A Closer Look at the Trailer for Super Mario 3D World

While I might need to look over a list of upcoming games to be certain, I think I can safely say that Super Mario 3D World is the game I am most looking forward to this holiday season (followed closely by The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds). As a result, I wanted to take a moment to have a closer look at this latest trailer from Nintendo and share my findings with you.

0:06 – We open with a lovely starlit night sky, one of my favorite kinds, which is a bit reminiscent of Super Mario Galaxy— especially with the shooting stars and fireworks. Between those titles and Mario Party 9, it almost feels like a running theme as of late– not that I’m complaining.

Mario, Luigi, Toad, and the Princess are walking along a path near Peach’s castle when they come upon a translucent pipe.

0:16 – Out comes a mysterious creature, which Nintendo UK’s website helpfully informs us is the Sprixie Princess of the Sprixie Kingdom. Apparently, that’s what those creatures who everyone was hoping were the Subcons from Super Mario Bros. 2 really are.

I’ll admit to a mild bit of disappointment here: Between these and the Pi’illo from Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, there’s a slight feeling of redundancy and a missed opportunity at a callback to a game a lot of people are already eager to liken this to, thanks to the four playable characters. Still, it doesn’t bother me too much; at least we’re being promised a new land to explore!

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0:20 – And here we have Bowser. Oh boy. He pops out of the pipe in a puff of purple smoke, presumably from his black magic, and captures the Sprixie Princess in a bottle, just as Link has done with so many faeries.

I’m not going to lie: Bowser needs a break. I love the big lug, but… well, some of us were really hoping that maybe Wart would return, myself included. Of course, we hoped that the UFO Bowser employed in Super Mario Galaxy would lead to Tatanga as well, but strangely, that went nowhere.

Mario has a great rogue’s gallery, ranging from Bowser to Wart to Wario to Tatanga to Fawful to the X-Nauts and more, but we always see more Bowser than anyone, and it kind of loses its impact– especially when so many other games featuring him as the villain have been released in the past year or two. Batman doesn’t always fight the Joker, Spider-man doesn’t always face the Green Goblin, Popeye doesn’t always fight Bluto, Bugs Bunny doesn’t always square off with Elmer Fudd, and Mickey Mouse has more enemies than just Big Pete.

I’m not saying to get rid of him, but I think he could use a break. Bowser’s Inside Story was fun, as are most opportunities to play as him; maybe he could do with a solo project? It did wonders for Wario, after all.

But, I digress; despite everything I just said, I am rather intrigued by this turn of events, because Princess Peach was right there, and yet Bowser didn’t make any apparent move to kidnap her– an occurrence which has in itself grown increasingly tired. What does Bowser see in the Sprixie Princess over Peach? At this point, I really don’t care, insomuch as I’m just glad Peach gets to be active once more, and I hope we don’t see her get kidnapped again for a good, long time.

Heck, she’s practically seen as the postergirl for practically everything wrong with the role of women in video games. Making her a bona fide hero again might go a long way towards repairing that image. Keep at it, Nintendo!

Whoops, there I go again. Back to the trailer…

0:24 – We see the quartet– led by her majesty, no less– traveling through what is presumably the long, long clear pipe they saw Bowser and the Sprixie Princess emerge from, no doubt carrying them to the Sprixie Kingdom.

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0:27 – If there’s one thing we do know about the Sprixie Kingdom, it’s that it has dinosaurs. Here, we see Mario (or in the above pic, Toad) running along a bridge, dodging what appear to be Blarggs like the ones in Super Mario World. Hmm, seems like getting four heroes across that bridge at once could be tough.

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0:29 – Next up: Dodging these new bird-like creatures who sport spike-covered turtle shells.

0:30 – A long Piranha Plant seems to be clogging up the underground waterway as Mario swims to avoid it.

0:33 – Here, we get to see a glimpse of the map– improved by far over the rather lifeless version seen in Super Mario 3D Land. There’s definitely a greater sense of cohesion to the world once again, and even more interesting still, you can run around freely on it!

0:38 – Remember how Super Mario 3D Land showed us enemies using the same power-ups that Mario and Luigi did? It looks like that’s a returning feature, as Bullet Bills here are sporting cat-like features, no doubt from getting a Super Bell.

The towers lit up against the night sky above the clouds look great, too.

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0:41 – The above scene isn’t shown, but at this point in the video, Mario grabs a Super Bell himself. The backdrop is a gorgeous sunset whose lighting affects the entire area. In case it isn’t clear, I love this stuff, and always welcome more of it. New Super Mario Bros. U had some leanings towards this, and New Super Mario Bros. 2 kind of overhyped its version in Iwata Asks, but I’ve always loved how the original Super Mario Bros. transitioned from day to night and back over the course of three days, and the way Donkey Kong Country followed similarly.

I hope it’s not only put to good use here, but also to ever-greater use in the 2D Mario games and further 3D games as well.

0:49 – We get our first good look at the regular grassland-style playing field here, and… well, it’s remarkably similar to Super Mario 3D Land. Given it’s a new land and all, you sort of expect something a little different somehow, like we saw going from one game to the next earlier in the series.

