It’s been almost five years since the last 3D mario Game, Super Mario Odyssey, and fans can’t wait to see what’s next for gaming’s most iconic figure. Many have called for a direct sequel to Odyssey which builds on its innovative and exciting capture mechanism – but where appropriate 3D mario the title deserves a sequel, it’s the modern Wii U classic Super Mario 3D World.
Super Mario 3D World is a sequel to the 3DS title 3D Super Mario Landand it’s the only 3D mario game released for Wii U. 3D world is a bit of a black sheep in the mario line. Super Mario 64 established a template for future 3D releases from its eponymous plumber as early as 1996, including large open areas with a number of different lenses, which allowed the player to shape their own experience. However, 3D world, nearly 20 years later, made the bizarre choice to completely ignore this foundation, replacing massive, free areas with narrow, linear levels. It wasn’t 3D mario fans expected it, and since it was trapped on the Wii U, a notoriously bad-selling console, it was quickly forgotten by most.
In 2021, Super Mario 3D World saw a re-release for the Nintendo Switch, alongside the new Bowser’s Fury expansion. The game turned out to be a surprisingly excellent fit for the pick-up-and-play nature of the handheld console. And, freed from the expectations associated with a “new 3D mario“, the game has gained a bit of a second wind.
Now that there’s a whole new audience that sees and appreciates the magic of Super Mario 3D Worldit’s time for a new title to expand its format, preferably in a way that plays to its console’s strengths. 3D worldThe design sensitivities are a good fit for the Switch, of course – its brief, meticulously crafted levels make gaming enjoyable in handheld or docked mode. However, it’s painfully obvious that the game is designed for the Wii U. Often the Switch port is forced to implement clunky alternatives to the Wii U’s gamepad, both robbing certain levels of their original novelty and acting as a shocking reminder to players that they are not experiencing the game as intended. It’s frustrating to see a game that looks so perfect for the Switch just come up short, and a new entry designed with the console in mind could fix that.
In a way, that’s what Bowser’s Fury is for. The mini-campaign included with the Switch version of Super Mario 3D World was built from the ground up with the Switch in mind while retaining vital elements of 3D world. Brief, bite-sized levels are scattered around its larger map, and none of them feature distracting touchscreen sequences. The tight and responsive movement of 3D world is here, some of the game’s most iconic power-ups make appearances, and the challenges are all fun. However, it is not quite 3D world — Although the levels are small and brief, they are not isolated and the player travels between them in a vast open world.
Also, instead of the fixed camera perspective of 3D worldthe camera is dynamically controlled by the right joystick like a more traditional 3D mario Title. Bowser’s Fury has 3D world‘s DNA, but he’s caught up in an identity crisis that prevents him from being a true successor to the title.
The Switch deserves its own Super Mario 3D World. The game is already a great choice for the platform, and Nintendo could certainly create a collection of bite-sized 3D levels that are even better, especially now that it has half a decade of experience in the game. developing games with the console in mind. The novelty of exploring the massive game areas like Odyssey and Bowser’s Fury is enjoyable, but it doesn’t replace the airy experience of going through a few meticulously designed and extremely brief levels.