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Super Mario 3D Land is a platformer that has been described by game designer Shigeru Miyamoto as a "3D Mario that plays as a 2D Mario game." As such, Super Mario 3D Land combines the elements of traditional side-scrolling Mario titles, such as linear-based levels, with those of the modern open world Mario titles, such as moving Mario in three dimensions and performing a variety of actions.
Similar to the classic side-scrolling Mario games, the objective of each level is to reach and grab the flagpole located at the end before the time limit expires. Super Mario 3D Land utilizes a similar health system to those games, in which Mario shrinks upon taking damage from enemies or hazards, and damage while "small" results in losing a life. The game offers a number of traditional Mario items, such as the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Starman, along with new power-ups that bestow a special suit onto Mario that grants him new abilities. Some revealed power-ups include the Super Leaf from Super Mario Bros. 3, which allows Mario to turn into Tanooki Mario and attack with his raccoon-like tail and float in the air; the Statue Leaf, which allows him to turn into a statue; and the Propeller Box, which acts similarly to the Propeller Block and the Propeller Mushroom from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, allowing Mario to reach high places.
First impressions: this game rocks. Game looks almost as good as Galaxy. 3D is really well done, and I love the option for extra depth on some stages. Game controls like a charm. It's really 2D Mario in 3D, I just can't let go of the run button. Feels good to have a non-timed fire flower again. The first bowser's castle was pretty cool at the end. Now to play some more!
I'm signed up to write the official Negative World review of this game so I'll keep my notes mostly to myself for now... however, I am loving this game. How many of you are trying to find all the star coins as you go? I can't remember but I think in New Super Mario Bros. Wii I just found what I found and went back en masse to get the missed ones but here I find myself trying to find them all and if I don't I redo the level I just finished. Maybe it's due to the length of the levels being so small that I feel like I could find it if I seek it out just one more time.
Also, it's hilarious but I just got an e-mail from Nintendo about how Super Mario 3D Land is now in stores. Nice job Nintendo. These e-mails are becoming more and more timely which is great... but you forget who I am Nintendo... I'm already on World 2 by the time you e-mailed me.
It's reminding me of Bug for saturn of all games. I guess because of the enemy stomping demands and the way secrets are handled. And how easily it can go from cramped to open areas when the camera is fixed.