ⓘ Super Mario 3D World

Super Mario 3D World

ⓘ Super Mario 3D World

Super Mario 3D World is a platform video game in the Super Mario series developed and published by Nintendo for their Wii U home video game console. It is the sixth original 3D platform game in the series and the sequel to the 2011 Nintendo 3DS game Super Mario 3D Land. The game follows Mario and friends attempting to rescue fairy-like creatures called Sprixies from Bowser, who invades the realm known as the Sprixie Kingdom. The gameplay is similar to the previous installments of the series, with players passing through individual levels to reach Bowser. The game also introduces a power-up called the Super Bell, which turns the character being played into a cat, enabling them to climb walls and use a scratch attack, as well as a character selector.

The game was critically acclaimed for its level design, presentation, replay value, and soundtrack, though some reviewers voiced criticism on its unreliable camera during multiplayer. The game was a financial success, selling over 5 million units worldwide, and becoming the second best-selling game on the Wii U system.


1. Gameplay

The levels of the game follow a similar play style to that of Super Mario 3D Land, which combines the free-roaming gameplay of 3D Super Mario games with the mechanics of 2D side-scrolling platforming games in the series, including a flagpole and timer in the levels. Up to four players may control player characters, including Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad. Additionally, Rosalina appears as a hidden, unlockable fifth playable character. Similar to their appearances in Super Mario Bros. 2, each of the characters possesses unique abilities and controls differently: Mario has balanced running speed and jump height; Luigi jumps higher and falls slower, but has slightly lower traction; Peach can jump and shortly float through the air, but runs slowly; Toad runs the fastest, but cannot jump as high and falls faster; and Rosalina can use the spin attack move as seen in the Super Mario Galaxy games, but has the slowest running speed. The player can select any of the five characters to use before beginning a level, and up to four players may explore the same level simultaneously with each character, sharing from a pool of lives. Players are also able to pick up, carry, and throw each other to either help or hinder their progress.

The levels of the game are accessed through a world map, in which players can explore to find hidden secrets or access bonus areas to earn more items or coins. Each level contains three hidden collectable Green Stars which are required to access certain levels, and each main level contains a hidden Stamp which can be used in handwritten posts to Miiverse within the games community. Players can also view messages left by other players, both on the world map and after clearing a level, and can download Mii Ghosts, which are live records of other players completing levels. They are used to race against and sometimes hold gift prizes such as coins or extra lives. Additional Green Stars can be earned in Captain Toad levels, where players control Captain Toad, who cannot jump, as he navigates puzzle-like stages using the GamePads functionality, and Mystery Houses, where players must clear a series of challenges with short time limits, as well as challenge levels, that have the player complete quick challenges in fast succession.

Along with several returning items from the previous games, such as the Fire Flower, Super Leaf, Mega Mushroom, Propeller Box, and Boomerang Flower, several items are introduced. The Super Bell gives players a Cat Suit, allowing them to run faster, perform unique attacks and climb up walls to reach new areas. A variation of the Super Bell, the Lucky Bell, allows the player to temporarily transform their character into a lucky cat statue that awards coins under certain conditions. Another new power-up are the Double Cherries, which make a clone of the player, allowing for more effective attacks and a higher chance of survival; the more Double Cherries the player uses, the more clones that appear. Players can also wear Cannon Boxes, which fire shots at enemies, Light Blocks, which can defeat ghosts and Goomba masks, which let them blend in with enemy Goombas. Players are also able to pick up various objects, such as bombs, baseballs, and Piranha Plants, which can be used to defeat enemies or solve puzzles, and ride around in a Skating Shoe or on an aquatic dinosaur named Plessie.

The game features functionality with the Wii U GamePad, allowing players to rub the touchscreen, or blow into the microphone to reveal hidden blocks or items, hinder enemies, and activate mechanisms. The game also supports Off-TV Play. The game is also compatible with the Wii Remote, Nunchuk, Classic Controller, and Wii U Pro Controller. An unlockable Luigi-themed version of Mario Bros., Luigi Bros., is accessed by clearing the game or by having save data from New Super Luigi U.


2. Plot

Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad find a tilted glass pipe. After Mario and Luigi fix it, a green Sprixie Princess appears and tells them that Bowser kidnapped and trapped the rest of the Sprixie Princesses in jars. He arrives and captures her before escaping through the pipe, while the heroes enter it and pursue him. They find themselves in a realm known as "The Sprixie Kingdom" and set off to find the fairies. After the heroes save the final Sprixie, Bowser re-captures all seven fairies and heads to his amusement park fortress. There after Bowser uses the Super Bell to transform into "Meowser" a cat-like Bowser, one of them hits a giant POW Block that Bowser stands on and he falls through the sky. With Bowser defeated, the heroes say goodbye to the fairies, and travel through the pipe back to the Mushroom Kingdom.


3. Development

In a January 2013 Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced that a new 3D Mario game was being produced by the development team behind Super Mario Galaxy. The title was announced during the E3 2013 Nintendo Direct on June 11, 2013, along with its tentative release date of November 2013.

