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Just enough for the 35th anniversary

Nintendo and Super Mario go together like peanut butter and jelly. Yes, you can have one without the other. But they still belong together.

It goes without saying that Switch owners should pick up Nintendo’s new products Super Mario 3D All-Stars Collection. It’s three of the best Mario games in history – yes, actually sunshine – together in one package that you can take with you wherever you go thanks to the Switch’s unique design.

For that reason alone, this $ 60 package is worth buying. But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Super Mario 3D All-Stars contains exactly what is promised: Three Mario games: Super mario 64, Super Mario sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. That̵

7;s it. That’s all you get

“Come on,” you think and sigh angrily. “Are three incredible games not enough?” Yes! It is! As I said before, if you have a switch, you really should get this package. But it is straight The three games, with no improvements that are out of control, make them switch friendly. You have the option to play any of the three soundtracks while your Switch is idle, but that’s it.

Not much is celebrated for a package designed to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Super Mario. It’s hard to just complain about these old games existing on Nintendo’s newest (and very popular) console. But if you’re hoping for behind-the-scenes archival glimpses or Easter eggs like bonus games, this is not the case.

Since the latest of the three titles in Super Mario 3D All-Stars is already 13 years old. Let’s tackle this by going over what you get. The historical context is particularly important here for younger readers who missed Nintendo’s GameCube and Nintendo 64 generations.

Super mario 64 (1996)

'Super Mario 3D All-Stars' for Switch: Hardly enough, but still a must

When the Nintendo 64 came out in 1996, Super mario 64 was released alongside the console and came as a kind of revelation. For the first time, the mustache plumber existed in a 3D world. All puzzles and platform jumps unfolded not only on the X and Y axes, but also on a Z axis.

It was literally a game changer. Mario 64 plays like no other game that was before. The adjustable camera, which rotates around Mario in 90-degree increments, feels archaic compared to modern 3D games where you have full control over the camera. But in 1996, a year before Sony introduced the industry’s first dual-stick controller, Nintendo’s chunky camera flips were still changing the way we understood Mario gameplay.

Super mario 64 is like the Jimi Hendrix from Mario games.

The 3D all-stars The version doesn’t change anything on the camera or anything else. And that’s good! The 90 degree flips take a bit of getting used to, however Mario 64The gameplay has aged remarkably well. It is a product of Nintendo’s superb level design and the imaginatively designed worlds in which they exist. (The penguin slide is still an asshole, however.)

As with most Mario games, you’re on a quest to save Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser. The backdrop this time around is Peach’s Castle, a labyrinthine collection of corridors and rooms adorned with very little furniture but tons and tons of hanging art.

Each work of art is your gateway to another level. While the castle, which doubles as a turntable, has its own secrets to uncover, most of the time is spent jumping into paintings and chasing the discreet challenges found in an endless pursuit of power stars. There are six in the world of any painting, and part of the fun is figuring out how to actually get them.

Super mario 64 is like the Jimi Hendrix from Mario games. When you first discover it in 2020, features like Hub World and Power Star Tracking may not feel particularly new or fresh. But it’s still a superstar among superstars. This was the first time a Mario game featured any of these ideas. Not only has it changed the look of future Mario games, it has influenced tons and tons of Mario-inspired games and series as well.

Super Mario sunshine (2002)

'Super Mario 3D All-Stars' for Switch: Hardly enough, but still a must

This is an odd game that Nintendo fans still debate a lot about. Super Mario sunshine was the second 3D Mario game and the only one released for Nintendo’s GameCube. It is also crucial that Princess Peach is not kidnapped.

sunshine Mario, Peach and friends are vacationing on the tropical island of Delfino. But when they arrive, they discover that the island is covered in patches of glowing poisonous mud. Soon after, Mario receives the FLUDD, a robot backpack that can be used to shoot jets of water. He uses it to clean up some of the mud but is arrested almost immediately (no kidding!) On suspicion of marking the island with graffiti.

As you can probably tell by now, more story unfolds here than normally in a Mario game, with some limited voice overs (exposure!) And even spoiler-worthy twists (which I’m not going to reveal here, huh?). The game’s opening teases the presence of a Mario double as the likely culprit behind the graffiti, and therein lies sunshine‘s central secret.

sunshine feels like an experiment to give the idea of ​​what a 3D Mario game can be.

