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Super Mario - Anniversary hoppers at their zenith

Super Mario – Anniversary hoppers at their zenith

Forty years ago, Mario saw the light of day for the first time. (If you want to know exactly: on July 9, 1981 in the game “Donkey Kong”). Since then, the likeable Italian plumber with the distinctive mustache has become an icon of jump-and-run games over the decades. Not least because Nintendo has managed to keep refining the art of jumping, running and puzzle solving. The Japanese developer impressively proves this with the latest release in the “Mario” series.

“Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury” is as entertaining as its title is bulky. The game, which has now been released for the Switch console, scores with all the usual strengths of the series: well thought-out game worlds, tricky puzzles, challenging opponents. The goal: to free enslaved elves from the clutches of the evil turtle dragon Bowser.

Scurry in a cat costume

While you rush through the screen, you can discover special equipment that makes life easier for the player. Here a cat costume that you can use to scratch opponents out of the way instead of hopping on them, there a boomerang suit that allows enemies to be eliminated from a distance. There are four protagonists to choose from, each with their own weaknesses and strengths: Luigi is slow, but can jump particularly well. Mushroom Toad, on the other hand, can run like Usain Bolt, Princess Peach can float in the jump and finally Mario is the standard who can somehow do everything.

The individual levels are clear and without unnecessary lengths, which makes the game pleasantly entertaining. Different skills are also taken into account: Just run through quickly and be happy that you get to your destination at all? No problem, you progress in the story anyway. You can just as easily go about collecting all the hidden bits and pieces (whether you actually have them all can be checked and is displayed). And if that’s not enough for you, you can go for time and points and compete with the world’s best in the list of the best. However, the game develops its full power in multiplayer mode.

Up to four participants can put an end to the bad guys together on one console. It can get messy, but it’s a lot of fun. So that the whole thing does not end in listlessness without competition, the best of a level is awarded a clearly visible crown. If you have no other players at hand at home, you can even play online, although delays caused by the Internet can spoil the fun of the game.

“Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury” – sounds like a game plus an encore. In fact, Super Mario 3D World is a remake of a 2013 game. Fortunately, the probability of having already played it is low: You have to be one of 13 million owners of the Wii-U console for which the game was exclusively developed at the time (for comparison: the Nintendo DS series was almost 155 Sold million times, the currently sold out Switch holds around 80 million).

Open world

But the secret heart of the title is what is casually stated as an encore with the “+”. The second part, “Bowser’s Fury”, takes Mario into an open three-dimensional world.

As in “Super Mario Odyssey”, Mario no longer walks along a given path, but can move around freely and explore the landscape after challenges. The player no longer fiddles from level to level, but virtually completes one huge game world. The downside is that this part is kept relatively short. But maybe “Bowser’s Fury” is just a test balloon for a bigger game to come.

“Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury” was released on February 12th for the Nintendo Switch. The test sample was made available to the “Wiener Zeitung” by the manufacturer.

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