My first console was the N64, I was born in '89 so I failed to really experience the SNES, being a resident of the UK we had an Amiga instead which was great(No I'm serious, I really mean it this time). The bullfrog series of games were great and I'm particularly fond of Alien Breed but I didn't really bother with the knock off platformers that came to the Amiga. I continued my trend of not bothering with platformers well into the following generation, had an N64 but I never bothered with Mario 64 though I eventually experienced it on the DS PHAT. The touch screen stick hybrid nightmare control scheme was dismal at the very least and it was certainly not the ideal way to play it. So I never really had my proper experience with a Mario platformer which I've recently learned is a shame when I finally played Super Mario 3D...... Land. It’s fair to say this was my first platformer that I played to completion so that’ll have skewed my opinions to a fair degree.
You can’t mention one of these games without mentioning the music and I believe the music carries the spirit of what this game does pretty well; It’s a fresh great sounding soundtrack that touches upon the themes that have made many of the previous games iconic and that’s what the game does overall. I think the only flaw you could bring against this game (which I hear is a similar complaint to 3D world) is the difficulty curve is pretty shallow until the later stages, I felt that too few of the early stages offered much of a challenge and they were simply not very complex in their design, I can hardly remember most of the early portions of the game. The early levels feel a bit like a waste of time when you compare them directly with the later stages, quite simply I'd prefer if they spent more time making memorable, challenging experiences.
The later stages of 3D land are extremely well designed, they play with the core thematic concepts beautifully while introducing new features, most of which are used sparingly rather than letting them become tedious through over use. The more difficult stages tested my patient to a certain extent until I "got it" and this is one of the essential really satisfying loops this game does so well, many of the later levels present a perfect level of challenge that are almost too difficult. It’s a shame other popular franchises can’t manipulate designs in such an interesting way, imagine if Call of Duty: ghosts actually innovated on a level by level basis rather than using cheap over used gimmicks that have become tired over the years. If I could wish for anything in the world I'd want many more games to be as inspired and well designed as Super Mario 3D land.
If I continue these I can only imagine a few more games I’d actually like to write about that I played in 2013.. I could put it to a vote? (if anyone actually reads these)