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Aug 302013

Earlier this month I got a Nintendo 3DS, which is an updated version of the Nintendo DS. I’m also glad that it works with DS games as well as the newer 3DS ones. The main 3DS game I looked forward to playing was Super Mario 3D Land, mainly because of how interesting it looked on YouTube.

The game play is fun and simple as any Super Mario Bros. game should be. It also comes with some nostalgic value. The most common is the super leaf that turns you into Tanooki Mario. Remember the Tanooki suit from Super Mario Bros. 3? The major difference is that you can’t fly with it, you can only descend slowly, but it’s still very helpful. Sometimes it is even more so than the fire flowers.

The control is a bit awkward because the joystick to move Mario is much like the one for the Nintendo 64. It takes a little getting used to as well as the 3D perspective. The most common time I struggled with the 3D is when there are platforms that rotate, disappear, or switch around whenever you jump. It’s tough to see where you’re going to land.

Another major comparison this game has is with New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Each world either has a castle or an airship. The castles are often inhabited by a fake Bowser that is defeated by the “bridge out” method. Unfortunately, fireballs won’t work on him this time.

Then we have the airships. Apparently, the only bosses featured are Boom-Boom (another classic Super Mario Bros. 3 character) and Pom-Pom. She is a female version of Boom-Boom that throws boomerangs. Maybe she’s Boom-Boom’s sister. I don’t know.

As much as I like these two, it was disappointing because I was expecting the koopalings, especially after making such a triumphant comeback on New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Why were they not featured?

Another item this game has is star coins. There are three in every stage and can sometimes be hard to get to. The only crucial reason to get them is that some levels do not unlock until you certain amount of star coins. One thing’s for sure, once the star coins are found it becomes more fun to go through the levels again and again. Thank goodness for the auto save function.

After you defeat the real Bowser at the end of the game, it’s not over yet. This unlocks the special worlds, which are more difficult and provides the opportunity to play as Luigi once you rescue him from the first castle.

Sometimes the difficulty can be frustrating, particularly the levels that you have you rush through and that takes the fun out of it. The speed makes it hard to see in order to jump the different platforms because your timing has to be exact. I’m not just talking about the stages with fast side scrolling. There are actually levels with a very short time limit. In order to keep going you have to collect clocks. The blue ones add 10 seconds and the green ones add 100 seconds. The clocks are common items throughout the game, but they’re not as crucial in the earlier stages.

Another difficulty some levels have is the Cosmic Clone. He will follow you everywhere you go and match your every move. Only an invincible star can stop him, but not for long. If he touches you, you’re dead, so you have to constantly keep moving. I have used over 20 lives trying to get past these frustrating obstacles. It’s ridiculous.

The only Super Mario Bros. villain I ever disliked as much as the Cosmic Clone is Boss Bass from Super Mario Bros. 3. He was the giant fish that could swallow you whole, even when you’re fully powered up. How would you compare the two?

Despite the difficulties, Super Mario 3D Land is an excellent game with cool graphics and music. It’s also nice that it’s generous with extra lives. Instead of leftover time going into a high score, it goes into your coin total. It’s definitely more beneficial that way.

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