Super Mario 3D World and Bowser’s Fury: A Review
For those of you who have been hankering for more Super Mario on the Nintendo Switch, the absolute titular mouthful of Super Mario 3D World and Bowser’s Fury has arrived.
The first game, Super Mario 3D World is a remake of a game that first launched in 2013 on the Wii U. Unfortunately, that console was not the success Nintendo had hoped and so many of its best games didn’t really get the love they deserved and so naturally, Nintendo decided to give them another crack on the latest platform.
Super Mario 3D World is a delight to play both in single-player and with friends (either online or via offline co-op). I particularly enjoyed the variety between the levels which introduced several fun concepts and power-ups.
Some power-ups might turn your character into a canon-headed tank or a wall-climbing cat – all of which expand on what one can do in each level. As we have come to expect with Mario games since they first joined the third dimension, the level design is clever, well presented and vibrant. While this might not reach some of the dizzying heights of Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario Odyssey, the levels feel uniquely specific to each world despite not being as open to exploration as one might expect.
The fun (and mayhem) is compounded exponentially when you add more players who can choose from Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad and eventually you can unlock Rosalina. Multiplayer is a mix between co-operative play and competition as you work together to complete objectives, but at the same time compete to try to get the highest points total at the end of each stage. This balance doesn’t really come together since often in the chaos of trying to compete for points you will exhaust the shared pool of extra lives resulting in the stage coming to an abrupt end. Furthermore, since some actions garner far more points than others, for example collecting the green stars in the level, situations arise whereby players wait for one of the other players to do all the work, unlocking the star, to then simply grab the reward themselves for all the points (or perhaps I just play with very competitive people).
The playable characters also have distinct differences which make the game feel unbalanced. Toad might be fast but can’t jump as high as Luigi and the unlockable character Rosalina is undoubtedly better – which makes it feel unfair in a game that has a competitive element to it.
All in all, Super Mario 3D World is a great entry for the Nintendo Switch and I’m certainly glad they decided to breathe new life into the game by giving it a home outside of the Wii U, but that is not where this review ends because, in my opinion, the real winner in this bundle is the all-new Bowser’s Fury.
No more limited lives or the fixed camera of 3D World, welcome to an open-world adventure on Lake Lapcat. Bowser’s Fury is a one or two-player game where you play Mario, who is joined by Bowser Jr who team up to try to stop Bowser who has been taken control by a malicious black goo. The thing that makes this game different is the concept that every few minutes, Bowser erupts in an explosion of, wait for it, FURY. This turns the world into a storm of fire as molten blocks rain from the sky. You can either wait out the fury or try to overcome Bowser or by reaching a Cat Shrine.
It’s very cool to see Bowser’s black goo slowly start to build over time as the next cataclysmic event approaches, which gives the game a sense of urgency that I believe many open-world games lack. While these fury moments can become a tad annoying when they happen at inopportune moments I certainly for the most part enjoyed the change of pace.
I certainly enjoyed my time in both games and the fact that they come bundled together in a single package is a great deal of value for money. While it’s not as good as the masterpieces that are Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario Odyssey, which are both absolute must-plays, I highly recommend this bundle for anyone looking for some more Mario on their Nintendo Switch.