In celebration of the thirty-fifth anniversary of the release of the first “Super Mario Bros.” game, Nintendo has released a collection of Mario’s greatest 3D adventures for the Switch: “Super Mario 64,” “Super Mario Sunshine,” and “Super Mario Galaxy.” Unlike the original “Super Mario All-Stars” for the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System), these games are not rebuilt from the ground up, but rather the original games with some HD touch-ups. Overall, this trilogy is packed with hours upon hours of fun.
The first game in the selection menu is “Super Mario 64.” Released in 1996, the graphics clearly shows its age; nonetheless it’s still regarded as a classic among Nintendo fans. In “Super Mario 3D All-stars” some in game textures have been updated, but the games display is still in a 4:3 ratio, meaning it doesn’t take up the whole screen; disappointing fans as it could’ve easily been done. Players go around collecting stars in nice, open sandbox-levels, and have a great time searching around platforms and cages for those sneaky stars. There’s an infinite number of ways to beat this game and levels can be played in any order, the player is free to roam around as they please. The game can sometimes reflect its age as the camera often has a mind of its own. Despite this, the controls work well enough to make Mario’s movement feel tight and responsive.
The follow up to the Nintendo 64 classic was “Super Mario Sunshine.” In this 2002 release, players must go around cleaning up a polluted island named Delfino, with a water cannon called the Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device (F.L.U.D.D.). The first noticeable thing about this game is how gorgeous it is. Not only has it been upgraded to full screen unlike the last game, it’s in HD which showcases water, islands, and beaches in stunning clarity. F.L.U.D.D is a nice edition as well; it makes platforming more interesting as the device can be used as a water-jetpack, and the movement feels fantastically fluid (no pun intended). This is the hardest game out of the three, especially the levels where Mario loses his jetpack, but that just makes it more satisfying to complete a mission.
Nintendo’s’ Italian hero abandons the tropical setting for the vast and empty space in “Super Mario Galaxy.” The plumber explores different planets and bends around gravity in this 2007 release, and with updated graphics it looks even more stunning than “Sunshine.” This game has a very beautiful ambiance to it; listening to the orchestral soundtrack while flying between planets feels larger-than-life. The one setback of the game is that it’s a bit too easy and linear, but the atmosphere and presentation easily make up for it.
These are three great games, but as a collection it’s lacking many features that other compilations have. Besides playable soundtracks for every game (which is a great feature as all these titles have fantastic tunes), there are no art galleries, beta images, alternate playable characters, bonus levels, or developer interviews. Compared to collections such as “Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy” or “Mega Man X Legacy Collection,” “Super Mario 3D All Stars” looks lacking in bonus content compared to them.
Nevertheless, the quality of the games themselves more than makes up for the flaws, and overall, this all-star pack is a must-have for any Switch owner.
Jaden Patel // Staff Writer