Gaming

Should You Buy “Super Mario 3D All-Stars”?

GABRIEL: Hello everyone! I’ve been meaning to try something like this in an article with Geekly Goods, and who better to do it with than my friend Isaac @PixarNerdStudio, who is a huge videogame fan and went just as crazy as me and got “Super Mario 3D All-Stars” on opening day. There’s so much to play in this thing, so I have to shamefully admit that I have not finished any of the games (for those who don’t know, this collection includes “Super Mario 64”, “Super Mario Sunshine” and “Super Mario Galaxy”). 

There’s a lot to unpack with these 3 games, and they’re all so good and historic that it seems to me that they work perfectly well for both people like me (yes, boomers), and the younger generation, like Isaac. Even if this collection does not include my favorite Super Mario game: “Super Mario World”, I’m still enjoying it, particularly “Super Mario Galaxy,” which I’d never played all the way through. The imagination, the innovative gameplay is one of a kind and it continues to be mind-blowing. That is undoubtedly my favorite game in this collection. What about you, Isaac? What’s making you happiest about “Super Mario 3D All-Stars” and what’s your favorite game included therein?

ISAAC: I feel that the best part about “Super Mario 3D All-Stars” is the fact that you can play these classic Super Mario games on the go. The closest we could go before this collection was “Super Mario 64 DS” on, wait for it, the Nintendo DS. This game collection may not be as spiffy as what most people may like, but it did the job for me. This is because I get to play my favorite Mario game of all time: “Super Mario Galaxy.”

I love the gameplay change in this game, especially compared to the older games like “Super Mario 64” and “Super Mario Sunshine.” Mario controls way better in this game, even if the camera is more similar to “Super Mario 64” than “Super Mario Sunshine.” I am glad that me and Gabe share the same opinion about this game. It is so fun to explore different galaxies and each one is very unique with different power-ups and tasks for you to do.

My least favorite game in this collection is “Super Mario Sunshine.” I have had way too many problems controlling this game, especially going from playing “Super Mario Galaxy.” In this game, Mario obtains a water “jetpack” called F.L.U.D.D. However, this is where the flaws show. It is always hard to control this new element. Gabe, what is your least favorite part of this package?

GABRIEL: I thought I was in the minority here, but I really don’t love “Super Mario Sunshine,” either. I’ve enjoyed playing it a bit, mostly due to nostalgia, but it never felt as good to me. While the graphics and setting are great by definition, the “paradise island” setting gets old after a while, and it severely diminishes their ability to expand the worlds and making each of them different. It’s also a bit too shiny, so my eyes get tired. And, to your point, I never found the F.L.U.D.D. to be as clever or good as they thought it was. It comes from an era where Nintendo seemed to be thinking that having the characters with a “device” on their back was fun and imaginative (see also: “Luigi’s Mansion”). It was ok, but just… not the best.

ISAAC: I actually enjoy “Luigi’s Mansion.”

GABRIEL: It’s a pretty good game, but extending that concept was not the best idea. I haven’t played the third one, but I hear it’s good.

I’m glad you brought up the controls because the transfer from those old games to the Nintendo Switch is flawless. It feels like these games were designed for this console, it’s amazing. The caveat, however, is that it made me wonder how much Nintendo has actually improved the graphics of their Mario games in the last decade. “Super Mario Galaxy” came out in 2007 (I know), and yet the graphics don’t look too different from “Super Mario Odyssey”, or other recent Mario games. Do we even need “modern” graphics when the gameplay is as good as it is in these games? Food for thought…

ISAAC: I still haven’t played “Super Mario Odyssey…”

GABRIEL: SHAME SHAME SHAME!

I also noticed that they did not include other great 3D Mario games in this collection. I, for one, would have liked it if they included “Super Mario 3D World”, a favorite of my family. They fooled us with the name “All-Stars!” Is there any game that you wish they should’ve included?

