The porting of Super Mario 3D World for the Nintendo Switch console, after the short-lived run on the Wii U, has brought with it a solid upgraded experience along with an additional game mode in Bowser’s Fury. Bowser’s Fury offers a lesser explored open-world direction in the Mario universe but has the addition of Bowser’s Fury added great things to this game, or will it go down in flames like all of Bowser’s plans.
The story of Super Mario 3D World starts off with Mario, Peach, Toad and Luigi on a quest to save the world fairies from the clutches of Bowser and his capable minions. The player will go world by world trying to collect the stars available from the main levels and some special stages. This gamer found the Captain Toad levels particularly fun as they present a 360-degree camera and allow the player to see throughout structures from all sides while trying to guide Toad to the stars that are available. The other stages offer a mix of the classic side scrolling platforming, vertical ascent, underground caves and other unique level designs often seen in the Mario universe. With this game, Nintendo has given a masterclass in level design and it gives a challenge to even the most experienced platformer, while still being fun for the kids. The final bosses for each world also have their own unique traits and abilities or special event fights that are deeply satisfying to finish and showcase what Nintendo are capable of. Freeing each fairy is no small effort.
One of the best new additions to Mario’s repertoire is the Cat Suit. The Cat Suit allows for increased vertical movement unlike any Mario game before it. Whether it is the Cat Symbol triggers that increase the elevation of certain parts of the level or the fact that Mario can hang onto a wall for a split second in order to make a jump to a tricky platform, the Cat Suit makes for star collecting fun. Mario can also swap between available suits with the Up button on the D-pad to work his way out of different situations.
With multiplayer for up to four players on one console built into the main campaign, this game is a lot of fun with friends. Players can work with or against each other to complete each stage, either on one system, multiple local wireless consoles or online. The game presents on one full screen with up to four players for the single system mode. This game is fantastic for the kids and parents to cooperate or face-off together for some good clean fun.
The players other option and additional game mode is Bowser’s Fury. When the player reaches the main title screen and pushes the stick to the right the game will launch into Bowser’s Fury and that is about the length of the introduction to the game. Mario starts on an island in the rain and as he begins to get his bearings on where to go, a Godzilla sized Bowser appears and starts to toss every imaginable obstacle and fire in his path. Mario then lights up a lighthouse in the form of a cat which makes Bowser disappear for a time which sees the world return to normal. This is the reoccurring cycle of Bowsers Fury. The game mode takes place in an open world setting which the player must navigate through to collect Cat Shines (think Mario Sunshine Shines only cats…) in order to unlock the next world and light the next lighthouse. Bowser Jr. joins Mario in this quest and will assist by painting items on the sides of walls or pointing out needed items from time to time depending on how much help the player chooses to receive from him.
Bowser’s Fury brings with it a number of issues that makes the single player mode feel incredibly incomplete. The inclusion of a random cycle of the normal level vs Bowser event transformation sees the performance drop in handheld mode significantly. In places, the graphics drop under 30 frames per second which often makes those moments unplayable. The story is also non-existent and has zero pace or direction from the start. A big disappointment for this reviewer.
Rob for One More Game
Rating: 7 – Good – This is an all-round solid game that delivers some features really well. It’s a game that most gamers will likely enjoy. If you’re not a fan of the game or genre then you may want to wait for a deal before picking it up.
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This review was completed on a retail copy of the game for the Nintendo Switch. Our thoughts are ours and ours alone.