Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury Preview

Super Mario 3D World is probably the Wii U game I’ve been most excited to revisit on Nintendo Switch. That’s not just since its port was announced; I always thought that this game was wildly underrated, in fact, I’d go so far as saying it’s one of the best Mario games of all-time, but it was held back by the console it was on. From what I’ve played of the Switch version, I’m feeling pretty vindicated so far.

The thing that makes Super Mario 3D World so enjoyable is that each level feels as though it’s been designed as a way to show off what Mario games could do. Each one feels like it’s an example of some alternate universe Mario game where the weird and wild concepts hold all of the power.

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Take Shadow-Play Alley, which has sections entirely played by looking at the shadows on the wall (not a parable, thankfully), which means you have to gauge depth without really know where anything is. If that’s not your thing, then how about Plessie’s Plunging Falls, which has you trying to control a tiny loch ness monster through an obstacle course. That one’s particularly entertaining in a group because the controls are basically democratic, and we all know how well that works out.

It’s not just the level design that’s great, the new powerups are great too, whether you’re multiplying recklessly using the Double Cherries, which give you a new version of yourself to control every time you pick one up (I’ve managed five Fire Flower-infused Marios so far, but am well up for aiming higher) or just becoming an anime hero with the Super Bell. These were available in the original version of the game as well, but given that it was on the Wii U, it’s likely that a lot of people will be discovering these for the first time.

Then you’ve got the little overworld to explore and loads of mini-games to find as you dash from level to level, as well as the odd secret if you’re willing to snoop around a bit. Of all of these, it’s very hard to top the Captain Toad levels in terms of the ingenious design they bring to the experience, as well as a very nice change of pace. Also, Captain Toad about jumps as often as most of us do in real life, which is not at all. That’s just nice because Mario can be a little too energetic to relate to, despite his dad bod.

Each world is topped off with a boss battle reminiscent of the old games, where you have to battle through a scrolling level filled to the brim with enemies, cannons, and secrets that you have to have a keen eye to spot. Each of these is then capped off with a boss battle that, once again, will induce as much nostalgia as your ageing heart can muster for jumping on one of Bowser’s kids three times. Of course, we know Bowser Jr. exists now, and I kind of feel bad for the Koopalings as a result. There’s no way Bowser Jr. isn’t the favourite child here.

Speaking of which, that leads nicely into the completely new content in this game as we’ve also got the Bowser’s Fury adventure.

I’m not sure what I was expecting from Bowser’s Fury, but I do know it wasn’t this. It’s like some weird genetic experiment where they attempted to splice Odyssey, Sunshine, and 64 together. That sounds incredibly messy, but the end result is actually an incredibly focussed open-world adventure that has you taking on short three-minute obstacle courses multiple times to try and get your hands on Cat Shines, which you need to collect to further your progress in the mode.

You do all of this to allow Mario to turn into a Super Saiyan cat in order to battle Fury Bowser, who I can only assume is as angry as he is because Bowser Jr’s cutting out his nap and it’s making him into a little monkey in the late afternoon. Bowser, I appreciate it’s a frustrating time in your life, but it’s nobody else’s fault that you taught the little tyke how to skoot around in your weird Clown Head machine, is it?

Anyway, I can’t say too much about the mode just yet, but I’m looking forward to continuing my journey in it and finding out how it develops. I’ve got high hopes for it, and it feels as though it could be a tease for a future style of Mario game. Either way though, it certainly seems to add in enough new stuff to make the package worth the while of those who already finished 3D World on Wii U.

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Written by
Jason can often be found writing guides or reviewing games that are meant to be hard. Other than that he occasionally roams around a gym and also spends a lot of time squidging his daughter's face.

1 Comment

  1. Really looking forward to this even more now. I’ve recently started attempting most / all stars on Galaxy on Switch (around 80 so far) and thoroughly enjoying that AND I’ve re-bought Odyssey after selling it post completion a few years ago and living that too. Mario is undeniably in a golden age and, as many have said before me and will say after me, you can’t beat quality gameplay no matter how many ‘graffix’ a game has. Can’t wait for Feb!!

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