ISAAC: I wish that they included “Super Mario Galaxy 2” which is basically a remake of “Super Mario Galaxy,” but with Yoshi. It takes place after Galaxy, yes, but it’s not really a sequel. In fact, it was originally going to be called “Super Mario Galaxy 1.5” or “Super Mario Galaxy More.” I am glad that they changed the name to “Super Mario Galaxy 2.”

They also could’ve ported “Super Mario 64 DS” as that version of the game includes 3 more playable characters, such as Luigi, Wario, and Yoshi. However, I understand why they didn’t add this version of the game to the collection.

The main reason for Nintendo not including “Super Mario 3D World” is because they are re-releasing it with an entirely new game mode called “Bowser’s Fury.” This version of the game is coming in February 2021. 

GABRIEL: Getting our money twice. Smart.

ISAAC: However, even if they are rereleasing “Super Mario 3D World,” why did they not include “Super Mario Galaxy 2” in “Super Mario 3D All-Stars”? This game is as much of an “All-Star” as the other 3 games included in this package. 

Even the name “All-Stars” is a reference to the “Super Mario All-Stars” on the SNES, which was a remake of the first few Mario games, “Super Mario Bros”, “Super Mario Bros 2”, “Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels” and “Super Mario Bros. 3.” This remake featured all-new graphics, and look way better than the originals. 

GABRIEL: That is one of the best collections ever made.

ISAAC: But “Super Mario 3D All-Stars” does not do this. Instead, it takes the original games, with the original graphics, but formats the games to 1080p. This is one of the downfalls of this game.

GABRIEL: Yes, there are several disappointments in this game, yet we’re enjoying it so much. Few games are perfect, but I think the overall balance on this is really good, do you agree? Overall, what grade would you give “Super Mario 3D All Stars” and would you recommend it to people to pass the time during the COVID-19 quarantine?

ISAAC:  I would give it a B-, as it only upscales the games, and are only ports of them. There is nothing special about this collection. The only bonus features in this collection are the soundtracks to the games, and you can’t even listen to them on your phone or computer. You have to listen to them on the SWITCH ONLY (that really makes me sad, as these games have great music). Overall these are good games, and the “Super Mario Galaxy” controls are amazing on Switch, but the presentation, among other things, is lacking. I would recommend it to people to pass time. However, they are still 3 really solid 3D platformers, 2 of which were groundbreaking and really fun to play. The third one is “Super Mario Sunshine.” What grade would you give it, Gabe?

GABRIEL: It’s been an A- for me so far, but only because I’d barely ever played “Super Mario Galaxy” before this collection. For someone that’s played the rest of the games, the truth is that these 3D games do not have the same replay value as, say “Super Mario World,” or the other games on the original “Super Mario All-Stars” collection. These are great and historic games, so it’s always fun to play them, but I found myself wondering if I would have enjoyed this as much if I had played these already.

ISAAC: I actually find that “Super Mario Galaxy” has a ton of replay value. Heck, once you get all 120 stars, you can play as Luigi, aka the BEST MARIO BROTHER!

GABRIEL: Luigi? Seriously? (crickets…) But, all in all, it’s a definite must-buy for fans looking for some nostalgia, or even younger fans that were too young when the originals came out. I know my 5-year-old nephew loved the collection, especially “Super Mario Galaxy”.

ISAAC: I mean, I’ve never played “Super Mario Sunshine” and I sort of wish I kept it that way. It has not aged well. “Super Mario Galaxy” however, I have a ton of nostalgia, so Gabe’s point rings true. If you are a nostalgia-driven fan, this is an amazing purchase. Now, I just want a collection of “Sonic Adventure”, “Sonic Adventure 2”, and “Sonic Heroes.”

Let’s hope for more collections in the future. For now, these were our thoughts on “Super Mario 3D All Stars”. You can find Isaac @PixarNerdStudio (Twitter and YouTube) and me @filmopinionitis (on Twitter) and http://www.filmopinionitis.com.

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