Surprise! I'm guessing most of you were expecting that we'd run a Community Review on Skyward Sword this week, but I haven't had a chance to play it yet on account of my stupid wanting to be done with Skyrim first. Super Mario 3D Land? That's like the anti-Skyrim. A game suitable for short bursts, a game that's as engaging for an hour as it is for one single minute. It may actually be the perfect Mario handheld game.
Super Mario 3D Land has been billed as the missing link between 2D Mario games ala New Super Mario Bros. Wii -- which was a massive success among all types of players -- and 3D Mario games in the vein of Galaxy. Time will tell if the game succeeds in doing precisely that, but my feeling is that Super Mario 3D does an incredible job of leaping seamlessly between the two -- it does an incredible job of teaching players how to leap into the third dimension.
I only have my wife as reference, a girl who loves New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but point blank refuses to play Galaxy. I haven't showed her 3D Land yet, but I get the distinct feeling that she'll love it. The game is easy to begin with but, more importantly, really guides you through specific level design. Super Mario 3D Land gives you the space of Galaxy, but the linear feeling of New Super Mario Bros. Wii. In fact, in the first couple of worlds, the game seems to slowly ease players from an almost 2D design to the more expansive spaces we've come to expect from the proper 3D Mario games. It's masterful.
But still, as someone who has played every Mario iteration both 3D and 2D, Super Mario 3D Land still manages to feel like a charming, brilliantly designed, engaging game -- even in the beginning stages. I'm loving the game so far. It's easily the best game on the 3DS to date.
I'm currently on world 4, with the distinct feeling that best is yet to come.
How are you guys finding it so far? Let me know in the comments below.