To any Mario fan, 3D Land is roughly an equivalent to a wet dream. A 3D Mario main platformer that plays like a 2D game(with our old friend the Tanooki suit) and actually uses the 3D as an integral part of the gameplay? Drool... The wait was painful, but in the end, was it worth it?
I was surprised by 3D Land. Don't get me wrong, i expected it to be the Mario awesomeness that everyone loves, but i did not expect it's use of 3D. It adds a layer of depth, and helps you determine where to jump. Some rooms were meant to troll those who do not like 3D, and other levels make use of it's depth. I'm serious, you are not playing it right if the 3D slider is off. Other than that the (somewhat disappointingly short amount of) power ups are awesome as well. A Fire Flower (a PERMANENT one, unlike the ones in galaxy), the variations of the Tanooki suit,, and the boomerang suit all work very well, and each have their own uses. The level design is solid, and the controls aren't perfect, but i don't mind. 3D Land is an amazing game, that does not disappoint you. And with 16 worlds, and 300+ star coins, you'll be playing for a long time.
3D Land is still not perfect, however. Like i said, the controls need a bit of time to get used to, but thats not really a big problem. Like its predecessors, this game tortures completionists. To finish the game, you need to finish 8 normal worlds, 8 special worlds, collect a hell lot of star coins, get golden flagpoles in every level, not to mention, play through all those levels, AGAIN with Luigi. Also, i personally did not find the S worlds THAT hard. They were challenging, yes, but they were more fun than hard(Either that, or Perfect Run in SMG 2
increased my platforming skills by 100 lvls).It's either that, or the fact that you can receive lives like free candy. I mean, by world 2, i had 70+ lives or so. The bosses are also bland. Other than the great final platforming section, i mean final battle, the bosses repeat the same tactics all over again. An idiot who spins around, a transvestite with a boomerang, and Bowser himself. None of them are hard, and none of them will give you problems.
But all of that is overshadowed by all the other elements. 3D Land is a worthy successor to the Mario games of yore, and shows that 3D CAN help gameplay, and that it's not just a gimmick.