Nintendo Nintendo Switch

Bowser’s Fury Is A Return To 3D Greatness

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
Courtesy of Nintendo

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: February 12, 2021
Available as: Digital and Physical

Another Console, Another Revival

The origin of what would become Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury began on the Wii U. In 2013, Super Mario 3D World saw its release, bringing the franchise back to its roots. Super Mario 3D World combined familiar 3D aesthetics with collecting stars, completing levels, and defeating bosses. Much as the name suggests, a lot of its inspiration came from Super Mario World, not just from the map overworld, but also from minor details within the game itself.

Eight years later, the same title was released on the Switch, bundled with an all-new experience known as Bowser’s Fury, a complete stand-alone adventure involving Mario and Bowser Jr as they seek to defeat an enraged Bowser and discover what has him all upset. Before Bowser’s Fury is talked about, Super Mario 3D World is a title that, despite it inching ever so close to the decade mark, holds exceptionally well on the Switch. The bright and colorful graphics complement the Mario universe, opting for simple shapes and vivid details that fit perfectly in the world of Mario

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Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

Super Mario 3D World Is A Perfect Shoe-In For Switch

The gameplay holds up just as well, with various power-ups changing the way the game is played for Mario and his friends. Taking cues from games such as Super Mario Advance, each character plays differently enough from each other to warrant extra care in tackling challenges. Mario, as to be expected, is the all-arounder, with average speed, jump height, and nothing that stands out from the rest. 

His brother Luigi has an incredibly high and floaty jump arc that may be difficult to control but can traverse through long ranges easily. Peach can glide across the screen, making landing tough jumps easier in comparison to her friends, yet compared to other titles, it’s been nerfed as she only stays in the air for a fraction of the time she’s used to. Lastly, Toad has short yet precise jumps, also being the fastest character on land. 

sm3d world Bowser's Fury dinosaur
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

The Return Of The Cat

The featured power-up in 3D Land is the catsuit, which is easily one of the best power-ups in Mario history. It’s the only way to melee attack in this game while holding the button will burst into a sprint. The catsuit can also climb on walls up to a certain distance, making inaccessible areas easily accessible. Plus, the suit itself is always an abundance so even if you were to lose it, chances are there would be another cat bell around the corner. 

Several other nods to previous Mario games include homages to music from other titles and various mini-games not limiting to item slots for example. The Captain Toad levels also make an appearance in the remaster, much like they did in the original, for players who were interested in seeing the origins of Captain Toad before it became a stand-alone spinoff title. Overall, the same amount of gameplay accessible via four-player local co-op makes 3D World an amazing experience that holds up if you have a room filled with others at a gathering.

super mario 3d world Bowser's Fury scamper shores
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

Bowser’s Fury Is A Return To 3D Greatness

The real star of the show is Bowser’s Fury, which runs on the same engine as 3D World but works as an open-world experience similar to that of Sunshine, Galaxy, and 64. Bowser’s Fury makes the first Mario game in a long time to be in full 3D, reintroducing all of his classic abilities such as the long jump and ground pound, moves that were absent in 3D World. The story is Bowser, who is pissed off and kaiju-sized, must be stopped by the unlikely duo of Mario and Bowser Jr. 

Occasionally as they both explore the islands, Bowser will attack, sending a rain of fire in Mario’s direction as well as an explosive fire-breathing attack. If Mario has enough shines collected, he can use the power of the shines to fight Bowser in a kaiju vs kaiju fight. The amusing thing about an enlarged Mario fighting an enlarged Bowser is that around the time of this game’s release, Godzilla vs King Kong was just around the corner. 

super mario 3d world kaiju Bowser's Fury
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

What Came First? The Bowser Or The Godzilla?

The game and the movie served as enough promotion for the other, and the fights that Mario and Bowser engage in were inspired by kaiju. It’s an amusing sight to see Mario in a way that players generally never see him, making Bowser’s Fury a “darker” game aesthetic-wise, yet also making it familiar to those used to 3D Mario.

Overall this is probably the best bundle for a classic Mario title in a long while, one that isn’t bogged down by a limited-time release a.k.a 3D Mario All Stars. Players can not only enjoy a full experience in 3D World but also an impressive one in Bowser’s Fury, which, although short in comparison, will offer players hours of content for virtually the price of one cartridge.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is now available on the Nintendo Switch.

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