Super Mario 3D Land

aka: Chāojí Mǎlìōu 3D Lèyuán
Moby ID: 53511
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Description official description

Super Mario 3D Land is a three-dimensional platformer which takes cues from the series' side-scrolling instalments. Mario starts a point in each level which he must traverse to reach a flagpole at the end.

The levels are populated by many of the series' mainstays such as Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Cheep Cheeps, etc. who will try to attack Mario. When he is attacked, he will lose his current power-up or shrink down to a small size if he hasn't already, in which case he will lose a life and must retry the level. If this happens multiple times, the player can activate the White Tanooki suit to grant Mario invincibility for that level.

He can grow back to normal size again by collecting a mushroom. Some of the power-ups Mario can use to aid him include the Tanooki suit, which allows him to hover in the air while jumping and use a spinning attack, and the Flower Suit, which allows him once again to shoot fireballs in the direction he is facing.

Spellings

  • スーパーマリオ 3Dランド - Japanese spelling
  • 超级马力欧 3D乐园 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Nintendo 3DS version)

113 People (101 developers, 12 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 89% (based on 87 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.2 out of 5 (based on 32 ratings with 1 reviews)

Honestly, this is the best "straight up platformer" in years and years, and the first step up for the 2D mario formula in just as long.

The Good

  • Classic Mario style is still fun
  • Responsive controls
  • Tons of variety and creativity in levels
  • Impressive technicals for a handheld
  • Perfectly balanced platforming
  • Rewards exploration, without losing focus
  • Actually feels somewhat fresh compared to more recent "Classic" style Mario games
  • Just plain fun


The Bad

  • No 2 player option :(
  • Some odd usage of 3D can sometimes lead to unfair tricks and deaths
  • Worlds aren't as long as in some other classic style Mario titles
  • Have to beat the game twice to get to play as Luigi
  • None of the fun minigames found in other recent Classic style Marios


The Bottom Line
Do I need to explain Super Mario, or why his games are so darned popular? It's as simple as this: They are just plain old fashioned fun. I, like many others, was happy when they released New Super Mario Bros. for the DS and returned the series to its roots - pure platforming, while the console iterations continued to mess around with a more action-adventure oriented formula. I'm cool with that, but sometimes I just like to beat a series of challenging platforms, old school style.

Yet the one big flaw of New Super Mario Bros. is that, despite its name, it wasn't really "new" in terms of how it played out - I'm glad they didn't change the formula too much, but I knew that the Classic Mario formula couldn't have been completely tapped out of new ideas save for the odd power up and simultaneous multiplayer but when New Super Mario Bros. Wii came out, I seemingly gave up hope to see the old school formula take a few new steps. Then, this little gem popped out and surprised me.

I initially expected it to be more like the recent console Marios, a 3D action-adventure with surreal, slightly sandboxy levels focused on exploration and completing objectives for stars to move on. Much to my surprise, Super Mario 3D Land is indeed a 2D Mario game - but with the added depth of a world to run around in. The levels are still mostly linear, but the addition of the 3D movement and controls means that some of the more recent console iterations exploration can make an appearance, and more importantly - there is quite a bit of added replay value to each level due to various alternate paths on top of the expected secret areas. Everything you loved about the old Mario games is here: Great controls, great platforming, a charming aesthetic with great graphics (They are almost on par with <moby game="Super Mario Galaxy>Mario Galaxy</moby> and include some of its tricks, such as the use of HDR and the like.) and gobs and gobs of fun.

It's also worth pointing out that it uses some very creative tricks as well that add new nuances to the platforming, for example you may run into a level in which platforms change their position based on when you jump. Once you get over the initial confusion, this leads to an exhilarating and unique style where you have to recall where the platforms will be next jump and time accordingly. There are many other examples on top of this that lead to unique platforming opportunities, and while there aren't as many mind-benders as in <moby games=">Super Mario Galaxy this entry easily has the most creative levels of a Classic styled Mario game.

The biggest issue for me though is the lack of any multiplayer at all. My wife & I still play the 2D Marios all the time, from the original to New Super Mario Bros. Wii and when we realized that this was essentially a 2D Mario with 3D movement, we expected there to be a 2 player option. I can understand why it would be hard to truly implement a 2 player option in the full on 3D, exploration based Mario games but I don't understand how it would be hard to bring in a second player here, especially since New Super Mario Bros. biggest leap forward was the ability to have 2 players simultaneously instead of taking turns clearing the world. This is a massive opportunity missed. Another admitted disappointment, is the fact that you can't unlock Luigi from the get-go. Funnily enough, I preferred playing as Luigi in New Super Mario Bros. and always made that secret button press to play as him. I looked online to try and find him, but found out that to play as him - you must beat the game twice. It isn't the end of the world, and like all Mario games the replay value here is quite High - but I didn't want to wait that long to see his little legs waddling through the air and have the extra jump power.

The new dimension can also bring a few frustrations to gameplay at times, there are times where the camera is unfriendly and the game expects you to have magic depth perception (Even with 3D on) and you'll sometimes find yourself making jumps off the ledge without having known how far that platform was, or you may have slipped the thumbstick and ran off a ledge that you didn't even know was there due to camera positioning. This isn't a huge issue, but the game can play these tricks - and they never feel fair.

It also lacks the little mini-games that served as a nice distraction in other Classic style Mario titles, but once again - this is just a small loss and doesn't really hurt the overall product too much.

If you have a 3DS - this is probably the game you've been waiting for, and it's just as good - if not better - than you've been hearing. It's easily the best pure platformer in the Mario series since Super Mario Bros. 3 and arguably the best pure platformer in years.

Nintendo 3DS · by Kaddy B. (777) · 2011

Trivia

Sales

According to publisher Nintendo, Super Mario 3D Land sold 10.21 million copies worldwide (as of September 30, 2015).

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2011 – Best Nintendo 3DS Game of the Year

Nintendo Australia/Europe: Super Mario 3D Land Welcome Promotion

If one would register a Nintendo 3DS or Nintendo 3DS XL and one out of the fiteen eligible 3DS games (retail or download version) in Club Nintendo between 27th November 2013, 15:01 (UK time) and 13th January 2014, 22:59 (UK time) in Europe or from 28th November 2013, 2:01am AEDT to 14th January 2014, 9:59am AEDT (Australia), you'd be given the opportunity to request a free download code for the game Super Mario 3D Land, with the final promotion day as the deadline. The eligible games were:

  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • Bravely Default
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
  • Fire Emblem: Awakening
  • Luigi’s Mansion 2
  • Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins
  • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros.
  • Mario Kart 7
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Nintendo 3DS version)
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Pokémon X
  • Pokémon Y
  • Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
  • Sonic Lost World (Nintendo 3DS version)
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by CrankyStorming.

Additional contributors: Opipeuter, CalaisianMindthief, Patrick Bregger, Rik Hideto, Kam1Kaz3NL77.

Game added November 20, 2011. Last modified January 5, 2024.