Super Mario 3D Land: Another Surefire Hit From Nintendo
The plumber's newest adventure is right around the corner, and thus far, we can't take our hands off it.
Call me crazy, but a Nintendo system doesn't really begin its lifecycle until the first proper Mario game hits the platform.
That said, it's all about Mario.
Thankfully, Super Mario 3D Land releases November 13. I recently had the opportunity to play the latest preview build, and I'm happy to say it'll be worth the wait.
In this demo, there were four different levels to try, each showcasing a unique setting for the game. The first, lush with greenery, was a great training ground for the new depth provided by the system's glasses free 3D.
Turning the slider to its middle setting gave a great toy box look at the stage. The game is technically impressive, with a draw distance that allows you to peek at the horizon for a preview of what's to come. The game also moved at a fast clip, no matter if a Goomba was on your tail or you were hopping from platform to platform collecting coins and items.
Onto the second level, this time an underground one, and now a new perspective. Whereas the first level involved walking around in three dimensions similar to Super Mario Galaxy, this one put me on a 2D plane with enemies in the foreground and background, again adding a newfound sense of depth to the experience.
For example, while crossing a particularly treacherous pit via a narrow plank, I noticed a piranha plant in the background ready to spit ink all over the place. The ink landed not on Mario, but on the screen, obscuring my vision for a few seconds while I giggled like a little girl about how cool that looked.
I had to turn around to do it again, but this time with the 3D slider turned off. My worries about whether or not 3D was a necessary component of the game were allayed, as the game still kept that sense of depth from the foreground to the background.
Another level gave me a look at Super Mario Sunshine inspired designs, with multiple switches and rotating platforms, while the final board took me to a boss fight that was fun, albeit predictable.
With each step, this was a classic Mario game. The clever power-ups, from the tried-and-true fire flower to the return of Tanooki Mario, brought with it a sense that I was in the midst of playing yet another classic from Nintendo. Bottom line, November 13 can't come soon enough, both for Nintendo 3DS owners waiting for the first big release on the system, and also for Nintendo, hoping to dominate the holidays and beyond.