Game Review: Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury (Nintendo Switch)

Originally released for the Wii U (remember that console?) in 2013, Super Mario 3D World was a sequel to the 3DS game, Super Mario 3D Land. In it, players took on the role of Mario (or friends) to rescue Sprixies (fairy like creatures) from series villain, Bowser. The game was well loved and successful considering it appeared on the Wii U.

As is becoming the norm, a lot of Wii U games are getting ported over to the Switch and Super Mario 3D World is no different. Aside from some small adaptions to accommodate the differences with the Wii U and the Switch, it is the same game. Hardly a major selling point if you’ve played it before. What is a major selling point is that it comes with a brand new game called Bowser’s Fury.

Firstly, let’s talk about Super Mario 3D World. A game I never played and now rank as one of my all-time favourite Mario games. It is an absolute blast to play, be it alone or with friends. The bright and colourful worlds, the massive amount of variety in levels, the collectable stamps and stars, there’s so much to do and so much fun to be had.

 

Sure, the story is as basic as it comes (although it’s nice to not be recusing Peach for once) but that doesn’t matter. It’s such a triumph of game design that absolutely no-one will care.

Every new level or world brings with it a whole host of experiences. Stuff that veteran players will be very familiar with and stuff that is brand new. Such as the cat costume that allows a character to climb walls. A minor inclusion but one that makes such a difference to gameplay.

It’s not short either and has a well-planned out difficulty curve. Never getting frustrating by the end but putting all your skills to the test to defeat Bowser this time round. It is simply one of the most fun Mario games this reviewer has ever played. Which would be enough to give this 9/10 or maybe even 10/10 already.

…but then we have Bowser’s Fury. A shortish additional game that combines the gameplay style of 3D World in a Super Mario Odyssey shell.

Breaking from tradition – Bowser’s Fury is an open world game where you explore a group of islands to turn lighthouses on. Why? Well, you’re trying to save Bowser if you can believe that. No, the big bad of the Mario world hasn’t turned over a new leaf. Instead he has been infected by some sort of black goop that has turned him into a raging and uncontrollable beast.

So wild is he, that is son Bowser Jr has asked Mario to help turn him back to normal. Together, the pair will have to explore the islands collecting cat stars to light up the lighthouses and stop Bower’s fury once and for all.

It’s an interesting combination, a second player can take control of Bowser Jr. However, should you leave it up to the AI, you can set the level of help he will give from a lot to none. I had it set on little and often forgot he was even there. Only remembering to take advantage of him when it came to asking him to uncover a painting. Which is the Super Mario Sunshine link.

What really makes this game stand out is what happens when Bowser’s rage flows over and he awakens.

Once that happens, signalled by rain beginning to fall, he will emerge from the sea and lay waste to the land. Shooting rocks out of the sky, sending roaring jets of fire your way and dropping constant fireballs on you. It’s a nightmare to navigate when this happens and you either have to wait it out or quickly get a cat shine to momentarily blind him and stop his rage.

He will be back though so the actual goal is to activate Giga Bells which will turn Mario as big as Bowser and allow the two to face off properly. You’ll do these battles several times over the course of the game on route to finally defeating him.

In addition to having to navigate the nightmarish world created by his rage, you’ll also have to encourage it. As areas that you previously couldn’t get to become available thanks to the rocks Bowser drops out of the sky. Also some cat shines are hidden behind walls that only his breath can destroy. So you’ll have to take advantage and plan accordingly once the baddie really heats things up.

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There are 100 cat stars to collect overall but you only need 50 to do the final battle. Making it quite a short game and more of a DLC for Odyssey than anything else. However, once you do finish it a lot more areas become available and of course, there are 50 more cat stars to collect. That really adds some longevity and exploring the world to find them all is fun and challenging.

If you have no interest in playing Super Mario 3D World, it’s hard to say that Bowser’s Fury is the reason to pick this up. It is great but not significant enough to warrant the price. Put the two together though and wow, what a package. Super Mario 3D World is worth the money alone but with Bowser’s Fury, it’s a must buy for Switch players.




Super Mario 3D World + Bowsers Fury
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