Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Since you are old enough to read this games column, I am going to assume you know who Mario is and what kind of games he appears in. I will, therefore, avoid the usual intros and description of gameplay and skip straight into the nitty gritty of the review.
Is Mario 3D good? Yes very much so. This is the most fun I have had with the Italian plumber in some time. Each level features the usual high quality you expect from Nintendo and I didn't realise how great it looks until I replayed a level from Mario DS and thought how ugly it now seemed in comparison. The difficulty does seem a bit easier than the recent 2D Mario games on the Wii and DS but experienced players should still get their moneys worth here and acquiring all the extras in the level will require plenty of skill and patience. Another reason for the difference between difficulty levels between DS and 3DS, is that the game automatically saves after each level as opposed to saving at the mid and end points of each world. While this reduces the difficulty, it really is a vast improvement for a portable game.
Does the 3D Work? Yes everything seemed to work fine for me and I could play for long periods without any eye strain. To be honest though, the game works just as fine, if not better, without the 3D effects and more often than not I played without them on.
Are there any flaws? There are a few issues. Normally on a handheld Mario, I expect A (and X) to be jump and B (and Y) to run / fire. For Mario 3D, A or B can be used to jump and Y or X to run/fire. I found the change awkward and unnecessary. Also like all 3D platformers you will have the usual issue of judging some of your landings. Finally, not only have the boss fights not improved as challenges, they actually seem to have gotten easier and less diverse.
Overall, Mario 3D is a triumph and there now is finally a killer app for the 3DS. If you have a 3DS, buy this game if you have not already done so.
Rent or Buy: Buy
Replay Value: 3.5/5
Reviewed by: JP Gallagher