Let me start off by saying that this article isn't aimed to conclude that Super Mario 3D World is a bad game. No—not at all. In fact, I consider Super Mario 3D World to be THE best game on the Wii U for many reasons, but mostly because of its simplistic fun and nostalgic charm. And, it is the best-looking iteration of the Super Mario Bros. franchise to date. But the game isn't all sunshine, rainbows and cat -suits; there are some glaring omissions and other issues that hold it back from being the perfect Mario game. Here are some issues I find mildly annoying about the game.
The most obvious issue with Super Mario 3D World, to anyone that has played it at least, is the fact that it is so incredibly easy, save for a few standout levels. I wasn't expecting a Dark Souls level of difficulty from Nintendo here, but the majority of the levels are incredibly simple. What happened to the challenge? As if the levels weren't easy enough to begin with, players get an invincibility suit—the white tanooki suit--in the beginning of any level they die in more than five times. It's like easy mode...for a Mario game. Now I can't brag about beating the game, because everyone can beat the game.
The Case of the Missing Yoshi
Where the hell is Yoshi? Super Mario 3D World definitely lends itself to having at least a Yoshi level or two. Sure, we get Plessie, another reptile that looks like a dinosaur of sorts, and he/she/it is amusing enough, but Yoshi has a certain charm that I think every Mario benefits from. Nothing beat the excitement when finding a Yoshi egg when hitting those yellow question mark boxes in Super Mario World for SNES! That excitement would translate well in high definition.
The Bowser Paradox
You first defeat Mario's arch nemesis Bowser at Bowser's Lava Lake Keep. Afterwards, Bowsers falls into a pit of lava, becoming completely engulfed while you cheer and think you've officially beaten the game.
But then, you're lead to an entirely new world in which you'll have to defeat Bowser yet again in The Great Tower of Bowser Land. What the hell? Didn't Bowser just fall into a pit of hot liquid magma and die? Of course, I could argue that Bowser was defeated in the original Super Mario Bros., so he probably shouldn't appear in any Mario game afterward. But I won't. Because it is a video game.
My point is, though, that Bowser should have been saved for the final boss battle only, and we should've been fed one of Bowser's henchmen for Lava Lake Keep.
The Unfinished Photoshop
Take a look at the cover of Super Mario 3D World. You see that gray checkered background at the top? For those that don't know a thing about graphic design, that is very similar to the default background for “dead space” in any image—the empty space where no image or design exists. It is quite common for PNG images and vectors to have this empty space, but the gray checkered background isn't a part of the final image.
Nintendo, however, made the gray checkered background a part of the game's cover—rather, they used a background that looked so similar to it that gamers think it is the actual Photoshop background. Sure, it was an intentional design choice, but it's unclear as to why the designers wouldn't just fill in the background, or leave it blank so that its background is the color of the Wii U game's case (white). Nintendo may think it was creative, but personally, I think it was just lazy.