Review cover Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury (Nintendo Switch)
Official GBAtemp Review

Product Information:

  • Release Date (NA): February 12, 2021
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Genres: Platformer

Game Features:

Single player
Local Multiplayer
Online Multiplayer
Co-operative
Seven years later, Nintendo brings us back to the Wii U's classic, Super Mario 3D World, and this time around, there's even more to love.

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No matter what your opinions are when it comes to the Nintendo Wii U, the console had a fair few gems on it. Which is why ever since the Switch launched, Nintendo has been porting those titles over to their more successful console. With the Switch boasting Super Mario 64, Sunshine, Galaxy, and Odyssey amongst its library, it only made sense for them to eventually bring over 2013’s mainline Mario game: Super Mario 3D World. Now, it’s finally on the Nintendo Switch, and with a few extra goodies, too! 

This isn’t just a slapdash basic port, either; Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury takes the Wii U release, adds some much-appreciated quality of life changes, kicks the resolution up to 1080p, introduces online play, and most importantly, comes with the side game of Bowser’s Fury, a short but sweet 3D Mario adventure. The QoL changes easily make it far better than the original, as it increases the characters’ movement speed, both in levels and on the map, so the platforming feels more fluid and less clunky. Having played the game on the Wii U, I never would have thought to want things to be speedier, but now that I’ve experienced this release, I could never go back to how the original played.

Super Mario 3D World is really interesting, as far as 3D Mario games go. It has the structure and level design of what feels more like the classic 2D games, yet it's a fully-fledged 3D mainline entry. On paper, that fact makes the game feel far less underwhelming compared to its predecessor, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and successor, Super Mario Odyssey, but such a dismissive comparison doesn't give Super Mario 3D World the credit that it deserves. It stands out in so many unique ways, even if it takes a little time to realize. 

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In a twist that actually feels fresh, Bowser isn't interested in kidnapping Princess Peach, for once. This time, he's after the Sprixie princesses, giving Princess Peach the chance to be a playable character! Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Peach are the cast of four that you'll be able to control throughout your adventures through the Sprixie Kingdom, harkening back to Super Mario Bros. 2. Each of them control differently, just as they did in that game, with Toad being super-quick, Luigi having the higher yet slipperier jumps, Peach being able to float for a short time after a jump, and of course, Mario being the traditional all-rounder. These differences are slight, but enough to change up how you might approach each level. It also has the added bonus of spicing up your co-op sessions, with each player having a varied use. 

And this time around, you might be playing co-op a little more often. Nintendo has surprisingly implemented online play for Super Mario 3D World, allowing friends across the world to connect and play as if they were in the same room. Shockingly, this feature works quite well. Despite having an awful Wi-Fi connection, personally, I was able to play online with someone on the other side of the globe with only a little lag. Attempting to play with someone else who was much closer and on the same continent (and this time around with a wired connection via a Switch ethernet adapter) worked flawlessly. Super Mario Maker 2 this is not. I'm really pleased with the online mode present in the game, and it's especially useful to just play with friends that are far away, given the climate we're all living in right now. 

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Where the game shines brightest is in the different focuses of each stage; the visual designs are the typical tired Mario fare, but the level designs themselves are quite varied. There's always a clear platforming mechanic that the game wants you to play around with, whether it's invisible walkways, rotating spiky squares, or flipping platforms. If you're breezing through the levels with a friend, you might find them to be fairly straightforward, but if you try to collect all the green coins, that's where the genius of the level design shows itself. A singular platforming idea is introduced, and getting all three coins will require you to master that level's individual concept. It's the perfect mix of challenging and pure Mario fun that we've all come to expect from the franchise.

Beyond online play and gameplay improvements, this version of the game also adds the titular Bowser's Fury side game. In this little outing, Mario and Bowser Jr. team up to take down a giant, well, furious Bowser who's on a rampage. From here, you're tasked with collecting cat shine pieces by completing small objectives in an open-world island setting. It feels part Super Mario Sunshine and part Super Mario 3D World, in a weird mixture of what isn't quite a fully-realized 3D Mario adventure, but a very fun one all the same. Bowser's Fury is genuinely enjoyable, offering up interesting platforming challenges that feel almost like a tease of what Nintendo has in store for the future. There are tons of cool power-ups to use, and the little missions blend traditional 3D Mario gameplay with an actual open world--creatively split up by large swaths of water--that ranges between multiple themes. Its biggest fault is that it's so small in scope and is short enough to be beatable in a single sitting. 

