Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Rage
“Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is a must-have Switch bundle that includes two wonderfully creative Mario games for the price of one.”
Bowser’s anger rocks
Tons of content
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s anger is full of joy. From its bright colors to its adorable cats, it’s the perfect game to end Mario’s big 35th anniversary bash.
Originally released on Wii U in 2013, Super Mario 3D World was something of a return to the form of the series after more experimental main Mario outings like Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy. With its Nintendo Switch re-release, the standout platformer now has the ability to cheer on a wider audience of Switch owners. Nintendo even brought a plus to the party and packed in an extra adventure called Bowser’s Fury.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is a must have for Nintendo Switch owners. The original Wii U platformer is still more vibrant and delightful than ever, and the new Bowser’s Fury mode repeats some of the franchise’s best current ideas to create an adventure to remember.
Those who have never experienced Super Mario 3D World on Wii U will be delighted. The game is a traditional 3D Mario title that mostly focuses on clever level design and power ups. Nintendo has literally reduced level design to a science, and the 12 worlds present in this gameplay are like a developer flex. Each stage is full of creative vibes, from a Super Mario Kart-style speed glove to an underground level that mainly takes place in silhouettes.
The bright music, the vivid colors and the general tone together form a game that is just so happy without pretending to be entertaining.
The most immediate feature is the cat suit, which turns Mario and his friends into full-fledged cats that can crawl up walls. It’s not just a cute gimmick; The cat suit is one of the best power-ups in the franchise. It’s both an ingenious design consideration that allows for more verticality in the planes, and a user-friendly tool that makes the platform more forgiving. There’s something so satisfying about being able to save a botched jump by clinging to the side of a cage and clawing your way back up.
But Super Mario 3D World is so much more than just the cat suit. Other items like a cherry that Mario can clone or a giant ice skate shine just as brightly. The overworld is full of secrets and mini-games, so it’s fun to explore the map between stages. There’s even the Captain Toad levels set by Diorama which were so delightful that they spawned their own game. Every element is so lovingly processed and nothing feels like superfluous filler.
It never feels dated, despite its eight years old, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. The movement feels clumsy and slow compared to other 3D Mario games. While Super Mario Odyssey allows players to piece various jumps together into a surprisingly complex movement, 3D World feels much more limited. Every time I did a back flip it was a fluke. The game also features some excruciatingly slow auto-scrolling levels that can kill the pace. Most of my deaths were due to impatiently running too far ahead when the screen moved at a snail’s pace behind me.
Even with these flaws, it’s hard not to be completely enchanted by Super Mario 3D World. The bright music, the vivid colors and the general tone together form a game that is just so happy without pretending to be entertaining. It’s a more successful Mario party than the Mario party.
Fast and furry
For those who have played Super Mario 3D World before, the star of the bundle is Bowser’s Fury. The completely new mini-adventure goes far beyond what you would expect from such a package. While Nintendo has discontinued memorable side games with new releases like Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Bowser’s Anger is so entertaining on its own that its confusing gamers won’t have the option of purchasing them as a standalone download.
The premise is simple and fun. Bowser grew into Godzilla for some reason, and Bowser Jr. must team up with Mario to bring his father back to size. Mario has to travel around a number of islands and collect enough cat luster to transform himself into a cat kaiju. Sometimes you forget how fun Nintendo can be.
The game remixes the moves and assets of Super Mario 3D World, Super Mario Odyssey’s open-ended approach to levels, and Super Mario Sunshine’s beach vibes to create a modern collection of Mario’s greatest hits.
The islands are littered with platform challenges and goals that seamlessly interweave with each other. Imagine if Nintendo took a whole world from Super Mario 3D World and connected all these different zones together on a wide-open map. As with Super Mario Odyssey, the result is a relaxing, free-roaming vacation full of rewards and secrets.
The completely new mini-adventure goes far beyond what you would expect from such a package.
The main event, of course, is Bowser. The oversized Koopa occasionally rises out of the water and rules Mario. This created for some tense moments where I slowly moved through a tricky section of platform only to be forced to rush through the end before Bowser messed everything up. Some may find the randomness a bit annoying after a while, but it adds a challenge to the game as players never know when they will get stuck in a firestorm.
If Mario has enough shine, he can enter into an oversized boss fight. Given how powerless players are when Bowser emerges from the sea, it is a real treat to suddenly turn the tables and strike back as he towers over the tiny islands. The encounters themselves are a bit easy (Mario loves to grind pound bellies) and the camera often doesn’t know how to deal with having two titans on screen at the same time, but the clashes are as goofy and fun as a Saturday morning cartoon .
Bang for your money
Most impressive is how much players get with this package. Super Mario 3D World was already a loaded game with eight worlds and four challenging bonus worlds. Diehards can spend up to 40 hours completing each level, collecting every stamp, and chasing every final star. Throw in Bowser’s Rage which includes 100 shines to collect and the full package includes 50 hours of single player fun.
Each little piece takes an already great Mario game and packs it into an indispensable package.
That doesn’t even take multiplayer into account. Super Mario 3D World supports up to four players, creating a chaotic 3D platform that friends can laugh at. Bowser’s Fury also includes a multiplayer component, with one player controlling Bowser Jr., but it’s more of a sidekick mode that keeps kids busy while mom or dad play.
The package even includes a new photo mode, which is a welcome touch. All postage stamps that players collect during the game can be used in snapshots. So there is a little incentive to hunt them down.
Each little piece takes an already great Mario game and packs it into an indispensable package. New releases rarely feel essential to players who owned the original (see Super Mario 3D All-Stars with its bare bone connectors made from three Mario staples), but Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury breaks the mold by creating two adorable ones , Content-loaded games for the price of one.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Rage is one of the best Nintendo Switch packages money can buy. The Wii U classic hasn’t aged a day and remains an adorable playground that holds some of the franchise’s most creative ideas. Meanwhile, the new Bowser’s Fury mode is a great stand-alone adventure that plays like a short but cute sequel to Super Mario Odyssey. It’s a happy duo of games that celebrate Mario’s past, present and future at the same time.
Is there a better alternative?
Super Mario Odyssey is still the best Mario game available on Switch, but this pack isn’t far behind.
How long it will take?
Super Mario 3D World takes about 10 hours and Bowser’s Rage can be completed in about three hours, but 100% completion between the two games takes up to about 50 hours.
Should I buy it?
Yes. Even if you owned Super Mario 3D World on Wii U, the re-release is a must-have single and multiplayer game that ranks right alongside The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as a must-have Switch title.