Super Mario 3D World

Beneath the warm familiarity of 3D World lies one of the strangest Mario games in years - and that's wonderful news.


VideoVideo: "Well excuuuse me, princess!"

Ian takes you through the worst TV adaptations of games in history.

VideoVideo: Super Mario 3D World's Captain Toad levels shown off

And a look at the game's touchscreen features.

Key events

Nintendo hires Bowser as new US sales chief

Nintendo hires Bowser as new US sales chief

A guy called Doug Bowser, that is.

Nintendo of America has hired a new vice president of sales and marketing: Doug Bowser.

Bowser previously worked at EA, where he served as VP of Global Business Planning - presumably the business of destroying the globe by kidnapping princesses and their castles.

At Nintendo US, Bowser will help oversee the company's many advertising, marketing and financial projects for upcoming 3DS and Wii U games.

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VideoVideo: "Well excuuuse me, princess!"

Ian takes you through the worst TV adaptations of games in history.

The late 80s and early 90s was a golden age for cartoons. Batman: The Animated Series, Gargoyles, X-Men, The Real Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles - the list of great shows, with theme tunes still lodged in your head 20 years later, goes on. But for every stand-out there was a stinker, and gaming-related TV adaptations seem to have been mistreated more than most. Video producer Ian Higton has gone on the hunt for the worst he could find. The last one really is a peach.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker announced for Wii U

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker announced for Wii U

Super Mario 3D World spin-off coming this Christmas.

Nintendo has announced Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, a spin-off from Super Mario 3D World starring that game's miniature protagonist Captain Toad.

The character will once again be tasked with solving rotatable puzzle levels, presumably again without being able to jump.

Little else is known about the game - such as whether it will be a download-only or physical release.

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BioShock Infinite isn't up for a Best Game BAFTA

Tearaway is, so is Assassin's Creed 4.

It's that time of year again: The British Academy Games Awards (BAFTA) nominees have been announced. The biggest surprise is that BioShock Infinite - its triumphant arrival being one of the gaming events of the year, if not the generation - is not nominated for Best Game. Fighting it out for that honour are Tearaway, Assassin's Creed 4, Grand Theft Auto 5, The Last of Us, Super Mario 3D World and Papers, Please.

It was always going to be Sony and Microsoft's year. When the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launched in November, it wasn't just the climax of a publicity roadshow that stretched back to February - a roadshow that was at times messy and scandalous, as well as entertaining and exhilarating. It goes back to a time when all we had were codenames like Orbis and Durango, accompanied by whispered speculation. It stretches back even before then, too.

There's a room within EAD Tokyo's offices where the employees working on new 3D Mario games stick Post-It notes of ideas on the walls. Only about one in every 50 makes it into the games, claims producer Koichi Hayashida, but I strongly suspect that there were a few empty walls by the end of development on Super Mario 3D World. Every level is a non-stop bombardment of stuff, with familiar concepts and enemies used in fresh and exciting ways, and brand new ingredients liberally sprinkled on top.

Regarded by many as one of the finest games of 2013, Super Mario 3D World serves to remind us of a day when console games were released as complete, polished products free of day-one patches and DLC. It also marks Nintendo's first full 3D Mario outing on an HD console, finally allowing the series aesthetic to break free of its standard-definition shackles. We already know the game itself lives up to expectations, but the technology behind 3D World plays a critical role in that success.

I don't know about you, but a world in which Knack outsells a Tokyo EAD Mario isn't a world I want to be a part of. But before I hire some plumber to come round and jump on my head until my skull cracks, let's try to right some wrongs by showing Super Mario 3D World some of the love it deserves.

Super Mario 3D World review

The best theory I've ever heard regarding the mysterious way that Mario games get made runs like this: deep inside Nintendo's development structure, there are people working on Mario stuff all the time, irrespective of specific games. They're just toiling away in the Mario mines, churning out endless ideas for anything and everything - bosses, collectables, enemies, traversal gimmicks, ghost house hallways, the works. Mario is always being made, and practically any idea can lie within its remit. Mario is games, and all games - all toys, all play - can eventually be folded into the mix.

That certainly explains a game like Super Mario 3D World - yet another Mario title where each new level can be trusted to throw in a one-off idea that's forgotten seconds later. 3D World has a story, but as ever, it drifts into the ether the moment you take your first jump. It has world themes - desert, ice, grasslands - but they're largely ignored as you hop between pools of bizarre brilliance that defy easy categorisation. Autumn, water parks, the circus: each level takes you somewhere different, while every minute of play spools outwards in a friendly 60fps jumble of nutty concepts - perhaps nuttier here than ever before. And yet! And yet that famous Mario coherency still rules - because everything you encounter in a Mario game reminds you of something else you encountered in another Mario game. Because Mario is games.

