When I thought about what to call review of Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, I went through a lot of headings in my head. Masterpiece? Ideal? Perfection? The words are loud, and, in general, inappropriate due to the fact that perfection is an unattainable ideal. True, you remember this only when you sit down to scribble and embark on a desperate search for objectivity that has disappeared somewhere. Because what kind of objectivity is there when we return to Super Mario 3D World – perhaps my favorite platformer.
But first, a background story. Super Mario 3D World is not a new game at all, and was originally released on the outstanding but tragically misunderstood Wii U console in 2013. Today we are reviewing its port on the Nintendo Switch, which includes not only technical improvements, but also a completely new separate mode called Bowser’s Fury. Go!
Is Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury Perfect Game?
In the world of Nintendo, there will always be a fierce conversation about what might be called the perfect game. There are many contenders, one of the numerous representatives of the The Legend of Zelda series, something from Metroid. The more recent Donkey Kong Country, Tropical Freeze. Well, where is without Super Mario – the protagonist, without whom such masterpieces as Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy or Odyssey would not exist. Each of these games has slightly altered the genre and made a lasting impression on both players and developers.
Despite the fact that at one time Super Mario 3D World earned one nines and tens from critics, for some reason it is not included in the lists of the best. She is treated with undue disdain – as perhaps the very console she came out on. And then I step on the stage, a person who is not afraid to declare that this particular title is the best representative of the series and the standard of platformer, which the developers have been striving for from the very first eight-bit part on the Famicom, which is so familiar to the owners of the fake “Dandy” in the post-Soviet space.
A Collection Of The Greatest Hits
Why do I think so? Super Mario 3D World is, in general, a collection of the greatest hits. It absorbs everything for which we fell in love with the previous parts, while getting rid of excess “fat”. The world map – or “hub” – looks like some of the two-dimensional parts. This allows you to move around freely (exactly the same as the hub looks in Sackboy: A Big Adventure).
The game itself is segmented into several worlds in which you can find levels, mini-games, bosses, etc. But the essence is extremely simple: starting the level at point A, we need to get to point B, that is, to the flag. Just like in 2D games. Similarly, there is a timer that counts down to the gamer.
In general, there are a lot of borrowings from 2D. Even the camera is fixed, which makes it seem that this is not a three-dimensional game at all. However, it was this very format that allowed the developers to come up with truly incredible challenges. Playing with perspective over and over again and inventing more and more savage challenges. But they never crossed the line, making the game too difficult, inaccessible or, God forbid, boring.
Perhaps the best borrowing from 2D games is the cooperative mode. You can go through with one, two or even three friends, and all levels are designed to fit everything. However, I advise you to limit yourself to one associate, because when a whole company is playing. It becomes more difficult to take what is happening seriously, and some kind of chaos is happening on the screen. By the way, online multiplayer appeared for the first time. I tested the game even before its official release, and could not find anyone. Hope online will perform better than Super Mario Maker 2.
Best Representative Of The Series Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
Despite the fact that I spoke with wild delight about Super Mario Odyssey, it is Super Mario 3D World that I consider the best representative of the series. It was here that the developers perfected the old formula and gave us what can only be called the best platformer in history. You, however, have the right to disagree with me.
Since we are looking at the port, we need to talk about what has changed. I’ll say right away: almost nothing. However, if someone told me that Super Mario 3D World is coming out tomorrow, and this is a completely new game. I would believe it, because visually it looks no worse than analogs that have been released on the platform in recent years. And try to say that I am exaggerating!
On Switch, the resolution has increased slightly (from 720p to 1080p), but the frame rate remains the same – 60 fps. In portable mode, it, as usual, does not exceed 720p, but there you don’t need more. Other changes include movement speed, all of a sudden. Now Mario even walks fast, and runs even faster. A trifle, but it adds dynamics. Otherwise, it’s practically the same game without any changes.
Only the Wii U bells and whistles had to be cut out – where the use of a touchscreen was previously required, the controller’s gyroscope is used. There was also a use of seals – if earlier they were created specifically for the social network Miiverse (RIP), now they can be sculpted into levels in the photo mode. Oh yes, the photo mode has appeared! Similar to Super Mario Odyssey, but with seals.
