Ever since the original Super Mario Land came out in 1990 (in Europe anyway) it became clear that Mario platformers on handhelds were the way to go. Taking similar properties from Super Mario Bros on the NES like jumping abilities, power ups, music, characters and more it would be no problem. 22 years later and many updated versions we see the game make its 3D debut. This is the first game I purchased for my 3DS. I chose it because I love platformers and thought there must be some replay-ability to it. Looking at the other 3DS titles (right now) there isn’t much to offer when it comes to my first, and right now, only 3DS game.
My first thought as I booted up the game was the 3D looked good. Really good. Now I’m one of the few people that got a headache looking at the screen for too long, but this was with other games. It was one of the few reasons I put off getting the console for a long time. But SM3DL looked great with the slider all the way up.
The 3D really stands out on the game. Trees looked like they were in the distance, standing on higher platforms was really well done, even Bowsers fireballs looked great coming at me. There’s also an option to choose the 3D view. While a nice touch I barely see the differences.
With no real surprise Princess Peach gets kidnapped again and Mario goes after the dumb bitch (maybe lock the door…..just a suggestion). With 8 worlds to explore Mario plays great. The circular pad moves Mario around while the D-pad acts as a camera. The jump mechanic is nicely done, with a few extra moves like holding a shoulder button and jumping to get higher, ground pound and crouch to reveal new areas and wall jumping to easily avoid enemies.
The amount of letters and e-mails Nintendo got to bring back the Tanooki suit must have set records, because EVERYONE got one in this game. I’m dead serious. As the game gets harder more and more enemies get the damn tail. All it does is hindering the game, so instead of a goomba charging at me he floats. Easy to avoid so like I said, they hinder. Another fun power up is the boomerang suit. It’s good to use and just like the fire flower takes one hit to kill enemies. It can also be used to get items that are too far away.
The level designs are great. Because of the name I really expected them to be “a little harder than the last” while keeping the stages the same. I was so glad to see I was wrong. It’s a mix up of standard platforms, followed by a ghost level, followed by an auto scrolling stage, and so on. There are never any 2 stages back to back that are similar, so it kept me going, wondering what was next. Every level has 3 giant coins that stand out. At first I had no idea what they were for, until I realised you need these to advance to certain stages. You can’t just rush through this game, some areas that you NEED to advance to only open once you have the set amount of coins. As well as the main stages and castles, you can also get a coin from mystery boxes. These boxes sometimes appear in levels or on the over world map. You have 10 seconds to complete the challenge (usually beat who’s in there) and get the coin. These coins come in handy much later, so try to get as many as you can.
The bad guys consist of goombas, koopa troopas, dry-bones, Boos and a whole lot more. Like I said, they get racoon tails eventually (it’s like a damn leaf tree fell over or something) and add more of a challenge. There’s also rolling pillars with spikes, fireballs, disappearing platforms to contend with. So while keeping an eye on a floating platform in front of you, you need to look out for flying enemies AND spinning spikes too. Oh the horror.
Bowser looks great, and so do the mini bosses too. Nothing too hard and always getting slightly tougher. Every castle/airship is fun to play.
The game starts off relatively easy. Understandable to get people going with the controls, powers and stages, but it seems to go like this for a while. There weren’t any challenges until world 4. Without spoiling the end SM3DL will keep you playing for a long time.