'Super Mario Bros. 2' Players Will Get Nostalgic Playing '3D World' for Switch

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Mar. 4 2021, Published 8:41 a.m. ET

'Super Mario 3D World'
Source: Nintendo

Were you expecting to get a little bit of video game history today? No? Well too bad because it's time to appreciate that the concept behind Super Mario 3D World came up almost completely by accident. Well, that and a combination of capitalism, rushing to meet deadlines, and stark cultural differences between what a "pleasurable" gaming experience is; all this led to the differences in Mario characters in key Nintendo titles.

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But first, what are the differences between the 'Super Mario 3D World' characters?

First off, there are five playable characters in 3D World: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Toad, and Rosalina. Mario's the most balanced across the board: decent speed, decent jumping height, and he can stop at a normal speed. Luigi can jump higher than Mario and floats downwards, but he skids when he falls so if there are tight platforms, you may want to avoid him. Peach can't run as fast as Mario or Luigi, but she can jump float, making her a great choice for platform-heavy levels.

Toad is super duper fast. He can't really get that much clearance when it comes to jumping, but if you need a character who can maneuver really well in certain stages and race against the clock, Toad's your guy. 

Rosalina is the fifth and final character who you can only unlock after beating the game. She's the slowest character, however, she has her own spin attack that lets her easily dispatch of enemies, and she doesn't need a power-up to use it!

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super mario d world character differences between
Source: Nintendo

'Super Mario 3D World' borrows a huge concept from 'Super Mario Bros. 2' for NES.

Well, that's at least what the game was called in America. The title was originally called Doki Doki Panic in Japan and was developed by a Nintendo programmer who dreamed of making a platforming action/adventure game that saw the action move up and down as well as left to right. The game was actually created to help kick off Yume Kojo '87, an event in Japan that was sponsored by Fuji TV.

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The celebration was meant to kick-off a new era of different media that would be presented to Japanese viewers all over the country, as well as different technological advancements and a new fall lineup of TV shows. The event had an Arabian Desert theme and featured various characters and design/mask motifs throughout the entire celebration.

These design choices inspired the characters and theme of Doki Doki Panic, along with the concept of players getting to control separate characters.

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Nintendo worked with Fuji to create the game and gave each of the different characters their own abilities, and it was a success in Japan and a beloved game. So what's it have to do with Super Mario Bros.? Well, Part 2 was released in Japan, and when an executive for the gaming company in the United States played a slew of new titles that were coming stateside, he was shocked at the highly anticipated sequel to the original Super Mario Bros.

He thought the game, with its poison mushrooms, trick reverse warp tunnels, and insane difficulty made for a punishing experience for gamers. The fact that it didn't have much of a visual upgrade over the original game that was a smash hit in so many homes also troubled him. He relayed the news to Japan, and they got to thinking: How could they make a sequel that America would like?

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Instead of creating a game from scratch, they re-branded Doki Doki Panic and changed a lot of the character animations in the game. You may have noticed that the Nintendo title features a soundtrack and level designs that look like they could've been lifted straight out of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves. Again, this is because Super Mario Bros. 2 is just a re-skinned version of the game.

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No, 'Bowser's Fury' isn't a brand new game, just a Switch exclusive expansion to the title.

If you haven't heard of Super Mario 3D World before, then that's probably because you weren't one of eight people who had a Wii U. The previous Nintendo console didn't sell too well but did have some great games on it.

This means that the Switch is ripe for ports and re-releases, seeing as it's such a success.

It doesn't hurt that Mario games aren't really dated... I mean Super Mario World for SNES is still playable today, so it's no wonder fans are excited to play this technically seven-year-old title (as of this writing) with the Bowser's Fury expansion.

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