Hey readers! I’ve been giving some time to Super Mario 3D World as of late. Turns out my young nephew and niece really adore this game. I always felt it was one of the greats of recent generations, and severely underrated. I’ve always been interested to see how younger kids take to this game, being as difficult as it is. I could imagine it frustrating some people quite easily as there’s some pretty tough platforming at parts. That’s why I’m going to simply talk about why I love Super Mario 3D World so much.
Super Mario 3D World has always appealed to me. Visually it’s one of the most impressive games out there, from a technical and artistic stand point. Character polygons are ultra smooth, textures are super crisp, and it’s vibrant and charming all at the same time. You sometimes forget it’s running on something as under powered as the Wii U, especially when you start seeing the more flashy stuff like the fancy lighting and lava. Combine it with the excellent platforming, and the genius mashup of elements from both 2D and 3D Mario games, you have in my opinion, the most perfect Mario game to date.
But an element about this game far outweighs the visuals and the challenge itself. That is the brilliant four player coop madness that Super Mario 3D World brings to the table. I’ve always enjoyed when I first bought the game, and a couple friends came over, and we shared so many laughs together just trying to solve all the crazy obstacles and get that glorious crown. Coming from a great play through of Donkey Kong Country Returns with my brother, I really thought more games should mimic the local coop formats and just put people together.
Recently, my nephew and niece came over, and much to my surprise, in a frantic effort to find a game that would keep them busy, they absolutely loved Super Mario 3D World. The older one being five, tends to actually play single player shooters at home. The younger niece being four years old, does not play any games at all. Yet they come over just for this game. When I’m at their house, they keep telling me how much they love Super Mario 3D World. Although my niece is absolutely horrible with her hand eye coordination at her age, she still enjoys the experience, even if she just tends to scream when she can’t quite figure things out and can’t understand why Peach is moving closer to the edge of a platform. My nephew on the other hand, hilariously starts expressing his displeasure when he doesn’t win the crown at the end of every stage.
When we play, the family is all together, and everyone is interacting. Not only am I playing with the kids, the adults are around and actually taking interest of what’s going on the screen. They constantly ask my niece, which one she is and are amazed when she jumps or does simple actions. Her mom was even simply amazed at the slot machine type games where seemingly infinite coins drop out of the sky upon completion. They all remarked how cool it looked, although I suspect this links to an adults fascination for gambling at times. Subliminal messaging? I hope not!
Focusing on just the players though, the coop elements add all sorts of fun. A lot of the obstacles require you to work together as a team to properly coordinate your advances. There is a level that has platforms that rotate when a player jumps on them. You need to coordinate your jumps perfectly to make the platforms move the right way to cross large gaps. You can guess that a player who is too eager to constantly jump can cause all sorts of havoc for everyone. Even when this happens, it’s just down right funny, even though you are getting screwed over by someone else’s carelessness. I also find it hilarious when it almost seems like my nephew just says “FUCK IT!” and keeps running ahead of everyone, leaving us to die most of the time. Seeing his older brother constantly telling him to stop is pretty funny.
One of the other more impressive aspects of Super Mario 3D World is how it invokes peoples competitive nature, even though a lot of your success in coop relies on your ability to play as a team. By tallying everyones score at the end of each level, there is a clear winner presented, and that person is awarded a crown. This crown does not grant the player any advantage or special abilities. It’s simply a cosmetic item you wear. Yet, despite this, my nephew always wants that crown. He loves winning it on occasion and telling everyone that he’s the boss. Even if he doesn’t win it, he still makes a point to say he’s still the boss. I guess that’s the advantages to being player one. But suddenly there is this competitive element thrown into a game that by nature is not competitive… and it’s even more fun because of it. When I win, I love to have my arms raised in the air so when my nephew turns around, he sees me show boating, which leads to all sorts of those funny things kids usually say.
Super Mario 3D World is one of the best games of this generation, and crossing into others. There’s something for everyone, whether it’s little kids wanting to snatch up the pointless crown, or adults who are amazed when shiny things drop from the screen, it brings people together. I would love to see a port or some follow up to this gem in the future. I think the multiplayer coop element of Mario should be explored more in the bigger releases, because Nintendo simply nailed it with Super Mario 3D World and this is my go to party game. My biggest reward from Super Mario 3D World, is seeing all this come together and seeing everyone just spend some quality family time together through gaming. You simply can’t beat that.
Have you played Super Mario 3D World? What are your thoughts on the game? Do you have any fun stories to share? Let’s get talkin’ in the comments!