3DS

North America

Super Mario 3D Land

by Paul Morgan - July 28, 2011, 3:11 pm PDT
Total comments: 14

It's a mix of old and new.

When the first screenshots of Super Mario 3D Land surfaced, I wasn’t that impressed. It all looked a little… boring. How stupid do I feel having just played on a demo unit where I really enjoyed playing it! It just goes to show that you should never judge prematurely. It was just a small taster but there was a lot to be learned by playing through the demo. 

Super Mario 3D looks like a remixed hybrid of Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Bros 3, taking the best of both to bring an all-new adventure which is reassuringly retro in its design and make-up whilst including everything that has made the modern Mario adventures so amazing to play. The camera sits in a fixed position, looming over Mario’s position as you move around the levels. They are all quite short compared to what we’ve grown used to but this is seemingly a push back to the early days of platforming, as well as a conscious nod to the fact that we’re playing on a handheld. 



Everywhere you look there are winks and nods to the past, most prominent of which is the Tanooki suit, which makes a return. Grab the brown super leaf and Mario will pop on the suit. You are not able to fly any more, nor turn into a statue but you can glide after jumping. Holding down the jump button makes Mario slowly fall back to earth, tail wagging furiously. In the few levels I played, this little move helped save my life many times. 

Elsewhere there’s lots of things that make a return from games past; end of level flag poles are back, bouncy blocks with musical notes on are dotted around the levels, and the enemies read like a "Who’s Who" from Mario’s past. One of the levels was a floating airship with bullet bills aplenty firing at you, while another was made up of switches that made a path of green tiles appear that you had to traverse before they disappeared. 

Mario handles very nicely thanks to the Circle Pad and you never feel like the controls are getting in your way. Any mistakes are down to you, and not because the controls have let you down. It has to be said that the controls are a strange mix of old and new. You can no longer triple jump and falling off a platform equals death. There’s no more ledge-grabbing, something which I found particularly annoying to begin with but after a while you get used to it. A dedicated dash button is welcome and being able to control your speed is a lot easier than having your speed tied to how far you move the Circle Pad. The "press down to enter a pipe" problem is solved by having you press the R button instead. Also returning is the old-school "two hits and you're dead" system, rather than having a health meter as in Super Mario Galaxy. 



Mario’s shadow is constantly onscreen no matter what you’re doing or what bit of scenery may be blocking your view. This makes it a lot easier to move around the levels, particularly when time is against you. It all looks as gorgeous as you’d expect from this next batch of Nintendo software. Levels and characters are all bright and bold and the level of presentation is very nice. 3D is implemented very well and it looks great to push the slider up and watch the level stretch into the distance ahead of you. Nintendo have also put in some new bits to take advantage of the 3D, like the piranha plant who spits black goo at the screen to obscure your view, very clever. 

All in all Super Mario 3D Land is shaping up to be another essential addition to his canon of games. The mix of old and new gameplay styles has a great deal of potential and I cannot wait to play it again come release. 

Talkback

Ian SaneJuly 28, 2011

Quote:

You are not able to fly any more, nor turn into a statue but you can glide after jumping.


:Q ??  Nintendo, what is the point of reusing the Tanooki Suit if it maintains virtually NONE of the qualities that made it popular in the first place?  Turning into a statue and flying is what the Tanooki Suit does.  It's like having Yoshi but he can't eat anything.  The might as well just have made a new suit!

But aside from that the game sounds pretty good.  Sounds like an interesting hybrid of the two Mario platformer styles.  But will that unite the two styles or just make a third?

TansunnJuly 28, 2011

It does seem a bit odd that they turned him into Tanuki Mario when all it really gives him is a dumbed down version of Raccoon Mario.  Hell, he even changes by grabbing a leaf, not the full suit.  Oh well, it's not like Nintendo ever really cared about continuity when it comes to stuff like that.

Either way, I'm definitely looking forward to this one.

I do have one question, though...  Is there any reason they don't provide screenshots in MPO format so they can be viewed in 3D on the 3DS browser?

Mop it upJuly 28, 2011

They just wanted to give him the suit because it's adorable.

TJ SpykeJuly 28, 2011

I am not gonna call it to Tanooki Suit anymore, but it's not the Tanooki Suit. The only real difference between it and the Racoon Leaf was beining able to turn into a statue. And if you can't fly? Why even bother then? Call it something new.

Quote:

Super Mario 3D looks like a remixed hybrid of Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Bros 3, taking the best of both to bring an all-new adventure which is reassuringly retro in its design and make-up whilst including everything that has made the modern Mario adventures so amazing to play.

