The motto of Super Mario 3D World was voiced by Shigeru Miyamoto during one of the Nintendo Direct shows: “This is the first 3D Mario that plays like 2D.” The levels here are voluminous, but they look like they were designed for a two-dimensional Mario, and then pulled into the depths. Usually we travel in three dimensions, but sometimes the game takes us back to the plane: the camera smoothly takes a side view – and there it is, welcome to the good old days.
As a result, Super Mario 3D World is reminiscent of last year’s Super Mario 3D Land with 3DS and Super Mario Galaxy 2 at the same time. From the first there are control and level structure, and from the second – that each level introduces new mechanics. In one place we race through the water on the back of an inflatable dragon, in another we draw figures on the ice, sitting in a huge skate, in the third we control ourselves and a pack of clones at once, and in the fourth we scare away the ghosts with a huge lantern.
Miyamoto’s team is not shy about throwing in something new, only to forget about it a few minutes later and roll out something else. Diversity clouds the mind. You can run through the storyline (just run, excluding the search for secrets and additional levels) in less than seven hours, but time with 3D World flies by quickly, and you don’t feel it at all. Want more? Call your friends.
Four-player co-op has long been the norm for 2D games from the New Super Mario Bros. series, but 3D editions of normal co-op never happened – you had to survive with simplified substitutes. For example, in Super Mario Galaxy 2, the second player played the role of star Lama, who helped Mario with all sorts of nonsense: dragging stars, stunning enemies, etc. But that was enough to indulge.
Now all the players are full-fledged participants in the action, completely subordinate to the will of the players. The team consists of Mario, Luigi, the anthropomorphic mushroom Toad and the fragile Princess Peach. Each of the characters differs from each other not only in appearance: Mario is the “golden mean”, Luigi jumps higher than his brother, but brakes terribly badly, Toad runs faster than others, and Princess Peach steps slowly, but she knows how to jump high and soar in the air. If you just want to run through the game – choose anyone, but some secrets can only be unearthed by certain characters. Memorize these places so that you can return to them later.
Many of the levels seem to be not designed for multiple players – as it should be. The Sonderkommando from the Mushroom Kingdom makes noise, litters, tramples on enemies and dies together, stumbling over another tricky obstacle generated by the minds of Nintendo. As usual, there is no talk of teamwork: almost any company ends up dragging bonuses from under each other’s noses and figuring out who will be the first to push someone into the abyss.
The co-op of any “Mario” is an enchanting and indescribably funny mess. If you are determined to complete the game one hundred percent, find all the secrets and hidden places – it is better to do it together, maximum three. If there are many of you, don’t even count on a thoughtful study of the levels: there is almost always someone who will fight off the group, get lost, fall down, or simply decide to start an argument on the topic “should we go there?”.
Traditionally for Nintendo, all the forces of developers rush to study the gameplay, mechanics and the universe – and they can rarely be seriously complained about. It’s easy to ditch it in favor of any other controller, and by and large, it’s better to do so.
When it is necessary to open some doors, the touchscreen simply interferes in this matter – it is clearly longer to reach for the screen than for one of the buttons. Blowing into the microphone for the sake of hidden bonuses is also not very meaningful, and you simply forget about this possibility. Even Raiman Legends and last year’s New Super Mario Bros. U use a tablet controller much more interesting than the flagship 3D Mario.
3D World entices not with a plot, not with a deep meaning, and not even with some abstract cultism (although it, no doubt, manifests itself somewhere). He lures with a game, self-sufficient and completely clean. It should not be watched, not read, not realized – it needs to be played. And playing Mario is still terribly fun, both alone and with friends.
Basically, the answer is obvious. Last year, the Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection was released, which once again proved that these games age very, very slowly. Even the ancient Super Mario 64, although it has some rough edges, plays perfectly – not to mention the amazing Super Mario Galaxy. The same applies to Super Mario 3D World, a beautiful, colorful and exciting platform game in which the developers adhered to the same principle – to implement a huge number of ideas and impress with variety.
2D and 3D Super Mario’s are always amazing with the amazing ease with which authors part with ideas, often using them in just one short level. Platforms on rails that move in different directions? Let them be in one episode. Skating goombahs skating on ice? Just one moment is enough. You always think: is it really worth saying goodbye to such mechanics, is it really going to be even better in the future?
3D World is divided into worlds, each of which contains a dozen completely different levels. Somewhere you run with a side view, somewhere you swim underwater, somewhere you move platforms with the help of a joydom. The world map is littered with bonus entertainment, including fun toad puzzle levels that were later made into Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Here, the toad gets on a small map and must collect all the stars without being able to jump and attack opponents.