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Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury Review: felines for each other!

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury Review: felines for each other!

Do you remember Super Mario 3D World? Originally released on Wii U in November 2013, this episode in real-fake 3D had seduced fans tired of the "New Super Mario Bros." formula. worn to excess, despite a camera angle that is sometimes a little far and limited, due to lack of freedom in its rotation. After the easy and obvious commercial success of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe two years ago on Nintendo Switch, a port seemed necessary to see this installment, decidedly better than New Super Mario Bros. U, come back to center stage. But this time, he is not alone and is accompanied by Bowser's Fury, a new (mode of) game independent of the basic title, attractive at first glance and whose only the lifespan still worried.

In 2019, the New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe hadn't taken too many risks, contenting itself with bringing together one of the very first titles of the defunct Wii U and its stand-alone, the rather tough New Super Luigi U. Its exclusive additions were anecdotal, to say the least. and also, I expected quite legitimately that Super Mario 3D World would eventually return to Nintendo Switch, but without big news. Well, after a few qualifying ports of "lazy" in recent years (I will think of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD or more recently, Pikmin 3 Deluxe), Nintendo has decided to surprise its world by including not an additional world or a new playable character, but in a complete game mode with the paces of stand-alone, presented as sufficiently dense to justify the passage to the cash register.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury video game snapshot

SUPER MARIO 3D WORLD DELUXE

In truth, Super Mario 3D World alone already justified the purchase: much more complete (and complex!) Than New Super Mario Bros. U, this excellent platformer remained to this day one of the best exclusives of the Wii U, and it was still amazing not to have seen it point the tip of its muzzle (and its mustaches) on the new hybrid console of Nintendo. So I am not going to tell you that I was expecting a faithful and efficient port offering just a complement of gameplay like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, but I would have almost been satisfied, as it would have been nice to find even the excellent original game! I am not going to go back too much on what made the charm of the latter here. Just remember that Super Mario 3D World is quite simply one of the best episodes of the series, driven by a clever level design with constant renewal, a very inspired soundtrack, and a very substantial lifespan, helped in particular by immense replayability, solo, and co-op. Moreover, since I am talking about multi-player games, this new edition literally transfigures multi-player games, and this is far from being its only novelty.

In fact,, co-op is now playable online for up to 4 people (which was limited to local use in the original game), and it also includes the Captain Toad levels previously reserved for solo. Enough to make a title that was already a lot more user-friendly! This new edition also modifies somewhat gameplay which took advantage of the tablet of the Wii U. The rare passages requiring the use of touch will call on the same functions in nomadic mode, and I will use the gyroscope with a pointer associated with the R button in TV mode (like porting Super Mario Galaxy in Super Mario 3D All-Stars), and those which invited me to blow into the microphone of the "mablette" have obviously been modified: here, no more propeller grating to do rise, but just automated mobile platforms, for lack of being able to use this gimmick a little outdated anyway. Finally, the played character can no longer be moved with the directional cross (whether with a Pro pad or with joy-con), the axes of movement seem to have been multiplied compared to the game in 2013. The camera angles remain by against identical, to the point of frustrating a little bit in the very nice photo mode imported from Super Mario Odyssey, a great new feature allowing to find a use for the nearly 100 collectible stamps (these were used at the time on this good old Miiverse ).

In addition, some other improvements should be noted, and I had already highlighted them in my preview of the game. First, Super Mario 3D World is now displayed in full HD resolution (1080p instead of 720p on Wii U) and maintains without worry a constant framerate of 60 images per second (60fps), as well in TV mode as in portable (where it switches, inevitably, in 720p). It is also still as fluid but above all a little prettier, more detailed, and less "blurry" than at the time. However, its fluidity is felt much more than in 2013:  in addition to a few small navigation adjustments in the menus and the map, the game is much faster and more dynamic in the movements of the character played, to the point of ending each level much faster than back then. Plus, a new movement has been added to the already very rich palette of jumps and slides of Mario and his companions, and to top it off, it will finally be possible to skip the cutscenes, which the original title does not. not allow. You will also be dealing with an exceptional platformer in its most pleasant form to play, because a chouia more ergonomic and above all more lively. Something to feast on for about fifteen hours to finish it, and at least triple it to complete it to 100%, Super Mario 3D World is distinguished by a particularly generous post-end content and even regularly surprising. And that's not all…

After our first contact with Bowser's Fury, I had the confirmation that the one that initially presented itself as a bonus game mode (however independent of Super Mario 3D World) was in fact ... a real game in its own right, with a very concept. refreshing and promising! Where a certain Luigi Bros., already present in the 2013 title, is actually just a simple mini-game to unlock on the title screen of the latter, Bowser's Fury is clearly separate from it. To the point of wondering if it could not simply have been marketed separately… However, I still had to dispel some doubt as to its shelf life: after such a hearty dish, does it play in the court of generous desserts or digestifs quickly shipped?

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury gameplay

SUPER MARIO: BREATH OF THE WILD

My preview had allowed me to see the structure of what really constituted a game apart. By collecting feline stars, Mario would gradually make Lake Saudechat navigable and bring life to his archipelago of islands, in the grip of a viscous black matter spread by a Bowser as gigantic as it was cowardly, hiding in the center of the lake most time. In short, the more stars I unlock, the more headlights I turn on, and the light is restored in order to dispel the threat. A classic formula in short, which has proven itself, and which I am quite happy with what is after all only a "complement" to Super Mario 3D World. However, the real surprise of Bowser's Fury lies in the extent of its structure, and the surprisingly open design of the latter. In fact, if he uses the gameplay bases of the former star title of the Wii U, I will quickly discover that he is eyeing more on the side of Super Mario Sunshine or even Super Mario Odyssey ... which he could very well have constituted great additional content!

