GR: Mario, despite himself, has diversified his income over the years. In addition to master plumber, he’s become a championship series go-kart racer, a tennis superstar, a baseball MVP, and he’s even thrown a few massive parties. This drive to explore as many professional avenues as possible has even split Mario’s platforming into two distinct areas of expertise: 2D side-scrolling adventures and 3D worlds we’ve come to know and love. Unfortunately, the expansive, free-roaming trial-by-fire style that gamers expect of Mario and Nintendo on every new home console wasn’t present at launch.
Sure, New Super Mario Bros. U arrived day and date with Wii U, but for Nintendo’s first high-definition console I don’t think anyone was completely satisfied by the 2D platforming recently plumbed in New Super Mario Bros. 2 on 3DS. Thankfully, Shigeru Miyamoto and company have readied a new 3D Mario game for Wii U’s second holiday season at market. While Super Mario 3D World might not be the open-world game you were expecting, it perfectly translates the shoebox level design that made Super Mario 3D Land a breath of fresh air on 3DS, and it brings four-player co-op to the forefront of that winning formula.