When Nintendo makes a promise, they generally tend to keep it. A few months ago(http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2013/05/20/mario-kart-3d-mario-smash-bros-highlight-e3-nintendo-direct/) the team at Nintendo promised that there was a new 3D Super Mario game in development for the Wii U, and that it would be playable at this year’s E3, and they kept their word. However, Mario’s fans may not have guessed that they would be playing it before the end of the year. Announced this morning, as part of the pre-E3 Nintendo Direct presentation, “Super Mario 3D World” will be landing on the Wii U’s this November, and bringing some surprises along with it. As the follow up to the wildly successful “Super Mario 3D Land” for the 3DS, “3D World” takes Mario’s famous 3D platforming to a whole new level, and brings back some old friends in the process.
The gameplay in “Super Mario 3D World” falls right in line with its 3DS predecessor with some notable changes. First and foremost, “3D World” will follow in the footsteps of the “New Super Mario Bros.” series of games, and be the first multiplayer 3D Mario game. While the single player mode can be enjoyed on the TV, as well as on the GamePad courtesy of off-screen play, using the GamePad, along with three Wii remotes, up to four different players can cooperatively work their way through Mario’s latest adventure, and they can do so as four separate characters.
Mario, Luigi, and Toad have all gotten quite a bit of screen time as playable characters in the recent Mario games, but “Super Mario 3D World” looks to reunite the beloved line up of “Super Mario Bros. 2” by adding in Princess Peach as the fourth playable option. As if to truly recreate the experience of the NES classic, each character retains their unique attributes. As usual, Mario is the most well-rounded of the bunch, with Luigi acting very similarly, with slight tweaks to his running and jumping skills. Toad is the fastest of the bunch, and Peach returns with her famous hover-jump. Finally players will be able to reclaim their favorite characters from 1988, and play through an entire new adventure with them.
A playable Peach isn’t the only trick that “3D World” has up its sleeve – like most new Mario games, there are some new surprises in the way of gameplay. The levels may look similar to its predecessor, but new features jump out right away. Things like clear warp pipes and hidden coin boxes immediately stand out as new experiences for Mario and his friends. The clear pipes let players see where their characters are as they slide through, and, more importantly, they can direct them down the branching segments on-the-fly. Allowing players to choose their own paths in the pipes opens up some interesting design options, where players can switch course to avoid enemies, or head off down a different pipe to score some extra coins or a 1-up mushroom. Also hidden throughout the levels are new transparent coin boxes that reveal themselves with a quick reflection and then are gone. If you’re luck you might be able to find one, and grab one of the games new power-ups – the bell.
Over Mario’s many years he has donned countless different suits that have afforded him an assortment of different abilities. From being able throw fireballs and hammers, to transforming into animals like frogs and bees, our favorite plumber and his friends have found some interesting ways to navigate the Mushroom Kingdom; however the bell might be the most outlandish… or at the very least, the most adorable. While the connection may not be directly clear, grabbing a bell from a question mark box will transform your chosen character into a wall-climbing cat. With the ability to scale huge walls, and allow for Mario to reach out of the way places, the cat suit is likely to come in very handy on his all new quest. It seems like domesticated animals have been underrepresented in Mario games, and “3D World” is looking to change all that.
Fans of Mario’s last 3D adventure will be pleased to see that his new adventure seamlessly makes the transition to the new platform, and adds in a bunch of new features to help make this title feel decidedly different. While we were only shown a small slice of the game, leaving countless other surprises in store for the next few months. At the very least, hopefully the return of Princess Peach as a playable character will put an end to the near-constant requests for her return, and that is a very, very good thing no matter how you look at it.