Mario gets his 3D on as GGUK get to preview his new 3DS adventure.
My first impression of Super Mario is one of great pleasure as I am transported into this bright and colourful three dimensional world. Exploring the four preview demo levels from Nintendo’s upcoming 3DS title was exciting. My first thoughts as I take those first Mario footsteps is that the world looks and feels similar to Super Mario 64, but as I explore this 3D world I’m pleasantly surprised to find it’s a completely new experience.
In each level you start off as Super Mario, exploring the bright green grass environment in search of the famous gold coins. Gold coins replensish your health, so you need to be on the lookout for these. The game has the usual bricks to jump on to reach higher levels, but this time the levels have Mario wandering towards the back and front of the screen giving a sense of depth to the level.
Super Mario jumps, rolls and wanders through each of the preview levels like he owns them. After all, this has always been his territory. It all feels very natural, even in 3D. Mario must once again try to avoid being hit by Goombas who want nothing more than to take his life. The two-dimensional Goombas feel disconcerting, as they look like cardboard cut-outs.
The game allows players to use the Raccoon suit to fly through the air and use the tail to swipe at oncoming enemies and throw them into oblivion. The world is built up of the usual green pipes which you can explore by simply using the R shoulder button. This leads you to bonus areas where you can gather extra gold coins.
A one minute timer is a reminder that you’re on a time limit, although you can gather clock faces to buy yourself some extra time if you need it. Precise and well timed jumps are essential in this game, it’s quite easy to plummet to your death if you’ve miscalculated distance or depth.
If you get hit by an enemy, Mario decreases in size, becomes small and loses his trusty Mario hat, which looks quite funny. Not only are there the normal blocks to jump upon, but a selection of musical notes which play a musical tune once they have been jumped upon. There are also moving yellow platforms upon which you have to balance precariously as you try and avoid being squirted by the spotted piranha plants that spray out ink at you and onto your 3DS screen. This effect means that you no longer have a view as it’s been completely covered in black ink that slowly drips from your screen. You can pick up the usual fireflower to shoot out fireballs, mushrooms to increase your size and pick up and throw the odd green shell at stacked Goombas who block your path.
On one of the levels, Stepping on a green exclamation mark results in a green bridge that opens itself up tile by tile as you walk on it. Things feel safe for a while, until that same folded bridge wants to fold back up again and you find yourself dangling in mid-air. You’ve got to move rapidly to make it to the other side.
Throughout the levels, you’ll discover transparent boxes that offer surprises and find yourself being hunted down by bees with spiky noses. You’ll walk carefully over tightropes while being shot at by cannons. Around each corner of this three dimensional world is a new challenge, something you were not quite expecting. The game looks polished and refined, and offers a completely new experience without losing that Mario goodness we’ve grown to love over the years.
Super Mario 3D is due to hit the stores for this Christmas season and will undoubtedly be a massive hit.