Average User Score: 8.3Nov 29, 2011Super Mario 3D Land finally legitimizes your purchase of the Nintendo 3DS. For a franchise that has seen it's hits and misses, Nintendo finally seems to have cultivated a thorough understanding of how best to combine the classic platforming elements with fresh new gameplay mechanics that no one else has done before, and on a system that, until now, has seemingly been relegated to hosting gimmicky, half-hearted attempts at innovation. Everything that makes a Mario game classic, fun and challenging is here, but don't let the first half of the game fool you. The ease with which you will conquer it only serves as a method of drawing you in. It's when you get to the special stages that the difficulty ramps up significantly, and the challenge is nearly impossible to ignore. You will not want to put the game down. You will want to finish every level, collect every star coin and get every golden flag. With the addition of Luigi, whose jumps are slightly higher and whose run is slightly faster, the gameplay changes just enough to keep from getting stale on the 2nd play through, then the unlocks keep you coming back for more. By the time I unlocked the final crown level, I had died hundreds of times, cursing and shouting, nearly driving my wife insane. Then I played the crown level. Anyone who says this game is too easy, obviously hasn't played it enough to unlock this level. If you want an even greater challenge, do what I did and don't use the Tanooki suit. Further still, try beating it without using the moving platform that Nintendo mercifully provides for you at the end of the level. You'll know what I mean when you get there. Admittedly, once you play the level hundreds of times, you'll know how to conquer it rather easily, but it is a steep learning curve.
But let's not forget the graphics. They are stunning, easily rivaling and in some cases surpassing that of the Mario Galaxy counterparts. The 3D effect only sweetens the deal and Nintendo even found a way to incorporate the effect into the gameplay as well. At no point while playing did I ever want to switch it off, which isn't something I can say for other games on the 3DS. It was never a distraction, at least for me. Nintendo has crafted a beautiful environment to immerse players in and the polish is pristine. The animations are also top notch. Smooth and seamless, this game is a joy to look at and play.
I really can't speak highly enough about this game. It is a masterpiece and a must-own for anyone who has a 3DS. For someone who doesn't always have time to sit through a 30 to 40 hour gameplay experience, Super Mario 3D Land is a perfect match. Not too long, not too short. Everything is just right. Get this game.… Expand