I should probably get this out of the way now: I don't particularly like 3D platformers. I don't hate them by any means. But I don't go gaga for them. I'd much rather play a 2D platformer. I'll take Super Mario World over Super Mario Galaxy any day of the week. I had a buddy in high school who was really into Mario 64. I'd always ask him if we could play Mario Kart instead. I thought Mario Sunshine was pretty fun, but I definitely preferred Luigi's Mansion.
A few years back I was binging 3DS games and played through New Super Mario Bros 2 and Super Mario 3D Land, back to back. I thought the former was pretty great and the latter was just okay. I tell you all this so you know where my head is at. I don't hate these 3D Mario games, but I don't love them either.
Anyway, just after Christmas this year I decided to use some gift cards and finally jump on that Wii U bandwagon. To my happy surprise, the refurb console that I got from Gamestop was apparently a bundle that came pre-installed with several games. One of them was Super Mario 3D World - a game that I most likely would not have bought on my own; but one I'd happily play if I were given a free copy. So, the planets had aligned.
I started playing Super Mario 3D World on New Year's Eve after we finished watching Blade Runner (hello, 2019!) and while we were waiting for Chrissy Teigen to start counting down the ball drop. Mostly, I wanted to test using the Wii U tablet as a portable console - which stupidly enough involves me lugging the actual Wii U console out of my game room and plugging it in to a spare electrical outlet close enough to where I actually want to use the tablet. It's not pretty, but it works. And the game was a fun enough way to kill some time. The little cat suit is cute, I guess.
I didn't think about the game again for weeks. But this past Saturday I found myself battling a nasty head cold and home alone one Saturday morning. What to do? Oh! I could actually play the Wii U on a TV for once! So I fired up Super Mario 3D World and poured myself some coffee. I was going along just fine. It was the usual 3D platformer experience. I didn't love it; I didn't hate it. But it was cute and everything and those Toad levels are their own little challenge and I was having a decent enough time.
And then it happened.
Y'know what I do hate in a platformer? Being blocked from starting the next level because I haven't collected enough THINGS. You see, you need to collect green stars in each level and eventually, there will be levels that you can't move on to because you don't have enough green stars. So now you've got to go back and replay older levels to find more green stars. It's stupid. I hate this kind of thing.
In fairness, maybe this was in 3D Land as well? I can't remember as it's been five or six years since I played that one. I did beat 3D Land, so if that was in it then maybe I was more patient or it wasn't as annoying or glarding? I don't know. But I wasn't in the mood for this shit. Especially given the head cold and all. So y'know what? I'm all set with 3D World. I've got a copy of New Super Mario Bros U on its way to me now... I'll probably enjoy that one a lot more.