If I had understood that it was a game apart, of which I could almost have offered you an independent review, I was far from suspecting that this game would be so ambitious. So of course, it only takes 3 to 4 hours to complete it, and more or less double it to achieve 100% completion, but this remains very honorable, especially since there is no filling or downtime. , and that the whole is very dynamic! Above all, and this is where I didn't expect it: Bowser's Fury is quite simply the largest open world Mario has ever evolved into, devoid of any form of loading, where all of the space to exploring is all in one piece. Understand by this that you will evolve in a vast "hub" connecting dozens of islands with relief and frequentation significantly different from each other and that you can join them all by swimming - although it is strongly recommended to 'use your companion Plessie for this purpose.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury another gameplay snapshot

BOWSER JR., AN ENEMY WHO WANTS YOU GOOD

The friendly plesiosaur, which will greatly simplify navigation for you and will be regularly used to conquer many bonus feline stars, will not be your only ally in this world that looks like a forgotten DLC of Super Mario Odyssey. Bowser Jr. will also come to your aid, in the form of a companion NPC whose level of assistance you can adjust… or that a second player can control. In this case, her role will be very limited and not very exciting, somewhat similar to that of Cappy in Super Mario Odyssey, again. The title is for all audiences, so you can play it in cooperation with a young child or adult unaccustomed to video games. On the solo side, in addition to the amiibo which is a bit too generous if you have a large collection, the assistance of Bowser Jr. may spoil your exploration pleasure a bit, and I will suggest that you deactivate it and only use the latter with gyroscopic controls (or touch controls if you are playing in a mobile phone) when necessary as if to bring up surprises from the wall, or even to give brushstrokes to surrounding enemies in case of excess.

Bowser Jr. won't help you in the main fights against his father, however, where you'll transform into Giga Mario Chat. To do this, you will have to wait for Bowser to enter "fury" mode - which is triggered when his blackened shell emerges completely from the lake over the minutes of play - and reach the Giga Bell of the Sands provided you have unlocked enough feline stars to make it sound. This phase of "Raging Bowser" is nothing more or less than a "storm" version of the game's open world, where you can continue to explore the levels and the lake at your leisure but under threat. permanent position of a giant and perfectly invincible enemy. In fact, Bowser will disappear only by finding a star ... or when it will return on its own in the lake after a certain time, making the rain and the half-light disappear with it. Note that you can provoke this "fury" mode with one of the three existing amiibo bearing his effigy, the individual use of which is fortunately tempered by a more than welcome cooldown so as not to abuse it.

Obviously, in view of the trailers, I was entitled to expect a lot of these passages where I embody what is in fact a Mario Lion. I won't say too much to keep the suspense going, but these highly anticipated top-down streaks are as exhilarating as a little slack, albeit technically impressive. Strangely, the so-called "bowser in fury" phases generate some framerate drops which are quickly obvious as the rest is stable and solid for an open world in 60fps. Finally ... if you play in TV mode because in nomadic version, the title, unfortunately, meets its technical limitations and goes to a 30fps lock which disappoints a little after having experienced it in docked. In both cases, moreover, the game is satisfied with a resolution of 720p (unlike the 1080p of Super Mario 3D World in TV mode), undoubtedly compulsory concession to maintain the desired framerate in TV mode: what inevitably entails fairly pronounced aliasing, especially on large screens. Apart from these small technical weaknesses and a real lack of difficulty - two points which will not particularly bother the general public - there is not much to say about this "game within the game", which s proves fun to explore, really complete, and with a rather original and very satisfying gameplay concept. To the point of wondering if ultimately, there would not be material to re-use it on Nintendo's side ...

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury available for Nintendo Switch game console

A PROMISE FOR THE FUTURE?

In 2013, Super Mario 3D World had a good idea to include very nice optional courses, and the original level design: the levels of Captain Toad. In view of their popularity with players, it was not surprising to find this gameplay mechanic serving dozens of new levels, in a full game marketed under the name Captain Toad Treasure Tracker a year later (and which was subsequently reissued on Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch). What to ask a legitimate question, past the question as to the status of DLC of Super Mario Odyssey may be postponed ... and if Bowser's Fury, although being dissociated from the game which it accompanies the porting, also constituted a sort of full-scale demo aimed at promoting a future full-fledged game? The concept is very attractive and even if our experience has brought to light some technical concerns that are somewhat worrying for a project of this scale, nothing says that it would be unthinkable to convert it into a real game ... and this time, without having to graft it to the port of a rich title of which it does not quite share the same technical specificities.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury great graphics design

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury Review, the conclusion

Super Mario 3D World and Bowser's Fury go so well together! With on the one hand a perfect porting, improving with as much subtlety as relevance an already excellent platformer in all respects, and on the other, a real original game very fresh and with the surprising gameplay proposal, this reissue of one of the best opus of the saga asserts itself as a real essential on Nintendo Switch. If all Wii U ports are not equal and many do not necessarily justify a new investment at a high price, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury is one of the best games of the machine to date and will convince the nostalgic as to seduce novices. And who knows, depending on the reception of Bowser's Fury, Nintendo may see the opportunity to offer in the future a complete and 100% new experience!

If you would like to learn more about this game, make sure you visit the Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury official website for all details.

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