Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury: A must-have for Switch owners

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Title: Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
Developer: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (reviewed)
Release Date: February 12, 2021

Super Mario 3D World is one of the many games on the Wii U that got the Switch treatment over the last few years and luckily too because, despite some flaws, this game is wonderful. But if you already played it on the Wii U, there’s still more to discover. Packed in with it is a complete second game called Bowser’s Fury and it is a whole new beast.

But first, let’s get into the main game itself.

Super Mario 3D World, again, was originally a Wii U exclusive platformer. It didn’t necessarily break new ground but it did what few other 3D Mario games had done before — it gave us solid four-player action. The set up is really good for multiplayer too. If one player decides to wander off or get stuck, instead of everyone having to backtrack, they get bubbled and brought over to the rest of the group. This made it a godsend when gaming with my two kids.

Nintendo Switch - Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
Nintendo /

One thing that will really throw some people off though with this game is that, unlike other 3D Mario games, these characters are fast. Running for a second will suddenly make your character erupt in a burst of speed. This makes speed running through a stage fun, but also makes multiplying and finding secrets an absolute nightmare if you’re not ready for it.

The game also introduces what is easily the most controversial of all Mario outfits. The cat suit. Upon grabbing a bell and becoming a cat, you suddenly run on all fours. You also gain a claw attack, a diving attack, and the ability to climb quickly.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury 3
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It’s the climbing quickly part that makes it somewhere controversial as it straight up lets you climb up and over many of the games trickier obstacles. Big Thwomp in your way? Climb over it. Trick platform segment? Climb up the framework of the platforms and just run over it. It leaves a lot of room to just skip stuff.

Luckily, even if you’re tempted to do that, the game itself has a lot of fun variety, including ones that play off shadows, bizarre circus-like stages that involve fighting enemies while doing a puzzle with toggle switches, and such. Outside of the cat suit, there are also things like the traditional fire flower and the boomerang brother suit. Even bizarre ones where you play a question block and vomit coins everywhere or a cannon. Even holding a turtle shell and hitting a duck lets you hop into it and drive around inside it. It lets you play in a lot of different fun ways.

The game itself is gorgeous. I played the Wii U version for about an hour before playing the Switch one and it’s easy to notice the cleaned up textures and improved controls.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
Nintendo /

Finally, the ability to play as the various characters is nice because they all control differently. Mario is more your standard running boy. Luigi slides a bit but has a ridiculous verticle. Toad is speedy and Princess Peach can hover. If you’re lucky enough to unlock Rosalina, she also comes with a dope double jump. So playing through as different characters actually feels a bit different, upping that replay factor.

Making your way through the game in multiplayer also adds a fun feature. After you complete each stage, it gives a score based on how many enemies you beat, how many coins and powerups you collected, and how few times you died. It then gives you a total and whoever was first place that round wears a crown for the next round. The crown doesn’t do anything and can actually be stolen by your fellow players but it’s honestly a really fun thing to fight over.

Now let’s take a look at the new content presented in Bowser’s Fury.