Saturday, 19 November 2011
The Super Mario Bros franchise has FINALLY been given its first outing on the Nintendo 3DS. The game mixes 2D side-scrolling action, which is traditionally associated with Platformers, with new autostereoscopic 3D environments.
Although the 3D effects don't particularly aide the overall plot, the use of the 3DS gyroscope and the increased depth perception does mean that there is more of the environment to explore, and players may just find some Star Coins, (or Star Medals as they are now known,) hidden in some very unlikely places. There are three Star Medals to collect per level.
The way that the game switches with ease from 2D to 3D and vice versa really helps to keep players on their toes and is a truly refreshing way to play.
Power-ups also help to keep the game interesting. This time however, most of the minor traditional power-ups have been dropped, and only a few essential power-ups remain. The main power-ups in Super Mario 3D Land are as follows:
Super Leaf/Tanooki Suit - Turns Mario into a Tanuki type creature (Tanooki) and grants him the ability to float, fly and administer special spinning kicks etc.
The Boomerang Suit - Gives Mario the ability to throw Boomerangs at his enemies and it can also be used to pick up Coins, Star Medals or other Power-Ups.
? Box Helmet - This item will only be found in the latter levels of the game. Although it will be disguised as an ordinary Question (?) Block, it will attach itself to Mario's body when hit and it will earn players some extra coins as Mario walks around the environments wearing it.
Poison Mushroom - This item can only be gained once you have completed the regular game and have accessed the Special Worlds portion of the game. This item will result in Mario characters losing a life if they touch it, so it is best avoided, but this mushroom can be destroyed by a fireball.
This is a really fun game to play and can be quite challenging at times. One slight disappointment was that there are only two types of Boss fights: Aerial Fights against Boom Boom or Castle-based attacks against Bowser. Both of which are easy to overcome after a little bit of practise.
This brings us to the final criticism of Super Mario 3D Land, which is that the overall game seemed incredibly short and it would definitely not take Mario veterans longer than a day or two at most to complete the game's standard levels.
Nevertheless, it is a superb game which really does appear to have been made for use with 3D. In fact, had this game been released earlier, it would have probably single-handedly raised 3DS sales by about two-thirds. Truly a game worth owning. Overall Rating: 10/10.