Super Mario 3D All Stars Review (Nintendo Switch)

  • Genre: Adventure, Platforming
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch
  • Developer | Publisher: Nintendo
  • Age Rating: PEGI 7 | ESRB E for Everyone
  • Price: UK £49.99 | US $59.99
  • Release Date: 18th of September

Nostalgia, revolutionary and brilliance, yet comes with a few problems which the modern gamer may not have the patience for. Super Mario 64 paved the way for 3D platformers and remains dominance in adventure, platforming games. Super Mario can be played by all ages. Those of us that have been there from the start, early 90s and so forth can share the experience with their kids, and that’s so rewarding in itself and repeats the process for generations to come.

Gameplay

Super Mario 64 literally started it all like I said up above. Back in the N64 days, this was a marvel, yet it still is. Its aged a bit but it still captures the awesomeness this has had back in 96. Movement is fluid yet sometimes can be a pain when navigating around on the platforms. Hit the jump button in three successions and you get the higher jump, which is a staple for Mario these days.

SM64 does have the bug-bear of the camera which is very annoying. I sometimes think to myself how on earth did I beat this game or 100% it without cursing or feeling so enraged. The camera somewhat flares up again in Super Mario Sunshine, but it isn’t a constant issue compared to SM64. Yes, Sunshine is overall better than SM64 on paper in all departments, but the very basis of Sunshine is that of SM64, just added more technical leaps and bounds.

Super Mario Sunshine introduces FLUDD. A new companion/tool from professor E. Gadd. With FLUDD you can spray water to clean off the graffiti all over Isle of Delfino. You have four different nozzle attachments which can help Mario navigate each level around the island to overcome next Shine sprite. You have the spray, rocket, dash and like a water jetpack. It sure does make the platforming somewhat a bit easier, especially to get to higher places where in SM64, if you fall you have to start all over again. You can even run around with Yoshi, so yes, it’s good… Depending on the fruit you give to the Yoshi egg determines the colour of Yoshi. Once Yoshi is hatched you can eat other foods which will turn Yoshi into a different colour also.

Super Mario Galaxy takes everything its learned from both SM64 and Sunshine and throws it out of the window. Well not literally, but completely takes Mario in a different direction. Galaxy still has the Mario we all have come accustomed too. Throw a bit of zero gravity, flying and jumping on goomba’s around planets is somewhat wow, refreshing and great. With this game built for the Wii and the use of star bits, which enables the player to fire at enemies to stun them and give you the advantage. It still works well for the Switch via the use of a Pro controller. Star Bits in Galaxy and Galaxy 2 for that matter plays a important role. These bits will unlock new ways for Mario to get to other planets by feeding the Luma’s. The camera with galaxy can sometimes be a bit of a pain. You can use the R button to align in centre and when you can the right stick can be used. Mainly the camera will follow as you move around, especially when the running about the little planets.

Story/Characters

Ultimately, we all know the outcome of the Mario story’s. Mario collects the Power Stars, saves Peach, defeats Bowser and have slap up meal or cake in SM64 matter until the next adventure arrives. This isn’t saying its rubbish or a complaint. Each title in this 3D All Stars package is of the same formula, just differently going about it. In a way, if you want. Sunshine continues from where SM64 left off. You defeated Bowser after swinging him around like a rag doll for millions of years and arrive to Isle of Delfino, where a doppelganger Mario is terrorising the island with paint.

After you get so far into Sunshine, the doppelganger Mario is revealed as Bowser Jr saying Peach is mama and Bowser saying Mario is nasty and doesn’t play nice. Hence why Bowser Jr is trying to kidnap or save in his eyes for Peach.

Galaxy is again similar. The star festival is happening, enjoying a nice stroll in mushroom Kingdom at night with all the shooting stars in the sky. Next minute Bowser turns up with a armada and giant ufo… Takes peach and the castle away into his new universe/Galaxy with Mario hot on his tail. This is where we meet the Luma’s and Rosalina to help Mario and get Peach back from Bowser.

As much as the story in each game is somewhat linear. It works, simple as that. I thoroughly enjoyed playing the games again to experience them like the first time as it has been a while since I have played either of these three games.

Graphics, Sound and Performance

You can really see the progression over the years when you go from SM64 to Sunshine and finally Galaxy. Each game is distinctively unique from that era when they launched. SM64, again reiterating the 3D aspect, but also introducing voice characters such as Charles Martinet in Super Mario and has been in everything since then, and sounds which left the 8-bit area and those visuals to which they are today with Super Mario Odyssey. It’s a perfect road trip down memory lane, but also video gaming as whole on where its gone from, in Mario’s case, 1985 to present day. SM64 visuals were at the time pinnacle to where the home console was heading. With this collection and SM64 being pretty much emulation from the N64, the visuals have somewhat aged, which is perfectly understandable. Yet we can still praise Nintendo and truly appreicate what SM64 has set for the benchmark on a Nintendo platform, especially when it’s Mario concern.

Super Mario Sunshine is, and still is a nice looking game too. With catchy themes which Mario games have been renowned for and bringing hell of a lot of smoothness to the visuals than the blocky textures we saw on SM64. Sunshine brings a great realness, especially to the water aspects and textures to its layout of the levels and the hub, Isle of Delfino. We even got cut-scenes which still look fine today, which also comes back to my earlier comment of appreciating the leap from SM64 to Sunshine.

Galaxy on the other hand knocks it even more out of the park. The visuals improved, sound being brilliant especially with orchestrated themes added to the mix and the performance of the game feeling extra special. I must add, I didn’t experience that much performance issues in all honesty. Maybe SM64 did suffer with some framerate issues with a few stutters, yet Sunshine kinda basked in its glory from when it launched back in 2002. Super Mario Galaxy is literally eye candy throughout from start to finish. And best of all? You can listen to the whole 3 games entire soundtracks whilst you are doing other things around the house if you so wanted too.

Difficulty

There is no difficulty to pick in either games. From earlier comment again, everyone can pick up and play and simply enjoy the simplicity these games have to offer. The only difficulties I personally experienced is the camera, definitely with SM64 and some of the secret levels with you encounter in Sunshine were quite tough! However, once you beat it and collect that Star or Sprite, the sense of reward is huge.

Conclusion

As much as its a trip for older fans to replay the likes of SM64 for example. It’s brilliant that we have these stellar Mario games to the Nintendo Switch library to choose and play. I think personally Super Mario Galaxy 2 is deserving of getting the Nintendo Switch treatment, and I’m sure that goes to many other Nintendo games too. Super Mario 3D All Stars is a must have game to have in your collection. You can share the experiences which you had yourself with your partner, children and better yet? Gain a whole new experience replaying these games again when your child pick its up and you can guide them when needed might I ask, sit back and enjoy.

Verdict
Great package of three truly incredible games of their time. Look past the camera issues and you three beautifully crafted games, must have!

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