I've been a Mario fan since the late 80's and haven't played a single one I didn't enjoy (specifically the 3D games) and while I enjoyed this game too, I found myself suffering a little Mario fatigue........I have to admit that while playing thru this game I couldn't help but feel disappointed more than once that I was fighting the same koopas and goombas in the same ice, fire, desert and haunted castle levels as I've been doing for almost 25 yrs. Even some of the new ideas felt like a novelty that wasn't needed, like blowing into the gamepad to move platforms, or tappin on the gamepad to move doors.
Don't get me wrong it's still got some great Mario platforming gameplay and it very colorful and easy on the eyes. It brings back some great old power ups like the tanooki suit, but I found the new catsuit a little juvenile for me. It's probably the longest 3D Mario game as well, I must admit every time I thought I was done then another hidden world opened up before me, but they often recycled previous worlds.
The Mario franchise needs a facelift, he needs a completely new set of enemies, he needs a dramatic change of scenery. I think this is why I loved Sunshine so much, it shocked me that this received such a lukewarm reception when it was released. It changed up the formula and did an amazing job in my opinion, same goes for the Galaxy games.
Another thing that needs to go and NEVER return is the clock, why would a developer take the time over what could be several years and create a beautifully detailed world but not give us time to soak it all in? Makes no sense to me why after all their hard work they'd want to blow thru a game as quickly as possible.
I don't write long reviews so in closing I like this game, you'd honestly really have to eff up a Mario for me not to like it, but I want something new. If the next 3D Mario game is more of this then I will be skipping it, this is my least favorite 3D Mario game.