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E3 2013 Hands-On: Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)

Though it might be too much Mario too soon for Nintendo fans, Super Mario 3D World was one of the heavier hitters at Nintendo's E3 booth, and we were lucky enough to get some time with it.

If you've played Super Mario 3D Land on the 3DS, this game plays almost the exact same way. Except, obviously, there is no 3D — and there won't be, as the Nintendo host near us said that Nintendo doesn't plan on making the game compatible with 3D TVs.

supermario3dworld-2The kicker with 3D World is that the game supports multiplayer co-op like the past New Super Mario Bros. games, and aside from just Mario and Luigi, players now have Peach and Toad (with a blue hat) at their disposal. I didn't ask about why we're getting blue Toad aside from the regular Toad, but I'm assuming it's to lessen the confusion between he and Mario … even though they're obviously different characters.

As a tribute to Super Mario Bros. 2 on the NES, the four characters have the same attributes as they have had in the past. Luigi can jump higher and is in the air for a longer time due to his fluttering legs, Peach can float for a while because of her huge gown, and Toad runs fast.  Mario is a typical all-around character. In other words, he's the one players don't want to use.

If you look at the end of the game's logo, you'd notice sort of a tail at the end. As with Super Mario 3D Land before it, that's in honor of the game's newest item, the cat bell. The cat bell turns the person that touches it into a cat. The cat is more agile, can run through enemies, and has the ability to climb up walls.

Players were given five different levels to play the game in. There were three standard levels, an on-rails level, and a boss fight. We were limited to only two, so we chose a standard level and the boss fight.

super mario3dworld-1 supermario3dworld-2 supermario3dworld-3Again, those who have played 3D Land pretty much know what's in store. Unlike previous three-dimensional Mario games, instead of the star-gathering quest, players now have to reach the flagpole at the end of the stage a la the original Super Mario Bros. And if you've ever played any of the previous NSMB games, you'd know that if you're playing with friends and they're all at different skill levels, then the game can be extremely hard due to how much everybody sucks.

Players are going to go through courses faster than others, but to keep the camera from panning out too much, players that are too far behind will be encased in a bubble that will automatically bring them to where the leader is. This is also the case when players die and have another life left they'll be put in a bubble.

The boss fight was one that was rather interesting. The beginning of the level required players to jump on a lift that would take them to a sandy platform where the boss is waiting. Of course, there's always going to be one jerk who does everything in a hurry. I jumped onto the lift before anybody had a chance, sending the other three plunging to their deaths, … but anyway, the boss was some sort of purple snake whose weakspot was the back of its head. Every once in a while it would pop down and five heads with plates on top of their heads would pop up. Players had to take those out in order for the real head to pop up again. Before we knew it, the boss was dead, leaving coins everywhere with a warp pipe that took us to the flagpole.

Super Mario 3D Land is one of the best games available on the 3DS, and it's pretty safe to say that this will be the case for 3D World on the Wii U. The game's problem is that we really didn't experience anything new, and the cat suit hardly qualifies. Wii U owners can look forward to playing Super Mario 3D World this holiday season.

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