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Well, finally, Nintendo is flexing their 1st Party muscle with this weeks release of a title which should have been a launch title for the Nintendo 3DS; Super Mario 3D Land. I have spent about an hour playing through the first two worlds and all I can say is freakin’ WOW! Remember, how you felt when you first took Mario through a spin on the N64′s Super Mario 64? Remember, how your jaw dropped as you meandered through the castle grounds and into the castle, jumping into a painting for the first time? Ya, it’s kind of like that but on steroids! Mario makes yet another seamless, and staggeringly beautiful jump once again into a 3D realm and doesn’t disappoint.
The plot is the same as the original NES game and nearly all in between. Yes, Princess Peach has gone and got her self captured once again by the intimidating Bowser. Your task is to search the various worlds, collecting coins and 1Ups and defeating the end bosses, eventually rescuing the fair Princess Peach once again. Someone really needs to lock her up for good!
When you power on Super Mario 3D Land the first time you are presented with the game logo which clearly shows the Tanooki Suit will play a prominent role in your hunt for the Princess. After a short game demo, you are presented with a very cool 3D screen landscape which is there to allow you to learn all of the simple moves you and Mario can pull off during the game. After a very quick play around with the tutorial you will be anxious to get the game started!
Like other Mario games you will have three available save slots. The game begins with an ominous storm and the surreal laugh of Bowser. The storm then passes revealing a bright shiny day. But then things turn to shit when you see a floating post card revealing Bowser has once again taken off with the Princess. The top screen of the 3DS is your obvious game play screen while the bottom screen pulls double duty as a map between levels showing Mario’s progress through the kingdom as well as an area to indicate and choose power-ups you have snagged along the way during a level. It is cool to note that on the map screen Nintendo chose to depict Mario as the original 8-bit NES Mario you all know and love. There are countless touches and throwbacks to all of the original games, so keep your eyes open.
Much like the paintings from the N64 version you walk down a straight path within each world and jump in to each level. All the levels I have played through so far are incredibly detailed and full of eye-popping 3D you will have to see to believe. Nintendo is pulling out all the stops and using the 3D more ways than I can count and I am only in World-2! Everything from walking in and around obstacles, to floating conveyors that move left, right, up, down and in and out of the screen to propeller blocks which takes Mario flying straight out of the screen and making you line up your landings, similar to how it must have felt playing Jumping Flash the first time on the Sony Playstation. One world particularly beautiful was a pixelated 8-bit world made up of original Mario 8-bit sprites, all in 3D. Gorgeous!
Even though I am only two worlds in, I can safely say this is so far the “Killer App” for the 3DS and is reason enough to run out and pick one up if you have yet to do so. GO AND GET THIS GAME NOW! Thank you Nintendo for releasing another Mario classic we all will be talking about for years to come.
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