Super Mario 3D All Stars Review
Its Mario’s 35th Anniversary this year and Nintendo is celebrating with a whole bunch of awesome things, including the release of Super Mario 3D All Stars for the Nintendo Switch. The collection contains three games: Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. And GamesReviews.com has now reviewed all three and its time to tell you whether this collection is worth picking up!
Super Mario 3D All Stars is a collection of three classic Mario games. We shall talk about the three games in a moment, but how is the collection’s overall appearance?
Well, if your looking for a collection with lots of extras, you will be disappointed. You would have though that Nintendo would have poured a lot of extras into this experience to really celebrate the 35th anniversary of Mario, but all we really get our a collection of soundtracks that can be listened to even when the screen is off. Don’t get us wrong, we love this inclusion, but there could have been so much more. It would have been nice if more extras had been included like artwork, making of interviews, and videos. Instead, the main menu is very basic and provides you with the three games and three soundtracks.
There is a brief description of each game, plus the year that each game came was original released. It is neat how the years roll forward or back when you switch between games though.
Still, the main menu as a whole is disappointing. It doesn’t really scream Mario or Nintendo. It feels a bit thrown together. Thankfully, this collection is saved by the meat of the experience, the best 3D Mario games ever released.
Super Mario 64
I’ve always enjoyed Super Mario 64. It’s a true classic game and if you’ve never played it before or you haven’t played it in a while, then you’ll want to check it out in 3D All-Stars! Super Mario 64 was a game changing experience on the Nintendo 64 – the best game ever made, at least that is what critics said. It’ spawned a generation of 3D platform titles that seemed to just get better and better.
The game play in Super Mario 64 is unchanged from its previous ports, which is both good and bad. While the classic controls still hold up well, I wish the in-game camera had been changed, as it’s difficult to manage sometimes. As far as what has been upgraded, the visuals have been given a slight improvement. Mario and his enemies look really good, for Nintendo 64 standards. It’s not Super Mario Sunshine, nor does it try to be. The environments, meanwhile, are much less jagged, and have a smoother look. The game hasn’t been given a full visual upgrade, but it looks better than it ever has. The game looks at its best on TV, where you’ll notice its visual upgrades more, but I can fully understand wanting to play it in handheld mode!
Previously, Super Mario 64 was released on the DS, so this isn’t the first time that Super Mario 64 has been portable. That said, this version of the game looks better, even in handheld mode, than the DS version. I suspect the 3D All-Stars collection will be the place to play Super Mario 64 from now on, although you do lose some of those Nintendo DS additions.
After getting deeper and deeper into this experience, however, and after playing the other two games added into this collection, Super Mario 64 can feel pretty dated. It’s going to be great for those with that nostalgic itch to scratch, but won’t be the game in this collection that leaves a lasting opinion on new players.
Super Mario Sunshine
Super Mario Sunshine has Mario on a tropical island, and far from the Mushroom Kingdom. This time around, he’s trying to save the island from some really killer pollution. In order to do that, he uses a backpack called the FLUDD that spits out water to get rid of all the awful black stuff, some enemies, and graffiti that he keeps finding. FLUDD is a pretty neat device. Although I’m still not 100% sold on the controls for it, I like using it to get rid of stuff. And its easy to refill the water by going into any body of water and pressing R. From the original, the controls themselves appear fairly unchanged, with some exceptions.
I’ve been using a Nintendo Switch Wireless Pro Controller mostly to play Super Mario Sunshine. The game controls pretty good with it! I did test out the Joy Con controls though and it works good with those as well. For a 3D Mario title, however, I do prefer the Wireless Controller.
Super Mario Sunshine has received a visual upgrade for the Switch. The game is now in HD and widescreen. On the TV, it looks amazing. The colors really pop on the TV and in handheld, and while overall Sunshine looks good in portable mode, if you want the full HD Sunshine experience, you’ll want to play this one on your TV. Outside of some visual updates, Nintendo didn’t fully upgrade Super Mario Sunshine, as the game doesn’t use the touch screen or motion controls. Sunshine is the game it was on the GameCube but with better visuals and widescreen capabilities.
I am enjoying the game a lot. Since I didn’t play it much on the GameCube, it feels like a new Mario experience. I imagine there are other people out there who only played it a little, or never played it at all. I think those people will be especially excited to check Super Mario Sunshine out!
Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy is one of my favorite Mario games. I enjoyed it a lot on the Wii. And so it makes me very happy to say that the game looks amazing on the Nintendo Switch. The game looked great on the Wii, or course, but it absolutely shines on the Nintendo Switch in HD.
I think the game looks excellent in handheld mode but it looks even better on a television set. If you want the full visual delight of this game, play it on your TV! That being said, you shouldn’t ignore handheld mode completely as this is where one of the biggest updates in the entire collection sits!
In handheld mode, Super Mario Galaxy has a very cool extra. The onscreen cursor, which was controlled by motion control on the Wii, can be used via the touch screen! That’s right, Super Mario Galaxy has touch screen controls. I can barely believe it either, but what might be even more unbelievable is that the controls are actually good! It’s a ton of fun to use the touch screen to collect star bits and more.
Don’t worry though, motion control is available if you want to play the game via the TV. Both the JoyCon and the Pro Controller work for Super Mario Galaxy but I prefer the JoyCon for this game. The motion controls feel very good and natural – although the motion controls worked alright with my wireless Pro Controller, they didn’t feel as natural as the JoyCon.
With its upgraded HD visuals, widescreen support, motion, and touch screen controls, Super Mario Galaxy is the most upgraded game in Super Mario 3D All Stars. Its also my favorite of the three.
Super Mario 3D All Stars is absolutely worth the price of admission because of Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy. Super Mario 64 is a very nice treat, but Sunshine and Galaxy are where a lot of the fun will be had. Those two games are just wonderful.
If you are a Mario fan at all, you must pick up Super Mario 3D All Stars when it launches on September 18, 2020. Don’t wait either, as Nintendo says the collection won’t be available after March. So you should buy Super Mario 3D All Stars while you can.
Is the collection perfect? No. Is it a ton of fun? Absolutely.
Thank you to Nintendo Canada for providing a digital code for this review. Super Mario 3D All Stars will be available at retail and on the Nintendo Switch eshop on September 18th, 2020.