Super Mario 3D Land Review

Published on November 14th, 2011

Time flies when you’re having fun, which explains why the last 26 years have passed so quickly. Whether he’s saving his damsel, burning rubber on the Mushroom Kingdom’s highways or catapulting himself through the cosmos – there’s no denying Mario’s resume boasts a banquet of videogame delights.

His 3DS debut, that many have pegged to save the supposedly lacking handheld, is a swift but wonderful reminder of what makes Mario the system-selling monster he is.

Hop into any level in and you’re greeted by musical arrangements that are so recognisably as Mario. Leap forward and you’ll see a Goomba’s plodding march, question mark blocks ripe with coins – these elements are laid on thick but consistently right up to the flagpoles that round off every short, bus-friendly escapade.

It’s a greatest hits of Mario’s legacy – a perfect blend of both 2D and 3D platforming, the latter of which is complimented so elegantly by the 3D effect that turning it off is unfathomable: Escher-inspired puzzles, secrets crammed neatly into compact levels, the added depth of play ensures that slider is racked up to 11 at all times.

3D Land is exactly what you’d want a 3DS game to be, but it is fleeting.
Those with a history of trampolining off enemies heads and parkouring up walls will breeze through 3D Land’s eight worlds in just a handful of hours, racking up well over 100 1-UP’s in the process.

Even the Tanooki suit, a relic last seen over 20 years ago is resurrected making some of the 3D Land’s toughest segments a doddle for those with the know-how to manipulate its powers.

But that’s only the beginning. Unlocking a further eight worlds ups the ante by remixing old levels and throwing in brand new challenges that will whittle away at your proud 1-UP stock.

26 years of Nintendo engineering has culminated in this slight but utterly joyous reaffirmation of Mario’s platforming precision – a greatest hits of a series that continues to be synonymous with fun.

Score: 90%

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