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Game review: Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

By Lama Farhat, Fri 9 Apr 2021

Ever since the Nintendo Switch started porting Wii U games, everyone has been waiting for Super Mario 3D World to come out. After all, the game was the Wii U’s second best-seller after Mario Kart 8. Last year, we got a tiny taste with Mario Maker 2’s 3D levels. Finally, in February, and as a part of Mario’s 35th-anniversary special, Nintendo released Super Mario 3D World with additional levels that they called “Bowser’s Fury”. 

I personally never owned a Wii U, so I was very excited to play this game for the first time on the Switch. The story of the game is a little different this time. Yes, Bowser is still the big bad of the game, but for a change, he did not kidnap Peach. This time, Bowser is kidnapping these little fairies called “Sprixies” and is terrorising their Sprixie Kingdome.

Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad find out about this from a fairy that pops out of a transparent pipe outside of Peach’s castle and tells them. Bowser then kidnaps the fairy in front of them, so they decide to jump through the pipe themselves to help.  

The gameplay of Super Mario 3D World is very unique in the sense that it is technically a linear platformer disguised as a 3D game. While it looks like you can free roam and you can go in any direction, the levels are very structured with a clear beginning and an end. The end is indicated by the famous flagpole. You also have a world map where you can jump between different levels.

The game encourages you to go back and play the levels again to collect all the stars and a stamp that can be found in one of the level corners. Each level is unique and feels different to the one before it. Unlike older 2D Mario platformers, Super Mario 3D World tries to introduce a new mechanic or a new scenario or power-up in each level so that each level is exciting. 

Another exciting thing about the game is that it can be played in multiplayer mode. Up to four players can choose to play as a different character and roam around the levels together. This has its ups and downs. The cool thing is that you can play on different switches Locally or online. I do suggest sticking to local play because one player’s bad connection can ruin the experience for everyone.

Another problem that we faced in multiplayer mode is that it simply does not work for some levels. For example, if the shared pool of lives run out, you are done. The fact that the characters move differently as well is weird. For example, Toad is fast, but his jumps are week. This led to some conflicts while choosing characters. 

Even though this was my first playthrough, the additional content of Bowser’s Fury was still welcome. In this side of the game, you have to use Cat Shines to activate the Giga Bells that can stop Fury Bowser alter-ego. The more you play, the more you unlock. That side of the game has a solid 4-5 extra hours of content, and that is without trying to complete it at 100%. 

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury makes a great addition to Switch’s Mario library. It is a fun, unique style of Mario game that is needed on the Nintendo Switch. It is a game that is sure to entertain players for days on end.  

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