And here at this point it would be possible to put an end, if not for Bowser’s Fury. In fact, the main reason why even those who have passed the original by 100% will want to buy the port. This is a completely new regime that exists separately. And it’s not a mode at all, but a separate game.
As someone skeptical of full-price Wii U ports, I was also suspicious of Bowser’s Fury, which seemed like nothing more than a bloated add-on from the outside. But as it turned out, Bowser’s Fury is a full-fledged albeit short game. Which is a kind of remix of 3D World and Odyssey elements. In fact, it looks like an intermediate part between the two titles, since it still uses the control scheme from the main game, but there is complete freedom of movement (and camera control).
The structure of Bowser’s Fury is completely different: once in a new “cat” world, Mario stumbles upon an old enemy Bowser Jr. Who was left without a father – in fact, Bowser himself went a little crazy, turning into a kind of Godzilla. Perhaps, we have never seen such a terrible version of him. Even if I know for sure that he will not do anything to me, the feeling of fear remains, for which thanks to the designers.
The amazing music playing in the background and the incomparable visuals also help. I can without any doubt say that this little addition mocks the Switch hardware in a way that no other game from Nintendo has mocked – well, not counting Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. The rain effect, the reflection in the water, the huge scale, the seamlessness of the world – this is really impressive. I think it’s no coincidence that Bowser’s Fury doesn’t last long – the console simply won’t pull anything more. In any case, its current revision.
Perhaps the main confirmation of my words is the completely different operation of the game in portable and television modes. If you play on TV, the resolution rarely exceeds 720p, but the frame rate is 60 fps, as expected. But if you remove the console from the docking station, the frequency drops to 30! The unexpected lack of parity is surprising, after all, this is a game of its own studio. But obviously the Switch can’t do it anymore.
Be that as it may, Bowser’s Fury looks great. But it is not only the graphics that pleases: the gameplay itself, again, differs from the main game, but takes all the best from it. Now Mario needs not to run after flags, but to collect “catofei” – in fact, months from Odyssey. A certain amount activates cat beacons (well, in the game everything deserves the prefix koto-), scaring Bowser with their light.
Bowser’s Fury Has An Interesting Structure
Bowser’s Fury has an interesting structure, from time to time, Bowser wakes up and starts attacking our hero. Who can only run away – nothing can be done with such a monster. Only by collecting enough “kotofey” (kotofey?), Mario can transform itself into giant lion, capable of unraveling even an antagonist that has grown in size. It sounds crazy – like, in general, most of the games in the series, but played – fabulous.
It’s even difficult for me to convey in words how inspiring it is to return to the world of Mario and once again enjoy the levels, verified to the pixel. The ingenuity of the creators of these games really knows no bounds. Nintendo’s standard of quality can shame even those who previously considered themselves a perfectionist.
By the way, Bowser’s Fury also supports joint playthrough – however, no more than two people can play together. The second manages Bowser Jr. The son of an antagonist who desperately wants to bring his distraught daddy back to normal. Bowser ml moves in a completely different way. Thanks to his clown car, he soars in the air, which allows him to easily climb into places where even Mario will not stick. Since he cannot die, it can use both as a tank and as a vacuum cleaner for collecting coins and all kinds of useful items. If you have no one to play with, the AI controls Bowser, and the degree of “help” can be configured separately.
Where is the criticism, criticism? Indeed, the tone of the publication turns out to be enthusiastic. Well, what to do? The edition includes two excellent games that you just do not want to find fault with. Yes, the price for the compilation is still high, although the addition of Bowser’s Fury makes this port the best port ever. However, I remain in the opinion that it would be worth releasing it separately. Not forcing those who played Super Mario 3D World to buy again the game to which they may have no desire to return (although they should!).
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is a compilation of two outstanding games. If you haven’t played the original on Wii U yet, there is simply no reason not to buy it now. And if you did, you have a good reason to come back.