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Super Mario 3D World is an absolute blast, especially thanks to the addition of online co-op that actually works. Bowser's Fury, too, is a delight, even if it's over far too quickly. If you never owned a Wii U or just haven't gotten around to trying it yet, being able to experience the game on the Nintendo Switch is the best way to play a great, underrated Mario adventure. 

Verdict

What We Liked ...
  • Bowser's Fury is such a fun inclusion
  • The improved movement speed is a well-needed change
  • Online gameplay actually works well, even across countries
  • Enjoyable levels that focus on varying gameplay elements and feel fresh
What We Didn't Like ...
  • But Bowser's Fury is also really short
  • $60 for an enhanced port of a seven year old game
  • Sometimes the camera angles make judging depth perception difficult
9
Gameplay
Though on the easy side for the most part, 3D World has some great tricks up its sleeve later on, and a lot of the more challenging levels have some fantastic design. The game is at its best when it takes a single core mechanic and tries to focus on mastering one for an entire level.
9
Presentation
Thanks to the higher resolution output, Mario 3D World has never looked better. Everything is just a bit crisper, and a little more vibrant. Each of the worlds are colorful and look fantastic either docked or in handheld mode.
8
Lasting Appeal
The game is sadly short, and the bonus content of Bowser's Fury is even shorter. 100%'ing it will give you a lot of extra playtime if you're a completionist, but most will be done with this adventure fairly quickly.
9.1
out of 10

Overall

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury gets its time to (cat) shine, now that it's finally on the Nintendo Switch.
3D World is probably my favourite Mario game so far.
Bowser's Fury was fun, but a bit short. Also, while the open-world aspect was fun and I hope Ninty makes a proper open-world Mario sometime in the future, the way you had to travel back-and-forth between islands for them to refresh was a bit annoying.
 
Love the game, but it's really sluggish some places...Mostly in Bowser's Fury, but also in certain place in 3D World.
When doing the slot machine it lags a lot once you have jumped into the first three boxes, making it much harder to correctly get the last one.
 
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Totally agree with the review.

Super Mario 3D World alone is an excellent game, well polished, and perfect in every way.

Browser's Fury is like an extra chapter from Mario's Odyssey. I would re-buy this game without hesitation.
 
I still say I absolutely hated the Tessie levels and cherry-clone levels, due to awkward and unintuitive controls. And that 3D Land was much more concise, and so much better for it, along with not having to pad out its character roster with two wholly-unnecessary characters.

The levels with the short time limit and clock pick-ups? Unlike their 3D Land counterparts, the ones featured in this game are far too open to be anywhere near enjoyable, either.
 
how did you feel about forced analog stick controls? that's the reason I haven't played beyond 1-2. I just can't get the hand of it, and with the added speed, the game seems pretty difficult compared with the wii u version, which is slower and has dpad controls.
 
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how did you feel about forced analog stick controls? that's the reason I haven't played beyond 1-2. I just can't get the hand of it, and with the added speed, the game seems pretty difficult compared with the wii u version, which is slower and has dpad controls.
I found it weird that they removed D-Pad controls, but even with the control stick, you're still locked to 8 directions, so it's not a big deal.
 
I found it weird that they removed D-Pad controls, but even with the control stick, you're still locked to 8 directions, so it's not a big deal.

I'll try it again after I get my primary switch on the dock again. right now, I'm downloading all of my games to the 3d world switch. I still have 66 games, so it's going to be another couple days. 3d world hasn't been downloaded yet.
 
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how did you feel about forced analog stick controls? that's the reason I haven't played beyond 1-2. I just can't get the hand of it, and with the added speed, the game seems pretty difficult compared with the wii u version, which is slower and has dpad controls.
Oh wow it never even occurred to me to use the d-pad! I liked the controls, they felt fine to me, though now that I'm looking back on the game, I can kinda understand what you mean.
 
it's not the game, but analog controls in general that I'm pretty bad with. whenever there's like a narrow platform, I slightly tap the analog stick, because if I just push it all the way, I'm almost certain to fall off the edge. I guess I have issues moving in a straight line.
 
I think I remember her floating around in the wii u version. I haven't tried her in the switch one. I'm redownloading all my games from the eshop to the 3d world switch at this very moment. I have so many games that it's going to take another couple days, since the eshop is slow at downloading. I don't think I have 3d world downloaded yet.

I have that problem with depth perception too. I did die trying to get that star with the cloud platforms in 1-2. I never die with the dpad on that star, but the analog stick and the speed at which Mario was running made me miss the star entirely and fall into the pit. I reset the game when that happened. I didn't want to die that early in the game, but I'm liable to die several times due to the analog stick. I remember the game showing how many times you've died once you beat it or get one one of the save file stars. I think it's displayed on the save file. I died a lot the first time I played the game, so it's going to be like that again.
 
