When you mention the Wii U console, more often than not you will hear that there aren’t any good games out for it. That excuse goes out the window with the release of Super Mario 3D World.

The release of a 3D Mario game comes as a refreshing treat to fans of the series as there have been three 2D Mario releases since Super Mario 3D Land came out for the 3DS. In Super Mario 3D World, players can choose between Mario himself, Luigi, Peach and Toad. Each one of these characters brings something different to the game. For example, Mario is good at everything, while Luigi can jump higher. Peach’s special ability allows her to float, and Toad’s allows him to run faster. These different characteristics can give the player a real advantage on certain levels, especially ones that require a certain character to access hidden areas.

super mario 3d world

As always, it wouldn’t be a Super Mario game without the fun power ups. Mario fans will recognize some like the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, Starman and Tanooki Super Leaf. New editions include the Cannon Box, which allows the character to fire cannonballs, or the Boomerang Flower, which allows the player to throw boomerangs. However, there are two new power ups that really steal the show. First is the Cat Bell, which was shown off numerous times prior to the launch. This power up gives your character a cat suit that allows you to climb walls, scratch enemies, and gives you a new dive attack. The other is the Double Cherry. This one delivers instant insanity and fun as soon as you find your first power up. This particular power up clones your character, and you can do this numerous times during a level. At one point, I was up to six Marios running around and it was absolutely hilarious.

Luckily this game lets players choose from numerous different control options, which isn’t always something Wii U games let you do. As always, you can choose the GamePad, which allows players to use their extra power up by touching the screen. Players can also use the Pro Controller, or the Wii Remote if they don’t want to hold the large GamePad. You’ll need a few of these controllers in hand if you plan on partaking in the  game’s co-op mode since it is only available locally. Unfortunately, there is no online co-op for this game, which came as a disappointment to myself.

super mario 3d world

The 3D style world of this game gives players the ability to explore around, not only in the levels, but in the world overviews as well. Aimlessly exploring the world overview and randomly finding an extra life was a fun and rewarding moment. In the worlds, you’ll be able to find anything from coins to lives to slot games to secret areas, all of which are rewarding.

Being able to adjust the camera was a welcome feature. There are some areas in the game when the default camera angle doesn’t give you a very good idea of how far a jump is, or where exactly you need to land to kill an enemy. A quick flick of the right analog stick fixes that problem very easily though.

Graphically this game looks gorgeous on the Wii U. The addition of high definition to the Nintendo’s console this time around has done wonders for the worlds that Mario conquers, and this is quite evident in Super Mario 3D World. The use of shadows in level 2-3 was brilliant and looked absolutely stunning. The ice levels look beautiful and really stand out. The colors used in 4-2 catch your eyes like no other level does. Overall, this is a fantastic looking game that you must see for yourself to truly appreciate the beauty of each world and level.

super mario 3d world

If you didn’t want to pick this game up by now, what I have to say about the level design should finally persuade you to do so. The level design in Super Mario 3D World is nearly flawless. There are so many different types of levels that you are always being surprised and challenged.

The levels give you verticality, open space, closed corridors, dangerous platforming, speed levels and lots more. Some of the more fun and challenging levels are the completely optional ones that you can go to in each world. To unlock certain areas in worlds, you need to have enough green stars to do so. You can find these throughout the regular levels, or you can choose to run through speed courses to earn a bunch at once. These levels deliver fast-paced mayhem, which challenges your precision, but also rewards you handsomely.

However, my favorite part about this game comes during the Captain Toad levels. During these levels your character sits out and you take control of Captain Toad while you figure out how to reach the green stars in the level. You cannot run or jump, so you must be very careful throughout these levels, and they definitely take some thought to figure out. These levels aren’t quite as easy to figure out as the main levels in the game, which adds to the challenge factor that keeps you coming back for more.

super mario 3d world

There are many reasons why players should pick up Super Mario 3D World, namely level design and gameplay. The game throws out small things here and there as throwbacks to older games in the franchise, as well as featuring some of the best new level designs I’ve seen in quite some time. This game livens up the Super Mario series after numerous New Super Mario Bros. games that have all felt the same for the most part. Super Mario 3D World is a fantastic game and a must play this holiday season!

Review statement: A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Super Mario 3D World Review
Brilliant level design topped with challenging and amusing gameplay makes Super Mario 3D World the title that could finally jumpstart Wii U sales.
Level Design10
9.5Overall Score

About The Author

Kyle K
Staff Writer

Kyle has been a gamer for most of his life. He's a public relations graduate and a well-rounded console and PC gamer who will play just about anything. Also, he secretly wishes he was Nathan Drake.