Super Mario 3D Land turns 10 – was it the best 3D game on the 3DS? – Point of conversation

Ten years ago, November 3, 2011 Super Mario 3D Earth debuted on 3DS in Japan. It is usually neither remembered nor remembered as a glorious episode from the Mario series – indeed, at the time of writing. inexplicably is not on our dynamic reader-rated 50 Best Games for 3DS, but some of us at NL Towers remember this game very well and think it deserves attention to highlight what it did for the series, and indeed his host system.

First of all, be sure to check out the video above from our very own John Cartwright, who makes a lot of good points, which we’ll happily repeat here. Also give it a clock as a reminder of what this fun 3DS game was about.

As John mentions, it’s worth noting that Super Mario 3D Land has been a big contributor to the 3DS rescue project. The launch of the system in March 2011 was particularly unfortunate, especially considering its status as a successor to the widely popular DS. Its initial sales were so unsatisfactory that Nintendo took several steps to stabilize the ship, which, in hindsight, look quite stunning: Satoru Iwata and other senior executives cut salaries significantly; the company has publicly apologized for its embarrassment; The price of the 3DS was significantly reduced after just six months on the market, and early adopters were given 20 free games – 10 NES and 10 GBA – as compensation, with GBA choices never available outside of what has been dubbed the ‘Messenger Program “. … In the current era, when Nintendo was enjoying the success of the Switch, this kind of action seems really distant.

The company successfully (arguably) rescued the 3DS and reversed this weak momentum, and the system eventually enjoyed the good sales of that generation, although it still isn’t close to replicating the DS’s success. There were, of course, price cuts, followed by several major game releases in late 2011 and early 2012, which boosted worldwide sales.

Monster Hunter 3 G was huge in Japan, although in the West we had to wait a bit Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate; These were very different times for this particular Capcom franchise. Globally, the end of 2011 brought both Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land, and the system has gone from being an expensive handheld system with no compulsory games to a more affordable new console and a hot holiday gift.

Image: Nintendo

Of this trio of games (and only two Mario titles in the West), perhaps only Super Mario 3D Land really highlighted the system’s main feature – glasses-free stereoscopic 3D. As the 3DS era progressed, 2DS models emerged and games used this feature less and less, but Super Mario 3D Land was an early example of Nintendo actively developing games to demonstrate this concept. This is a game that is simply better with the slider up.

This combination of unpredictability, creativity and mesmerizing 3D effect caught my eye, and the sales success with MK7 helped improve the system.

The scenes were actively creating the “oh!” With camera angles and platforming challenges designed to take advantage of the apparent depth and control they gave the player. Puzzle rooms will suddenly make more sense in 3D, you will plunge into depths and gravitate towards distant platforms, and the feeling of Mario moving in real space has perhaps never been more literal.

As highlighted in our video earlier this year, it mixes different elements of Mario in – definitely at the time – in unique ways. Having adopted the branding of Game Boy Mario games, it was filled with hybrid 2D / 3D Mario design ideas. The stages had 3D gimmicks and challenges that brought Super Mario Galaxy to mind, but ended up with flagpoles and had improvements that will be permanent until you hit. The choice of stage is agreed with New Super Mario Bros. approach, but abandoned the convention of thematic worlds to allow the development team to effectively do what they darn well enjoy.

This combination of unpredictability, creativity and mesmerizing 3D effect caught my eye, and the sales success with MK7 helped improve the system. However, when we talk about Mario games and the best recordings, this is rarely mentioned. We have no instinct that this is in any Nintendo documents planning a revival.

There are undoubtedly several reasons for this. First, it was pretty easy, so those looking for a challenge might feel underwhelmed; even unlockable add-ons didn’t necessarily bother experienced players. However, the justification for this is that Nintendo was trying to introduce 3D Mario to a 3DS audience who may have been younger or less experienced. In addition, the heavy use of the 3D effect has likely led to solutions that would minimize motion sickness and any other reactions to the autostereoscopic effect. Then there is the hardware it ran on – 3DS was not a technology powerhouse, and to create that 3D effect, the frame rate in this game was 30fps.

3D Land was great for its time. While some of us were involved in the 3D effect, maximizing it at every opportunity, for others it was an unwanted and unused gimmick. Since the game is essentially designed with effects in mind, it will naturally not appeal to those who have never had a fascination with stereoscopic visuals.

However, we would happily argue that this game deserves to be remembered and appreciated. From the point of view of this scribe, this is a fun little entry from the series that really showcased what this 3DS screen is capable of. His hybrid approach has evolved into an excellent Super Mario 3D World on Wii U – which was revived on Switch along with Bowser’s Fury recently. Super Mario 3D Land may never be re-released in this vein, as the concept doesn’t fit with these clearly obsessed HD / 4K times. Still, it’s an unforgettable game in and of itself, and it deserves to stand, if not next to 3D World, then perhaps perform because of its cloak.

He is only ten years old – how time flies! – but in a way, Super Mario 3D Land reminds us of a bygone era. A time when Nintendo’s creativity was inextricably linked to its hardware features, and when Mario was the most 3D he’s ever been in.

It’s been ten years and we still love it, but what do you think of using the system’s 3D function in the game? Let us know in the survey below:

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