Looks pretty cool, and I'm glad that it's ported to a more popular platform, but the asking price for a generation-old game is kinda ridiculous, and I'll just sit on it until (and if) the end-life "Selects" line comes out.
 
Looks pretty cool, and I'm glad that it's ported to a more popular platform, but the asking price for a generation-old game is kinda ridiculous, and I'll just sit on it until (and if) the end-life "Selects" line comes out.

it might go on sale at some point. I've gotten several games on sale. I don't know if the wii u ever had sales, but they're quite often on the switch. this isn't one of the limited releases, is it? or is that just 3d all stars?
 
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This is certainly one of my favorite Mario games. The amazing story of 3D World is so compelling the gameplay is always very fun- and I always wish there were more levels because they’re all so quick ;O;
And I spent hundreds of hours on the Wii U version- thank goodness they upped the speed, because the original was just so sluggish- and that was the game’s only real issue to me. (And even then it didn’t exactly bother me)
I haven’t had enough time for Bowser’s Fury yet, but I mean MORE CATSSSS
 
I play the wii u version all the time. that's one of the 76 games I actually bought on the system. I was so excited for the game that I bought it digitally. I think it might be the game that started me off with buying games that way. I have a windwaker wii u, so I did get windwaker digitally as well. then, I just bought all games that way, except for nintendo land. that disc is in my system and has been for years.

anyway, I love 3d world. world 3 is probably my favorite world. I love every stage in that one.
 
I don't think 3d world was applicable, but Nintendo was selling game vouchers for $99 a few years ago, so you could get two $60 games. the only catch is these are digital titles only. I should've bought several of them, but at the time, I thought it only applied to games already out. however, it was good for games that came out one-two years later. all of my games are digital, so it would've saved me a lot of money. Nintendo hasn't sold vouchers but that one time afaik.
 
Well, good luck with that, seeing as this is a first-party Nintendo game.

Is infuriating everyone lowers game prices over time but Nintendo. Nintendo used to lower prices if a game sold over a million copies but niwadays they don't do that even if the game is digital only.

That, joycon drift, the Switch Mini joycon drift, charging moneu to transfer Pokemon although that's mistly Gamefreak, makes me no longer respect the company.

Sure they are not EA... but... whatever.
 
Is infuriating everyone lowers game prices over time but Nintendo. Nintendo used to lower prices if a game sold over a million copies but niwadays they don't do that even if the game is digital only.

That, joycon drift, the Switch Mini joycon drift, charging moneu to transfer Pokemon although that's mistly Gamefreak, makes me no longer respect the company.

Sure they are not EA... but... whatever.
I've seen eshop sales on first party stuff. Capcom also does a lot of sales.
 
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H
Length should not be a determining factor in the score. All that should matter is the quality of the content at hand and if the game gets everything out of the mechanics in it's set length. Plus, playtime is very variable.
 
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For a $60 AAA priced-game that utilizes the incredibly short yet new content as one of the biggest reasons to re-purchase a nearly decade old game for full cost, I think price more than factors into the package. It also clearly didn't have MUCH of an impact on the score, given the fact that it's a 91/100.
 
I’m really sick of Wii U ports but ... I have zero regrets forking over $50 for this (Walmart)

racked up 25 hours in like a week or so and 3D world is one of if not my favorite 3D Mario game. And it was a great game To have for the week that it was blizzard Ing where I live and couldn’t go anywhere

picked up Wii U after switch and it had 3D world on it a couple years ago and never beat it (sidetracked) so enough of it felt fresh.
 
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I've played Toad on most of the levels, excluding the one's with character buttons. I cant remember how many times I've died due to being too fast or being impatient...
I never really realized that 3D World used 8 directions instead of full movement. Does Bowser's Fury use the same directional movement or is it full analog?
 
I've played Toad on most of the levels, excluding the one's with character buttons. I cant remember how many times I've died due to being too fast or being impatient...
I never really realized that 3D World used 8 directions instead of full movement. Does Bowser's Fury use the same directional movement or is it full analog?

I'm prepared to die a lot for those same reasons. ;) I'm up to the S's in my downloads with the eshop, but that's like the 10th download in the queue. super mario 3d world isn't on there yet, so maybe tomorrow I can start playing it some more. :D
 
I really hope we get more Mario games like this. I haven't been able to put this one down! Of course any game that allows me to play as Toad is always a win in my book! Bowser's Fury was fun and I wouldn't mind a full game like it. Glad this one got ported to the Switch!
 
I also don't like the idea of having to shell out $60 for a ported game. Would make sense to make it $40 max.

