“Are You Game?” Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury Review

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Arianna Morales/Canva

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is a great way to have some multiplayer fun!

This classic adventure comes back revamped for the Switch.
Taken straight from the Wii U, but with new added touches and more content to make this underrated game even better. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury combines the classic 2D style of Mario’s adventures, but with 3D platforming and even more content!

Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad must travel and bypass several obstacles, battles, and challenges in order to defeat Bowser and save the pixies he’s captured. How much has Nintendo changed and added to this game, and is it enough to make it worth the buy?

Touch and Sound Features
In the Wii U version, player one (the player who had the Wii U) was responsible for touching the screen or blowing onto the pad in order to interact with certain levels. In the Switch version, the touch screen feature still exists, providing appropriate controls depending on the type of play: one joycon, two joycons, or handheld.
I find all versions nearly equal in how easy they are to control, but handheld mode is easier since you literally tap the screen. Only using one joycon is slightly more difficult mostly due to direction sensitivities.
There are no longer sound or blow features within the game. In the Wii U version, the game required player one to blow into the pad in order to move platforms. This feature was completely removed and replaced with automated platforms.
I’ll admit I do miss the animation of platforms speeding towards or away from the player in response to the blow, but it doesn’t hinder the game’s overall experience. I’m glad they maintained the touch screen mechanics of the game since it added to the interactive experience.

No More Miiverse Posts
During each level, there are four progress items that you can collect besides powerups: three green stars plus one stamp. Although the stamp isn’t mandatory to collect, it still allows the player to view their progress, especially if they’re a perfectionist.
These stamps could be used to create posts that would be visible at the top of the screen after a level is completed. Now the screen only displays your score as it waits for you to press “A” and move on.
It was always fun to see the community put fun and cute posts together that the player could see at the end of every level. I do miss that feature, but again it doesn’t take from the overall experience of the game. However, it does take away the primary incentive to collect stamps in the first place.
It’s sad to see it go but overall makes sense. I do wish there was a little more done to bring that sense of community and liveliness, instead of just a simple red screen that displayed your score. One idea could be for the player to customize that screen using the stamps they have, in order to revive the incentive to collect the stamps again.

Online and Local Multiplayer 
Super Mario 3D World is designed for multiplayer fun and the Switch version enhances this experience by allowing not only local multiplayer but also the introduction of online multiplayer. I haven’t tried it out myself, but based on my experience with other online games from Nintendo it seems to maintain similar qualities such as lag, and unstable connection; but for the most part the online multiplayer experience is still very smooth despite these common obstacles. Furthermore, Captain Toad levels are now compatible with multiplayer expanding both the fun and the challenge of these puzzles.
For the most part, the Switch version enhanced the multiplayer experience with only minor changes, and my only complaint lies with the level score screen. What’s even better is that now there’s more content: Bowser’s Fury.

Arianna Morales/Nintendo

Bowser’s Fury
At its core, Bowser’s Fury takes Bowser’s and Mario’s rivalry to a whole new level with the introduction of cat shines necessary to defeat the mega-beast. In this cat-themed world, your pals–Peach, Toad, and Luigi– aren’t there to help you, but Bowser Jr. is.
This unfamiliar ally asks for Mario’s help to defeat Bowser, who at this point is a gigantic ferocious feline both in size and power.
In order to defeat him, you must work together with Bowser Jr. and collect cat shines that will unlock an ability that makes it possible to defeat him.

Good vs. Evil: Watch for the Giant Claws! 
This game can be played with one or two players, in which Mario is player one and Bowser Jr. is player two. You two explore this world together. The design of the levels isn’t necessarily linear: you have the freedom to travel from level to level. At the same time, the levels are distinguishable from each other enough to provide basic direction.
The introduction into the story and Jr’s interactions with Mario made for an immersive experience from the start. Even more so, the levels are unique and fun, incorporating concepts seamlessly from 3D world and other Mario games, as well as new ones, creating an addicting experience since there are so many cat shines that you can collect in just a small area.
The controls are simple for both players, Mario especially, since the controls are the same as they are in 3D world. However, player two’s controls are different. Player two is designed to act more as a supporting sidekick that follows player one around the map: they can teleport and fly, but can’t control the camera since it is controlled by player one.
In contrast to 3D world, there is a powerup storing system that allows the player to store up to five of each powerup and can be used at will. This is most likely to allow for flexibility in exploration and finding cat shines, as opposed to 3D world, where each level provides the player with the power-ups they’ll need to use. The two-player experience is more limited than I would like: Jr. feels more like a ‘pity’ character to help Mario defeat enemies and has an overall limited role.
I like how Jr. has the ability to paint walls and defeat enemies with his brush, but I feel as if Mario’s doing all the work rather than them necessarily coordinating and working together to defeat Bowser.
I’m also not a huge fan with only Mario as a playable character for player one. I understand the traditional rivalry between Mario and Bowser, but why can’t player one choose Luigi, Toad, Peach, or another character for the same purpose?

Admiring the View
This game is just stunning to look at and the little details of fur within each and every enemy adds to the fun of the game and its connectivity to the player(s). I love Bowser’s design; he looks intimidating and powerful and quite frankly awesome to love at. That goes for the rest of the game as well: the dialogue between Jr. and Mario, the contrast between the brightness of the day versus the darkness of Bowser’s Fury creates an engaging and beautiful atmosphere.

Worth the buy?
While yes I do have some complaints about the game as a whole, these are only minimal concerns, and the game is still an overall fun and exciting experience. I don’t think this game is worth the buy if you feel you’re going solo for most of the game, especially if you already own the original Wii U version. I recommend buying this game if you’re searching for a fun multiplayer experience.
There aren’t many other Mario games that have both 2D and 3D qualities seamlessly combined together into such a fun experience. I don’t believe this game was designed to be played alone, so get out there, reach out, and have fun, it is Mario after all!