Finally, A Super Mario Game We Can All Be Excited About

Finally, A Super Mario Game We Can All Be Excited About

It’s been a while since a new Super Mario Bros. game looked amazing. Agree? We all respect the New Super Mario Bros. games, right? They’re classic… like Nintendo just baked a great new loaf of bread. Refined… like Nintendo just wrote a new sonnet. But exciting? Not really. That’s where November’s new Mario comes in.

People who care about Super Mario games, let me show you Super Mario 3D World.

November 22.

Wii U.

It’s the one with the catsuit power-up…

Finally, A Super Mario Game We Can All Be Excited About

See how being a cat can let you claw right up to the top of the flagpole?

That’s one good idea of, I don’t know, dozens? Hundreds in this game? See, Super Mario 3D World comes from EAD Tokyo, who other people will tell you are awesome because they made the two terrific Super Mario Galaxy games for the Wii and the splendid Super Mario 3D Land for the 3DS, all of which were games bursting with new Mario ideas and innovative level designs. I’ll tell you that, before that, they made Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, and I’ll tell you that the drum-controlled game was the freshest, best DK side-scroller ever.


Bowser’s back, kidnapping this green-haired lady of unknown name. Seriously, the Nintendo rep showing me the game yesterday at Nintendo’s NYC offices couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me her name.

Finally, A Super Mario Game We Can All Be Excited About

What we do know is that she’s been kidnapped. Our heroes — Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad — hop in a transparent warp pipe and chase after her.

The game does not take place in the Mushroom Kingdom, the Nintendo rep told me. Which kingdom? A neighbouring kingdom. That’s all I got.

Here’s the over-world which looks a little New Super Mario Bros or 3D Land-ish except that you can walk through it in all directions. See?

Finally, A Super Mario Game We Can All Be Excited About

Why are some flags red and some yellow? I don’t know! Indication of multiple exits? Dunno.

I’m told that the overworld has some secrets. I did spot an enemy on it. Hitting him will take you into some sort of confrontation, I think. We weren’t able to try it.

EAD Tokyo’s no joke. Play their games and it’s all new, new, new stuff. For example: soccer balls…

Finally, A Super Mario Game We Can All Be Excited About

I played exactly that scene. It’s in level 1-3, if you don’t believe me. You run into the soccer balls and you’ll automatically kick them. You can tweak their direction with a control stick.

I played this next bit, too, which was in a level in world 2, I think. The level’s called Double Cherry Pass and you’re seeing a Mario that already has a fireball and has already duplicated himself by picking up one double cherry power-up picking up another.

Finally, A Super Mario Game We Can All Be Excited About

I played that sequence as Toad. I kept picking up double cherries and was eventually controlling five Toads at once.

Here’s a level called Shadow Play Alley…

Finally, A Super Mario Game We Can All Be Excited About

I played that one as well. The idea is that you are still physically in the world but obscured, so you can only see shadows.

See that square? There’s an item in there, a blue stamp. The Nintendo rep told me that there is one of these per level. When we finished the level I got a glimpse of a screen that shows each of the stamps you’ve collected and outlines for the ones not collected. There were many, many outlines. Maybe 100? Maybe more? There were a lot! Thus: this game will have a lot of levels.

Here’s Bowser again. This is from the start of a boss battle.

Finally, A Super Mario Game We Can All Be Excited About

You chase behind him while he drops exploding soccer balls at you. You kick them back toward his car, unless you’re slow and then they just blow up in your face.

I’m going to rock your world now by informing you that he takes more than three hits to defeat. That ain’t normal for a Nintendo boss, though I guess Bowser tends to be a bit tougher.

There are a lot of other cool power-ups and new moves in the game that I didn’t see. A whole bunch of them are in this trailer:

I did see this one, which is the result of picking up a piranha plant and running toward enemies. The plant automatically eats the enemies.

Finally, A Super Mario Game We Can All Be Excited About

I was playing that bit co-op and discovered that the plant also took a bite at the other player’s character any time I faced him. Sorry! (A little.)

Yeah, if you didn’t know, you can play the game co-op. And if you’re co-opping while using the cat power-up and the double-cherry power-up, Super Mario 3D World looks like this:

Finally, A Super Mario Game We Can All Be Excited About

I saw even more than what you see here, mind you, and I only saw the game for about 15 minutes.

