It’s been a quiet year on the Nintendo Direct front. Apart from a few presentations focused on Indie Developers, Partners and specific games due to be released there hasn’t been much in the way of news direct from the Big N until now.
On the 3rd September Nintendo released a new Direct video that detailed their plans to mark the 35th Anniversary of Mario. Several new games were announced, some were big surprises and others were expected. I will write individual entries for each of these games, but here we will focus on Super Mario 3D All-Stars.
First revealed by VGC as being in development earlier this year, this game is a remastered collection of 3D Mario titles – Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy. Unlike its Super Nintendo Predecessor, it appears that each of these titles have just been upscaled instead of receiving a whole new lick of paint. This is going to disappoint some given how well the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro The Dragon remakes have been treated in recent years.
Super Mario 64
Out of the three titles I think Super Mario 64 is going to be the game that is going to be ripped a new one by critics and fans alike. Apart from increasing the resolution and fixing up some of the low-res sprites, not much has changed here. This is a shame when you consider some of the assets were greatly improved in the Nintendo DS version of the game. The game has retained its 4:3 aspect ratio, which is a result of this game being a product of its time – early Nintendo 64 games didn’t fully acknowledge the existence of widescreen TVs.
Being the older of the three titles, Super Mario 64’s polygonally-challenged appearance makes it the odd-one out. I feel some would have preferred the game be remade using Super Mario Odyssey engine, but I wonder how much of the charm would be lost in doing so.
The jury is still out on whether Nintendo have fixed the camera controls though. My early guess would be that it is as terrible as ever.
Super Mario Sunshine
I’m going to be honest here – Nintendo! Earmuffs! – Despite being an 18-year-old game, Super Mario Sunshine still holds up fantastically when played on emulators at higher resolutions and without HD texture packs applied. It was the first of Mario’s adventures where the extra graphical power of the Gamecube made our favourite plumber look like a smooth little plasticine man. It’s safe to say that the Switch version of this game has been done justice as the worlds look just as gorgeous as ever.
I’m curious to see how well this game will function with the Switch’s digital buttons as the F.L.U.D.D system was heavily reliant on the Gamecube Controller’s pressure-sensitive analog triggers. I’m hoping that Nintendo have included compatibility with the Gamecube Controller Adapter for the full experience.
Super Mario Galaxy
Like with Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy is a beautiful game when freed from its Wii-limiting shackles and the Switch version is looking beautiful.
Super Mario Galaxy is probably the game that hinted that Nintendo were going to do something with the older 3D Mario Adventures as it was released in Chinese markets on the Nvidia Shield in 2018.
It has been said that the game has been converted to a more traditional control scheme, and some motion controls are optional.
Where is Super Mario Galaxy 2?
This is a very good question. It’s strange that the more popular of the two Galaxy titles has been omitted. My guess is it may have something to do with consistency within the collection – one title for each generation of consoles. It wouldn’t surprise me if Super Mario Galaxy 2 is released separately further down the line.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars is going to be released on the super close date of 18th September 2020.