Today marks Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury’s official release on Nintendo Switch. The package blends something old with something new, a port of the 2013 Wii U classic, Super Mario 3D World with a fresh, new take on the Mario platforming gameplay we’ve come to know and love in the form of Bowser’s Fury.
While I’ve not got a whole lot of exciting stuff to say about Super Mario 3D World, as it’s largely just a slightly updated eight-year-old game at this point, Bowser’s Fury piqued my interest, and continued to linger in my thoughts the more I played of it. Here was a game that was deceptively bigger than I expected it to be before I got to play it but ultimately was never as big as I wanted it to be.
Prior to getting my hands on it, I had (wrongfully) assumed that Bowser’s Fury would be a mish-mash of a handful of levels from the cutting room floor. “A quick, single session is all I’ll need to blast through this side content,” I incorrectly thought.
Nintendo hadn’t really done anything to lead me to believe otherwise. What was shown was very short and sporadic, making it difficult to really know what form Bowser’s Fury was going to take.
So when I was dropped into Lake Lapcat, I was a little taken aback. Here was what was essentially DLC that Nintendo seemingly believed couldn’t be released as a standalone product, offering an open world with a plethora of islands to explore.
It only took me about five minutes to realize I’d underestimated Bowser’s Fury. Its largely water-based 3D world ushered me to explore, to find out its many secrets and eradicate the black goo that plagues Lake Lapcat upon the titular plumber’s arrival. And to do that, he’s got to get island hopping.
Each island isn’t just a one and done deal, either. For completionists, of which I imagine there must be many, there are 100 Cat Shines to get out there and grab, and that means obtaining all five from each of the islands, as well as collecting a smattering scattered across Lake Lapcat itself.
So I got to it, clearing islands as best I could, occasionally leaving a particularly pesky Cat Shine until I’d further refined my platforming prowess further down the line. I battled Bowser as Giga Cat Mario. I cruised across the surface of Lake Lapcat on the back of Nessie, and felt the wrath of Bowser’s Fury more times than I’d care to admit.
And then it was over. Just as quickly as it had come along, Bowser’s Fury’s main story was done. I’d obtained just under half of the Cat Shines in the game at this point, and upon unlocking the fast travel ability and the remaining handful, I’ve been diving back in to grab all 100 ever since.
100 Cat Shines in a game I thought would take me no more than a couple of hours to blast through is certainly an exciting prospect, but it’s the speed at which I got through these that left me to be a little disappointed.
The most challenging Cat Shines can more or less be sidestepped in order to reach the final boss, and while I am pushing my way to 100%’ing the game, the end is drawing closer at an ever-increasing pace.
I’ve already spoken at length at how much I believe Bowser’s Fury to be the future of Mario platforming, and that’s what leaves me in this limbo between being surprised at its length and simultaneously a little disappointed. My expectations were well and truly smashed due to how little we knew about it, but once I sunk my teeth into that freeflow Mario platforming, I knew I’d need more.
If Bowser’s Fury was a tantalizing open-world appetizer to give fans a sneak peek of the future of Mario titles, then it well and truly succeeded. I’m itching for another open-world, filled with its own levels, objectives, and side content to go and complete.
- Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury: How to Get Infinite Lives
- Bowser’s Fury Mount Magmeow: How to Get All Cat Shines
- Bowser’s Fury Pipe Path Tower Shines: How to Get All Cat Shines
- Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury Guide Wiki
- Bowser’s Fury Fort Flaptrap Shines: How to Get All Cat Shines