What do I think about Super Mario 3D All-Stars?
While the least surprising announcement from the Super Mario 35th Anniversary Direct, I found it some welcome news. I was looking forward to this one and wanted to get the game right away because of its time-release status. I preordered and got this game as soon as I could. This post isn’t an article about an in-depth look at all three games; I’m just covering my overall impression with the three games and the Super Mario 3D All-Stars as a first impression with what Nintendo had to offer for sixty dollars.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars for the Nintendo Switch are three re-released video games that consist of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. They are ported and emulated versions from the consoles that they were initially on, with resolution and control updates from what I heard. Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy look fantastic on widescreen. These games are updated to run in 16:9 aspect ratio, 1080p in TV mode, and 720p in handheld mode. Super Mario 64 shows its age, but I can appreciate and understand that it’s a game of its time. When 3D was starting to emerge, and Nintendo 64 graphics were great for its time, it looks blocky and jagged as time moved on. The game runs in 720p, both in handheld and dock. The game also has a 4:3 screen ratio and have black bars on each side. The game does have some minor visual updates, as the nonpolygonal items have some more detail. Super Mario 64 has rumble, as the version based on the Shindō Oak Version released in Japan in 1997.
I had a hard time adjusting to the new controller mapping for each game at first. The Nintendo Switch controllers are different from the Nintendo 64, Gamecube, and Wii controls. Trying to get used to the new controls was difficult initially, but I was able to adjust. Even though I could adapt, it still feels awkward to play Super Mario Sunshine. What’s odd is there’s no option to use the GameCube controller for Super Mario Sunshine. It’s weird because Nintendo already has an accessory to use the Gamecube controllers on the Switch with Super Smash Bros Ultimate. So why not use that accessory for Mario Sunshine? Super Mario 64 had fared better with me using the Pro-Controller. You can use the Joy-Con to emulate the experiences of the Wiimote and Nunchucks controls for Super Mario Galaxy.
These games are still fun. I got a nostalgia kick when I replayed these games again. It also great to finally have Super Mario Sunshine re-released about 18 years, but I wonder why it took Nintendo so long to do so. Playing these games again reminded me of the fun I had when I played them for the first time. I also forgot how to get most of the stars or shine sprites, despite playing and defeating these games already. But again, it’s been a while since I played them, so time and memory have a factor in what I do and don’t remember. It did make reacquiring the Stars and Shine Sprites fun and satisfying. If you’re new to Mario games, these three are worth playing, and if you’ve already played these games, the nostalgic feeling you get replaying the games are with it.
The other issue I have is the overall presentation of the physical game is lacking. This aspect was my biggest letdown of the game. The addition of a soundtrack for all three games is nice, with 175 tracks that span between the three games. But, why weren’t more features added to this collection? Super Mario 3D All-Stars would have been sufficient for a digital-only release, but the physical release and compilation is lacking even for $60. I do not mean the addition of Super Mario Galaxy 2 (although that may have helped, and I wouldn’t be typing this up). I would have liked maybe a retrospective on the games, or some history of the games. What about instruction manuals for the games when they released, like the NES Classic and the SNES Classic had (even though you had to scan a QR code and go to the website, I’d be ok with that)? TV Commercials, a commemorative 35th-anniversary foldable poster, more besides a case and a Switch game card? I’d be willing to pay a little more for everything that I listed in this paragraph.
My summarized review of Super Mario 3D All-Stars
The three games are fun and still hold up. The controls do take a bit of getting used to and even then, can feel cumbersome, mostly Super Mario Sunshine. Nintendo’s physical game presentation is lacking with no manuals, posters, or books to commemorate the 35th anniversary but still worth it to own three great (time-sensitive) Mario games. Nevertheless, this collection is great if you missed out on any of these three games or are new to the Super Mario 3D games.