Super Mario 3D World would be incredible if I didn’t already know who Mario was and what he was all about.
In his 2013 review of the Wii U original, Kotaku writer Luke Plunkett described Super Mario 3D World as a “greatest hits collection, bringing together all the best things Mario has already done in a single package.” It should come as no surprise that Super Mario 3D World (plus Bowser’s Fury, but we’ll get to that in a bit) is still a great game on Switch, if only a little lacking as a Mario outing.
Much of my disappointment with Super Mario 3D World centers on the fact that Mario just doesn’t feel very spry. Even with the Switch version’s increased movement speeds, I never quite feel 100% in control of my characters, which is further compounded by a dearth of movement options (the lack of a triple jump is a glaring omission). Super Mario 3D World just doesn’t play as effortlessly as I’d expect of a Mario game, a feeling perhaps compounded by this re-release coming hot on the heels of last year’s Super Mario 3D All-Stars, a compilation which included some of Mario’s best 3D outings. Add in a wonky camera that only gives the player a bare minimum of control, and the Super Mario 3D World experience often feels more full of frustrating deaths than the satisfyingly precise platforming for which the series is known.