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GRAPHICS: For a 3D game, there’s really not much work been put into the 3D design element. I almost expected a full 3D side-scrolling game, and all I got was the background being a bit more blurry than usual and the foreground standing away from it. And honestly, I was a little dissapointed. I expected a lot more from Nintendo and I was let down. On the other hand, if you turn the 3D slider to OFF, you’ll save battery power on your console. So that’s a plus. The 2D version of the game is pretty much standard Nintendo fare, bright crisp graphics with lots of colour. And if Nintendo hadn’t delivered on that aspect, I would have been a very sad gamer.
AUDIO: The music is fun and happy, but it’s nice to hear that it’s not been stolen from past Mario games as this would have been a terrible waste. The musical score was designed by Mario Kart veteran Kenta Nagata, and for me that’s a nice touch that Nintendo have put into the game. The soundtrack is solid, if not a little cheesy at times. It’s typical Japanese J-Pop almost, with the hand claps and the ‘da-daa’s’ in some of the worlds. It of course would be okay for kids that would love this kind of music, but I find myself wanting to turn the volume down to not have to listen to it. I find it a little distracting. It IS catchy though, that I can give Nintendo major kudos for. It sticks in your head and you’ll find yourself humming it at the most inappropriate moments. Try and come up with a good excuse as to why you are humming Nintendo music- it’s not easy!
FUN FACTOR: If you’re already a fan of Mario and Luigi, then you’ll already be excited to play this game. As a friend of mine on Twitter said:
“I’ve only just started playing this game, and I’m already addicted. COINS COINS COINS!!”
This game is seriously fun and very addictive. The graphics pull you in, the music makes you hum along while you bounce from block to block and collecting every coin you possibly can. It’s almost like a typical Mario game though, so the fun is abound in huge amounts. With all the different suits Mario has, and the ability to play Luigi too- there’s a lot here to keep this game fun for a while.
REPLAY VALUE: With the Coin Rush mode and the challenge to get to a million coins, there’s no real reason to stop playing until you get to that point. Collecting the stars in game means you unlock other parts of the games, secret worlds and cannons to jump further ahead in the game. A bit like Warp Zones from the earlier games. And just because you complete one world, doesn’t mean you have to keep going forward. You could stay on World 1 forever if you really wanted to, collecting all the coins and stars while unlocking all the paths and extras. This game really could go on for a very long time if you were hell-bent on unlocking everything. Also, using the built-in wireless- you can turn a 1 player game into a 2 player and a friend can play Luigi on another console with their version of the game.
GAMEPLAY: For me, the game is still going and some of the levels are really frustrating. The game in most countries has an ‘Everyone’ rating, and as true as that might be- I just don’t see some of the younger Mario fans out there being able to persevere through some of the harder levels. It’s not like it comes with an instruction booklet on how to beat the game or anything. Going across the map of each world, there’s the chance to unlock secret paths and huts and cannons. The mushroom huts are here with the bonuses, and the Warp Zones come in the forms of cannons- wanting to shoot you through the game faster. Being a side-scrolling platform, there’s nothing really that different about this game from the usual Mario games. And even though you have access to the analogue stick on the 3DS, you don’t really need it as the D-pad works just fine too. With the abilities of multiplayer in game, friends and family can join you on your quest to collect 1 million coins and seeing both Mario and Luigi on screen is always a bonus. It’s nice to see that there are some differences between the two also, the main being the tanooki suits. Mario has the rounded ears and the striped tail and Luigi has pointed ears and a fox-like tail, which I’m guessing makes them a raccoon and a fox. A quirky change-up, but makes the game a little different.
OVERALL: I am a Mario fan and I always will be. I did enjoy this game, but with things missing like better 3D graphics and more to do in the game other than collecting coins- I was a little disappointed. For someone starting out with the franchise, I’m sure they would be pleased as punch with it.