Super Mario 3D World: Bowsers Fury Review(Switch)
Updated: May 2, 2021
Release Date: Feb 12th, 2021
*Key provided for this review by publisher
Super Mario 3.D. World Bowser's Fury is add on content that is used to entice new and older players to fork over their hard earned money and buy or rebuy Super Mario 3.D. World on the Nintendo Switch. To be honest when I heard this was coming to Switch, I had some mixed feelings. It's not because 3.D. World is a bad game or anything like that, far from it, it's just that I spent so much time with 3.D. World on Wii U and 100% completed it to the end and back that I kind of didn't feel any incentive to want to play it again. However, when we first laid our eyes on the Bowser's Fury downloadable content, Oh boy did it make me feel some things. ''Holy crap giant kitty mario!?''
Now you're probably wondering if 3.D. World is worth picking up again, even if you have played 3.D. World to hell and back like I did. Well if I'm going to be honest, I have mixed feelings on answering that. You see 3.D. World in its own right is really damn good, but if you've played it to death, it's not really one of those games to me that is appealing to go back to and play a lot, at least that's my ordeal. I can go back and play titles like Super Mario World or Mario 64 at the drop of a hat, but for some reason, that enthusiasm never feels the same for titles like 3.D. World. Once again I want to reiterate it's a really good game, it just more so feels like ''been there done that already'' due to already having a similar title that came before it with 3.D. Land on the 3.D.S.
Funnily enough this is where I run into my mixed feelings because yes on one hand you've played it all before, but on the flipside, Bowsers Fury takes elements that were great in Mario Odyssey such as camera control, collectibles, explorative environments, secrets to find and engaging boss battles. It makes it hard to even think about NOT buying base 3.D. World and missing out on Bowsers Fury because this is D.L.C. to me done to perfection. It takes what works in an already established game like 3.D. World with is aesthetics, fart running, cute kitties and fun power ups and mixes it with the good qualities of Mario Odyssey and what comes out of it is something really special that will give any mario fan that itch to scratch.
In Bowsers Fury, It picks up where 3.D. World left off with Mario just chilling, minding his own business when he stumbles upon piles of goo like ink. Upon further investigation he's met with a terrible fate. No, not the zelda type of terrible fate, the ink and oil kind. Soon after, Mario gets sucked into a Mario Sunshine like paint and ink logo and yup that's your story. From here on, you meet up with Bowser Jr, and the annoying little turd is being a huge cry baby because his dad got his marriage proposal rejected by the one women who he loves to kidnap and then is left for dead on the moon and abandoned there for all eternity. So yeah, he's pissed. So Mario being bored as hell, decides ''Ok kid, I'll -uh- help you, wahoo!''. Much to Bowser Jr's delight ''Yahh!!''.
When you're finally free to explore the world around you and uncover its secrets, you will notice you will be able to collect three forms of currency: Coins, Cat medals and Cat Shines. Each one of these offers you something different, but only two of them are really mandatory. For every 100 coins you collect, you will be awarded one power up to add to your menu bar, think of Super Mario 3. You may choose which power up you want to use at any time and every time you switch power ups to a different selection, it goes back into its item slot and you will not lose it unless you take damage. There's actually a good selection of power ups, which range from Cat suit, fire power, golden kitty, mushroom, boomerang. All powerups work in the same manner as they did in 3.D. World, only this time with more room to use them in. However, the entire bulk of your time in Bowser's Fury is going to be spent on the collectibles, cat medals and cat shines.
As you run, swim and climb your way around the map, you will find cat medals all over the place, literally, they're everywhere and they serve a big purpose. Each separate island you venture to, which I won't be showing them all to you here today, but each one you go to will require a specific amount of cat medals in order to advance or unlock the gigantic kitty bell, which allows you to go one on one in a Godzilla vs Kong style kaiju battle with Bowser. You will not always be able to go ahead to head with giant bowser though, at times you will not have enough medals to be able to use the giant kitty bell and you'll find yourself running and ducking for cover as Bowser blasts you with his fire beam. Certain objects can be hid behind so make sure you pay attention to your surroundings. Giant bowser wakes up from his ocean slumber roughly, I wanna say, every 10 minutes or so? you'll know he's coming when the music stops for a minute and it starts raining. Then it's on!
So what happens if you're caught with your plumber pants down and can't use big cat medal, but still want to fight back against Bowser? This is where Cat shines come into play. When you collect cat shines, it sends the bright power of the cat shine up to the nearest light house tower and shines brightly. If you wait for Bowser to come out at night and THEN grab the shine, it will immediately damage him and he's like ''ok screw this'' and goes right back to sleep. This doesn't have to be done, but it can get you out of some pretty sticky situations. Each island also has their own set of cat medals and cat shines to collect and which ones you're missing or need to collect is not only indicated when you enter a zone, but you may also hover over icons by opening up your map and seeing where you should prioritize. It's very simple but it makes everything feel more streamlined to me.
As you unlock new islands, you'll notice the game just keeps getting bigger and more complex than it was when you started out your little adventure. For every island you unlock, the map changes slightly or even in major ways. For example when completing the first area you'll notice the enemy variety is pretty lacking and only has a few goom-ba, but next thing you know there's pirahna plants, kitty canon shooters, koopa troopas and more. It just gets bigger and bigger and at first it feels a little bit overwhelming because you can't decide where you even want to go next. Enemies are not the only thing that changes with unlocking islands, nope, the actual map itself and layout does as well. One example is once again of course after completing one of the earlier islands, it opens new pathways to ride on a boot and fly on ramps through spinning tunnels, opens up avenues to climb big towers, frees up water ways that allows you to take plessie on a journey to get more cat medals or areas that have moving platforms that you must use in order to bounce your way to the top to find more cat shines. The amount of effort they put into something as simple as D.L.C. is quite honestly insane.
I could go on about this D.L.C. for quite some time but then I'd just be a rambling fool. So what about Bowser's Fury's overall length you ask? I'm sure that's another thing you're wondering. Well that really depends on how much time you spend either just going straight after the objective or choosing to spend your time just exploring. If you're someone who just wants to go straight through it and only focus on cat medals and shines, it will probably take you a good 4-6 hours to complete it. Longer of course if you go for every single thing you can get or if you just decide to mess around and do whatever till your hearts content.
At the end of the day, the question of ''is it worth it or not'' is a hard one to answer because there truly is no wrong answer. On one hand if you've never played 3.D. World before and want to play Bowsers Fury then without hesitation buy it now. But if you've played 3.D. World before and don't really want to play it again, then it can be a toss up depending on each specific person. As stated earlier, Bowsers Fury took every aspect that made 3.D. World great and made it even better. From the amazing level and world design, to the more streamlined controls and controllability, to its addicting hunt for cat medals, cat shines and other secrets, it's intense boss battles against Godzilla Bowser that will leave your heart pumping and to its super banging soundtrack that's just pure bliss. Bowser's Fury is an amazing edition to 3.D. World and you owe it yourself as a Switch owner to at least give it a go at least once, yes, maybe even if you've already played 3.D. World too. So give it a look!