*REVIEW* Super Mario 3D World

Super Mario 3D World is a fun, energetic addition to the Wii U platform and the best re-invention of Mario since Super Mario Galaxy. It's a bright, colorful and prismatic feast for the eyes and ears that will be appreciated by both young and old. It is the epitome of a plaforming game that will amaze new gamers and make seasoned Mario lovers smile at the references of previous Nintendo consoles.

The game is a direct sequel to Super Mario 3D Land for the Nintendo 3DS. Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad must rescue a group of fairies kidnapped by Bowser and imprisoned in castles throughout the Sprixie Kingdom. There are 8 worlds with multiple levels. Collect green stars throughout these levels to unlock each world’s castle and save the fairies.

Each playable character in the game has their own unique skill set. Mario has an average running speed and jump height. Luigi can jump higher and falls slower than the others but has less traction. Peach has her signature floating jump ability from Super Mario 2 but runs significantly slower than the others. Toad has speedy feet but a short jump and falls to the ground at a faster rate than his team mates. Levels are designed to make use of each unique skill set and players can switch between the characters at the beginning of each level.

Diversity and creativity are words that come to mind when playing through the levels of Super Mario 3D World. Each level has a unique platforming mechanic that drives the gameplay withouth being repetitive. There are a lot of references to classic Mario games that will surely please fans of the series side by side with new enemies and ideas that never feel out of place. New super abilities, such as the Cat Suit, which makes you run faster, and double cherries, which duplicates your character, fit right along side the classic Tanooki suit, the Mega Mushroom and the Boomerang suit.

The Wii U GamePad with its touch ability, allows players to reveal hidden items and enemies. I used the GamePad as my play screen for most of the game. I found that the graphics were just as spectacular as on the television. The game can also be played using the Wii Remote alone, the Wii Remote with the Nunchuck and the Classic Controller.

The graphics are gorgeous. The bight, energetic world is perfectly rendered on the Wii U and gives a life and dynamic that Mario games thrive on. The soundtrack is full of retro Mario references paired up with jazzy contemporary melodies.

Super Mario 3D World is one of the strongest multiplayer Mario games. There are two play styles: co-operative where the players help each other complete a level, or competitive where you race each other to the finish line. If you choose to play more co-operatively, there are levels that require multiple characters, or the use of the double cherry in order to obtain a green star. For the versus players, there is a crown for the person who completes the level the fastest. No added abilities with obtaining the crown beyond the notoriety and pressure to keep it on your head throughout the following stage. The other characters can pick up the crown and wear it if an enemy hits you. The only downfall of the multiplayer is the camera. I often found it difficult to follow my character's action versus what my multiplayer partner was doing. One character would often get left behind while trying to complete a task and get automatically transported to the leading character's position, whether you like it or not.

Super Mario 3D World is the pinnacle of platforming games. It is a must for any Mario fan and Wii U owner.

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