Nintendo not only gives us a Swich remake of a classic Mario adventure – they also give us a very nice bonus in the form of an extra game!
I’ve said it before and I say it again: the Wii U did not get the love and recognition it so well deserved. A nice machine, with many good games. Super Mario 3D World was one of the very best when it went out seven years ago and like other, old Mario games that have been released in a steady stream, Switch now also gets its version of this. But as a bonus, we also get an adventure based on the same game engine and become a little mini-Mario adventure in 3D: Bowser’s Fury.
You who want to know more about the basic game itself Super Mario 3D World can read the Wii U review here. The Switch version keeps most things intact and at the same time gives us some news. First and foremost, the presentation is noticeable; Switch turns the resolution from 720p on Wii U to 1080p (Full HD), with a silky smooth 60 fps – even in multiplayer. The four characters (Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad) were mainly aesthetically different on the Wii U. Now the features are actually a bit different and reminiscent of Super Mario Bros. 2 – Luigi jumps the highest, but has a little stopping distance when he has to stop. Toad runs the fastest, but jumps the worst, Peach slides the best and Mario is a bit all-around. This was to some extent on the Wii U version as well, but it feels a bit more chiseled here.
The multiplayer part has also been expanded, now you can not only run co-op locally (up to four players), but also online with others. A close-knit gang is recommended, otherwise it will be a rather stressful experience, as the one who “leads” the race holds the baton for the rest and this is a game you should enjoy and find secrets in, do not rush through I think.
The absolute tastiest praline in Super Mario 3D World+Bowser’s Furythe box is just the latter: the mini-adventure Bowser’s Fury. Mario’s eternal nemesis, the huge dinosaur turtle Bowser, is here angry deluxe and it’s up to Mario to find “cat shines”, small cat medallions (á la stars) that light lighthouses around the world, which in turn spread light that drives back Bowser’s darkness and his evil gegga that keeps the island world in check. To help you, you have Bowser Jr., who you can choose to help you a little, a lot or not at all (computer controlled) or let a friend take care of him, Super Mario Odyssey (2017’s best game). Bowser Jr. can explore interesting places Mario can not influence, pick bonuses and even fight enemies and bosses. From time to time, the giant Bowser appears like a Balrog in the Mushroom Kingdom and you can either fight him by activating the lighthouse, or a Giga bell (a giant bell) where Mario grows into a solitary Cat-Mario and a giant’s battle á la Godzilla vs King Kong takes place. Heaven fun!
We have not seen a new Mario game since 2017, however Bowser’s Fury is a good near surrogate. It is, in the usual Nintendo and Mario order, brilliant platforming. Simply the genre at its best. Unfortunately, the adventure is a bit short and becomes quite difficult towards the end (from being quite easy otherwise) and it unfortunately suffers from some slow-downs and lost frames when it happens a lot at once (especially in “Godzilla mode”) and especially if you use the photo function, it really wins. But in addition to these technical small flaws, it is a pure pleasure and worth the price of the game just that (you have also not played Super Mario 3D World before you have a great game to look forward to, well worth playing again after all the years as it is nicer and smoother now).
There’s not much else to say but that Nintendo gives us another well-honed Switch game and reminds us once again why they, and Mario, have been the uncrowned kings of the platform world for 35 years. We may long for a slightly more nimble Switch console (which we will hear something about this year), but good games really have very little to do with the machine’s performance – it certainly sets technical limits, but the most important thing is about playability. And there, Nintendo delivers the mascot. Time, time, time.
A must, whether you played the basic game before or not (but especially if you did not).