Super Mario 3D Land Hands on at MCM Expo!

With Nintendo’s lacklustre launch of the 3DS where software releases were barren, and hardware sales were slow, they decided to slash the price dramatically.

At E3 2011 they decided to step their game up and launch an all out assault unto the Winter Market. Their lineup this winter is astounding, with Mario Kart 7, Pokemon Rumble Blast, Zelda: Skyward Sword and a new, incredibly strangely named Mario title. Super Mario 3D Land for the Nintendo 3DS.

I went straight into the game and was instantly reminded why Mario is so popular. The wide range of solid colours used, the iconic red plumber and the green pipes were all an instant throwback to my childhood. The game itself controls exactly like the other 3D Mario titles, such as Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Sunshine, although there are sections of the game where the perspective changes to 2D. After it shifts to 2D you’re still able to traverse the level in 3D space, allowing for a great platforming experience not dissimilar to Streets of Rage or Final Fight where you’re able to move up and down across a 2D plane which in turn allows for depth in a 2D space.

The game’s level design distances itself from the other 3D Mario titles, with the levels being much more vertical than the other 3D titles. I found myself jumping up to higher and higher platforms, moreso than the other titles. The game’s pace however has changed and although the jumps and platforming do flow, the overall pace has lessened from the degree it was at in Super Mario Galaxy 2. Not to say that it’s a bad thing though, the small screen and 3D effect on the 3DS does tire your eyes and having a fast paced platformer surely would not help.

I played three levels of Super Mario 3D land. The first was just a generic green overworld to make you learn the ropes and as I finished the level I was greeted by a very familiar sight – the flagpole is back! After most levels in the original Super Mario Bros on the Nintendo Entertainment system you approached a set of steps leading up to a flagpole, which then in turn gives you a points boost. The other level was another Super Mario staple – an underground level. And the twist with this in Super Mario 3D land was that there were several other hidden areas that you needed to find in order to progress through the level that were subtley hidden. Super Mario 3D Land is shaping up to be another great 3D Mario title.

Super Mario 3D Land is out on November 18th Exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS and is available to play at MCM Expo this weekend.


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