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Super Mario 3D World: Bowser's Furry

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
I'm only a little ways into Bowser's Fury, but, uh... since it has online, we may have just beaten 3D World (rolled credits, no special worlds) during Extra Life last night/this morning. It's honestly shorter than I remembered? But I also got everything when I played it solo on Wii U, and we didn't stress TOO much about every star in every stage, much less every stamp.

EDIT: ALSO, HEY, PSA HERE - If you play online and you're not the host, you don't get any of the progress. I literally beat the game, but since Matchstick was hosting, when I load up my own game, not even world 1-1 is cleared. Which is, ya know, a little frustrating, but Nintendo has sucked at online forever, so I guess nothing new here.
 
I like that everyone's cats. So far, clear favorite cat is Toad. How cute. Haven't seen everyone's fireball costumes yet but Peach seemed much more stylish than Mario. Will keep myself posted.
 

LBD_Nytetrayn

..and his little cat, too
(He/him)
I'm only a little ways into Bowser's Fury, but, uh... since it has online, we may have just beaten 3D World (rolled credits, no special worlds) during Extra Life last night/this morning. It's honestly shorter than I remembered? But I also got everything when I played it solo on Wii U, and we didn't stress TOO much about every star in every stage, much less every stamp.

EDIT: ALSO, HEY, PSA HERE - If you play online and you're not the host, you don't get any of the progress. I literally beat the game, but since Matchstick was hosting, when I load up my own game, not even world 1-1 is cleared. Which is, ya know, a little frustrating, but Nintendo has sucked at online forever, so I guess nothing new here.
It's not even their online, their local play on the same machine tends to do that, too.

I've barely touch Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on my own because all of our progress is tied to Nadia's account.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
I'm assuming that the online play mode basically just emulates how the local play worked but it's online now. You're a player who can tap in or tap out to help somebody else make progress, which works good for parties and such but kinda sucks for online play where everyone has their own file they'd like to make progress in.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
I like this game a lot, so I probably will replay it on my own Switch, but where that play may have been upcoming (by which I mean, I would go back and clean up the gold flags, stamps and stars I didn't get, then do the special worlds), it's now booted to the back of the line after finishing 64, giving Sunshine one more chance, doing Galaxy (all on the 3D All-Stars cart), then maybe even replaying Galaxy 2.
 
Design flaw that you can enter 2-4 with Cat Toad and therefore have a bit more trouble getting everything in one go because you keep those Toads cats at all costs. Well, random selection gave me Peach on the second go and she is indeed the coolest looking fire friend. Worked out.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
I got enough cat shines to see the credits in Bowser's Fury. It's kind of like a Majora's Mask style sequel to Mario Sunshine, but it was built with parts left over from Mario 3D World. And it's also kind of a test run for an open world Mario game.

It has an interesting structure. There are basically 4 modes: normal platforming courses, moving between courses, being attacked by Bowser, and boss battles. They all use the same space, and you frequently move between modes. The platforming courses are good in and of themselves, and the other three modes all serve to elevate them. Being able to ditch a course mid-way through and move over to some other challenge, or finding an alternate way to approach a course is a great feeling. Being attacked by Bowser makes everything more urgent and difficult, but the game is not so difficult that it becomes frustrating. Also, it creates extra platforms that change the flow of some courses, and you need Bowser to destroy certain blocks for some of the shines. It's unpredictable, but it's fun and it usually helps you at least as much as it hurts you. Finally, you get to fight back against Bowser after reaching various thresholds in collecting shines. The boss fights take place on a small version of the world map, which helps cement the spatial relationship of the different courses. So it does the triple duty of 1) providing the spectacle of seeing the setting from a different perspective, 2) helping to orient the player in the world, and 3) everything else that a boss fight provides in terms of pacing and achievement in any given game.

Because the player is constantly switching between play modes and also because there are no load times or divisions between spaces, the game never has downtime. Whenever you finish something there are a bunch of immediate options for what to do next. And if you get stuck on a challenge or start wandering around aimlessly, Bowser will attack before long and make things more intense and urgent. You will have to either go after an easier Shine, or do whatever you can to avoid Bowser until he goes away. You'll probably end up in a new location and have a bunch of new goals in front of you. All of the modes feed back into each other to create a steady rhythm of moving forward.

I really didn't expect much from this game, but it's great. It's a complete reimagining of the flow of moving between courses and how to present goals for the player. In a lot of ways, it has more in common with Breath of the Wild than it does with Mario 64. It's a neat little game.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Yeah, good synopsis. I'm not sure how well Bowser attacks would hold up in a longer game but it's amazing in this specific one
 

Bongo

excused from moderation duty
(he/him)
Staff member
The part where the lighthouses stop working and Bowser's just constantly mad until you get enough shines to activate the last Giga Bell. That's one of the most thrilling and intense Mario experiences to date.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
Yeah, that was neat! I had just gotten above the waterfall, so I was not familiar with the area yet. It really made it intense.
 

