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"(Nintendo 3DS) Super Mario 3D Land"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'Super Mario 3D Land'.
Mon 21/11/11 at 21:43
Regular
"Ghosts Can't Die!"
Posts: 774
Itís no secret that Nintendo has had a very rough time releasing the Nintendo 3DS this year. Stemming back to its less than stellar launch with no real AAA titles things only got worse from there with a baron release schedule and bad press associated with health warnings it seemed Nintendo needed an ace up its sleeve. So it seems only fitting that the game to do that job is one featuring the companyís leading mascot. Super Mario 3D Land offers the first truly fantastic, original Nintendo experience for the console and if this is a sign of things to come then count me in.

Super Mario 3D Land doesnít set out to do anything as bold or adventurous as the Galaxy series did for the Wii but rather take a more traditional approach focusing on the classic platforming elements of older Mario games. So much so that at points it almost feels like a 3D reimagining of the 2D entries, which isnít a bad thing at all. Youíll notice this immediately in the copy and paste story or when the much publicised Tanooki suit makes its first appearance. But the similarities donít stop there as levels themselves feel like they would easily fit perfectly if placed in Super Mario Bros 3 or World (of course if in 2D) Youíll find no gimmicks, instead testing your running and jumping abilities as well as your knack for analysing your environments and making it from A to B in one piece. Youíll see icy mountains, grassy plains, dusty temples, magma filled castles and the standard settings youíve come to expect from the red plumber but oddly enough the little 3D effects such as bubbles and lava flying toward you or spiky pillars catapulting out of the screen make these feel less tired.

As with any Mario title Iím sure youíre interested in the power-ups and Super Mario 3D Land delivers both old and new. Mushrooms, fire flowers and stars are here and accounted for while the Tanooki suit makes its return. The spinning helicopter blocks also make their 3D debut being used in some of the gameís best use of 3D. Disappointingly though there is only one new ability, the boomerang suit. Like the fire flower Mario is able to throw projectiles at his enemies, difference being his boomerangs can collect out of reach items. Useful and fun. Shame thereís not more of them.

Mario handles as youíd expect where performing wall jumps, long jumps, butt stomps and tail wags are all very simple to do. Running is now a case of holding a button (much like in the 2D outings) which may take a little getting used to, but overall the slider and button interface work very well to bring an accurate control system to the series.

Upon starting the game and completing the first world I couldnít help but feel a little disappointed. Stages were short, the difficulty was almost non-existent and the level design was neither too exciting nor clever. Fortunately things start to pick up after this. Sure the difficulty never really tested me up until the final world but levels become more creative and you finally feel like youíre playing a true Mario game. Youíll be bouncing on ropes, avoiding giant swinging balls and even venturing through a Zelda style dungeon complete with top-down view. It really does continue to get better the more you play. Perhaps the biggest and most pleasant surprise however is what comes after beating the Ďfinalí boss. Letís just say that youíre only half done and the difficulty definitely spikes up rapidly offering long time Mario fans that rich challenge theyíve been yearning for.

Super Mario 3D Land silences those worries that Nintendo 3DS canít do great looking titles showing off bright, vibrant environments and great use of the 3D capabilities. While it doesnít necessarily make it easier to judge jumps or navigate obstacles it does make for some genuinely interesting effects and marvels. Sadly the music isnít quite as good relying on older remixes weíve heard before or new tunes that are fairly unmemorable. Length is not an issue as youíll have around ninty stages in all to beat each hiding three star coins a piece. Furthermore grabbing the top of the end flagpole and beating the game with another character also provide incentive to go back and play older stages again.

So is Super Mario 3D Land the best Mario yet? No. It does have its share of shortcomings that stop it reaching the dizzying heights of other adventures unfortunately. For starters itís a shame that the game doesnít offer any real challenge until three or four hours in as some stages even as late as world five offer no real sense of satisfaction once cleared. These stages are also fairly short sometimes taking no more than a minute or two to finish. I understand this game is meant for on the go but surely would it have hurt to extend them a little. Often you are sat staring at the screen asking yourself ďSurely that canít be it can it?Ē Also while seeing the old Tanooki suit couldnít help but bring a smile to my face, the lack of flying took the impact away slightly. Furthermore why not introduce new or bring back more classic suits? Yes itís still fun to shoot fireball from your fingers but why not include the frog suit for swimming stages, the giant green boot or even Yoshi... Nintendo has so many past power-ups at its disposal it would be nice to see them re-imagined in 3D again. Even straight up new power ups are limited to just the one.

There are a few other small annoyances like the throwaway StreetPass feature and lacklustre music but nothing too distracting. Overall itís not that this is a bad title, itís just that when spoiled with the likes of Galaxy one and two you canít help but see this as a more restricted effort. It just doesnít have the same remarkable feeling they did.

While never reaching the brilliance of both the Galaxy titles, Super Mario 3D Land offers a solid, enjoyable experience which fans and newcomers alike will love. With plenty to do, a good challenge for even the most seasoned gamers (eventually) and the brilliant polish youíd expect from Nintendo, what you finally have is a great reason to own the Nintendo 3DS.

