E3 2013 Preview: Super Mario 3D World introduces Wii U owners to competitive co-op
Despite the lack of a traditional press conference, Nintendo actually brought a broad range of titles to E3 2013. One such game was the recently announced Super Mario 3D World, a cooperative 3D platformer exclusively for the Wii U.
In Super Mario 3D World you work together with other players to complete a level. Each of the four characters -- Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad -- have their own special abilities. Luigi can jump higher; Peach can glide; Toad runs fast; and Mario was described as sort of an "all-around" kind of guy.
Thankfully, there was a group of us playing, so I was able to experience the full multiplayer blowout. The first level was more of your traditional 3D platformer. We hopped form platform to platform, up and down clouds that would go in and out of the mountain; it was your typical Mario level design, except in 3D.
The catch here is that your playing with three other players. Things can get a little chaotic, and somewhat clustered, with four players all heading in the same direction, fighting for the same coins, and looking to jump on the same enemies. Keeping track of your character can get difficult with all of the chaos happening on screen, but it's a fun experience playing with others.
Speaking of others, even though you're playing cooperatively and working together to complete the level, each player has their own score. This encourages a competitive meta mini game within the overall cooperative gameplay; although, the competition is hardly noticeable. Only at the end of the level do you see each player's score tallied and a winner declared.
The second level we played offered more team-based gameplay. All four of us jumped on the back of a dinosaur-like creature and swam down river. Working together as one single unit, all of us had to turn at the same time, jump at the same time, and speed up/slow down at the same time. Yet even on this level where we're all riding a single creature, the game kept track of our individual score. How it determined who scored what points is beyond me, though.
Super Mario 3D World seems to be a fun little romp, from what I played of it. It's a bit chaotic, but isn't that all part of the multiplayer fun? Wii U owners should definitely keep this title on their minds heading into the latter half of 2013.