As the first new Nintendo game to be released for the 3DS, Super Mario 3D Land has a lot to live up to. The game sets a wonderful precedent for Nintendo’s new handheld just in time for the Holiday season. It is easily the best 3DS game I’ve played, and quite possibly my favorite Mario game since the excellent Super Mario 64.
The game is an amalgamation of old-school and new-school Mario. Expect to spend time using the Tanooki suit to jump between Super Mario Galaxy style timed platforms, and to finish castles by navigating past Bowser and stepping on switches on the end of a bridge. Using old school Mario powerups to navigate 3D stages makes for a very enjoyable experience. Adding to the old school feel of the game is the inclusion of a run button. Using one finger –albeit with two buttons– to manage both jump and run should be familiar to anyone who has ever played a 2D Mario game, and really helps to nail the feeling of playing old school Mario in a 3D world.