I saw a cute section in the shadow level where I was able to rescue a red toad called Captain Toad by running behind part of the level. He was cowering from a Bowser-shaped shadow that, it turns out, was being created by a harmless cardboard Bowser that I had to knock down.

I saw new hidden platforms that are revealed only if you scratch wall via the Wii U’s GamePad or do a butt-stomp.

I saw some fluffy pink enemies who only disappeared if I blew into the GamePad’s mic.

I saw lots and lots of good stuff, all in sharp HD graphics with what felt like a smoother-than-average framerate.

Lately, if people ask if they need to get a Wii U, I tell them that it’s a good system but not a must-have. I may well be singing a different tune after this game’s out. It’s really impressive.

This preview is based on about 15 minutes of hands-on time with a development build of the game.


  • I’ve got about $300 of JB gift cards to use. Been tossing up whether to put them towards a Wii U for a while. This may just be the tipping point.

    • You should have got one for 50% off at Dick smith 214$ for premium and then spent 300 on games at JB 😛

      • By the time I heard about that deal, the consensus was that most DS stores were sold out. Also thought about trying to price match JB with that deal.

      • yeah I tried to get one too. Called nearly every DS in Syd and could not find one unit. 🙁

  • Oh EAD Tokyo, I’m sorry I ever doubted you. I’m going to be dropping my money on a 3DS these holidays though, Wii U will have to wait til next year. As soon as Smash Bros comes out though I’ll buy one and get this along with it. I’m not keen for 2D mario but I loved Galaxy 1 and 2.

  • Finally a game for the Wii U that I’d actually be excited about. I’d have to put off any decision until well after christmas though. PS4 takes priority, although I’d assume this will make its way into some form of bundle like NSBM Wii did which could be mighty tempting but it’d still be nice to know there’s more than just Mario and Zelda games to look forward to

  • Ohmigod having that many gifs is an abomination. They are slaying my work computer.

    Game looks pretty though, even in gif form.

  • Got this on preorder…. can’t believe it’s coming out on the same day as Xbox One launch…. will have to split my time evenly between my new children.

  • I made it my mission to play each indiivdual WiiU game I buy before buying and starting a new one.

    I bought ZombiU with my console and 100%ed the game before buying NSMBU. I only have a very small segment of that game left to 100% before I start Wind Waker which I’m picking up tomorrow.

    I need to somehow have Wind Waker 100% before November 22 it seems.

    I own the Gamecube copy and never completed it. Yikes.

    • Man, you’re in for a treat. I’ve finished it a few times since release and it’s completely awesome from start to finish. D you remember where you were up to?

      • Not really to be honest. Soooooooooo long ago. Over a decade.

        I’m up to the Forbidden Forest as we speak and it still seems familiar thus far.

        Game is STUNNING to look at.

        • Yeah, over a decade … things go fuzzy after a year or two. I reckon you’ll come up to a moment where you realize it’s all completely new and become even more invested. I’m just a touch further along than you and I’m absolutely loving it.
          I can’t wait until it becomes less familiar for me as well – although I’ve finished it a few times, I’ve shown and watched people play the first few dungeons a whole bunch of times so I know then backwards. If for no other reason, I’ll keep playing to see … (a particular bit) … In HD. What’s got me so much, as it seems to have for everyone, is how remarkably well its aged. It could be a brand new release and no-one would bat an eyelid.

          • Yeah, the beauty of me not having beaten it AND playing it a decade ago, is that it’s essentially a brand new game for me.

            I DO however remembering quitting the game because there was just sooooooooooooooooooooooo much sailing. HATED the sailing. So I’ve just bought the sail and I’m sailing around, at the Forbidden Forest. Hopefully the sailing doesn’t turn me off again.

  • You had me at catsuit. Between this and Wind Waker – I am officially in the market for a WiiU.

  • This latest trailer shows that this game is not -as many feared- just a cash-in pseudo-3D upgrade over the 2D Mario Bros platformers. This is the honest-to-goodness Wii U follow to the Mario Galaxy games. I can’t wait.

  • i was completely disinterested in this game based on the old previews of it.
    that latest trailer was full of ideas and i am incredibly pumped for it now.
    looks like my wii u will get played this holiday period after all (even with a ps4 under the TV)

  • Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 are amongst my favourite games of the current generation, and I was actually really disappointed with the E3 preview. Like the NSMB games, I thought I’d enjoy it, but would feel like I’d played it before. I was excited, because I knew it existed – but let down at the same time.
    I don’t feel like that any more. I can’t wait to get my mitts on this one.

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