This year marks the 35th Anniversary of the release of Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System. September also happens to be the birth month of Nintendo as a company, having been founded in September of 1889. So, it’s only natural for the company to release huge announcements for Mario during September.
On September 3, 2020, Nintendo snuck in a Nintendo Direct entirely about everyone’s favorite plumber. Thankfully for our wallets, not all of the stuff is releasing at the same time. Releasing on September 18, Super Mario 3D All-Stars is set to release on the Nintendo Switch.
Much like Super Mario All-Stars for the SNES, Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a collection of previously released games. Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy are all getting a fresh coat of paint and being released in one nice, shiny package. While I’m hearing some gripes about this release already I am totally stoked for this collection.
Three Classic Games for the Price of One
While we have talked a bit about remasters and re-releases on the Switch before, this is a re-release done right. This is a celebration of the face of video games. We’ve already got ready access to most of Mario’s 2D classics thanks to Switch Online. Bringing some of his iconic 3D adventures to the platform only makes sense. And unlike some re-releases I could mention, it’s 3 classic games for the price of 1. That’s something anyone’s bank account can appreciate.
The selection of games included the compilation are high quality. Super Mario 64 inspired so many other 3D platformers out there. Sonic Adventure, Spyro the Dragon, Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64 all took notes from Super Mario 64. While the game is a little dated by today’s standards, it still plays fine. The world of gaming changed when it was released. I still get that sense of giddiness when I see Mario pull out that Wing Cap, ready to fly in his search of the 120 Stars in Peach’s Castle.
I regrettably didn’t play Super Mario Sunshine but everyone I know who has played it basically describes it as 64, only more polished, more refined and with the added bonus of Yoshi.
And as for Super Mario Galaxy, well, I missed out on that one too. Despite not playing it, I was blown away by what the scope of the adventure looked like. While this wasn’t the first time Mario launched himself into space, it certainly felt bigger than any of his adventures at the time. It’s the one Mario game I’ve always wanted to play. People adore this game. How much do they adore it? Enough to produce a musical package based on it.
With the release of the collection, people are beginning to question why Nintendo hasn’t redone the graphics and game engines from the ground up. Similar to the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon collections we’ve gotten in the past few years. While the graphics are getting a slight facelift, it’s not anything elaborate. While it is a cheaper option to than a complete remaster, that’s not the whole picture. A big part of this celebration is the nostalgia factor. To look back on fond Mario memories. And part of those memories are the graphical styles. People want classic games to feel like the classics they once played.
Different Styles of Mario
Mario games come in two flavors: platforming inspired and exploration-based. For a long time, it definitely felt that Nintendo was reluctant to go back to the more in-depth exploration Mario games.
That is, until Super Mario Odyssey came out. The biggest open-world Mario adventure to date and one of the best-selling games for the Switch. Nintendo choosing to release some of the classic exploring-style Mario games could be a test to see if the success of Odyssey was a fluke. If 3D All-Stars sells well, it could encourage Nintendo to make bigger exploration-filled Mario games. Or, potentially adding other classic franchises together in celebratory packages.
A Metroid Prime Collection could turn from rumors to a fully-fledged game. Or perhaps we’ll get a collection of Hylian Adventures when one of Nintendo’s other major franchises celebrates its 35th Anniversary next year.
But, in any case, I am super hyped for this collection, enough to preorder it. I look forward to enjoying and re-enjoying these classic Mario Adventures.
Happy Birthday, Mario and Happy ‘Nintember’ to you all! Stay tuned for more Nintendo flavored content as we continue to celebrate Nintendo and Mario’s birthday this month.