Land does not emphasize classroom facts.
Creativity & Imagination
By the Player:
Land is a linear game. The stages come in a predefined order, and for
the most part they don’t require any outright exploration of players. However
within their limited scopes there is always room for players to improvise.
Mario’s various moves - which involve running and a handful of jumps - all
require finesse to control skillfully, and fire flower and tanooki suit
power-ups expand the player’s options further.
include walls and enemies that can be bounced off of by skillful players. While
each stage can be passed simply by a player willing to take his time, every one
can also be passed much more quickly by players who have the ability to get
Mario running and make the challenging jumps required to maintain his momentum
through the end of a stage. Three hidden coins are also tucked away in each stage,
and many require skillful moves to reach.
design is the name of the game here, and it never disappoints. Though Mario’s
move set is fairly limited, seemingly every new level asks players to stretch
it out in new ways. While some levels are set up as fairly traditional
left-to-right platforming challenges, others open up into wider 3D space and
offer lengthy falls and wide jumps, and still others switch focus from 2D to 3D
midway. Boss stages, Mario Bros 3-style airship levels and unique
one-off challenge rooms add even more variety to an already remarkably-built
game’s soundtrack and character design are meant to feel fresh while staying
familiar, and are largely successful. While a single screenshot of the game may
not compare well to Mario’s console outings, the game looks fantastic in
action, and the 3D effects are used to great effect. The game combines
confident art direction and really creative level design to create a game that
is, above all else, always fun.
skills are not a factor of Super Mario 3D Land.
Land does not include a multiplayer mode.
Land is a game about quick tests of hand-eye coordination. Individual
enemies and traps aren’t remarkable, but they are always combined into smooth,
obstacle course stages that allow players to either move methodically or keep
Mario running and bouncing quickly by using the terrain skillfully.
the game’s basic stages - which offer consistent, satisfying challenges without
ever feeling unfair - there are plenty of standalone puzzles. The game’s
bosses, for example, offer unique battles, and bonus stages use the 3DS’ 3D
screens to manipulate the player’s sense of perspective. These segments can
seem gimmicky on paper, but in action they fit into the game perfectly and help
keep a sense of momentum and surprise throughout.
Mario 3D Land is not a simulation game.
Land received nearly universal praise, with critics singling out the
game’s playful level design and well-implemented 3D effects as reasons that 3D
Land is probably the first significant 3DS game.
Controls & Options
Land offers a few basic audio and visual options. While the game
includes puzzles that utilize the console’s unique 3D screen, there are usually
options to bypass them for players uncomfortable with the effect.
Land also contains an interesting feature that utilizes the 3DS’ Street
Pass option. If a player has 3D Land in their 3DS as it passes by
another player’s, small bonus stages are unlocked in the game.
Super Mario 3D Land was given an E by the ESRB with
a descriptor for Mild Cartoon Violence.