You don’t need me to tell you how difficult 2020 has been, but for devoted Super Mario fans, there was a little comfort to be found. After months of rumors, Nintendo celebrated the series’ 35th anniversary in a dramatic fashion and that resulted in no content ending. Even before that, Super Mario Maker 2 got a huge update in April that added a World Maker, and 3D stars brought us 64, Sunshine and Galaxy on the switch in a single package. Heck, we even have a battle royale game in Super Mario Bros. 35 for some reason, and that doesn’t even consider spin-off games.
Even though the last two games are supposedly available only until March 31 – a fact that has not ended in controversy – the celebrations are not over yet. As the fans continued to think Galaxy 2 exclusion of 3D All-Stars (something we have some theories on), Super Mario 3D World + Bowser Fury will release on Switch next month, joining this ever-expanding lineup of Wii U ports. In the midst of these anniversary plans, most 3D entries are getting a renewed love from Nintendo, but 3D World’s predecessor was left a bit in the dark, and it scored relatively low in our poll of which remasters you’d like to see on Switch in June. Last year. For many players, it seems like it’s barely recorded.
For those who might not follow each pouring into the plumber’s barrel, this game was Super Mario 3D Land, a curious entry in the history of Super Mario which was launched on 3DS in 2011. Taking its name from the Super Mario Land sub-series, 3D Land became the first original 3D Super Mario game for a portable console (excluding the DS 64 remake), retaining the core gameplay with a classic twist.
Alongside Galaxy 2, it’s also one of the last 3D entries that hasn’t made it to Switch so far. Sure, 3D Land was mentioned during the 35th Anniversary cut, which is more than what our space sequel got, but this exclusion drew far less attention from dedicated fans. We would say this is a game worth revisiting on Switch, as it is simply one of a kind.
Like many platform mascots in the ’90s, Mario made the transition from 2D gameplay to 3D gameplay, and Super Mario 64 remains an iconic game to this day, laying the groundwork for future entries. Launched in 1996, the series didn’t return to its 2D roots for another decade before New Super Mario Bros released on DS. Since then, we have witnessed a variety of 2D / 3D inputs parallel to each other. 3D Land sits somewhere in between and Shigeru Miyamoto summed it up best: it’s a “3D Mario that plays like a 2D Mario game” and it’s obvious the moment you dive in.
Shigeru Miyamoto summed it up best: it’s a “3D Mario that plays like a 2D Mario game” and it’s obvious the moment you dive in.
The core 3D Land plot doesn’t stray too far from the beaten track. Literally starting on a dark, stormy night, we find a storm raging near Peach Castle, a storm that blows all of the super leaves from the neighboring tail tree in the distance. Finding out about this the next morning, Mario soon receives a flying letter that shows Princess Peach has been kidnapped by Bowser again and adding to that he has also stolen the Super Leaves. Providing them to his minions to give them Tanooki powers, it was up to us to stop him once again.
With eight new worlds, 3D Land took a lot of clues from the 8-bit inputs, especially Super Mario Bros. 3, and it went beyond returning Tanooki Mario. Boss fights topped every world, some of which took us to Bowser’s Castle and the same way as Super Mario Bros., required hitting a switch that threw it into the lava below. Others took us back to the old airship frame and while you couldn’t find any Koopalings here, these were occupied by Bowser’s loyal servant, Boom Boom, alongside his new female counterpart Pom Pom.
It wasn’t too difficult and can be completed fairly quickly, but beating the game unlocked bonus worlds with increased difficulty. Timed stages were also brought back, 3D entrances had been abandoned and the iconic mast was waiting for us once again. While 3D Land gave these early entries a lot of attention, it represented elements of every Super Mario game and in some ways resembled a ‘Best of Mario’ game.
Despite that, it still looked fresh and we thought it was a great game, albeit playing a bit safe. With a name like “ 3D Land, ” you won’t be surprised to hear that it also used the console’s 3D effect, although some puzzles seemed rather gimmicky as a result, an issue that many critics have pointed out to themselves. attacked. Having recently replayed it, we’d say the reviews still hold on, but there’s still a lot to love about 3D Land.
It states a formula which Super Mario 3D World Successfully built in 2013 on Wii U. Working as a straightforward, extended sequel, it sought to further unify fans of 2D and 3D titles and offered more than just a lick of HD paint. Taking over many elements of 3D Land like the Super Leaves, returning enemies, and even a remixed soundtrack, 3D World has taken on a life of its own. With more emphasis on the cat’s abilities than your Tanooki powers, it offered fully cooperative local multiplayer for four players, an area where previous games offered minimal support. With the Switch port adding online multiplayer and improved performance, this premise receives a greater refinement and we have a lot to look forward to in a few weeks.
Considering the love Super Mario had on Switch last year, there has never been a better time to bring back 3D Land. Of course, there are a few gameplay elements that could use some rework, but if Nintendo could be successful with Galaxy, they could do it again here. It’s by no means perfect, but it remains an almost unique experience in the history of Mario, who feels considerably underrated compared to his peers. It’s an adventure that deserves a second chance in the spotlight.