Super Mario 3D World is probably, minute to minute, the most fun I had with any game in 2013. The level variety constantly keeps things interesting, and I was always more than ready to see what was coming next. The team behind the Galaxy games and Mario 3D Land is one of the most talented groups making games right now, and they never feel like they’ve gotten stale.
I was almost always smiling or laughing at whatever level I was in, just because of how much fun it is to bounce around as Toad or because of how stupidly clever the level was designed. There’s secrets everywhere, around the world map, inside the levels, everywhere. I was being surprised for the entire dozen or so hours I was entranced with the game, and I know I’ll be heading back into that world to start it all again before too long.
The game does have a few problems, but they don’t stop it from being one of the best games of the year. As I mentioned in my review, sometimes the perspective hurts your ability to see where you’re jumping, and you’ll die a few times because of it. There are only a handful of bosses in the game, but you fight each of them about three or four times before the end. I still don’t think co-op is the way to play through it, and some of the levels are only more frustrating when there are more people jumping around with you. The last Bowser fight is pretty anticlimactic, and the ending sequence builds up to make you think there’s a lot more there than there is; I wish there was a little more post game content in the style of Mario 3D Land.
I’m having to think really hard about the negatives at this point just to give it a fair shake, but there really aren’t many to say. Super Mario 3D World is an excellent game, and it’s one of the best games Nintendo has put out in a long time. Hopefully after this and all the rest of Nintendo’s fantastic offerings this year, we’ll see more of what makes that company so special in 2014 and beyond.