As promised, Nintendo unveiled a new Super Mario game for the Wii U that, surprisingly, didn’t have the word “new” in the title. Super Mario 3D World continues the 3D-style platforming of the blockbuster 3DS game (minus the 3D-effects) in this super colorful addition to the series. Think Super Mario Galaxy in glorious high-definition and you’ve got a good idea what to expect, at least visually.
Gameplay is a mix of 3D Land’s more traditional platforming mechanics with a dash of Super Mario 64, sprinkled lightly in Galaxy’s surreal style with New Super Mario’s multiplayer baked in for maximum chaos. That’s a lot of Mario for any fan, but considering how much they love this franchise that’s not exactly a bad thing. Our brief gameplay session includes one of the many multiplayer-friendly levels showcasing one of the game’s newest suits – the cat. Snagging one allows players to scaled walls briefly and pounce, cat-like onto foes and objects alike. Meeyow!
Just like Super Mario Wii U, 3D World supports up to four players on the same screen using a combination of GamePad and Wii Remote support, though unlike that game you’ll be able to use the GamePad as an actual controller while others join in. “God Mode” still exists, as touching the GamePad affects the on-screen action, such as touching moving platforms (to stop them), or to collect coins, stun enemies, etc.
Apart from Mario and Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad also return, each with their own unique play styles (ala Super Mario 2). While the bulk of the gameplay will be platform-centric, expect plenty of odd teamwork-based racing, like the wacky new water rides with the new dino-style friend that rewards timed-jumps and cooperation. Throw in the classic “Whistle Race” tune and you’ve got yourself a good time.
Unfortunately, non-GamePad players will have to contend with digital controls using the Remote, and considering how hectic some of the levels feel that could be an issue – more so than we’ve seen in previous same-screen multiplayer Marios. Also, the lucky GamePad player can also tilt the view with a quick tilt of the pad (though an analog tap can accomplish the same).
Super Mario 3D World is due out this December for Wii U. Momma Mia!