9.0/10
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Mon 21/11/11 at 21:43
Regular
"Ghosts Can't Die!"
Posts: 774
Itís no secret that Nintendo has had a very rough time releasing the Nintendo 3DS this year. Stemming back to its less than stellar launch with no real AAA titles things only got worse from there with a baron release schedule and bad press associated with health warnings it seemed Nintendo needed an ace up its sleeve. So it seems only fitting that the game to do that job is one featuring the companyís leading mascot. Super Mario 3D Land offers the first truly fantastic, original Nintendo experience for the console and if this is a sign of things to come then count me in.

Super Mario 3D Land doesnít set out to do anything as bold or adventurous as the Galaxy series did for the Wii but rather take a more traditional approach focusing on the classic platforming elements of older Mario games. So much so that at points it almost feels like a 3D reimagining of the 2D entries, which isnít a bad thing at all. Youíll notice this immediately in the copy and paste story or when the much publicised Tanooki suit makes its first appearance. But the similarities donít stop there as levels themselves feel like they would easily fit perfectly if placed in Super Mario Bros 3 or World (of course if in 2D) Youíll find no gimmicks, instead testing your running and jumping abilities as well as your knack for analysing your environments and making it from A to B in one piece. Youíll see icy mountains, grassy plains, dusty temples, magma filled castles and the standard settings youíve come to expect from the red plumber but oddly enough the little 3D effects such as bubbles and lava flying toward you or spiky pillars catapulting out of the screen make these feel less tired.

As with any Mario title Iím sure youíre interested in the power-ups and Super Mario 3D Land delivers both old and new. Mushrooms, fire flowers and stars are here and accounted for while the Tanooki suit makes its return. The spinning helicopter blocks also make their 3D debut being used in some of the gameís best use of 3D. Disappointingly though there is only one new ability, the boomerang suit. Like the fire flower Mario is able to throw projectiles at his enemies, difference being his boomerangs can collect out of reach items. Useful and fun. Shame thereís not more of them.

Mario handles as youíd expect where performing wall jumps, long jumps, butt stomps and tail wags are all very simple to do. Running is now a case of holding a button (much like in the 2D outings) which may take a little getting used to, but overall the slider and button interface work very well to bring an accurate control system to the series.

Upon starting the game and completing the first world I couldnít help but feel a little disappointed. Stages were short, the difficulty was almost non-existent and the level design was neither too exciting nor clever. Fortunately things start to pick up after this. Sure the difficulty never really tested me up until the final world but levels become more creative and you finally feel like youíre playing a true Mario game. Youíll be bouncing on ropes, avoiding giant swinging balls and even venturing through a Zelda style dungeon complete with top-down view. It really does continue to get better the more you play. Perhaps the biggest and most pleasant surprise however is what comes after beating the Ďfinalí boss. Letís just say that youíre only half done and the difficulty definitely spikes up rapidly offering long time Mario fans that rich challenge theyíve been yearning for.

Super Mario 3D Land silences those worries that Nintendo 3DS canít do great looking titles showing off bright, vibrant environments and great use of the 3D capabilities. While it doesnít necessarily make it easier to judge jumps or navigate obstacles it does make for some genuinely interesting effects and marvels. Sadly the music isnít quite as good relying on older remixes weíve heard before or new tunes that are fairly unmemorable. Length is not an issue as youíll have around ninty stages in all to beat each hiding three star coins a piece. Furthermore grabbing the top of the end flagpole and beating the game with another character also provide incentive to go back and play older stages again.

So is Super Mario 3D Land the best Mario yet? No. It does have its share of shortcomings that stop it reaching the dizzying heights of other adventures unfortunately. For starters itís a shame that the game doesnít offer any real challenge until three or four hours in as some stages even as late as world five offer no real sense of satisfaction once cleared. These stages are also fairly short sometimes taking no more than a minute or two to finish. I understand this game is meant for on the go but surely would it have hurt to extend them a little. Often you are sat staring at the screen asking yourself ďSurely that canít be it can it?Ē Also while seeing the old Tanooki suit couldnít help but bring a smile to my face, the lack of flying took the impact away slightly. Furthermore why not introduce new or bring back more classic suits? Yes itís still fun to shoot fireball from your fingers but why not include the frog suit for swimming stages, the giant green boot or even Yoshi... Nintendo has so many past power-ups at its disposal it would be nice to see them re-imagined in 3D again. Even straight up new power ups are limited to just the one.

There are a few other small annoyances like the throwaway StreetPass feature and lacklustre music but nothing too distracting. Overall itís not that this is a bad title, itís just that when spoiled with the likes of Galaxy one and two you canít help but see this as a more restricted effort. It just doesnít have the same remarkable feeling they did.

While never reaching the brilliance of both the Galaxy titles, Super Mario 3D Land offers a solid, enjoyable experience which fans and newcomers alike will love. With plenty to do, a good challenge for even the most seasoned gamers (eventually) and the brilliant polish youíd expect from Nintendo, what you finally have is a great reason to own the Nintendo 3DS.

9.0/10

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