Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury Review

Nintendo’s most recent revamped game offers more adventure and variety than meets the eye.


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Mario takes on his greatest enemy in his most formidable form yet.

Christiaan Titus, Staff Writer

With Nintendo recently revealing a whole host of new announcements from Splatoon 3 to the Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword Remaster for the Switch, fans can be forgiven for looking past Mario’s latest adventure- Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury on the Switch. This title includes a port of one of the Wii U’s greatest games as well as a brand new adventure known as Bowser’s Fury.

Despite 3D World’s obvious quality and nearly endless content, many fans understandably found it somewhat difficult to get excited over the re-release of a game that is, after all, over 7 years old. However, in spite of this fact, I still found myself thoroughly enjoying this portion of the game and even noticed many new changes and additions to the game.

The core of the game is still largely the same- between one and four players take on eight main worlds plus four bonus worlds, dodging enemies, collecting the three green stars and one stamp that are available in each level, and ultimately defeating Bowser and saving the Sprixie Kingdom. However, this game was not without major changes.

Players are noticeably quicker than in the original game, making for a more fast-paced and exciting experience. There are also a few new moves that players can use while playing these levels, namely the dive and roll and the ground pound jump, which allows the player to jump higher than a regular jump would. These can be utilized to more easily access hidden areas and complete level record times, all while finding new ways to avoid enemies.

There are still the same power ups from the original game, including the super bell, fire flower, and double cherry, but certain items are improved in various ways. The super bell underwent the biggest change, and it now allows the player to car dive for a longer time and climb even farther up walls, making green stars and stamps easier to collect.

Notably, the stamps that a player does collect now serve an entirely new purpose. While they were used for the failed Miiverse in the original game, players can now enter snapshot mode at any point in the game, take live pictures of gameplay, and add the stamps they found to decorate their images. Conveniently, both green stars and stamps now save immediately after getting them, meaning that players no longer have to collect them over and over again just because they lost a life shortly after obtaining them.

There are also exciting additions to the multiplayer aspect of the game. The most enticing likely being the option to play all of the levels online with players from across the world. You can now compete or team up with online players to defeat these levels, and even view online leaderboards for players who complete the levels the fastest.

There are also exciting additions to the multiplayer aspect of the game. The most enticing likely being the option to play all of the levels online with players from across the world.”

The Captain Toad levels that challenge players to complete puzzle type stages without jumping and collecting all five green stars can now be played with up to four players, instead of just one in the original game. While this is definitely a welcome addition, it was somewhat disheartening that players can’t choose what color toad they play as, as they are assigned based on what number players are. Another notable area of disappointment is the fact that not a single new playable character was added to 3D World.

It is satisfying enough to be able to play 3D World on a portable device, and the new additions make it well worth playing through it all over again. However, the real main attraction was the all new game mode, Bowser’s Fury. When the game was originally announced, little was known about Bowser’s Fury. Was it just some new levels, a new world, or a brand new game entirely? Now these questions are finally answered, and it is anything but disappointing.

The new game mode is an open world, sandbox style game, compared to 3D World’s more linear nature. The game has a striking resemblance to Mario’s 3D adventures from the past, namely Super Mario Sunshine and Odyssey. Players have a huge interconnected word to explore, moving from island to island collecting “cat shines” in order to unlock a brand new power up know as the “giga bell.” This power up is similar to the original cat bell except it makes the player large enough to take on a fiercer and much bigger version of Bowser called Fury Bowser.

In total, there are 100 cat shines to collect, meaning there is plenty of content to keep any player busy for a while. The game has a clear focus on the cat power up, as all of the enemies use it, giving them more skills and the ability to change their appearance.

Players collect the shines in many different ways; they may climb to the top of a large area, collect a certain number of coins, or defeat some enemies. While this is enough to keep one occupied, the repetitive nature of some of these challenges can get boring after a while. There are many repeating shines, such as collecting blue coins, and this is not the most exciting thing to do if it is done repeatedly. However, most of the challenges are unique and intuitive, with boss fights and timed challenges being some of my personal favorites.

Another slight let down was this game’s multiplayer aspect. 3D World offers four players at a time a chance to play, but Bowser’s Fury is only for two players, and the second player is very limited. Although it is unique to finally be able to play as Bowser Jr. in a mainline Mario game, playing as him is quite restrictive. This player must stay near Mario at all times and can’t use power ups, limiting themselves to defeating enemies with their paintbrush and collecting coins and power ups for Mario. Despite this, Mario teaming up with his greatest enemy’s son is definitely a refreshing scene.

Overall, this game is absolutely worth buying, especially if you never played the original. But even if you have, the brand new game attached with it, as well as the improvements to game play, make a second playthrough more than worth it.