2020 marks the 35th Anniversary of Super Mario Bros. With its expert level design, iconic musical score and universal appeal, Mario has dominated the face of the gaming industry. It was to my delight then, when Nintendo announced that a collection of the first three 3D Mario titles would be coming to Nintendo Switch. Having played 35 hours of the collection, does 3D All-stars deliver as a celebration for one of gaming’s greatest, or does it fall short of the goal pole?
Unfortunately, what you see is what you get. Super Mario 64 remains just as exciting as it was back in the day. New players may struggle to enjoy 64 due to its poorly aged controls, meaning Mario doesn’t control quite as sharp as he should which, when paired with the cumbersome camera, can lead to many unnecessary deaths. Visually, the game has diminished since its original release in 1996, however the same cannot be said for its undying ability to surprise the player with its plethora of secrets and iconic locales.
Super Mario 3d All-Stars is a worthwile collection, featuring the best versions of Mario’s first 3D adventures. Although the individual games are just ports, the titles themselves hold up well and are a delight to revisit.
Super Mario Sunshine remains the same chaotic mess that it was in 2002. Sunshine is arguably the least inventive of the three and features many lazy oversights. These come in the form of the awkward camera controls, uninspired objectives and inconsistent pacing. A heavy reliance on Mario’s water spraying contraption, FLUDD, also means that the player is never in full control of the action. While the tropical paradise of Isle Delfino remains an exuberant setting for the prototypical platformer, its shortcomings prevent it from reaching the heights of its successors.
Super Mario Galaxy strays from the sandbox style levels of its predecessors. Although this means that levels are more linear in design, this is compensated by the variety of each Galaxy. The pacing is delightful too, with new galaxies becoming available with every star Mario collects. The magic of Galaxy’s story and gorgeously orchestrated soundtrack do nothing but intensify the sense of adventure.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a worthwhile collection, featuring the best versions of Mario’s first three 3D adventures. Although the individual games are just ports, the titles themselves hold up well and are a delight to revisit. Despite their age, these games are still brimming with individual charm and life, which diverts the focus away from the shortcomings of the collection.[Featured Image: IGDB]
Last modified: 29th October 2020