OH, wow is all I can say for the start of this review.
It is Mario’s 35th Anniversary and Nintendo Switch owners have been given a treat in the form of Super Mario 3D All-Stars. A package that contains the iconic Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Sunshine.
We shall start at the very beginning with Super Mario 64, a game that brings back memories that I will cherish forever.
I was 20 years old, working in admin, within a builders’ merchant in Swansea, which is in Wales. There used to be an independent games store called 5th Dimension where I used to love spending my money in. I was the type of lad that would not care about bills as I was earning way too much then. I always spoke to the staff, even made good friends with them, then one day I was told that they would be getting in the new N64 from America on launch day, that was a few months before the EU launch. So I waited till September, I was at the store early, with money in hand to grab the new Nintendo System along with Super Mario 64 and Pilot Wings 64.
I waited till the end of the day, got picked up by my dad, took my new system home, plugged it all in and was treated to what can only be at the time mind-blowing, a 3D Mario. I spent more time on the home screen pulling and poking Mario’s Face than playing the game that night, it was just so awe-inspiring.
Then after a while, I was taken into the 3D world of Mario, which at the time, was exceptional, something that had never been seen before. Even now this game is seen as the defining moment is platform games, a game that every other game is sort of designed off.
Moving from 2D Mario to 3D Mario seemed like a hard task at the time but with lead designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Nintendo had shown the world, that 3D games could be the future, and they were ready to take it head-on.
Yes, looking at the game now, it’s rough, textures are bad, but at the time, gamers had never seen something like this before, it was the first of many HUGE advancements in technology and gameplay mechanics that are seen and used in games now, of course, they have been perfected. For me as a growing lad, seeing this game and my no1 game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time made me fall in love with Nintendo, their games, their systems, their love for quality over quantity.
It is fantastic that the game can now be played on the Nintendo Switch with improved textures (To A Degree) better resolution of 720p which is a good leap over its original outing of only 240p. However, not everyone will enjoy it, why? It is an old 3D game with mechanics that have been improved upon over the years and a camera that offers a rough ride. The upgrade does give a much clearer picture, the text is better, even your lives and stars collected have been re-drawn. The Controls have been changes to A and B to jump and X and Y to Attack, downside, the buttons cannot be reassigned.
If you are a fan of Mario, then you already know how good this game was and is still to this date, so please jump right in and play it again. The worse thing about Nintendo’s foray into the 3D world on the Nintendo 64, was Super Mario 64 was the only Mario game to make it to that system. After that Mario release, we had two more 2D Mario games, Super Mario Advance 1 and 2.
Then came Super Mario Sunshine on the Nintendo GameCube, the next 3D Mario game, had Nintendo improved on its formula in the 3D world? Of course, they had. Now many Mario Fans, disliked this game, for me though I enjoyed my time in the game, it was Mario, what more could I have wanted? I even have the original game along with The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker, as I am a massive fan of both franchises. When this game was released I was working my way up the ladder to become Store Manager or Deputy Manager of Game a UK retail outlet in Swansea. I remembered the GameCubes Launch as well, a stockroom sky-high with cubes and a lot of Nintendo Fans just wanting to get hold of the next system from Nintendo.
Being a huge fan of Mario Now, I know this game was being produced by Shigeru Miyamoto, so the game was in good hands, but this game takes a turn from what we are all used to, and that where some fans disliked it.
The game takes place on a tropical Isle called Delfino, a stunning location for Mario and his pals to take a well deserved holiday. It’s not all as it seems as the main villain Shadow Mario is leaving graffiti around the island leaving Mario to take the fall for his foul deeds. Mario is tasked with what would have been an easy job, clean up but as you know nothing is as easy as you would have thought.
So I was hoping for some improvements to the game and Nintendo did not disappoint, gone is the old aspect ratio of 4:3 and in its place, we get glorious 1080p widescreen, with improvements visually, textually and with game’s HUD. The biggest change for me was the controls, I really disliked the inverted camera controls on the GameCube version and much prefer the new controls on the Switch as the feel more modern. Using F.L.U.D.D (The Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device) has now been mapped to R and ZR making it somewhat easier to use and control, even though I still prefer the analogue pressure spraying of the old days.
There is nothing wrong with this game, apart from some fans moaning about it, this is a decent game and should be played, do not miss out on it, just because a few disliked it.
We had to wait 5 more years for the next outing of Mario in 3D, well sort of we did get Super Mario 64 on the DS, but that does not count, the next outing was Super Mario Galaxy on the fabled Wii Console. This game has to be the best game of all three, Super Mario 64 brings me nostalgia and great memories, Super Mario Sunshine, I have to admit does not bring much to the table but Super Mario Galaxy, what a game.
Super Mario Galaxy is amazing, and see you control either Mario or Luigi, save Princess Peach, defeat Bowser and collecting 121 power stars, through a multitude of galaxies filled with mini-worlds, all with different variations of gravity to contend with.
Now the game has launched on Nintendo Switch has Nintendo improved on the game? Well Nintendo did not disappoint, we still get widescreen support at 1080P but this time we get an upgrade to its FPS, gone are the days of 30FPS and in its place we get 60FPS and it is noticeable. Now if you remember this game was released on the Wii, and we used a Wii Remote and Nunchucks to control the game. How has this transitioned to the Nintendo Switch and its motion controls? It’s a mixed bag. Using a pro controller just feels off, and using the joy-cons feel a little better, just still not perfect, and having to reset the cursor with the R button due to the limitations on the switch version is annoying. You can play handheld mode and use the touchscreen to control the cursor and it does feel better, but not perfect, possibly even worse on times. To make Mario perform his spin attach and activate those launch stars once required the use of us flicking the Wii remote, now this has been made easier, press the Y button, but you can still flick if you want.
All these changes might take some time getting used to if you have played the original game, if not you might get used to the new control right away? Who know you decide.
So there we have it 3 fabled games on one download or cartridge, 3 games that should be played, and I have not spoiled a single element for you when it comes to story. I am just going to say, each game offers a unique style of gameplay that will have you playing for hours and hours, and enjoying the world of Super Mario.
You can grab Super Mario 3D All-Stars exclusive on the Nintendo Switch and can be purchased here for £49.99.
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Super Mario 3D All-Stars
Discover three of Mario’s grandest 3D adventures with Super Mario 3D All-Stars on Nintendo Switch! This special bundle includes Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy, all optimised for Nintendo Switch with updated HD graphics, Joy-Con controls, as well as a music player featuring the epic soundtracks from all three games!
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 49.99
Product In Stock: SoldOut