Your Move: A New Twist On An Old Favorite

Feb 24, 2021

A port of 2013’s Super Mario 3D World was recently released on the Nintendo Switch console. This is one of my favorite Mario games ever, but the fact that it was originally released on the Wii U meant that very few people had the hardware to play the game. Now, it’s on a much more popular console.

Included with this release is a new adventure called Bowser’s Fury. Before it came out, I assumed it was going to be a bonus stage tacked on to the end of 3D World. Instead, it’s a completely separate, brand new Mario game.

In fact, Bowser’s Fury plays much more like Super Mario 64 than it does 3D World. The basic gameplay is similar, where you collect stars (or, in this case, “Cat Shines”) to progress through the game, and periodically new areas are unlocked. And for the first time this Mario world is an open world - you discover stages by finding them in the world, rather than being dropped right into them. It adds a sense of exploration and discovery that really suits Mario.

One new mechanic introduced here is a bank of power-ups - this means, if you need to be able to throw fireballs instead of fly, you can swap out your racoon tail for a fire flower, provided you have one in stock. You can bank any of the power-ups in the game, and it really makes you think which would be most effective to solve the puzzle you’re currently facing.

Unfortunately, the game is short. It took me about 5 hours to beat. As bonus content, this is fine. But to me, this seems like Nintendo’s attempt to gauge interest in a full open world Mario game, without taking a big risk on it. Well, Nintendo: I’m interested.

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