Platform: Nintendo Switch
Version Reviewed: eShop Download
Category: Action, Platformer
No. of Players: Up to 4 players
Release Date: February 12th, 2021 (Worldwide)
Super Mario 3D World first graced the world with its presence when it released on the Nintendo Wii U in 2013. It was a direct sequel to Super Mario 3D Land on 3DS. Unlike the 3DS game, four players could get together and play as Mario, Luigi, Blue Toad, and Princess Peach in Super Mario 3D World. The game received very positive reviews from critics and was deemed one of the best titles on Wii U.
On September 3rd, 2020, a Super Mario themed Nintendo Direct was livestreamed on YouTube. It revealed a number of games and events that were coming to the Nintendo Switch in celebration of Super Mario’s 35th anniversary. As part of the celebrations, an enhanced port of Super Mario 3D World was revealed to be coming to the Nintendo Switch under the title of Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury.
Much like Mario + Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr’s Journey on the Nintendo 3DS, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury comes with an all-new console exclusive adventure with Mario squaring up against Bowser who is more furious than he has ever been before, hence Bowser’s Fury.
Super Mario 3D World follows Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Blue Toad as they travel to the Sprixie Kingdom to save fairies called Sprixies. One day in the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario and company are walking around enjoying the fireworks until they find a crooked pipe. Mario and Luigi put their plumbing skills to work and fix the pipe. As they admire their handiwork, items and power-ups come spewing out of it followed by a Sprixie.
The Sprixie is incredibly troubled and tells Mario and friends that Bowser is kidnapping the Sprixies and trapping them inside bottles. Bowser then appears from the pipe and catches the Sprixie, bottles her, and makes off back down the pipe. Princess Peach looks down the pipe and falls in. Mario, Luigi, and Blue Toad jump down the pipe after the Princess and Bowser. The Pipe brings our heroes into the Sprixie Kingdom and they begin their adventure to free the Sprixies from Bowser’s grip.
In Bowser’s Fury, Mario is minding his own business when he spots dollops of black goo along a pathway. Mario follows the trail, which leads to a black M painted on the floor which then turns into a large puddle. Mario then finds himself getting pulled into it like quicksand. He then falls through the sky until he lands face-first onto the hard ground below. Picking himself off the ground, Mario looks around at the unfamiliar place he has fallen into. It is revealed to be Lake Lapcat and it isn’t too long before Mario is acquainted with a familiar foe.
Bowser Jr. comes to Mario with a plea to help his father. Bowser has found himself covered in a mysterious black goo, similar to what Mario saw earlier. The black goo has caused Bowser to grow to gargantuan proportions and amplified his rage. Mario reluctantly agrees to help Bowser Jr. and find a way to put a stop to Bowser’s fury.
Both stories might not be the most original in that Mario has to put a stop to Bowser’s dastardly plans, but deep storytelling rarely ever takes center stage in a Super Mario game. After all, we play Mario games for the fun gameplay, not for the storyline.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is a 3D action platformer game. In Super Mario 3D World (which will now be referred to as SM3DW for the purposes of this review when talking about the base game singularly), up to four players can work together to run, jump, ground pound, and collect green stars in the many worlds and levels of the game.
Each world has multiple levels that require players to find green stars and reach the flagpole at the end of the level. There are many enemies and obstacles in your way that you will need to overcome. Luckily, there are plenty of Power-ups on hand to help. These include the likes of the fire flower, the Mega Mushroom, and the Super Bell.
The Super Bell Power-up transforms Mario and his friends into cats. It allows them to run faster on all four paws, climb up walls, and scratch at enemies. Many of the platforming elements in the game are based around using the Super Bell Power-up. However, should you lose the Power-up; there is usually another one nearby.
Another Power-up that made its debut in SM3DW is the Double Cherry. The Double Cherry allows whoever comes into contact with them will make a copy of themselves. The double will also have the same Power-up as the character who was copied. The doubles are sometimes required to activate certain switches and can earn you extra points when you reach the flagpole.
When multiple players play together, they can earn points for their score by collecting coins, power-ups, killing enemies, and touching the flagpole. At the end of the level, everyone’s scores are shown on a leaderboard and whoever has the highest score will wear a crown. This adds some competition to the game as while you mostly work together to make it to the end of each level, you can try to compete on who has the best score. Of course, you can also steal the crown by ground pounding the wearer.
When in the overworld, you can sometimes find a pipe that will lead you to Captain Toad. The brave shroom has his own stages that later inspired the spin-off title Captain Toad Treasure Tracker. Whereas in the Wii U version of SM3DW, Captain Toad would tackle each stage on his own, the Switch version has Captain Toad joined by three other members of the Toad Brigade. This means up to four players can partake in the Captain Toad levels at the same time.
Bowser’s Fury differs somewhat from SM3DW. Instead of linear gameplay through a series of stages, you have a singular sandbox to roam around in. It is more akin to Super Mario Odyssey with its kingdoms to explore with multiple Power Moons to collect. However, instead of Power Moons or Power Stars, Mario has to collect Cat Shines.
