Sadly, we aren’t nearly enormous or important enough to be able to go to E3. Luckily for us, though, Nintendo still has us covered. The big N has teamed up with Best Buy to give us demos of some upcoming Wii U games, and yesterday Andrew and I decided to check it out. It went a little something like this.
Upon arrival, we immediately discovered that the demos weren’t as easily accessible as we had hoped. The games available for play were Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Wind Waker HD, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Unfortunately, only one TV was rigged up, and you had to sign up on a sheet at a specific time, to play a specific game. We were the last ones on the list, and we decided to go with Super Mario 3D World.
We had a chance to play 2 levels. We discovered the different abilities of each character to be both simple and useful. Princess Peach can float, Luigi can jump the highest, and Toad can run faster than the rest. All of these abilities are useful, but you aren’t screwed over if you don’t pick a certain character in a certain level. The level design reflects this, giving you multiple paths through each level. I would take the high road with Luigi, while Andrew would take a more complex low road with the faster Toad. The game seems to do a very good job at creating enjoyable multiplayer without forcing the cooperative aspect too much.
A new item introduced in this game is the cat suit, which turns out to have a bit more depth than anticipated. The suit gives you a strong melee attack to use against foes, lets you run faster, and most importantly lets you climb walls. Use of this ability is challenged by various surfaces with moving treads that will make it harder to stay moving in a certain direction. Basically it’s a sort of agility mode, which I hope will lead to some interesting new puzzles in the game.
Despite not being the grand Mario Galaxy 3 everyone wanted, Super Mario 3D World was a lot of fun to play. The multiplayer isn’t as convoluted and cramped as in the New Super Mario games, instead going for a sort of “choose your own path” approach. Having free rein over a fully 3D environment makes co-op feel a lot more fluid, despite not being able to freely move the camera. Of all the games they had at the event, this was the one I had the most reservations with, having never played Super Mario 3D Land of 3DS, but we both walked away satisfied. What we played wasn’t exactly groundbreaking, but Mario doesn’t always need to be. When the full game launches, it promises to be the fun experience people didn’t quite get from New Super Mario Bros U.