Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is the latest title released by Nintendo for the Switch, providing the Wii U game new life with enhanced features and an all-new mode.
Nearly eight years ago, 3D World was released for the ill-fated Wii U during the 2013 holiday season. Although it was one of the best-selling games on the console, only beat by Mario Kart 8, many were unable to play the game until now because of the console’s low sales numbers. Due to the overwhelming success of the Switch, 3D World was ported to the Switch with all new features, such as online multiplayer and faster gameplay along with the addition of an all-new story: Bowser’s Fury.
Super Mario 3D World starts off like most Mario games: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad are all out for a walk until they come across something peculiar, a broken clear warp pipe. Mario and Luigi, being plumbers, fix it, and a fairy appears out of it telling the group that Bowser has kidnapped her sisters and she needs their help. Bowser then appears and takes her, and thus the adventure begins.
One of the main features of the game is it is four-player multiplayer, and includes different play styles for each character. The game takes a page out of Super Mario Bros. 2’s book, mirroring the same playable characters and play styles that differentiate the characters from each other. Mario plays like he always does, he has medium jump height and medium speed – a jack of all trades. Luigi plays a bit differently, he is a bit more slippery when moving around and can jump higher than Mario. Princess Peach is the most beginner friendly. She is the slowest of the four, but she can hover when she jumps. Toad is the most limited because he can run the fastest but has the shortest jump.
The game is set up similarly to the 2D Mario games of old, but is still in 3D. The way to get from level to level is through an overworld. There are collectibles inside the levels to pick up in order to progress. Power-ups return, including the returning mushroom, fire flower, tanuki suit and boomerang flower. There are also new power ups known as “the cat bell” and “the double cherry.” The cat bell turns Mario and friends into cats and allows them to climb up walls for secrets. The double cherry allows the player to control a second character. Speaking of controls, the game controls like any good Mario game should: tight and responsive. The multiplayer encourages both cooperation and rivalries. At the end of each stage, if there are multiple players, there is a results screen that bases a winner off the points achieved. The online multiplayer also works surprisingly well compared to other games on the Switch like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which has been known for lagging and breaking internet connections.
The game also comes with a small all-new story called Bowser’s Fury. This stars Mario and Bowser Jr. on a quest to save a corrupted Bowser. This is a one- to two-player co-op game and unfortunately, it does not have online multiplayer. The world of Bowser’s Fury is an open world composed of small levels that lead the player to the next level as the world opens up. It is similar to how 2017’s Super Mario Odyssey in that there is a large world and the player has a set path, but can deviate and find the collectibles, known as “Cat Shines,” constantly. Mario has all his power ups from 3D World at his disposal, but Bowser Jr. is unable to use them. Bowser Jr.’s play style is very basic in that all he can do is collect specific items and power-ups for Mario. When in single player his AI can either be set to help a little or a lot, and he just kills enemies for Mario. The other big mechanic in Bowser’s Fury is that after a certain time, Bowser attacks and turns the level into night. When this happens, you can either collect a cat shine and shoo Bowser away with the light, or fight him using a giant cat bell. This feature can get annoying as you earn more cat shines because it occurs more often. Overall, the side mode is fun and is great as a break from the main game, but it does have some features that could have been changed for a better experience.
Overall, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is an enjoyably chaotic time with friends and still is fun to play through as a single player. The tight controls, short, fast-paced levels and good online multiplayer make it a great game to add to any college student’s Switch library.
By Annie Phelps