Tom: Hey, you don’t have to be Mario! I can instead think of this as Super Princess Peach 3D World. The next two weeks are going to be much easier. Furthermore, it has cat suits. Cat suits! It’s a little weird and I can’t help but think of that scene in The Shining when Shelley Duvall sees people in bear suits or cat suits or whatever doing things to each other, but I’ll gladly take weird over that insufferable little plumber.
Scott: Mario loves getting weird. The cat suit is just the latest in a long line of animal skins: Frog Mario, Racoon Mario, freaking Tanooki Mario (Tom’s previous fave) and that’s just canon. I’m sure there are plenty of bizarro suits in Mario games I haven’t played. It’s surprising it took this long to get to cat. Seems like a massive oversight.
Tom: Nintendo is clearly more of a dog person.
Scott: Or maybe the folks over at Nintendo were waiting for a desperate moment like this — Wii U on the rocks, stockholders getting anxious — to break out the cat.
After the jump, Tanookis explained
Tom: I keep hearing about the Wii U being on the rocks, which is hard to fathom while I’m playing Wonderful 101, Lego City Undercover, and Rayman Legends (the dirty little secret about Rayman Legends is that it’s a Wii U exclusive that was crassly whored out to every other system). But while slogging through world one of Super Mario 3D World, I can understand the sentiment. Oh, look, I unlocked a sticker. What am I, six years old?
Scott: Just you wait Mr. Chick, you’ll need those stickers soon enough. So a mushroom turns a little Mario into Super Mario, fire flowers let him throw fireballs, and a bell turns him into a cat? Am I missing something about bells? Maybe because cats like bells? Do cats like bells? My cat never seemed to give much of a crap about bells. But I guess it isn’t any weirder than a feather turning Mario into a racoon (a raccoon that flies no less, does the feather symbolize flight?) and a leaf turning him into a Tanooki. Tom can you please explain to me what a Tanooki is?
Tom: Sure. A Tanooki is because Japan.
Scott: When I first fire up Super Mario 3D world I’m a little stunned at the overworld map. Nintendo has updated the evocative map from Super Mario World and rendered it in exquisite detail. Each level entrance is represented by a rotating miniature replica of the level. The level models look like little elaborate birthday cakes or snow globes. You can roam freely over the map hunting down coins, powerups, and extra lives. Right from the start you can see inaccessible islands, cave openings, rock formations. I know I’ll be going back and forth all over this map.
Tom: Scott is really adorable when he gets excited and channels his inner six-year-old. I, on the other hand, have played Skyrim. It takes more than moving a little Princess Peach scooching around an overworld map to put me in a tizzy.
Scott: Inner ten-year old, he’s way less easily impressed. He’s played A Link to the Past. As I warp into world 1-1, Super Bell Hill, and hear that music, updated and jazzy, it’s like an adrenalin shot to the heart reviving all those old Mario game memories.
Tom: How do I turn off the music? Well, I got through world one and at least didn’t have to replay the boss fight more than once or go back and grind coins to rack up extra lives because I lost them all trying to make a jump. I’m sure that stuff won’t come until world two.
Scott: Here are some of the things that happened on Super Bell Hill: I climbed walls, somersaulted out of trees, and pounced on goombas all dressed in a yellow cat suit. I found a huge bunny rabbit on a secret elevated landing that I had to chase down. When I caught the rabbit a massive mushroom appeared turning me into a giant. From there I proceeded to stomp through and destroy half the level. How can you not love this game?
Tom: Which one was Super Bell Hill?