If you mention Super Mario Bros to anyone, between a frenzy of ‘wahoos’ and impeccable impressions, I’m sure thousands will spill fond nostalgic memories of childhood. The Mario franchise has been a key element to hundreds of people’s childhoods. So it’s safe to say the release of Super Mario 3D World to Switch has been received well. From the opening sequence, you are immediately connected back with familiar characters and transported into childlike glee. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s fury is certainly a tribute to everything that has made Mario so iconic.
Back to basics
With a classic world layout, SM3DW takes you through a series of levels you feel like you’ve seen before. Each world follows the Mario essentials. Ice, desert, greenland, etc. However Nintendo takes this and runs with it. You are more than likely expected to encounter several biomes in one level. In addition to these extensive world types, you are presented with a variety of new power ups. It is vital to utilise these, since they will be extremely useful in every single tiny fraction of a level. Don’t underestimate how important these power ups are, especially if you are playing with others. Please trust me on this one. It will make you nearly fall out with your friends.
Teamwork makes the dream work
I had the joy of playing this game with two of my closest friends. By the end of playing this game, we were almost not friends at all. The co-op ability of 3D World is as wonderfully chaotic as you can imagine. Timed levels become a frantic race to claim victory over your teammates, and working together as a team has never proved so difficult. This game has induced fits of both laughter and rage. Once again it has created a number of memories I will struggle to forget. Which is definitely the best part of playing any Mario game. Although working as a team is key to a solid victory, there is something so maliciously enjoyable about ensuring you achieve more points and strutting around with your tiny crown.
One of my favourite moments of playing through this game, is the sheer chaos that ensues in toad houses. The rush to beat the timer caused fits of giggles when failing. And the game was paused for a breather on many occasions. Despite having to play each of these levels repeatedly after collecting the stars, you pick up the rhythm of them very quickly. I just found this to make me laugh even more if something went horrifically wrong and we had to start again.
The best level design to date
It’s safe to say, Nintendo presents us with a shiny new expectation of complexity in this one. With a multitude of hidden pathways, secret doors, specific character buttons, you will no doubt be running through each level more than once. I’d argue that even after the revolutionary success of Super Mario Odyssey, SM3DW holds some of the most intricate level design in Nintendo history. Every level has its secrets, and you will definitely want to discover them all.
This game has no story links to Super Mario 3D World, so can easily be picked up on it’s own. Despite it’s significantly shorter playtime, it stands alone as one of the best 3D Mario games so far. Due to having no links to 3D World, Bowser’s Fury can easily be booted up from the beginning if you wanted.
Instead of his loving brother, Mario is accompanied on this trip by Bowser Jr. This role can either be taken on by a second player or remain as an AI. His function is also completely customisable. You can decide if you want him to help out every step of the way, or the opposite. If you are unsure of 3D Mario (or if your depth perception fails you much like mine) then this company should be utilised.
Bowser’s Fury doesn’t highlight the same variety of 3D Worlds, but if all that was crammed in you’d be exhausted. There are plenty of crossovers to recognise, so you won’t be too lost. Even when levels seem too familiar, Nintendo has implemented enough new design to ensure it doesn’t get stale. BF definitely holds the potential for an incredible future in the Mario franchise.
To anyone who has ever played a Mario game, be it alone or with friends. I encourage you to pick this one up. It is truly wonderful and I guarantee you will be transported back into a state of childlike glee. I haven’t laughed this hard whilst playing a game with my friends for a very long time. It is definitely the pick me up everyone deserves.