Super Mario 3D Land Review

Mario has been a very popular video game character since making his appearance in Super Marios Bros. on the NES when it was released back in 1985. The gameplay, graphics and audio were impressive and the game remains a classic even now. Not only did he single-handedly save the video game industry but he also revolutionized it in the process.  Our wacky little plumber would enjoy success with other titles such as Super Mario Bros. 2 & 3, Super Mario Land, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2, New Super Marios Bros. Wii, and most recently with Super Mario 3D Land for the Nintendo 3DS. Does Super Mario 3D Land breathe new life into the 3DS or is it simply an updated version of the Gameboy original? Read the review to find out!

Interesting enemies and solid level design make for a great game.

As with previous Super Mario games, the story merely sets the stage for the gameplay. There is a tree on the grounds of Princess Peach’s castle which gets struck by lightning causing it to lose its leaves. The leaves known as Super Leaves end up getting scattered all over the Mushroom Kingdom. Everyone who comes in contact with the leaves gets granted the Tanooki Tail in the process. Eventually Mario and the Toads notice a letter that was left by Bowser that he has once again kidnapped Princess Peach and as always it’s up to our Italian plumber to search for and rescue her. It’s just another day for our tireless hero.

Super Mario 3D Land is Mario’s first venture into 3D territory. While previous games on the 3DS may not have fully utilized 3D on the handheld; however that isn’t the case for Nintendo’s beloved hero. The 3D aspect plays a major role with the game’s platforming. You have the option of adjusting the 3D the way you see fit or you can opt to play the game in 2D. There are certain areas of the game that rely heavily on 3D, specifically when a 3D symbol appears on the screen. In previous games 3D was used to polish the graphics. In Super Mario 3D land 3D is a part of the game, whether Mario bounces off the screen or performs a long jump in order to obtain a certain item. The 3D can be disorienting after a prolonged period of time. Players can perceive depth when viewing the screen thanks to the system’s Autostereoscopic technology. A player can take control of cannons and look through binoculars because of the handheld’s Gyroscope. The controls are silky smooth.

Bowser is back and is up to his old tricks once again.

Super Mario 3D land game features several power-ups and special abilities, which are really awesome. Mario can still grow twice his size. He still has the ability to use the Fire Flower. He can become invisible when he grabs a star. A favorite of mine is the Tanooki Suit which allows Mario to fling his enemies. Mario also access to the Boomerang Suit, which allows him to toss Boomerangs at his foes. Mario can use the Propeller Box which gives Mario the ability to get to otherwise unreachable areas. Such abilities are very helpful if used effectively. However, the downside is if Mario gets hit once by an enemy he ends up losing said power-up. It makes holding on to the power-up even more crucial especially when the game reaches World 8 where the difficulty ramps up considerably.

The game’s graphics look really awesome and are reminiscent of those found in the Super Mario Galaxy series. Characters models and their animations are solid. Colors are vibrant and pop out at you. Textures are very smooth. Shadows look really good. The game gives you a wonderful world for you to explore and traverse. Levels and backgrounds are exceptionally well designed. Super Mario 3D Land is the one game on the Nintendo 3DS where the 3D aspect was planned for well before the game was made and it shows in the amazing presentation. I truly believe that it is the best looking game on the Nintendo 3DS.

Don't let these guys get close to you!

The sound design is impressive. Super Mario 3D Land features remixed tracks from previous Mario games which sound really good. It also features some new music as well and some that is an updated version of Super Mario Bros. on the NES. You just want to sit back and enjoy the sounds and have a great time playing Super Mario 3D Land. The enemy sound effects are well done. There are a couple of nice touches that are subtle and are a nice addition. I like the sound the game makes when you reach the flag pole at the end of a level. I also like the sound that the game makes when Mario turns into Star Mario. Overall, the sound design is exceptional.

The Nintendo 3DS has a really nice feature called StreetPass. It basically allows you to connect with other people who have a 3DS. When the feature in enabled the 3DS can exchange data with other 3DS systems while offering new content. For example, you can see a player’s best time and then try to beat it. There is no guarantee that you will receive new content but it is very exciting when it does happen. The 3DS’s LED will flash green when you do receive the new content. With StreetPass you can unlock mystery boxes which are timed challenges where you need to grab all the coins and defeat all the enemies before times runs which is around 10 seconds.

One of the game's various boss battles.

Super Mario 3D Land is one of my favorite games that I have played and is the best game that I have played on the Nintendo 3DS. The system managed to successfully utilize the 3D effect. Although it can get disorienting after a while. The game looks very impressive. It is vibrant and the colors really pop out at you. I enjoyed the power-ups and abilities especially the Tanooki Tail. The controls are silky smooth.  The soundtrack is catchy and fun. The StreetPass feature is great as well. Super Mario 3D Land is awesome and well made. It is also the Nintendo 3DS’s best game.