I got this game early (November 9, hehe). Now, let me do a review on it. Does this Mario really live up to its name or it is a complete disaster with 3D messing up the whole side-scrolling experience? TAKE NOTE Firstly, all are opinions and SPOILERS AHEAD. There might also be certain grammatical errors - sorry, my English isn't really that good. Next, Super Mario 3D Land is one of the 3DS games packaged with a system update, Ver 184.108.40.206U/J/E, which obviously blocks flash kits. If you want to play this game and would like to still play your pirated babes utilize your flashcart make sure that your cart is (and can be) updated. Also, with V4 (I don't know how to switch back lol - or is there no way?), I can't really have the same review style. As you can see in my iPhone 4S review, the old style seems to be in a total mess still. I'm just going to keep it very simple with the V4 UI. Game StorylineThe side-scrolling Marios never really had a storyline. Same goes for this incredible adventure. The main story features Peach getting nabbed by Bowser and Mario off to rescue. However, in this game, Bowser also nabs the Tanooki leaves and they go flying around the Mushroom Kingdom. Okay... So what is this game all about? As you can see on the upper image, it is a 3D-style Mario (like in Super Mario 64), but what you don't see is that the game is actually a 2D-style side-scrolling platformer (like in New Super Mario Bros). Your goal is to reach a flag within the stipulated time limit, while facing all the obstacles. What's good about 3D-style in this game? Dodging is made much easier. You are given a wider space to avoid, unlike bros where you can only jump left and right (or upwards and downwards if there are platforms). You can also use the 3D-styled skills, such as wall bounce and duck and then press B to jump high, which weren't available in the Mario Bros. series. Downside? You can more easily fall into the abyss without knowing it, especially in the ship levels. Secondly, as this is a 2D and 3D combination, some things are also omitted. Things like the huge mushroom and triple jumping? Bid farewell. Controls The controls are easier than expected. Although there is no customizable control option, the layout is fairly simple. A or B to jump, Y to use power/run, slide pad to move and the D-Pad for changing of view in 3D. In 3D, there's this unique feature. Using the D-Pad up or down, you can swap the camera one closer up and one further away. This works in 3D only. This game is also one of the few games utilizing the 3DS Gyroscope in a rather useful and unique way. You can tilt your system when using the binoculars/canon and it moves accordingly. The 3DS Gyroscope turned out to be much more responsive then I've expected and it's a pleasant experience, much better than controlling the cannon in Super Mario 64 DS with the clunky D-Pad and touchscreen. If you are playing in public and don't want people to think that you came out from the mental asylum, you can always use the slide pad as an alternative. The wonderful 3D, now in a 2D sidescroll One thing which I always disliked about New Super Mario Bros... The limited dodging area. Well, thanks to the marvelous bliss of 3D background, this hasn't been such an issue anymore. Well done. This time there are 8 worlds (plus another 8 special worlds - making it 16) but only 5 levels (excluding the boss levels) in a world. This is down from 8 in New Super Mario Bros. Actually, 8 levels can be a little too much for just one pack, so I don't exactly count it as a major flaw. StreetPass is beautifully utilized in this game and you can play in special boxes when you get a tag. You can get coins, bonuses and star coins. For once, the 3D deserves some credit. In Super Mario 3D Land the 3D is simply magnificent and adds to a ton of detail in gameplay. In fact, some places may even be inaccessible without 3D! The 3D is a wondrous bliss and the game simply looks very lifelike. The framerate is also very consistent and is obviously higher than 30 fps in 3D. That said, the 2D is also very beautiful, just with a catch. The game experience changes drastically in 2D, and some places are difficult to reach (especially in the levels using those hell propeller boxes!). Other than that, the game is very very fluid and is full of wonders. Mario, unlike Nintendo Show and YouTube trailers, do not look pixelated and out of shape. The colors are also not washed out. So... yay! Some other stuff Super Mario 3D Land has some very great music, but at times the theme for World 1-1 can really be overused. Literally. Thankfully for other themes it's not so. The music is wonderful and decent, better than the previous 2D Marios. The game does not feature bonus quests which might utilize online, it would be great if it actually does come with online but hey, Mario is more suited to be a single-player platformer. (Although it does seem really foolish since the update was an online improvement update) Worlds 1 to 8 are fairly easy to average difficulty, while the special levels are difficult. Personally I do not know... I'm stuck at World 7-1! If you die more than 5 times in a level you can turn into an invincible Tanooki and clear the level in a breeze. Speaking of Tanooki, it tends to be overused in the game as well. Well, it actually makes sense as all the leaves are scattered throughout the Mushroom Kingdom. So I won't really count it as bad. Reviews also claim that boss battles lack variety. Well, better than fighting some Baby Bowser over and over again. Duh. Oh and Luigi can be unlocked as well! After completing the 8 worlds. He runs faster, jumps higher, but is more difficult to control. Isn't that great? Finally Super Mario 3D Land is an ultimate platformer with great detail and wholesome value. However, it does overuse certain stuff and playing in 2D can at times pose a little issue but hey, it's Mario. PROS Immense use of stereoscopic 3D Great utilization of 3DS controls Classic with a nice 3D twist CONS Some things tend to be overused in the game Overall rating for Super Mario 3D Land: 9/10 I'm very sorry. I wanted to click on 'Preview Post' to see if my review was okay but I slipped and clicked 'Submit Post' halfway thru instead. Really sorry about that. The quality of this review is going to be shitty, and one temper proved it. Again, sorry. Most images are from the web and all rights go to their respective owners. Gamerabies, Tikisaurus, IGN, Platformnation for the awesome logo and Botchweed Gaming.