A staff of 100 personnel wrote ideas for game mechanics upon sticky notes, which were collected upon the studio walls and then evaluated. If the team liked an idea, they would implement it in-game to test it. Kenta Motokura, a director of the game stated "We discussed and discarded a huge number of ideas during development - sometimes you just cant tell if an idea is good or bad by looking at it on the drawing board; when this happens, we try it out in-game. If we dont find the idea fun, it wont make it into the final product. There was a lot of back and forth on the course designs due to this".

The games signature feline costumery came early in development, to implement an attack mechanic, introduce the ability to climb walls, and to help a novice to clear obstacles. The inspiration for the Double Cherry, an item that creates controllable clones of a player character, came late in development when a developer erroneously inserted an extra copy of Marios character model into a level. The team was relieved to see that the game did not crash with two identical characters present, and were amused that both could be controlled simultaneously. Developers "scrambled" to include this feature in the final game.

According to Koichi Hayashida, Peach was originally not going to be a playable character. Yoshiaki Koizumi suggested for Peach to be playable, which would be agreed upon. Koizumi reasoned, "I think she adds a lot to the sense of competition when you get in multiplayer. You can have different people choosing different characters based on their personality or whoever they like." Hayashida also revealed that Super Mario 3D World was meant to be a Wii U game that fans of New Super Mario Bros. could enjoy, as well as a de facto continuation of Super Mario 3D Land.

Similarly, Rosalina was later added as a playable character. Kenta Motokura said, "I was thinking about what would be pleasing after the ending and wanted to bring in another female character in addition to Princess Peach. Rosalina has a following among the Super Mario Galaxy fanbase, and she appeared in Mario Kart recently, so I think shes well known."

The games soundtrack was composed by Mahito Yokota, Toru Minegishi, Koji Kondo, and Yasuaki Iwata, and performed by the Mario 3D World Big Band. A soundtrack was released for Club Nintendo members in Japan, Australia, and Europe, featuring 77 tracks across two CDs. The game had developmental assistance from 1-Up Studio.


4. Reception

Super Mario 3D World was critically acclaimed. It gained scores of 92.77% and 93/100 on aggregate review websites GameRankings and Metacritic, respectively. It also won many awards from media outlets, including Game of The Year GOTY from Eurogamer, Digital Spy, and MSN UK.

Famitsu gave the game a score of 38/40. IGNs Jose Otero gave 3D World a 9.6/10, praising the visual designs "youthful energy," the "interesting risks" taken with the level designs, the "maddening challenge" offered by later worlds, and the "genuinely funny and memorable co-op". He said, "I reveled in the sheer brilliance of how much energy and gameplay mileage Nintendo has packed into every world." Oteros only complaint was that "the camera becomes a slight obstacle in four-player multiplayer". GameTrailers gave the game a score of 9.5, praising its gameplay and presentation, while criticizing camera issues and some odd control choices. GamesRadar gave the game a score of 4.5/5, praising improved multiplayer and some moments so brilliant that they can make some other levels seem dull by comparison. Luke Plunkett of Kotaku called the game "a terrific Mario game. just not a very good Wii U game", praising the game itself, but lamenting that it doesnt do much to show off the Wii Us capabilities. Patrick Klepek at Giant Bomb, saying World continues to make the case that its possible to reinvent a classic over and over again".

Anime News Network gave the game an A grade, calling it "fun, imaginative, and filled with little surprises and delights." Edge rated the game 9/10, calling it "Wii Us best game to date," and "the most next-gen game that 2013 has yet produced," and stating that Mario is the most fun character to play as because "his cohorts abilities arent anything special". Destructoids Chris Carter awarded the game a 10/10, praising the power-ups and 57% of its initial shipment. The sales were considered low at first, but it maintained strong sales during the following weeks. By January 5, the games sales totaled about 400.000 units in Japan and was still on the weekly top 10 charts.

In the UK, the game debuted at number 14, behind its competitor, Knack, which debuted at number 13. During its first eight days on the market, there were 215.000 units sold in the US according to the NPD Group, debuting out of the Top 10.

As of September 30, 2019, the game had yielded sales of 5.83 million units worldwide, making it the Wii Us second best-selling game.


4.1. Reception Legacy

Based on and expanding upon the games "Captain Toad" puzzle-based levels, a separate game, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, was released for the Wii U on November 13, 2014 in Japan, December 5, 2014 in North America and in January 2015 in PAL regions as a spin-off to Super Mario 3D World featuring Captain Toad and Toadette. Years later, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was released worldwide for the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS on July 13, 2018. It was received with favorable reviews.

In late 2014, downloadable content was released by Nintendo for Mario Kart 8, containing the ability to play as Cat Peach, which is a reproduction of her pink cat costume from obtaining the Super Bell item in Super Mario 3D World.

Elements from Super Mario 3D World show up in Super Mario Maker 2, as assets players can use while designing their course.