In Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, released this month on Nintendo Switch, we get something old and something new. The main attraction is the Switch port of Super Mario 3D World, a fun multiplayer platform previously released for the Wii U. Meanwhile, Bowser’s Fury gives Mario fans a brand new adventure to romp around in. If you’re a Switch owner, then you definitely need to add this game to your collection!
Nintendo is typically very faithful when it comes to video game ports. And that’s the case with Super Mario 3D World: nothing has really changed from the Wii U version. But considering that many Switch owners never owned a Wii U, this port is a fantastic opportunity to get on board with one of Mario’s greatest adventures.
But should you buy this game if you already own the Wii U original? That depends entirely on how much you want to enjoy Bowser’s Fury (a new game that takes about three hours to complete) and the online multiplayer function of Super Mario 3D World (which is a new addition to the Switch version).
One added feature that some players will like and others will surely dislike is that the Switch port of Super Mario 3D World runs a bit faster than the original. This can make the action feel more frenzied, but will probably annoy players who get easily overwhelmed.
Speaking of multiplayer, this is arguably the best feature of Super Mario 3D World.
Historically, most Mario games have focused on the single-player modes. And even though the very first Super Mario Bros. game had a two-player mode, it and many of the later games amounted to little more than players taking turns making their own solo runs through the game.
But in Super Mario 3D World, you and up to three other players can play together at the same time. This greatly adds to the fun factor, especially in a time when “couch co-op” games are becoming increasingly rare.
And even if your Mario knowledge is limited more to the older titles, you’ll feel right at home here. You can play as the same characters available in Super Mario Bros. 2 (Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad), and they even have similar abilities (Luigi boasts a higher jump, for example, and Peach can float for short periods of time).
Brilliant level design
It may not be surprising that Super Mario 3D World has great level design. After all, most Mario games do. But the level design of this particular title does a great job of giving players plenty of variety while making way for some nonstop action.
Perhaps the best thing about the level design is that it fosters that great sense of discovery that powers the very best Mario games. Take the time to look around and you are always rewarded with new suits and other cool secrets. It’s enough to make you keep coming back to the game long after you have beaten it.
For many Mario fans, Super Mario Bros. 3 was the best entry in the series. There are plenty of reasons for this, but one that we hear the most is that players loved the different Mario “suits” that dramatically changed gameplay.
And Super Mario 3D World brings that tradition back in a big way. You’ll see some very familiar suits, like the fan-favorite Tanooki suit from Super Mario Bros. 3. But there are also great new suits, including a new cat suit that is absolutely adorable.
Because every suit changes the way you play, the game will constantly keep you on your toes. And every player will soon find their favorite suit, which is great when you’re playing through with other gamers.
Some players are hesitant to buy new ports of older games, especially if they already own the original. To help win those players over, Nintendo added a new game to this package called Bowser’s Fury.
Now, this game is more of an appetizer than an entree since it takes so little time to complete. It has a more limited multiplayer than Super Mario 3D World does. While that game could have up to four gamers playing at once, this one is limited to two players.
The plot is fun, with Mario teaming up with Bowser, Jr. (who can be controlled by a friend or simply by the AI). And the titular “fury” comes in when Bowser wakes up and begins firing his projectiles. These pose a danger to players and can even change the structure of the map at the worst possible time.
Relatively speaking, the puzzles and challenges in this game are pretty straightforward. But the levels are fun and the designs are cute. I particularly enjoyed the Cat Shines you must find in this mode, which should be really fun for anyone who loved the cat suits in 3D World.
Long story short? Bowser’s Fury by itself is not a compelling reason to buy this game. But as a fun little “extra” on top of the amazing 3D World, it is a welcome addition to the Switch library.
When it first came out in 2013, Super Mario 3D World was a revelation. It was a killer Mario title I could play with my friends and family. And it felt like the most refreshing Mario title to come out in many years.
With that said, I enjoyed the Switch port even more than the original. It’s faster, has online multiplayer, and comes with a great new game on top of that. Whether you’re a fan of Mario or just fun action platformers, this title is a serious must-have.