As someone who unfortunately did not end up owning a Wii U, I was always hoping we would eventually see Super Mario 3D World on the Nintendo Switch. After completing Odyssey back in October 2017, at that point I had played every 3D Mario game except for the one locked up on Wii U – 3D World. Luckily, Nintendo delivered this year and brought the game over to the Switch just a few weeks ago on February 12th after its announcement back in September. Having beat the game, I can easily say that it did not disappoint and was an amazing experience as expected.
Nintendo didn’t just port 3D World though. They included a brand new adventure titled Bowser’s Fury in the package, which truly feels like its own game in a way. Bowser’s Fury absolutely surprised me with its new innovative take on Mario, although there are a couple of things that I think could have been handled better.
First off, let’s talk about the new experience included in the package – Bowser’s Fury. Bowser’s Fury is experimental for 3D Mario in a way, making a massive open world for you to explore. Each time you complete an island and activate the Giga Bell, the world expands and brand new islands are available for you to explore. Fury Bowser appears from time to time and you must either choose to run from his attacks and dodge, or use the Giga Bell. This was a very great game that I had a lot of fun with, and I’m quite interested to see if the open world aspects and mechanics of Bowser’s Fury are implemented in another 3D Mario game down the line. Bowser’s Fury took me around 3-4 to beat, and 5-6 in total to 100% finish.
After completing Bowser’s Fury, I definitely have a lot of thoughts pertaining to the future of the series and this type of implementation though. I believe that personally while I do prefer the Super Mario Odyssey styled Kingdoms over one massively connected open world, as I believe it offers much more variety and excitement traveling to each Kingdom. However, the open world style of Bowser’s Fury was truly such a cool experience to try out in the realm of 3D Mario, and I am glad that the team ended up making it. I would happily buy and play a 3D Mario game in the style of Bowser’s Fury, and I think that it would be super interesting to incorporate multiple of these worlds into one game.
3D World was an absolute joy to play, and after beating it I could really tell why so many people rave about this game. The game’s visuals are absolutely crisp and beautiful, and the level design is absolutely fantastic. I loved the vast variation of levels that the game offered, and how they all offered something new to the player, whether it be a new use of a course object or a new mechanic. Truly though, I had the most fun with this game because I played it with friends. The ability to use online multiplayer was seriously a game changer, and made my experience with this game ten times as fun than it would be if I just played alone.
Online multiplayer is really what changed the game for me in Super Mario 3D World. Connection wise, I had slim to no issues besides very rare freezing in the overworld map (as expected with P2P connection), so I do not have many complaints about the online here! However, this of course can vary depending on factors such as whether both parties are using ethernet, how fast the internet speeds are, and all sorts of things like that. I played through the entirety of the game with a friend who is also United States, and also played some levels with friends in Sweden, France, and Canada with 0 to no issues.
Also, the soundtrack for 3D World is seriously just phenomenal. I love the jazzy aesthetic incorporated throughout the game, and it really makes some of the levels excel to even higher levels of enjoyment. World Bowser’s theme is seriously amazing, listening to it while walking around the world was such a treat. The End Credits theme is also a highlight, such a rewarding listen after such an amazing journey.
The main game runs at an incredibly stable 60fps in both handheld and docked mode, running at 1080p and 720p respectively. It looks super crisp, and is very visually pleasing to the eyes. I was quite impressed with it especially in World Bowser, as some of the lighting effects in those levels were quite superb and very well done.
Bowser’s Fury, however is a bit different running wise, but it is completely understandable when you consider we are talking about a massive connected open world versus single levels. Bowser’s Fury runs at 1080p60 in docked mode, and 720p30 in handheld mode. For this one, I definitely recommend playing the game in docked mode if you can, as the smoothness of the 60fps really makes a difference. Don’t get me wrong, 30fps is definitely playable, but you are going to want to play this one at 60 after playing through the entire base game at 60fps.
Nintendo did a really solid job here with the performance, and I really do not have any complaints. It feels so smooth to dive in the cat suit, and I felt that I could easily maneuver obstacles, much easier than if I tried to at a lower frame rate.
Overall, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is an incredible package that was easily worth the money to me. 3D World was such an amazing experience playing online with friends, and it easily has become one of my favorite co-op experiences on the Switch so far. On the other hand, Bowser’s Fury was incredibly fresh, offering what may be a look into the future of what comes next for 3D Mario.
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