Best Co-op Game Ever? (Super Mario 3D World Review)

Posted 2013/12/29 by William Manzo in Gaming

What’s colorful, fun, and full of cats? If you’re thinking The Internet, you’re wrong! Super Mario 3D World falls under those three cat-egories (hehe…okay I’ll stop with the puns) and stays excellent all the way through. Has Nintendo created the best co-op game ever with Super Mario 3D World? Let’s find out in our review.

It’s obvious that the Nintendo Wii U hasn’t had the best reception or selection of games, but that all seems to be changing as more games are announced for the underrated console. Super Mario 3D World is one of many games that have shed light on the Wii U console. These games include the upcoming Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart 8, Hyrule Warriors, and more! How does Super Mario 3D World pave the way for new and exciting Wii U titles though? We’ll show you.

The Story

For a large number of previous Super Mario titles, the story has almost always stayed the same. Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach and it’s up to Mario & friends to save the day. That worked for some time but it got old extremely fast. In Super Mario 3D World, Bowser invades the Sprixie Kingdom and it’s now up to Mario and the gang (Peach, Luigi, and Toad) to put an end to the chaos. As the player, you’re still going from castle to castle like in previous games, but that isn’t saying that nothing’s changed.

The main difference in this game is that you are now making a positive impact in the universe as you save each Sprixie. Like many Mario games in the past, you won’t get much story other than the main storyline, and that’s fine. The fact that Nintendo kept a simple story in SM3DW and focused more on great gameplay instead is a plus. The ending for the game is excellent too (but I won’t spoil it). What I will say is that the ending is the most satisfying ending for a Mario title to date.

The Visuals

If there’s one mistake that Nintendo made with Super Mario 3D World, it would be that the games commercials did no justice to its incredible visuals. From gorgeous hilltop landscapes, to dark levels with pouring rain, to retro styled maps, Super Mario 3D World just keeps surprising players with each level. Along with the gorgeous maps themselves, there are several returning enemies from previous Mario games that look excellent as well. Each with HD revamping.

The Gameplay

Probably the best aspect of Super Mario 3D World besides the games aesthetics, is the fun and addicting gameplay. Local co-op with friends adds a whole new layer of depth to the already unique gameplay previously presented in Super Mario 3D Land (3DS). Nintendo have always seemed to rule local multiplayer, even during the early years of the company, and that hasn’t changed at all today. I honestly haven’t had this much fun with a co-op game since Borderlands on the PlayStation 3. That said, Super Mario 3D World is just as fun as a single player experience.

One thing that players should know about when going into the game, is that Nintendo packed the game with a ton of content. There are new items as well as returning items (Cat Suit, Tanooki Suit, Coin Block Suit), several stamps to collect, and over 50 unique levels (including bonus levels, slot mini-games, speed run levels, and more).

Of course a local co-op game isn’t what it is without its fair share of frustration and annoyances. Most of the frustration that players will find in Super Mario 3D World will be because of the games button layout and use of a Wii-mote controller. It honestly seems like a lazy decision to have the run button also be the attack button and the grab button. I understand if Nintendo wanted to make the game as simple as possible, but this just lessens the experience.

I would say that over 60% of my sister and I’s deaths in the game were because we tried to attack an enemy and accidentally threw each other out of the level. With this example, there are many instances where the Wii-mote’s D-pad does not work at all (especially on levels where players have to move diagonally and quickly switch directions). So if you do plan to play the game, I would recommend playing with a Wii U Pro Controller instead of a Wii-mote. That and be wary about your surroundings (so you won’t throw your friends off a cliff on accident).

There’s also the competitive side to the game which kind of works, and kind of doesn’t. Get this, the player with the most points at the end of the level gets to wear a crown. That crown can be ground pounded and taken by another player in the next level, making endgame play pointless. At the same time competitive play is lessened due to the fact that all players share the same amount of lives. If players aren’t careful and act greedy, it can end in a game over for everybody.

The Monkey Barrel

If you can get by the minor annoyances found in Super Mario 3D World, there’s a lot to enjoy and discover (whether or not you decide to play with others). SM3DW is hands down the best co-op game that I’ve played in years, even though the game isn’t perfect. As a Super Mario fan since the very start, my face lit up with joy several times during my playthrough because of the use of nostalgia. Nintendo are masters of nostalgia of course, and wow am I glad that they are.

Yup… [x]


+ Beautiful visuals

+ Fun Gameplay

+ Easter Eggs

+ Nostalgia

+ Excellent Soundtrack

– Playing with a Wii-mote 

– Competitive play could be better

– The run button is also grab and attack

About the Author

William Manzo

Gaming since I was in diapers.