John

(he/him)
The part where the lighthouses stop working and Bowser's just constantly mad until you get enough shines to activate the last Giga Bell. That's one of the most thrilling and intense Mario experiences to date.
I don't think I got that? I already had more than enough shines whenever he would come out and I was by a Giga Bell. I think I had 56 shines when I accidentally triggered the final battle, trying to return one of the Calico Kitties to Momma and the bell automatically triggered because I was in proximity to it. Every other time he went off on his own, or after I picked up a shine.
 
I’ve been playing all the Mario games! These days I only get 20 minutes here and there and trying to play RPGs in that manner just wasn’t working.

I didn’t have a Wii U and this is my first time playing 3D World. It was good, but not that inspired or creative IMO. The cat suit is cute and I love the double cherry, but everything else is a little bland. Is there a consensus about how this game matches up to other 3-D Mario games? The Wii U was so far off my radar, I missed out on any discussion.

Saving the Sprixies is actually a worse plot than saving the princess for the hundredth time, because I at least know who princess is and what her relationship to Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom is. I guess it doesn’t matter that much, but just putting this out there.

The levels are fun, but not as memorable as Mario 64 or Galaxy levels. In some cases, I guess they were going for a look kind of like Super Mario 1 with literal platforms. You know, like a slab of pastel colored metal that you jump on. But it just looks so Spartan. In other cases, the levels just look like the most generic grass or desert.

Getting all the green stars and stamps is the kind of challenge I like, but the game doesn’t give me a good reason to hunt them all down. Unlocking Rosalina occurs in the second bonus level (out of probably 40). And after that, the only reward for completion seems to be a star on your save file. It’s probably my major complaint. Beating the purple challenge levels in Mario Galaxy to unlock Luigi and the good ending, and completing the Darker Side of the Moon in Mario Odyssey are my two favorite moments in Mario games, and this game has nothing resembling that. There’s a pretty fun
boss rush in the final flower world level, and I thought maybe there would be another cut scene or ending after that, but there was nothing. It just kind of… ends there.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
You need to collect all of the green stars, stamps, and gold flagpoles in order to unlock the final world.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
Yeah, the Crown World is bananas.

As for feelings... It might be my favorite 3D Mario game? I definitely rank it higher than 64, Sunshine, 3D Land, and Odyssey, but I need to revisit both Galaxies to shore that up.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
Saving the Sprixies is a much better plot because it lets you play as Peach.
Still be nice to have a Mario platformer plot without a kidnapping at all, though.

I feel like Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3's plot literally subbing Princess Peach with a solid gold statue of Princess Peach as a thing to rescue and absolutely nothing changing should've been the point when somebody came to an epiphany instead of continuing to do the same basic kidnapping plots for most of these games over 25 years later.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
In Mario 3 nobody is kidnapped until World 7's castle. Also nobody is kidnapped in Mario 2 at all for that matter. The NES games were surprisingly kidnapping-light.
 

Bongo

excused from moderation duty
(he/him)
Staff member
Super Mario 3D World is indeed a pretty aesthetically and structurally "basic" Mario game. Put it next to something with a strong theme like Galaxy or wild eclecticism like Odyssey and you can tell it's the baseline. However, it's much more attractive than the previous baseline, the New Super Mario Bros. games, and I think the music is a major contributor to that. If you look at photos of the newly opened Mario theme park in Japan, that's very clearly aesthetically modeled after 3D World.

So what this game is, then, is solid. And that comes down to level design. Although it takes a couple worlds for the obstacles to start showing their teeth, there's a chaotic energy and a structural variety to the proceedings that sets it apart. Multiplayer, naturally, enhances this state of affairs.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Yes, it looks firmly and identifiably "Mario" in a way that Galaxy or Odyssey often don't. If you show somebody a screenshot of almost any level I'm willing to bet anyone with any experience of videogames would know what series it came from. That's the reason it's being picked for Super Nintendo World - its visual identity screams "Mario" without looking generic or boring. That's where the visual style of New Super Mario Bros falls over, it's clearly Mario, but somehow a bit soulless. Which is a shame, as they're great games.

Edit: Thinking about it, I think it's lighting. The 3D World levels look like toys, a brightly coloured playground. The NSMB levels try for similar but don't manage not to look like renders.
 
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LBD_Nytetrayn

..and his little cat, too
(He/him)
Also nobody is kidnapped in Mario 2 at all for that matter.

 
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