Super Mario 3D Land (Game Review)

The Italian Plumber in the red overalls is back in a brand new 3D adventure on the Nintendo's most recent handheld, the mighty 3DS! This time around, a tree full of Tanooki leaves (the ones that give you Racoon power suits) is blown away in the night leaving only one behind. Bowser has of course kidnapped Princess Toadstool yet again but this time he is harnessing the power of the Tanooki leaves and using them to power up his minions and even himself. So now Mario must save the princess another time while facing an entirely new challenge.

I was pretty excited about this game due to the return of the famous Tanooki suit which was first introduced back in Super Mario Bros 3 on the NES. If you are not familiar with this power up, it allows Mario to glide for a while as well as swing his tail at enemies. In Super Mario 3D Land it is by far the best power up due to the handiness, as well as saving your life on a lot of occasions, due to a lot of levels being on high places, and if you miss the jump you are pretty much dead. 

Seeing Bowser's minions with Tanooki tails was surprising yet pretty funny at the same time they now had the same power as Mario. As I played through the game the levels are very creative and very large (they reminded me of Super Mario Galaxy on the Nintendo Wii due to the wide-open spaces) and the game in general looks very similar to New Super Mario Bros due to the level select layout along with the fact that Mario is not just side scrolling like usual, but instead the action is viewed from different angles which makes it a little complicated but fascinating at the same time. Even Bowser's little brats return as boss battles aboard their flying ships in the sky.

A few new power ups were introduced in this game too, such as the Propeller Box which is similar to the Propeller Mushroom from New Super Mario Bros, and besides the Tanooki Suit another power up is the Boomerang Flower which gives Mario the ability to throw boomerangs to hit enemies as well as pick up items as that are out of reach (it is very similar to Hammer Mario, first introduced in Super Mario Bros 3).

One thing I found annoying with the game is that many of the levels place much importance on the power ups like the Tanooki Suit, meaning that they are essential for your success in most levels since mario can't glide without the Tanooki suit and if you don't have it, its bloody hard to continue or access some areas. I was a little disappointed by the fact that Mario couldn't attack in any other way (without a power up) compared to Super Mario 64 where he could slide tackle as well as perform a punch or kick. In Super Mario 3D Land you can only do the classic attacking method of jumping on top of an enemy. The style of the game for me was a little too similar to New Super Mario bros really, but it was still lots of fun due to the new look and feel of the game as well as the pretty interesting story about the Tanooki leaves being given to the enemies!

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