Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury – First Play

It is not entirely correct to call this a first play given I have played the Wii U version. I never did complete the Wii U version, not even close. These are my thoughts on the Switch port of Super Mario 3D World, and the brand new Bowser’s Fury after about 1 hour with each game.

Super Mario 3D World

Super Mario 3D World was originally released on the Wii U. It is one of the last Nintendo’s Wii U titles to get ported to the Nintendo Switch. There is only a couple that haven’t made their way over (including Zelda and Xenoblade Chronicles X). Super Mario 3D World followed in the footsteps of the successful Super Mario 3D Land, a title which made its debut on the Nintendo 3DS a few years earlier. It’s 3D Mario designed with co-op in mind but without sacrificing the single player, and I love it.

The game plays faster which is a nice change. It feels better, and that is not to say the original game felt bad. There is a mini boss on the overworld of the first level that I don’t remember on the Wii U. It has been so long since I played I can’t say for sure though.

It’s classic Mario 3D gameplay with a fixed camera to accommodate the co-op. You carefully or not make your through 3D platforming and jumping challenges, and avoid or stomp on enemies. You collect power-ups as you go and defeat a boss or jump on a flagpole at the end. Along the way you also collect various collectables such as stars and stamps.

The graphics look as I remember them, exactly as I remember them. I do believe that the Switch is rendering them at a higher resolution – 1080p compared to 720p on the Wii U (and Switch Portable mode). They remain terrific – they feel like Mario, and a natural evolution of what we saw in Galaxy — without the 3D spherical levels.

Bowser’s Fury

This game is very different. It returns to a behind Mario-camera. Everything is cat-themed. It involves finding items called cat shines to restore the light of lighthouses while fending off attacks from a giant Bowser. Bowser attacks every so often, in a giant form with directed energy attacks. These attacks not only hurt Mario but can also destroy the environment. This can reveal previously unreachable collectables. Collect enough cat shines and Mario can transform into a giant himself and fight back against Giant Bowser.

You are also aided by Bowser Jr. who will collect coins and engage enemies on your behalf. A second player can take control of Bowser Jr. if you like but otherwise the AI will play him well enough.

Bowser’s Fury is rendered at the lower resolution of 720p in both docked and portable mode. This is necessary because the levels are much bigger and more detailed then those featured in Super Mario 3D World. It feels more like an add-on for Super Mario Odyssey rather then something made to compliment Super Mario 3D World.

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