Remembering Super Mario 3D Land, 3D World’s Oft-Forgotten Predecessor – Feature

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© Nintendo

You don’t need me telling you how 2020 was a challenging year, but for dedicated Super Mario fans there were small comforts to be found. After months of rumours, Nintendo celebrated the series’ 35th anniversary in dramatic fashion and this brought about no end of content. Before that, even, Super Mario Maker 2 got a huge update in April that added a World Maker, and 3D All-Stars brought us 64, Sunshine and Galaxy onto the Switch in a singular package. Heck, we even got a battle royale game in Super Mario Bros. 35 for some reason, and that doesn’t even account for the spin-offs games.

Even if the last two games are supposedly only available until March 31st — a fact that’s caused no end of controversy — the celebrations aren’t yet over. Whilst fans have continued to ponder Galaxy 2’s exclusion from 3D All-Stars (something we’ve got a few theories on), Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is releasing on Switch next month, joining that ever-expanding line-up of Wii U ports. Amidst these anniversary plans, most 3D entries are getting some renewed love from Nintendo, but 3D World’s predecessor has been left in the dark a little, and it scored relatively low in our poll of which remasters you’d like to see on Switch in June last year. For many players, it seems, it barely registered.

For those who might not keep up with every instalment in the plumber’s canon, that game was Super Mario 3D Land, a curious entry in Super Mario’s history which launched on 3DS back in 2011. Taking its name from the Super Mario Land sub-series, 3D Land became the first original 3D Super Mario game for a handheld console (excluding 64’s DS remake), retaining the basic gameplay with a classical twist.

Alongside Galaxy 2, it’s also one of the last 3D entries not to make it to Switch so far. Sure, 3D Land received mention during the 35th Anniversary montage, which is more than our spacefaring sequel got, but this exclusion garnered far less attention from devoted fans. We’d argue this is a game worth revisiting on Switch as quite simply, it’s one of a kind.




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