That’s really a rather small nitpick, though; there seem to be plenty of other unique environments here, and it’s really nicely textured in this game as well. I think I can forgive it this time.

0:51 – And we’re back to sunset as Cat Mario pounces around, chasing rabbits. All is forgiven.

0:54 – Cat Mario scrambles to the top of a flagpole. From my limited experience with the game, this is always fun to do, though at the same time, it feels like this and Super Mario 3D Land weren’t content to just let you run off the top of the staircase to grab the top of the pole.

0:57 – Double Cherry = Double Mario. Double your plumber, double your fun.

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1:03 – Triple Mario. How many Marios can you have at the same time? Hey, remember that “128 Marios” demo? Wouldn’t it be cool if…?

1:07 – As promised, Boomerang Mario is back! And is it just me, or do the boomerangs seem a little faster now?

1:11 – And Tanooki Mario. I’ll be honest: Unless he can turn into a statue here, I’d rather have Raccoon Mario. That’s the iconic version to me, and without a statue form, it’s just not Tanooki Mario to me. Plus, I love the little scarf that they added for the real deal in Super Mario 3D Land; I hope that’s back.

By the way, if you were wondering what Tanooki Peach or Tanooki Toad will probably look like… (spoilers for Super Mario 3D Land).

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1:14 – Mario makes his way through a fortress, much like the one seen above. Not shown in the screenshot, however, is the new Cannon Box, which Mario wears over his head and uses to launch cannonball-like projectiles. Looking at it, it’s almost a shame it’s not a Bill Blaster to fire Bullet Bills at your foes; it would fit well with the ever-increasing mingling of Mario’s powers and foes. Still, no real complaints here– I can’t wait to use it!

1:21 – Even the mighty Boom Boom is no match for Cannon Box Mario!

1:23 – The Propeller Box (when the heck did they stop being “blocks,” anyway?) from Super Mario 3D Land returns.

1:26 – And now Mario is wearing a Coin… Block? (I don’t even know any more) from New Super Mario Bros. 2 on his head.

1:29 – Remember what I said about Mario’s powers and enemies mingling? Goombas seem easily fooled by this disguise. I wonder who else can be fooled…?

1:33 – In Super Mario Bros. 3, we had Goomba’s Shoe. Now we have… Goomba’s Ice Skate? I wonder how well it stomps with that blade.

1:37 – Some days you just can’t get rid of a– oh, never mind.

1:40 – Playing ball with one of the Super Mario World-styled Goombas. I love that both are in this game, though you can’t pick these up; instead, they just take two hits to kill. I wonder if they’ve come up with a new English name to distinguish them, the same way Japan calls them “Kuribon” to the regular Goombas’ “Kuribo.”

1:45 – Cat Mario carries a potted Piranha Plant around to take care of nearby foes, like those Fuzzies. There seems to be a light source from the player’s side casting a shadow against the wall.

1:47 – It’s Luigi time! Mr. Green-Stache shows what he brings to the party on his own, with a Cat Suit, and with a Tanooki/Kitsune Suit. He also gets trolled by a false flagpole made up of– what else? –Boos.

1:55 – Peach’s turn! She floats through the air with the greatest of ease, allowing her to get off more fireball shots in mid-air, no less. Note that her Fire Peach colors are very similar to her original appearance in Super Mario Bros., minus the red hair. (Incidentally, you might say I predicted this six years ago.)

2:05 – Toad tears up the track. Mark my words, he’s going to be a serious fan favorite here, especially among speedrunners.

2:41 – It’s like New Super Mario Bros. 2 all over again! Is this where all those coins wound up? Uncle Scrooge, eat your heart out!

2:16 – Mario faces an odd foe, likely a boss, who is shaped like a knight’s helm and is susceptible to being sucked through clear pipes. Looks like that rolling maneuver has a good offensive use, after all!

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2:20 – Bowser’s here, and holy guacamole! Look at that monster car! It’s like the Wario Car on steroids.

Okay, remember what I said about Bowser earlier? Between not kidnapping Peach and this, I’m actually eager to fight him this time. I still think a break would be welcome, but Nintendo gets a pass this time. Heck, I hope this thing is in Mario Kart 8; there won’t be a person alive who has played this game that wouldn’t be disappointed if it wasn’t.

At the same time, I’m a little leery of the idea that Bowser seems to be trying to run over cats in his car, even if the cat is really a plumber.

2:25 – Mario’s “meow” reminds me of Meowth’s from Pokemon.

2:27 – I’m not sure what to make of this stinger; all four are in Cat form, and all have used Double Cherries– what does it all mean?!

Wow… I have to admit, I never expected to get quite this much out of a two-and-a-half minute trailer. Hopefully The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds won’t take me quite as long!

For now, though, that’s the latest on Super Mario 3D World. I won’t say there aren’t parts that disappointed me a little, but those are nothing compared to everything Nintendo seems to have gotten right here. November 22nd can’t get hear nearly quick enough!

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David Oxford

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you're interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.