Exhibit A: We need to talk about the goomba shoe. You know, the goomba shoe from Super Mario Bros. 3, a single-shot power-up that appears only in level 5-3, where you find a goomba stomping around in a large green boot - a boot you can steal.

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Nintendo sells more Wii Us, but admits it's still hurting profits

Nintendo's Wii U console is still hurting the company's profits despite increased sales.

In August Nintendo announced a Wii U price cut in an attempt to spark sales of the console into life. The decision had a positive impact - in the three month period to 30th September 2013 300,000 Wii Us were sold, almost double the 160,000 sold in the prior three month period, but the wider picture remains bleak.

Today, Nintendo announced the Wii U had sold just 460,000 units worldwide in the six month period to 30th September 2013. That's an average of 76,666 units a month, globally.

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VideoWatch us play five Super Mario 3D World levels in full

And see our pick of the best new power-ups.

In case yesterday's trailer left you in any doubt, Super Mario 3D World looks like it might be one of Nintendo's best platformers in recent years. And if you still need convincing, we've got three exclusive gameplay videos below which may change your mind.

FeatureTouring the World with Miyamoto

Nintendo's finest designers guide us around Super Mario 3D World.

Super Mario video games have always rewarded curiosity. It is perhaps this trait that Shigeru Miyamoto's series - now close to 30 years old - has valued in its players above all others, a tribute perhaps, to the designer's oft-repeated childhood experience of clutching a lantern in order to explore the local caves on the outskirts of Sonobe, the small Japanese town in which he grew up. It's also a trait that Miyamoto has seemingly passed on to his junior staff at Nintendo EAD Tokyo, within whose secretive, never-exposed walls some of the greatest video games of the past decade have been built.

Super Mario 3D World gameplay footage reveals new power-ups

Nintendo has shown off an extended look at the promising-looking Super Mario 3D World, including new items and freshly-unveiled stages.

In more than six minutes of new footage, Nintendo reveals brief glimpses of the new Cat Mario and Double Mario power-ups, plus returning favourites Tanooki Mario, Boomerang Mario and Mega Mario.

Handheld items include a handheld Bullet Bill-style Cannon Box, a Light Box for defeating ghosts and the ability to climb inside and control Koopa Shells.

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Nintendo announces line-up for Eurogamer Expo

EGXNintendo announces line-up for Eurogamer Expo

Super Mario 3D World, Bayonetta 2, DKC, Wind Waker HD and many more.

Nintendo is the latest platform holder to announce its line-up for this year's Eurogamer Expo, promising visitors the opportunity to go hands-on with the likes of Super Mario 3D World and Bayonetta 2 on Wii U, Zelda: A Link Between Worlds on 3DS and a host of indie titles for both consoles.

Our sister site Nintendo Life is also collaborating with Nintendo to run a StreetPass Zone where attendees can top up their StreetPass hits - good news for Mr Mendel and his bloody garden - and take part in 3DS tournament challenges for Star Fox 64 3D, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Mario Kart 7 and Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate.

Visitors to Nintendo's stand at the Expo can also pose for photos with Mario, Luigi, Sonic, Link and Pikachu, who are taking time off from their congressional obligations to press the flesh with their constituents.

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FeatureSuper Mario 3D World: More than a feline

After a disappointing debut, can 3D World turn it round?

Nintendo's 3D Mario games are rare and precious things, carefully crafted as showcases for the platforms they were released on. Everyone remembers their first steps across the lawns of Princess Peach's Castle, or the first time they explored the gravity-defying underside of a Mario Galaxy planetoid. Even the hub world of Nintendo's under-appreciated Mario Sunshine, the sun-bleached stone plazas and loose sewer covers of Isle Delfino rattling beneath Mario's shoes, has burnt itself into our collective consciousness.

Miyamoto: Nintendo's game ownership policy should operate "like a toy company"

"As a consumer you want to... have those things from your youth that you can go back to."

While Microsoft's used game policy for Xbox One has revealed the company's desire to transition game ownership to a more licence-based approach, Nintendo's top designer Shigeru Miyamoto has said he believes that gamers should retain access "for a long time" to games they have own.

FeatureNintendo retreats into its shell at E3

The games are fun, of course - but you can't answer crisis with paralysis.

Nintendo's retreat from the very public PR war of the E3 press conferences turned out to be a more literal one than we might have thought. This morning in Los Angeles, the company replaced its traditional stage show first with its Nintendo Direct live stream and then by inviting press to its stand before the show floor opened to play six key Wii U titles and meet their creators.