Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury releases today on the Nintendo Swith, which means the excellent platformer we know and love is back and enhanced, and also that a new standalone adventure will put your 3D Mario skills to test.
The key here is that we really "know" and love SM3DW, as it's a seven-year-old game, and even though it didn't reach the player base it deserved back then, its secrets had been well uncovered and documented ever since. In other words, we won't tell you here were to find all the green stars and stamps, how to unlock Rosalina, or how to reach the bonus worlds in the space, as there are many guides out there, including official ones by Nintendo, that have collected that info and serve the same purpose on the Switch game today.
Bowser's Fury, however, is the big new thing, as it's both a standalone adventure and a quite different experience in terms of gameplay. You free-roam to explore Lake Lapcat's open world, in search of Cat Shines and in order to calm down, ehm, Bowser's Fury. There are 100 Cat Shines in total and three bigger areas with a few islands in them for 12 landmarks, but during your run you face Fury Bowser in your Giga Cat Mario form several times and actually see the credits once you beat him at the 50 shines mark.
But telling you here where and how to collect every shine would be boring and would also ruin the fun of the actually brief (6-8 hours to complete) adventure. Instead, here's a handful of tips and tricks to make your time at Lake Lapcat both smoother and, we believe, more entertaining.
Fury Bowser might seem pretty intimidating at first, but once you've met him several times (and beaten him a few more), you have to see every encounter as a change of scenery... which can at the same time be useful. Not just is it the only way to break the Fury Blocks -which hide Cat Shines in every area of the lake- but also think that with the beast come different additional platforms (including golden platforms) and question blocks for both you and Plessie, mostly meaning that you can earn a ton of money in a moment (and items, therefore).
Even if at first you're tempted to grab a Cat Shine as soon as possible during Fury Bowser encounters to blind him back to sleep, a nice trick is to break the Fury Blocks and leave the shines there to collect whenever it suits you. Also, remember that, even if it's trickier, you can still complete the standard Cat Shine challenges during the night rain. Again, perhaps it's better to use Bowser's Fury for a bit longer...
This might seem obvious, but the shadows the different elements on the scenery cast indicate the position of both Fury Bowser and his upcoming beam. Use this to move around safely, and if you're on the water -be it alone or mounting Plessie- remember to dive in order to dodge an incoming beam.
Another way to protect yourself is by using the red Lucky Bell to turn you into Maneki-Neko Mario (Lucky Cat Mario), which makes you invincible and at the same time richer when you pound the ground. The Lucky Bells are rare, so you better save them for the most dangerous occasions (and this applies to every item type: save them for sections where they're really useful, and also hold Up on the D-pad to quickly get the last selected power-up from Bowser Jr).
Speaking about lucky elements, in the second half of the game you can find the Lucky Cat Shines on a floating, golden island which only appears during Fury Bowser encounters. It's shiny and easy to spot, but not that easy to reach, and you can use it to blind Fury Bowser up to five times. This is best used when you don't have other Cat Shines at hand and desperately need to counter the beast, and a pro tip is that you use the map and the Warp feature to land nearby the island (it's shown as a yellow spot).
Once you've unlocked the "Warp" feature you can quick-travel to any of the 12 landmarks in the lake. Other than letting you focus on the next missing shine, this is a great way to clean up a bunch of different Fury Blocks during a single encounter, as explained before. This also shows you a list of Cat Shines in the different regions, and a hint to where to get the unlisted ones.
Bowser's Fury approaches open-world design as areas that keep changing when you revisit them along with your progress. Towards the end of the adventure, more and more Propeller Boxes will appear, and this item, together with Cat Mario, allow you to exploit the map's verticality faster than ever, so keep this in mind to avoid the same long treks all over again.
Plessie's best use so far in a game is a lot of fun and you'll need to master the dive-jump mechanic for the later sections in the game. However, it's not always about commuting to other islands, running from Fury Bowser, or taking on the dinosaur's time-attack challenges, as Plessie is also the perfect tool when you're looking for that pesky missing Cat Shine Fragment. Just swim around the area or island and you'll most likely see things differently from that perspective.
We've talked about Fury Bowser encounters, but not about the battles themselves. Once you're allowed to literally throw platforms to the beast, just do it and don't focus on the ground-pound attack alone. Besides, if you haven't noticed, if you're hit you can transform back to Giga Cat Mario by grabbing any nearby Giga Bell. MEOW!
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