by Chris Capel
previewed on 3DS
But Iíve got to rescue Daisy
Luckily there is at least a Punch, so Goombas arenít too much trouble. Whatís most interesting about the game is how it plays with perspective Ė itís in 3D most of the time, but when you walk down a path it will go kind of 2.5D, like a wall with blocks sticking out for you to jump on. The 3DSí glasses-less 3D actually comes in useful here, but itís certainly not obligatory. Still, I kept the 3D on and thatís quite a big compliment really (although it shouldnít be).
A few jumps and Iíd finished the level, but as per usual with Mario games thatís certainly not everything. There are coins, secret levels, and Comet Medals which have strayed in from the Galaxy games. It isnít an exaggeration to say that Super Mario 3D Land is really a mash-up of all the main Mario games Ė thereís a bit of everything in here. The majority though comes from a cross between Super Mario Bros 3 and Galaxy. Oh yes, and thereís the Tanooki Suit, which allows Mario to hover and smash Goombas in the face with his tail, bee-yatch. Judging by the concept art thatís just been released the Tanooki Suit may be more than just a power-up, as there are pictures of a Boo, Goomba and even Bowser with a raccoon tail.
Iím eating sushi in Japan
The second level I played was both a little more Galaxy-like and a little tougher. On touching buttons panels would start to unfold like a box being unpacked, and I had to jump up them before they disappeared. Where it got tough was not only navigating the unfolding maze before me in time, but also when the game started throwing in alternate routes and multiple buttons to press. There were also bees and spike blocks to avoid, all while trying to stay on the platform. This was downright tricky and, dare I say it, fun. Even if I did die several times.
Yes, I did mention alternate routes. While I believe only one path lead to the finishing flag, there were still several branches that finished in Comet Medals, Extra Lives and maybe even Secret Levels in the final game. There were also bonus rooms hidden in glowing boxes. There are still power-ups in blocks to find too of course, with the likes of the Tanooki Suit, Fire Flower and a weird new one that turns you into a floating box. There will be more in the final game for sure. Oh, and did I mention that this level had the main theme from Super Mario Bros 3 in the background? Excellent.
But there ainít no place like Super Mario Land
So, on to the key questionÖ did I have fun with Super Mario 3D Land? Despite my misgivings over a certain stupid bloody button (and its position) I most definitely did. Everything is colourful, vibrant, fun, and packed with enough imagination to fill several other platformers Ė just like Mario games should be. While itís more of a cross between New Super Mario Bros and Super Mario Galaxy than many people will expect (or perhaps have wanted) it is undeniably going to be a worthwhile purchase for anyone with a 3DS.
Letís just hope Nintendo toughen up the later stages, make that damn button optional, and put Luigi in it, because everything is better with Luigi. CD-I games notwithstanding. Oh, and change the flippiní title, but I guess thatís probably a hope too farÖ Iíll live with it.