Watch our review of Super Mario 3D All-Stars…
We take a look at this anniversary collection of some of the best 3D Mario titles of all time, featuring Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine & Super Mario Galaxy. Find out if the package is worth replaying all over again.
Hey how’s it going guys! Welcome to our review of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, available exclusively on Nintendo Switch. We’re going to tell you everything you need to know before you play, but before I do, make sure to hit subscribe and the notification bell for more video games reviews every single week. You’re not going to want to miss it.
Everyone’s favourite mustachioed plumber is turning 35, and aside from making us all feel really, really old, it’s definitely cause to celebrate. Super Mario is the flagship franchise for Nintendo to this day, not only remaining timelessly popular, but also producing some of the best video games ever.
To celebrate this legacy and such a momentous anniversary, Nintendo have released Super Mario 3D All-Stars, a collection of some of the crème de la crème of the series, featuring Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy.
Spanning 3 console generations and millions of copies sold, each title is looked back upon with reverence and nostalgia. But do they stand up to the test of time, and is Super Mario 3D All-Stars any good? Watch on to find out…
Starting with appearances, each game has never looked better. All have been given the HD treatment in some shape or form. Sunshine and Galaxy both output at 1080p in docked mode, and 720p in handheld. Mario 64 is locked to 720p however you play it, but it’s still such a huge improvement on the original, and you’d have to be a real stickler to complain.
The onscreen text has also been cleaned up, looking much sharper than the old fuzzy guff from the N64 and Gamecube. And while Galaxy looks good enough to pass for a modern release, in my humble opinion, Sunshine is the best looking game in the collection. Isle Delfino is still probably the most beautiful Mario setting, and has aged incredibly well. It’s so vibrant, so colourful, and in HD is just an absolute delight.
Looking to controls, every title has had minor tweaks to suit gameplay on the Switch. Mario 64 has had the most minor changes, essentially just remapping the controls to the new buttons. It’s by far the clunkiest game by today’s standards, with Mario having a wide, ungainly turn radius and a habit of getting stuck every now and then, but these are just products of the time and anyone who played the original will quickly get used to it.
Sunshine is also largely unchanged. It’s still a lot of fun slipping and sliding around with the FLUDD backpack that you wear for the majority of the game. The only downside is with no analogue shoulder buttons, you can’t control the strength of your water stream, instead only being able to toggle on and off. It doesn’t affect the gameplay all that much, but it’ll be a shame for fans looking for the most authentic experience.
Galaxy is where we see the most extensive changes. Originally designed for the Wii, much of the controls are based on the motion controller. You can still use the Joy-Con to emulate this style of play, but with no sensor bar, you’ll find yourself having to recenter pretty often. Again, this is only a minor gripe, and if you’re playing with the Pro Controller, it seems to mitigate the issue pretty well.
Unfortunately the gameplay is a little harder to review. Each game is almost exactly the same as their original releases, with no updates or additional content to speak of. This is equally the most disappointing and enjoyable thing about the whole experience; while it feels a little lazy not to give us something new, the games are so good in their own right it’s hard to care all that much.
Mario 64 is chock full of easter eggs and secrets to discover, and is still as charming as ever. Sunshine is the most like a sandbox, allowing you to spend time in a fully populated world that’s honestly so much fun to explore. It’s the most divisive title in the collection, but I implore everyone to give the updated version a go with a modern lens. Galaxy is a more linear and focused affair, but what it lacks in exploration, it more than makes up for in interesting ideas and laser sharp levels that keep the gameplay hurtling along at a breakneck pace.
Yet while I had an absolute blast replaying each game, I couldn’t shake the feeling that Nintendo could’ve done so much more with this collection. The only real bonus content is the soundtracks to the games, and the fact you can play in different languages, changing all the logos and text. But these are more novelties than anything of substance, and don’t even get me started on them omitting Super Mario Galaxy 2, arguably the best of the bunch!
To wrap up, playing Super Mario 3D All-Stars is like seeing the games the way they were always intended to be seen. The timeless art style finally has the technical support to show them off in all their glory. The gameplay is also as fun as it’s ever been, because it’s the same as it ever was. And that’s the thing, this isn’t a collection to move anything forward, rather it’s a curated ensemble of the best that’s come before. And as long as you go into it with this in mind, you’re certain to have an amazing time.
But what did you think of Super Mario 3D All-Stars? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe for more video games like this, every single week. See you next time!
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