At their genesis, Nintendo is a company that innovates. Every step of the way they've brought something new to the table: They invented the platformer with Mario, changed the way handheld gaming is looked at with the Gameboy, changed console technology with the Wii, and finally they have innovated upon themselves. Super Mario 3D World, for the Wii U, is a rare treat. It offers more of what made it popular but wraps it up in a completely new, refreshing, and original package. Put simply Super Mario 3D World is a console seller. Fans of the original line of games will have to consider opening their wallet if they have not done so already.
At the whistle Super Mario 3D World changes the plot of the game a bit. Bowser is no longer interested in kidnapping Princess Peach and has instead set his sights on a group of fairies. After his typical villainy it is up to our group of heroes: Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Peach, all playable, to overcome Bowsers nefarious plot and to save the day. As a throwback to Super Mario 2 each of these characters have their own little traits that make them worth playing: Mario is his typical jumping self, Luigi can jump the highest, and so on and so forth.
The first thing players of Super Mario 3D world will notice on their Wii U is the graphic level. Everything pops and there are no wasted pixels. The colors set a new standard for how art should be displayed. Even though the game is cartoonish and vibrant it is still completely believable as a real place. This is the best that Mario has ever looked and fans of the series could probably be happy if this was the only thing the game got right. Fortunately for us the best is yet to come.
The goal is in the gameplay for most video games and this new Mario adventure is no exception. Players can control their characters by utilizing any of the many control options (Wiimote, Nun Chuk, Gamepad and so on) and they all feel relatively smooth. Each character responds to the lightest touch and every movement you make is fluid and matters. The platforming is easy at the onset but gets more and more difficult as you adventure on. Familiar power ups have made their way back. Mario gets back into his closet by using the Fire Flower, Boomerang Suit, Raccoon Suit, and even the brand new Cat Suit--which lets Mario turn into a cat that can scratch enemies and scale walls. There are a few other treats that I won't spoil for you guys in the power up world, but they offer a whole new realm of strategy.
To provide a gaming experience worth buying all Nintendo had to do was manufacture another Mario game. They did that. Then they did more. Super Mario 3D world innovates when the audience isn't even demanding it, a true treat for the modern gamer.