E3 2013 Preview: Super Mario 3D World
“Somebody is going way too fast!” That’s what I kept hearing during my demo of Super Mario 3D World and it’s likely the biggest problem with the game. That someone, by the way, was me, and I was going too fast due to my natural Mario speed running tendencies.
Super Mario 3D World is the new 3D Mario game for the Wii U. It works a lot like Super Mario 3D Land, in that it uses a traditional Mario power-up system where getting hit once makes you lose your power-up, twice makes you small, and three times makes you die. However, everything else feels a lot more like Mario Galaxy, as you traverse complex stages in all different directions.
Super Mario 3D World is a multiplayer game, and players can take control of Luigi, Peach, and Toad alongside Mario. Each character has different abilities, specifically their abilities from Mario 2. Peach jumps low but can hover, Toad runs very fast, Luigi jumps high and floaty, and Mario is just a good all around character.
Everyone works together, stomping Goombas and platforming until one person decided to pull ahead. When someone goes too fast in Super Mario 3D World, the game does one of two things. If this person is playing with a Wii U GamePad, they simply go off screen and can continue playing using the GamePad’s screen. If this person is using a Wiimote, then the screen will only follow them until the rest of the party is forced off screen. At that point you can progress no further and attempting to do so just warps you back to the other players. This makes sections based on speed and rapid platforming absolutely impossible when slower players are around. Luckily, you can still put yourself in a bubble, like you could in the New Super Mario Bros Wii and Wii U games. However, then you are just choosing to not play the game for the sake of your friends winning. I don't know why Nintendo doesn’t just make the slow players teleport up instead of vice versa. That would solve most problems.
Aside from these multiplayer issues, the game was fun. We got to play with the new Cat-Suit power-up, and no, it’s not as sexy as it sounds. Basically, Mario and friends dress up like a cat, giving them a somersault jump, a low to the ground four legged run, and most importantly, the ability to cling to walls. This allows them to climb up surfaces easily, which allows them to bypass entire platforming sections with no problem at all.
As a single-player game, Super Mario 3D World will be a fine addition to the Wii U library. As a multiplayer game, however, it still has some issues to work out. It’s still not the killer app that will get people to buy the Wii U, but it certainly will make Mario fans happy.