But to be fair, not a lot of people own both the Wii U and the game. Less than half Wii U owners bought the game (under 6 mil) according to https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/software/wiiu.html.

So in a way, you can think of this as a "new game" even though it's just a Wii U port.
 
The Wii game sales were really low, even most Dreamcat games sold more that some Nintendo Wii U games.
 
@Chary , if you're interested, I think there's a speedrun of 3d world on the wii u done last year iirc during AGDQ (Awesome Games Done Quick) for charity, which I'm sure you're aware of. those speedruns of games are amazing. I'm pretty good at some of those games, but not to that level. I love mega man, but some of those runs are just too fast.
 
I'm probably a dead man on champion's road in this game. I can't even beat it with the dpad. though, I did beat culmina crater in odyssey on the switch. I nearly died on donkey kong, but I beat it along with every other obstacle course stage but one in dark side of the moon.
 
I also don't like the idea of having to shell out $60 for a ported game. Would make sense to make it $40 max.

But to be fair, not a lot of people own both the Wii U and the game. Less than half Wii U owners bought the game (under 6 mil) according to https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/software/wiiu.html.

So in a way, you can think of this as a "new game" even though it's just a Wii U port.


No you need to raise your standards we need more new games we don't need ports.
 
But to be fair, not a lot of people own both the Wii U and the game. Less than half Wii U owners bought the game (under 6 mil) according to https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/software/wiiu.html.

So in a way, you can think of this as a "new game" even though it's just a Wii U port.

an attach rate of 50%? That's insane to me! This was THE reason I got a Wii U in 2018 or early 2019, but I got sidetracked with other games and the capabilities of Wii U, and put it down after a few worlds. I thought every Wii U owner knew this was the bees knees.

its a double dip im more than happy to throw down for

Bowser's Fury was just icing on the cake as a curious odd world mash up DLC of Odyssey sandboxing with 3D world mechanics and assets

I also beat the main game for Odyssey recently, and the ringing bell above the cathedral is such a foreshadow to Bowser showdowns haha
 
No you need to raise your standards we need more new games we don't need ports.
I don't know what you are on about. I am just giving a possible explanation as to why Nintendo is porting this game and at $60 no less. If you compare the total sales of the Wii U version of this Mario game with other 3D Mario games in other systems, you can see most of the other Mario games sold better than this Wii U Mario game. You can get a better picture of this here:
https://nintendo.fandom.com/wiki/List_of_best-selling_Mario_games

There is also a possibility that Nintendo saw most of the other Wii U ports sold just as well or better on the Switch than on Wii U.
 
"$60 for an enhanced port of a seven year old game"

True, but with the Wii U being the most disastrously low-selling console in Nintendo's history, relatively few people actually played the "seven year old game." Now millions more can, and in a superior version that can also go on the road with them. Another absolute win for the Switch. I'd say it's another nail in the coffin for the Wii U, but that console was buried upon arrival.

Great job, Nintendo! You just keep making life better for those who bought Switch and correctly skipped the Wii U. Keep it up!
 
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"$60 for an enhanced port of a seven year old game"

I get the groaning around this, then when people turnaround and buy the game it sends the totally wrong signal.

Hell, even 'acquiring' the game seems like a waste if you 100%'d something or beat it to death in recent memory to where its not worth re-visiting, or never even liked the title in the first place.

No one is forcing you how to spend your money, or at absolute minimum, time.

I personally think Switch should pump up the quantity of new titles, I think it's more anemic than I'd like, but I haven't been on the Nintendo current gen train for a long time- and I blacked out that those too had large gap periods. but I don't have a problem with re-releases especially ones that add something nice. I generally just keep thinking erroneously they are foregoing new development to focus on Wii U re-releases, when that may not be the case at all and one might not have really have anything to do with the other. Sales are probably already there and multiple year old games like BoTW, SMO, Smash, ACNH keep selling through the roof.

Bowser's Fury is an unexpected pack in. it's Nintendo, I thought if 3d World ever came out it would be a $60 'copy+paste', add a new character port. They should've added a new character that would've spiced it up for people wanting something more out of 3d world side, but its a great game imo and well worth a play.

Even though I still have like 40 cat shines left for Bowser's Fury, on 3d world side I am at the last stage Champion's Road that I can't beat, I am absolutely not going to sell my copy of the game because I know for sure I am going to re-visit this one in due time just like I've dabbled in revisiting 3d land on the 3ds. They're both really charming '2d era Mario' superimposed in a 3d environment games.
 
Review cover
Product Information:
  • Release Date (NA): February 12, 2021
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Genres: Platformer
Game Features:
Single player
Local Multiplayer
Online Multiplayer
Co-operative

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