Nintendo’s “New Spin on a Familiar Tail”
It’s almost here! This November, the first fully 3D Mario game, Super Mario 3D Land, will be released in the United States for the 3DS system. A creation of the same development team that brought you New Super Mario Bros. DS and Wii, Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel, and many other of your favorite Mario games, Super Mario 3D Land is the first Mario game to be released for the 3DS system. The game will give players a better sense of the depth in the levels, making it easier to judge distances away from the camera and perform jumps beneath blocks. Enemies will take advantage of the 3D effects as well, Cheep Cheeps will jump out of the water towards the screen, giant spiked pillars and Bullet Bills will fly out of the background, and lava pillars gush up into the camera.
One of the most well-known features of Super Mario 3D Land is the return of the Tanooki Mario suit that originally appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3. The suit gave Mario a tail which let him spin to defeat enemies, float while falling for a safer landing during jumps, fly or turn into a statue rendering Mario temporarily invulnerable. Unfortunately, in Super Mario 3D Land, Tanooki Mario can't fly or turn into a statue anymore, so the Tanooki suit will be a bit more limited than before. There have been hints that a few other familiar Mario suits will return, along with the Super Mushroom and Fire Flower traditionally in the Mario games. Mario's health system will be similar to the one used in Super Mario Bros. 3, Mario will become smaller or lose any current suit he's wearing when he takes damage.
Some Familiar Features, With All New Levels
Other items that will be returning include the flag at the end of a level from Super Mario Bros., Bouncing Note Blocks, Donut Lifts and Airships from Super Mario Bros. 3 and even Comet Medals from Super Mario Galaxy 2. The level checkpoint flags found in the New Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Galaxy games can be found in these levels, letting you restart at the latest flag you’ve reached (rather than at the beginning of the level) if you lose a life. It also appears that levels will have a time limit again, with a helpful timer in the upper-right corner of the screen to remind you how much time you have left. Boom Boom (the mini-boss from Super Mario Bros. 3) also returns, according to pre-release gameplay footage, although with a new style of attack that involves spinning himself dizzy (and giving Mario a chance to damage him).
As with previous Mario games, blocks are an important part of Super Mario 3D Land. Bouncing Note Blocks will help Mario reach higher ledges. New Transporter Blocks will instantly take Mario from one block to the next. There’s even a random item block (similar to the one from Super Mario World) that cycles through different goodies until you hit it, and awards you with whatever power-up the block stops on. Tiles will also activate effects when you walk on them, creating new paths to run along.
A Game For All Skill Levels
New and old enemies will appear as well. Fuzzies, Piranha Plants, Goombas and Bullet Bills are returning along with new variants that include Tanooki Goombas and Inky Piranha Plants that obscure the screen with black sludge. Bowser returns of course, with the 3DS system allowing a full 3D battle between Bowser and Mario for the first time.
Mario has many of his old abilities and a few new ones in Super Mario 3D land. His wall kick will take him to greater heights, and he can ground pound to hit foes harder or break open objects. Mario can now do a front somersault as well as his back flip, and his long jump is now combined with a somersault so that Mario tumbles forward through the air during a long jump. Crouching down will let Mario duck under some obstacles, and will make him enter pipes. While he’s wearing the Tanooki suit, you can hold in the A or B buttons to let him descend more slowly during jumps, and after grabbing a Fire Flower, Mario can throw fireballs by pressing the X or Y buttons.
Super Mario 3D Land is a mixture of fans’ favorite elements from previous Mario game while presenting new challenges, all of which can be viewed in the unique stereoscopic three-dimensional format the 3DS allows. Look forward to its release in November!
- Screenshots are from promotional material found on Nintendo’s website, listed above.
- Mario Wiki, http://www.mariowiki.com/Super_Mario_3D_Land
- Official Nintendo Page, http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/VnTS_u2DBaJ5N-PXEJC-gWWMkSC5Rixm