As you collect Cat Shines, the weather can change from being sunny one moment to overcast and rainy the next. When this happens, Fury Bowser will awake and launch massive fireballs at Mario. Find a good place to take shelter and eventually Fury Bowser will tire himself out and return to rest. Alternatively, you can collect a Cat Shine which will knock Fury Bowser back and cause him to retreat. Either way, with Fury Bowser gone the rain, will then ease up and the sun will then return to the sky above.
When Mario has collected enough Cat Shines, he will be able to collect the Giga Bell Power-Up when Fury Bowser turns up again. The Giga Bell will exponentially increase Mario’s size and turn him into Giga Cat Mario. He can then size up against Fury Bowser and knock some sense into him and hopefully return King Koopa to his normal size.
CONTENT & FEATURES:
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is quite a beefy game even without the Bowser’s Fury Expansion. SM3DW for example has eight main worlds as part of the story and then some bonus worlds will unlock afterward with even more stages and stars to collect. The multiplayer isn’t limited to local play either. That may have been the case for the Wii U version but the Switch version allows players to team up online.
Bowser’s Fury on the other hand can only be played in Local Multiplayer with one player controlling Mario and the other controlling Bowser Jr. Bowser Jr rides around in his clown car and can use his paintbrush to attack enemies. He can also paint certain areas to discover Power-ups and the like. This is also perhaps the first time Bowser Jr. has been a playable character in a mainstream Super Mario Game (not including spin-offs like Mario Party, Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart, etc).
One feature from the original SM3Dw game was stamps. They could be collected in the Wii U game and be used with Miiverse. Stamps have been repurposed for the Nintendo Switch version. You can use them as part of the all-new camera mode feature. The Camera mode allows you to take screenshots in-game along with the option to use different frames and filters. You can also use stamps that you have collected to decorate your photos as well before you take the shot.
One thing that Super Mario games always does well is their music. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is no different. Then again, the Wii U original always did have a spectacular soundtrack. In fact, when Nintendo used to have their club Nintendo rewards, The SM3DW OST CD was one of the first rewards I reclaimed.
Every track from Super Bell Hill to the World 8 theme really is such a joy to listen to. They are so upbeat, energetic, adventurous, cheerful, fun, but most importantly, they are memorable. As soon as you hear the first few beats, you instantly recognize the track and will start humming along. Even when you have stopped playing hours ago, you will still have the music playing in your head.
Though most tracks are original to the game, there are quite a number of recognizable songs that have been rearranged as well. Take Plessie’s Plunging Falls for example. Some players may recognize it as the Secret Slide track from Super Mario 64 and it isn’t the only familiar track either. You may even hear some that might surprise you to find in a Mario game.
VISUALS & PERFORMANCE:
For a game that released back in 2013, the SM3DW portion of Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury on the Switch is still a good-looking game. The visuals of SM3DW may not look much different in the Nintendo Switch version than they do on the Wii U, but they still hold up, even today. The Bowser’s Fury portion on the other hand looks even better, to the point that it could have come straight out of Super Mario Odyssey.
Where performance is concerned, SM3DW and Bowser’s Fury both run at 60 fps and make for a rather fluid experience. The detail in the rain effect is very nicely done and the lightning is just wow. Nintendo really did go the extra mile to make this game look as visually stunning as possible at 720p. This allowed Nintendo to maintain a steady performance without sacrificing visuals any further.
Super Mario 3D World was one of the best games on the Wii U and one that I had the pleasure of owning. When I heard that it was coming to the Nintendo Switch, I had no qualms about double-dipping on this title. To some, it might just be another Wii U port on Switch but to me, it was the chance to enjoy this fantastic game all over again.
On the Wii, I had played it with my brother and sister and enlisted their help to complete Champion Road. It took a good amount of time and our weight in beverages to do it but I will always cherish that moment that we had worked together to achieve the 100% of the game.
Now that we are older and have since moved away in search of work and other stuff, the beauty of Online Multiplayer in Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury means that we can get together online and relive those fun memories, and isn’t that what Super Mario is all about? Making and sharing cherished memories with a loved one?
I love the Bowser’s Fury Expansion but I did have my reservations at first. I thought “Why wasn’t this just DLC for Super Mario Odyssey?” but after playing it for myself and seeing how Power-ups were implemented, I realized that it wouldn’t have been the same for Odyssey. For starters, the use of Power-Ups probably wouldn’t work with the enemy capture mechanics of Odyssey. That and the Giga Cat Mario Vs Fury Bowser Showdown.
I am glad that they added the extra content to Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, and that it is more than just a Deluxe version. The gameplay may be short, at around three hours or so to beat, and a maximum of six hours for full completion.
All in all, I am thrilled that Super Mario 3D World is on Nintendo Switch and that it will no doubt be a very popular game. It was the second-highest selling game on the Wii U after all and with the Switch fanbase more than six times bigger than that of the Wii U, it will surely trounce its Wii U sales in no time.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is a Paws-atively Purr-fect example of a stellar Super Mario Game. It is charming, fun, and incredibly a-Mewsing to play alone or with others. You will only be Kitten yourself if you do not pounce on this game soon. CAT!
THE VERDICT: 9/10
*A review code was provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review
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