huge fan" category) and want a great new Mario experience, get this game. If you're a fan of extremely fun video games, period, get this game! You won't regret it. Buy it, run and jump through it, and enjoy its incredible combination of nostalgia and industry trailblazing!
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on May 11, 2018
Over and over and over. Oh man I had to send them to another room so I didn't have to hear this one anymore. This game definitely got played with. I'm still wary of the prices on Nintendo games they always seem so high to me, but this one wasn't any higher than most others.
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on September 11, 2015
This is easily one of my favorite 3DS games so far!

This is a perfect example of a 3DS that uses 3D to the fullest extent. This game rewards exploration, so don't be afraid to look around every nook and cranny! Super Mario 3D Land is at first easy, but once you beat the game the challenge will go up by collecting all of the coins and unlocking a bonus world.

The controls are great and the button layout for this game is quite easy to understand.
This should be one of your first 3DS games if are starting out!
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on July 4, 2013
I recently purchased Super Mario 3D Land for my 3DS because I saw its great reviews, plus, I'm already a Mario fan. This game meets all of my expectations and more. It is extremely fun - this game combines the original elements from the platformers with the 3D world. It works beautifully. The levels are designed perfectly with a great amount of difficulty. Some say the game starts too easy, but I disagree. The game is not at all easy, especially nearing the end. The game also re-introduces the Tanooki Suit. You cannot fly with it, but the hover ability is extremely useful with some tricky platforming areas. And of course, the game looks beautiful in 3D. The game does not require 3D to be enjoyable, though. I played the majority of it with the feature turned off, but there are certain areas that almost require you to turn it on - very creative! It was hair-rippingly difficult on certain levels, keeping me coming back over and over. I've already played it twice all the way through and love it. I recommend this game to anybody who loves Mario games.
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