It’s not just history that makes it sunshine different. Mario’s FLUDD, short for Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device, and the presence of all that toxic sludge will change the type of puzzles you solve. The FLUDD nozzles have two positions, so you can use them either as a jetpack with a jump extension or as a water sprayer. The backpack only contains a limited amount of water, however, so you’ll need to constantly monitor your water level and find a way to replenish it when it gets low.

sunshine It may have been only the second 3D Mario game, but there hasn’t been a comparable Mario game from Nintendo since then. In hindsight, it feels like an experiment taking the idea of ​​what a 3D Mario game can be in new directions. Because of this, it has become a divisive game among fans of the series. But it’s still great.

In contrast to both 64 and galaxy, Super Mario sunshine gives you full 360 degree control over the camera. The 3D all-stars The release unfortunately remains entirely with the original controls, right down to the cumbersome setup for aiming and firing your FLUDD. However, the original game was designed with this control scheme in mind, so it takes getting used to rather than breaking the game.

sunshine also has a really wild level design that instantly increases the stakes for a post-upMario 64 Game can do. The unobstructed camera and enhanced processing power of the GameCube allow the exploration of larger, more detailed worlds, starting with the superb Isle Delfino turntable.

Forget about the mud you saw Super Mario sunshine. It’s still a must-have Mario game, and it shines as brightly in this Switch collection as it did almost 20 years ago.

Super Mario Galaxy (2007)

'Super Mario 3D All-Stars' for Switch: Hardly enough, but still a must

If you are looking for a “best” option in the 3D all-stars Package, this one gets my vote. Super Mario Galaxy is one of the best games for the Wii, and generally one of the best Nintendo games of all time.

As the title suggests, this third 3D Mario game sends Nintendo’s beloved plumber into space. galaxy brings us back to the familiar build of a kidnapped Princess Peach and a raiding Bowser family eager to ruin Mario’s good times.

This time the princess was brought to the center of the universe. To save them, Mario must restore power to a cometary observatory by collecting a series of power stars scattered across 42 different galaxies. The observatory is not mobile, but it still serves as a hub through which Mario can reach each of these galaxies.

The back-to-basics approach starts and ends with the story and the basic structure of a Power Star chase. In every way that matters Super Mario Galaxy is something completely new. The level design relies heavily on the unique properties of space, so the attraction of the various land masses you visit is regularly taken into account.

Super Mario Galaxy is one of the best Nintendo games of all time.

As a Wii game galaxy took full advantage of the motion controls on the older Nintendo console. These have been tweaked – and in some cases improved – to play well with Switch, but they’ll still be a stumbling block for those who prefer to control their games with thumb pins and buttons.

When you play galaxy When the Switch is connected to the TV, the Joy-Cons replace the original Wii Remote and the Nunchuk Attachment. Mario’s uniquegalaxy The rotation no longer depends on shaking the controller. You can do this, but you can also just press Y on a blessed upgrade. Other motion sensitive features, especially some of galaxyFor the bonus challenges you will need to use your Joy-Con like a pointer.

In handheld mode, most of the motion detection functions are transferred to the touchscreen. This can be tricky at times if you’re not using a pen as your fingers aren’t the most precise instruments for a game that generally requires precision. I spent most of the time playing the Switch version of galaxy in handheld mode and I still think it’s better than the old Wii setup. I never played the original game for more than a couple of hours because the Wii controls weren’t really my thing.

The only difficult thing is the camera that goes back to them Mario 64 Start of rotation in 90 degree increments. It’s not a big problem in galaxyHowever, this is because so many levels and puzzle sequences use a deliberately set camera that moves with you and automatically changes its orientation with each new challenge.

Summarize everything

'Super Mario 3D All-Stars' for Switch: Hardly enough, but still a must

All three games in the bundle look and run great on Switch. galaxy and sunshine Performing best as significantly newer games, both of which were developed in a post-widescreen TV era. Mario 64 isn’t stretched (thankfully) to fit the Switch screen, but the original 4: 3 presentation leaves black bars on each side and makes the overall experience feel a bit tighter.

It’s really not a big deal. Once you start playing, you’ll find it easy to fall under it Mario 64‘s spell all over again. It holds up very well sunshine and galaxy. All three games in this bundle have aged remarkably well, and all three are testament to the timeless appeal of classic Nintendo games in general. Newer and fancier Mario games are also available in 2020.

It’s a shame Nintendo hasn’t done more to lighten the 35th anniversary mood on this collection. Like i told you Super Mario 3D All-Stars remains an excellent collection of gaming classics and a must for every Nintendo-loving Switch user.

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