The game play and sound are a lot like what’s on New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but includes a few things from Super Mario 3D Land as well. The main item I’m referring to is the Tanooki leaf that turns you into Raccoon Mario. You can fly as well as descend, which is helpful when trying to land on moving platforms.
The new power-up is a golden flower. One blast can destroy a group of bricks or vanquish tough enemies, turning them into coins. Speaking of coins, they seem to be the main focus of the game because each stage shows the most amount of coins you’ve gathered among the statistics on the map screen. I don’t know what the significance is for it.
Speaking of coins, the repeating coin blocks in this game turn into golden blocks that Mario can wear on his head and more coins come out as he moves through the level. I only find it useful as an extra hit point when going through a tough area. When hit by an enemy you get to keep your power-up but you lose the coin block helmet.
What I really find interesting is that the Koopalings return. As each one is defeated in his/her castle, another Koopaling snatches Princess Peach and drags her to the next castle. What is this, a tag team? More importantly, why doesn’t Peach ever put up a fight? Remember that she used to kick butt on the Super Smash Bros. games.
There are also towers in each world. Bowser Jr. doesn’t return in this game, so instead the boss is Reznor. That’s the group to triceratopses that sit on rotating platforms and can only be defeated when hit from underneath. Reznor’s first and only appearance was on Super Mario World as the boss of every fortress. It’s cool that these old foes make a comeback in this game, but why do they sound like elephants?
Oddly, there are only six worlds in this game. Only five of the seven Koopalings are featured before getting to Bowser’s castle in World 6. To get to the other two Koopalings, you’ll need to get to the warp cannons that send you to some special worlds. I was a little worried at first because it just doesn’t feel right when you don’t get to face all seven.
Speaking of the warp cannons, normally you just go in and it blasts you to the next world, but not in this game. After you’re blasted, you automatically run fast while you have to dodge enemies and jump platforms without an opportunity to slow down. If your timing isn’t perfect, you die. That is so ridiculous. You shouldn’t have to do that at a warp zone.
I really enjoy this game for its adventure, which would be expected from a Super Mario Bros. title. Bowser is still bigger and badder than ever, but the real enemy is that rising lava. That usually leaves me uneasy.