E3 Hands-On Impressions: Super Mario 3D World

Mario is finally on the Wii U, and he’s coming in the form of Super Mario 3D World.  Nintendo has decided to ditch the Galaxy moniker for official console Mario games and went with a title more akin to Nintendo’s successful 3DS Mario game, Super Mario 3D Land.  I got the chance to play a bit of Super Mario 3D World at Nintendo’s booth, and by all accounts the game should be a fun and imaginative platformer for the Wii U.


The cat suit that Nintendo has been touting as the brand new suit Mario can wear was usable in the demo.  The cat suit gives Mario the ability to scratch and pounce enemies in front of him, to perform a jumping dive attack, and to climb up and scale walls vertically.  Cat Mario can also climb up the signature flag pole at the end of each level, giving you an easy 1-UP.  Although the cat suit is definitely a neat addition, it takes a bit to get used to, as crawling on walls at odd angles can be a little unwieldy.  It also didn’t help that 3 other players were usually trying to climb up the same wall all at the same time.

The demo had 4 player cooperative play.  Before the level, people can choose between Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Peach.  Those who’ve played Super Mario Bros. 2 for the NES will already know what unique trait each character has.  Mario is the all-around standard character, Luigi jumps higher than others, Toad runs faster than others, and Princess Peach can float in midair for a few seconds.  Like prior Mario co-op games, you can also pick up and throw other players into bottomless pits for maximum griefing.  At the end of the level, the game tallies up the total score and ranks each player on how well they did.

In addition to the cat suit, the fire flower was also available.

In addition to the cat suit, the fire flower was also available.

The second level I played had tubes you can enter and guide your character by holding which direction you want to go in.  Every time a character would fall behind, he or she would automatically warp to the current screen in a bubble, and no lives would be lost.  From there, a simple press of a button pops you back into action, so there won’t be any Contra-style waterfall deaths.

It’s a shame it took this long for Nintendo to enter the HD era because Super Mario 3D World looks great.  The art design is creative and colorful, and the visuals looked very sharp.  You can play this game with the Wii U gamepad or with a regular Wii-Remote and Nunchuk.  Playing on the Wii U gamepad gives you added functionality, as you can tap on coins to collect to them, or enemies to stun them.

Super Mario 3D world comes out December 2013 exclusively for the Wii U.