* Bowser got a little tougher; he is not vulnerable to attacks from Mario's powers anymore. If it weren't for BossArenaIdiocy, you couldn't beat him.
* The final fight is a running battle through the castle. Correction: ''You'' run, Bowser snipes at you with fire! In the [[SequentialBoss second half of the battle]], he gets pissed, and his flames [[TurnsRed turn]] [[TechnicolorFire blue-purple]], and go ''screaming by'' with a sound like a jet!
** Then he goes all ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'' on you by trying to throw a barrel. The most tense part has to be when it all culminates in [[spoiler: a mad dash to the end]].
* Peach fighting back against her captors, according to the photos you find in between worlds. Though she obviously doesn't succeed, it was rather nice to see, seeing as she often doesn't appear to put up any kind of resistance when she's captured, despite being [[ActionGirl more than capable of kicking ass]] in games where [[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2 she's a]] [[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros playable]] [[SuperPrincessPeach character]].
** [[VideoGame/SuperMario3DWorld And Nintendo seems to be cognizant of this]].
* How does Mario enter a Koopa Airship? By climbing up the anchor like in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3''? Nope, he has himself ''fired from a cannon!''