Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury (Nintendo Switch) Preview

By Az Elias 27.01.2021 5

Review for Super Mario 3D World + Bowser

There are still a handful of desirable Wii U exclusives that deserve the Nintendo Switch port treatment, but Super Mario 3D World would have been at the top of many a fan's list. Timing things nicely with the original Super Mario Bros. 35th anniversary, Nintendo is delivering four-player co-operative joy next month, with a little bonus for those craving something more single-player focused and akin to the free-roaming platforming seen in a title like Super Mario Odyssey. Cubed3 raises flags and dodges flames in this early hands-on with Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury.

Most that have already explored the Sprixie Kingdom back on Wii U will likely be highly curious about the companion piece Bowser's Fury, but it is only fair to begin with the core of the package here. Super Mario 3D World may not have got the full attention it deserved initially by those clamouring for a return to open 3D worlds (which subsequently came the following Nintendo system later with Super Mario Odyssey), because this is much more an evolution of the original side-scrolling adventures of the Super Mario Bros. entries, with reasonably short levels featuring clear start and finish points - that familiar flagpole begging to be raised sitting at the end.

Overlooking this adventure would be a sin, however, for this is a jam-packed and platforming heavy concoction of fantastic ideas that stays fresh throughout each world! As early as the first level, the cat bell power-up is introduced, with Mario and chums donning a cute feline onesie and gaining the type of abilities a four-legged fluffball takes for granted, like sprawling up walls to reach new heights, and pouncing through the air to reach distant ledges. Becoming Cat Mario and hanging onto that form is essential to gathering the collectibles dotted about each stage - some in hard-to-reach places, whilst others pop up once a room full of baddies is cleared.

Screenshot for Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury on Nintendo Switch

Of course, that traditional Mario game style, with its bright and beautiful visuals, is apparent right away, even echoing the NES' original Super Mario Bros. by introducing an underground area by world 1-2, but the freedom that a three-dimensional perspective brings to the fold, advancing on from the one used in Super Mario 3D Land on Nintendo 3DS, allows for a plethora of unique gameplay ideas that take this beyond what a normal 2D Mario game is capable of.

Spoilers will stay slim here, but the range of levels is vast, where playing in multiplayer with up to three other players can be all sorts of fun, hilarious and maddening! The double cherry power-up is a particular highlight, where picking one up multiplies your character. Trying to work together with a group of Luigi, Peach and Toad clones as the team attempts to hop from disappearing platform to disappearing platform is one manic experience!

Screenshot for Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury on Nintendo Switch

Bowser's Fury has been kept under wraps by Nintendo for as long as this title was announced, and a lot of mystery has surrounded this surprising extra piece of content. Now, it is time to share more about this new side story. Still running with the cat theme, Mario finds himself in a mostly solo adventure at Lake Lapcat, where big ol' Bowser has grown to gigantic proportions and gone berserk! The Koopa King's son, Bowser Jr, is at a loss as to what to do and regrettably asks Mario to offer a helping hand to get his papa back to his normal self. Cue an unlikely partnership commencing and Mario setting off to collect Cat Shines whilst a rampaging Bowser rains fire and fury!

The perspective speaks for itself, for Bowser's Fury places the camera right behind Mario from the get-go, with open world exploration available once control begins. Rather than looking to emulate fully the likes of Super Mario Odyssey, though, this quest puts a strong focus on a multitude of platforming and action sequences that will test the skills of players that love to put Mario's toolset to good use. With multiple tasks assigned to the plucky plumber, he must traverse the mini-isles and use the hints to reach the various Cat Shines hidden away, lighting lighthouses that seem to be covered in the same sticky goop that Bowser also finds himself plastered in. With Bowser Jr's help, however, solo adventure becomes co-op adventure, and a local partner can search out secret coins and power-ups, and even give baddies a whack on the head to make things just a tad easier for player one.

Screenshot for Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury on Nintendo Switch

As Mario jumps from rotating climbing platforms, fetches keys from high on up to bring back to unlock cages, and defeats a host of magikoopas above a mini lava pit, there is a little something hindering Mario's endeavours to achieve these goals. Every few minutes, the serene and peaceful atmosphere of the lake turns into something out of the apocalypse, the enraged goop-covered Bowser awakening, taking up half the screen, and unleashing streams of flame and raining fireballs from above.

Suddenly, what was a rather fun hop and a skip to reach a high-up Shine is now an exercise in fear, with platforming segments made extra difficult by the barrage of falling rocks, fireballs and flames the furious lizard is letting rip with. After much struggle, grabbing that most sought-after Cat Shine removes the goop from the nearest lighthouse, allowing it to flash out its beams, and blinding Bowser enough to make him retreat for a while. Time to breathe. There is no question this is a distinct take on 3D Mario, and, like Super Mario 3D World before it, looks to incorporate a series of fun ideas to keep gameplay fresh.

Screenshot for Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury on Nintendo Switch

Final Thoughts

Super Mario 3D World becomes almost a different game once friends join the action, and with online play now introduced in this Switch version, Cubed3 will have more to say about how this all comes together in what has so far proven to be a successful evolution of the Super Mario Bros. formula. Bowser's Fury will have the attention of many who have been through the core piece of this package before on Wii U, so stay tuned for the full review next month to see just how much depth there is to Mario's attempt to tame the Koopa King beast!

Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

3D Platformer

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Excitement levels rising! Smilie Thanks for the early impressions, Az...you lucky so-and-so Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I've got my eye on this one just for Bowser's Fury to be honest. However I feel like its just one big sandbox level that could probably be finished in a couple of hours (if that), unless I am completely wrong!

You can probably tell there is only so much I could talk about here, but will try to get it across in the review. I think most people have a good idea of what sort of game Bowser's Fury is, but I can definitely say it's a great deal of fun!

Indeed! I shall await the full review! Can't wait to see it!

Bowser's Fury. Wow! Can't wait for your thoughts in the final review Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

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