First Impressions: Super Mario 3D Land

My 3DS hasn’t seen a lot of action lately: good games for it have been far and few between (in my opinion) but that changed on Tuesday when Super Mario 3D Land arrived.

I like it: a lot and I feel that if this game had been released when the handheld was launched, I’m sure Nintendo wouldn’t have had to drop the price of 3DS because this game is brilliant and would have sold consoles. That said someone asked me the other day whether Super Mario 3D Land should have been rushed to meet the 3DS launch or the 3DS launch postponed for the game: it’s a hard question to answer but perhaps delaying the launch of the 3DS till now wouldn’t have been that bad …

So far I’ve only played up to the final boss fight in world one but I’m just loving it and it really does look stunning: the 3D effect looks wonderful and the game world is vivid and bright. Not surprisingly, the game is in 3D but actually plays like it’s a 2D-platformer. There are some wonderful touches, too, like one sequences where Mario travels the entire level while standing atop a platform with wheels on it and the platform is lifted to upper levels by water geysers.

The objective for each level will be a familiar one to fans of Super Mario: reach the end of the level within a time limit and grab the flagpole. Simple. Mario gets smaller when he takes damage from an enemy and will die if he takes damage while shrunk. New power-ups include one that turns Mario into Tanooki Mario, which adorns him with a racoon suit and lets him float and whack foes with his tail, and the statue leaf which turns him into a statue.

Super Mario 3D Land isn’t doing anything that we haven’t seen before and it feels like the Mario games of old it (and seems a mix of several Mario games into one) and soon-to-be released Mario Kart 7, also on the 3DS, could help increase the 3DS’s fortunes in this crucial Christmas period.

To me, the sign of a good game is one that grabs your attention and won’t let go: I think  Super Mario 3D Land is such a game as I took my 3DS to work today and couldn’t help picking it up every hour or so and playing for a few minutes then getting back to work (rest assured my work for today didn’t suffer but that’s how good I’m finding this game).

I’ll give some more views when I’ve progressed further.

First Impressions is an opinion piece that gives my thoughts on a new game after a few hours play through. It’s often a rambling thing, with ideas just randomly thrown onto the page. Sorry, that’s just the way it is sometimes.

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