I was already sold on this game, but if I weren't, that sentence would have done it.

NinSageJuly 28, 2011

Just gotta say, the pieces of the title "Super Mario 3D Land" all need to be there, but do not fit.

I really like that they stuck with the "land" name as that has been prevalent on handheld Marios.  But wouldn't "Super Mario Land 3D" just have a better feel to it? "Super Mario 3D Land" just doesn't sound right ... it sounds like Mario would be in a world with blue/red glasses attacking him and cheesy 3D movie cliches like paddle balls bouncing at him.

Is there any chance SM3dL was a mistranslation or anything?

TJ SpykeJuly 28, 2011

Quote from: NinSage

Is there any chance SM3dL was a mistranslation or anything?

Unlikely, it was in Nintendo of America's press release yesterday morning when they announced the 3DS price drop for America.

CericJuly 29, 2011

Quote from: Mop

They just wanted to give him the suit because it's adorable.

That's probably right.  It is one of his Cuter suits.  I personally like the Frog one as well.

apdudeJuly 29, 2011

Quote from: Ceric

Quote from: Mop

They just wanted to give him the suit because it's adorable.

That's probably right.  It is one of his Cuter suits.  I personally like the Frog one as well.

Though not technicaly a suit, I liked the boot for some reason.

CericJuly 29, 2011

Quote from: apdude

Quote from: Ceric

Quote from: Mop

They just wanted to give him the suit because it's adorable.

That's probably right.  It is one of his Cuter suits.  I personally like the Frog one as well.

Though not technicaly a suit, I liked the boot for some reason.

You know that's a very common sentiment.  I hope it comes back.  In fact I'm fairly sure we saw it already.

AdrockJuly 29, 2011

If anything, Nintendo should have used the carrot power-up from Super Mario Land 2 since the bunny ears did essentially what the faux tanooki suit does. It also makes sense with the official name reusing the Land title. I know they're playing on the heart strings of nostalgic Nintendo fans and people who find the tanooki suit adorbz (which it is) but it's still an odd choice.

CericJuly 29, 2011

Quote from: Adrock

If anything, Nintendo should have used the carrot power-up from Super Mario Land 2 since the bunny ears did essentially what the faux tanooki suit does. It also makes sense with the official name reusing the Land title. I know they're playing on the heart strings of nostalgic Nintendo fans and people who find the tanooki suit adorbz (which it is) but it's still an odd choice.

With Peach.

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterJuly 29, 2011

I played it a bit and wrote up impressions a few days ago, but I accidentally deleted it all and gave up. One thing though I was not impressed at all.

I love the idea of 3D Mario playing like 2D Mario, but it was the stages themselves that left me with a negative impression. What I loved about the Galaxy's were that the majority of it was point A to B like a classic 2D stage, and these stages were like that except for me there felt like such little content involved with each one.  It appears that you carry suits over from one stage to the next which is great so a single power up does not dictate how one finishes a stage. I think that is a good thing and bad thing since it leaves room for those optional secrets that were a blast to find in SMW.

I'm not too worried about the final product, I just hope some of the stages turn out to be massive. Enough so that if I kept my fire flower all the way to the end of a difficult stage I could burn up a secret ice door entrance, or maybe a few special stages that do offer flight entirely. The 4 stages available were just so trimmed down from what I was expecting, it was like going from Super Mario World to New Super Mario Bros DS.

FlipsterJuly 31, 2011

The linear, sidescroller-esque gameplay and almost grid-based movement that the game appears to have really turned me off from being interested in it, since I was personally hoping for a new Super Mario game in the style of Super Mario 64 or Sunshine, or at least not more linear and sidescrolling based than the Super Mario Galaxy games.

I'm sure the game will be fantastic and it's completely about preference, but I really wish Nintendo would have finally released a new long-awaited open world Super Mario game. Ah well as I said I'm sure it will be great, and there's always the Wii U.

Share + Bookmark





3DS

Game Profile

Super Mario 3D Land Box Art

Genre Adventure
Developer Nintendo

Worldwide Releases

na: Super Mario 3D Land
Release Nov 13, 2011
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone
jpn: Super Mario 3D Land
Release Nov 03, 2011
PublisherNintendo
RatingAll Ages
eu: Super Mario 3D Land
Release Nov 18, 2011
PublisherNintendo
Rating3+
aus: Super Mario 3D Land
Release Nov 24, 2011
PublisherNintendo
RatingGeneral

Related Content

Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement