3D World takes the concepts found in 3D Land and adds a massive amount of variety, new power ups, more challenging stages, and some very fun multiplayer. Up to four players can play simultaneously and, for the first time since 1988's Super Mario Bros 2, can choose between Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad, each with their own unique abilities. Their power sets are inspired by SMB2: Mario is the most balanced choice, Luigi has the highest jump but slippery control, Peach can hover in the air for short times, and Toad has the fastest run speed. I've often said that SMB2 is my all time favorite Mario title, and that I've always been disappointed that New Super Mario Bros titles ignore the differences between playable characters that made SMB2 so fun. I'm very happy that 3D World went back to SMB2's style, and couldn't be happier about how well it plays.
|A Cat Goomba frolicking in the green hills.|
|I'm seeing double: Ten princesses.|
|Cat Peach approaches The Bigger Bunny.|
|The long-awaited Yoshi's Cookie sequel Nintendo never made.|
|Super Mario World's Galoombas return.|
|Toad puts on armor and visits Lost Izalith...|
|...While Luigi visits a world where the 80's threw up.|
|The Ghost House...|
|...and Bowser Train: Gimmicky stages that I DO like.|
Once you're done with the main game, you also unlock Luigi Bros, a Luigi-themed version of the original arcade Mario Bros game. I've always loved Mario Bros, so I'm happy to see it here, but unhappy to see that, once again, it's the NES version and not the nicer looking, more responsive arcade version. I understood sticking with the NES version in NES Remix, but I really wish Nintendo would have taken the effort to finally release a perfect home port of the arcade version here. It's not a bad port by any means, but it's noticeably inferior to the arcade original.
Between 3D World and Mario Kart 8, the Wii U is finally starting to mature into a worthwhile system, even if it took longer and cost more than it probably should have. If you liked 3D Land, World offers everything it did plus much more, and in a massively more balanced and attractive package. 3D World's style, stage design, and difficulty curve are all much nicer than 3D Land's, and it's far more inventive than the New Super Mario Bros series. Fans hoping for something bigger and more open in the vein of Mario Galaxy may be disappointed, but for my personal tastes, 3D World is the finest 3D Mario title to be released. It's funny to think that my all time favorite 2D and 3D Mario titles share the same character types and abilities! Maybe someday we'll get a follow up feature the long awaited return of the monstrous frog-king Wart.