Mario’s ‘newest’ game is released today on the Nintendo Switch. Super Mario 3D All-Stars unites 3 of Mario’s beloved titles on one switch cartridge. As the name suggests the focus is on 3D platforming adventures this time. First up there’s Super Mario 64 from the launch of the Nintendo 64. Super Mario Sunshine did not receive quite as warm as reception when it launched on the Nintendo Gamecube. Finally there’s Super Mario Galaxy; the award winning Wii title.
As a package Super Mario 3D All-Stars certainly has a lot to offer. There’s few series where each entry is as beloved as Mario. With the proliferation of ways to play the older, 2D games it’s nice to see newer entries get some attention. But this throws into contrast one of the collection’s downsides. The collection is priced at £50 for three games with limited improvements. Sure, the SNES Mini costs more but is packed with titles. Nintendo making classic games available via their online service also had fans coping we might one day see N64 games there. And where is Super Mario Galaxy 2?
One of the most controversial aspects of Super Mario 3D All-Stars‘ approach is its billing as a ‘limited time’ title. Nintendo has been criticised before for using scarcity to ramp up demand. As much as people love these games the fear that one day you won’t be able to buy it has undoubtedly driven sales. From the ‘mini’ consoles, to amiibo figures and even at times the Switch itself eBay ‘scalpers’ have had a field day charging excessive amounts for hard-to-find products. This time that does not seem to have been the case. At the time of writing I could open up Nintendo’s own UK store front and buy a copy. Base.com seems to be alone in having to cancel their orders due to insufficient allocation. So you don’t need to resort to an eBay scalper. For now.
I’d think of Super Mario 3D All-Stars as a novelty. It’s a commemoration of 35 years of the strange Italian-American plumber. It offers one of the easiest ways to see what all the fuss was about when glassy-eyed old gamers start talking about the good old days. A full remaster would have been nice. The Legend of Zelda has been enjoying this treatment since the 3DS. We’ve had high-quality remakes of everything from Ocarina of Time to Twlight Princess – spanning the N64 – Wii years we can see here. The difference is each of those cost approx £40-50 themselves. Plus, this is to celebrate Mario’s past. If you remastered Mario 64 so it looked like Mario Odyssey and modernised the controls, would it still be Mario 64?