The playable characters include Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, and Rosalina. This marks the first time that Peach and Toad two have been playable in a mainstream Mario game since Super Mario Bros. 2 in 1988, which was 25 years earlier and the first time that Rosalina has been playable in a mainstream Mario game.
The story starts with Mario and crew taking an evening stroll when they discover a clear pipe. After the Mario Bros. fix it, a green fairy-like creature called a Sprixie pops out and says that her Sprixie friends have been captured.
Out of nowhere, Bowser comes out of the pipe and grabs the fairy in a bottle. The four of them chase after him into the pipe leading them to Sprixie Kingdom where they must stop Bowser and rescue the 7 Sprixies from his clutches.
The game plays identically to Super Mario 3D Land. You move with the left analog stick or directional pad and there is a dedicated run button. However, now the running has 2 phases, a faster run which leads into a sprint with smoke behind the player before going even faster. It's a bit hard to control at this phase.
The run button also serves as the pickup objects button so to pick up an object like a baseball, you cannot be running. The game is playable up to 4 players and each player is a different character that plays differently.
Like the New Super Mario Bros. series, players can interact with each other like picking each other up or bouncing off each other. Also from New Super Mario Bros., is the return of bubbling where off-screen players are put in a bubble to catch up with the rest of the players.
This can also be triggered within the range of the other players by using the shoulder buttons. The invincibility from a Star is passed through just touching each other this time. The entire team shares lives in this game.
There are several new power-ups in this game. There is the Super Bell that has the power for the player to turn into a cat and with this form, you can crawl up things like the flagpole at the end to get a high score. Other power-ups like the Goomba Mask can turn you into one of the enemies to deceive them. Also, this game includes a magic cherry that is the Double Cherry power-up. Simply put, it will double the player. With each one you find, you will receive another clone of the player.
Some of the levels have this new dinosaur named Plessie. These levels or even portions of levels play drastically different from the rest of the game. The players are riding down a river, directing Plessie's movement with the stick. Each of the players influence its movement so, cooperation is necessary to get through them and get the collectibles.
The game is almost completely beatable without the use of the Wii U gamepad. The first function of the gamepad is that it can move the camera around a bit. It is helpful in looking for Green Stars.
The second functionality is using the touchscreen similar to co-star mode from Super Mario Galaxy 2 in that it stops enemies. It can also be used to defeat certain enemies if the timing is right. It can also hold switching platforms in place and activate switches. It is also used to send out certain platforms.
The third functionality is blowing. The blowing can activate certain moving platforms, push away smaller enemies and reveal hidden blocks which can be made visible with rubbing.
List of Power-ups
- Super Bell
- Lucky Bell
- Super Leaf
- Fire Flower
- Invincibility Leaf
- Double Cherry
- Super Mushroom
- Mega Mushroom
- Boomerang Flower
- Cannon Boxes
- Coin Boxes
- Propeller Boxes
- Light Boxes
- Goomba Mask
- Potted Piranha Plants
- Ice Skates
- Koopa Shells
- Golden Shells
MiiverseAfter each level, Miiverse posts about the level just completed show up on screen. Miiverse posts also appear randomly on the world map from a player at those points. There is also a collection of stamps players can get. Stamps can be used from within the game's miiverse community with the game on. In total, there are 85. 80 of those can be obtained from a normal play-through mostly within each level and in the Sprixie houses.
They don't appear in World Mushroom and World Flower. 5 of them, however, only appear, if the player has completed every course and touched the flagpole with each character, with the stamp being of the respective character who completed every course.
When replaying a level, Miis from Miiverse with similar times to the last playthrough show up and follow the path the player took. These can help indicate secrets players might have missed the first time through. They can be disabled if the player wants to explore on their own.
Unlike the music of its predecessor which is digitally created, Super Mario 3D World uses live recorded music, and much of the music is focused on band-style music, including jazz, rock, and orchestra.
- This is the first game to be composed by Yasuaki Iwata since joining Nintendo in 2013. He would later work on Mario Kart 8 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
- This is the first 3D Mario game to feature 4-player multiplayer.
- This is Kenta Motokura's first game as a director after working as the level design director in previous Mario games. Motokura would later direct Super Mario Odyssey alone.
- The Double Cherry was a product of a glitch producing another Mario. The development team decided to run with it, incorporating it into various parts of the game.
- This is 1-Up Studio's second Mario collaboration, which they previously worked on the predecessor, Super Mario 3D Land. The studio will later work in the spin-off Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Super Mario Odyssey.
- Mario has new voice clips in the game, which some have been re-used in Super Mario Odyssey.
- This is Zelda composer Toru Minegishi's first Mario game, who also provided music for the Wii U's WaraWara Plaza menu. Minegishi would later work in Super Mario Maker 2 which also features 3D World.
- The game's music is influenced by jazz and rock.
- To date, 3D World is the second best-selling game for the Wii U system, next to Mario Kart 8.
- 3D World is the series' last 3D game to use a "linear"-style gameplay before the return of the "exploration"-focused gameplay as featured in Odyssey.
- Official site at Nintendo @ E3