Super Mario 3D World and Bowser’s Fury Review

Super Mario 3D World and Bowser’s Fury is available on Nintendo Switch

Nintendo fans everywhere can rejoice! One of the most critically acclaimed Super Mario games of all time has finally found a home on the Switch. Relatively overlooked in its time by virtue of being a Wii U release, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury offers gameplay, presentation, and an overall experience that rivals native Switch release Super Mario Odyssey. And this time, the original 3D platformer is joined by an all-new DLC game mode, “Bowser’s Fury,” an open-world 3D experience with full-camera control.

Super Mario 3D World and Bowser’s Fury Review
Photo courtesy of Nintendo

A few months out from Super Mario’s 35th anniversary, 3D World + Bowser’s Fury both provide the class of entertainment and gameplay that have become synonymous with the franchise. Players familiar with the original release won’t find much new in the Switch port, but the added DLC is an interesting and enjoyable Mario experience; it is more than justifying the $60 price tag.

Each level of Super Mario World 3D is a masterpiece in level design, populated with foes both old and new, as well as a plethora of interesting and ingenious power-ups that alter Mario’s appearance and abilities in exciting and at times even silly ways. None more notable than the Super Bell, which gives Mario various cat-like abilities like the ability to jump higher, whip enemies with his tail, and even scamper up walls.

Bowser's Fury
Photo courtesy of Nintendo

The new Giga Bell power-up debuts in Bowser’s Fury, which turns Mario into a giant shining gold cat, with spiky hair reminiscent of a Super Saiyan from DragonBall Z. With this power-up, the player can engage an enraged Bowser in a brawl that’s sure to remind players of trailers for the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong. The main part of Bowser’s Fury is an open-world game where the player is tasked with finding “Cat Shines,” which light up lighthouses and cleanse the world of the mysterious black gook, something that harkens back to underrated Gamecube masterpiece Super Mario Sunshine.

Both games offer multiplayer modes!

Super Mario 3D World can play online with 1-4 people. Players can choose at any point to either help or compete with their friends. Things can get hectic with even 1 other player, and with the full 4, the game becomes almost unenjoyable. This is the one area of 3D World that hasn’t aged very well. Bowser’s Fury offers the ability to play with 1 additional player, who can control Bowser Jr. as he assists Mario in either uncovering secrets throughout the level or even attacking foes.

My final score is 9 our of 10.

As with all Super Mario releases, the level design is simply second to none. It also has a light and memorable soundtrack that serve to immerse the player in each level. This is a worthy addition to the Super Mario library and a must-have for any Nintendo Switch fan.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

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Writer, native Texan, DBZ fanatic, and budding Oscars historian

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