Super Mario 3D Land Review
Mario is back in his old school style, and his desire to rescue the Princess from the clutches of Bowser. You will have to fight your way through levels upon levels that will have you remembering the good old days of Super Mario World 3, except this time it's in 3D and there's a little extra depth to the actual levels.
Graphically this is the first game that I really liked in 3D, so I left the 3D ability on the 3DS while I played through almost all the levels. There is some serious variety in the levels too. There's the desert levels, underwater levels, the castle levels, the moving levels, the warship levels, and more. There are definitely a couple of levels I liked the look of but really didn't want to have to fight my way through as the overall difficulty saw many a life lost. The different costumes that Mario dons looked pretty good. You will get to become a boomerang brother at one point, but most of the time you're going to be relying on the leaf, the flower, mushroom, and star. I think we all know what to expect when it comes to Mario's appearance in those outfits.
The music was once again your good old Mario, and I have to say that as simplistic as some of it is, I couldn't turn it off, perhaps it was as simple as remembering my youth, but there was something to the music. Now of course there were no real voices to the game, but this one didn't need it.
The controls are your standard Mario control layout. You're going to have a button to jump, one to do an action (fire a fireball, throw a boomerang, etc), and of course the D-pad or analog stick to move around. There was also a slight use of the shoulder buttons to tweak the view of the level ever so slightly.
Overall I really like playing this game, though I don't think it should have been called Super Mario Land (I know that's what distinguishes it as a handheld game), it felt much more like a Super Mario World. There was also one other small thing that kind of bothered me about the game. You had to collect hidden and sometimes hard to reach coins to unlock some of the levels, and a couple of the castles near the end of the game. Purely getting through the level wasn't enough for this game, which I think kind of took a bit out of the fun. I wanted to see what the next level would be, not "man I've got to play that level again I didn't find any of the 3 hidden coins". The fact that the game had you moving in all 4 directions on the screen (back, forward, left and right) definitely made the game feel more up to date, and as I stated before the graphics looked good, and crisp. The real great thing about this game is that there's a little something extra for the gamers who want to keep going after you've successfully vanquished Bowser, and saved the Princess, but that's all I'll say about that.
If you're looking for something solid to play on the 3DS, and love the Mario franchise (which I think is almost a given if you're going to be investing in a Nintendo product), then you're going to want this game to add to your collection. One point of advice, if you see one of the three special coins per level, try to find a way to get it, you're probably going to need it in the long haul. This game gets a 9.2 out of 10.