MISHAWAKA – Mario fans rejoice, as the collection of three of the most popular 3D games are ported onto Nintendo’s most successful console.
I did not grow up with Nintendo. My first console was a PlayStation 2, and whatever hodge-podge collection of games I could scrounge up for it. My second console was a Wii, but due to the finnicky nature of motion controls and the hyperactive hands of a child, I did not fully enjoy it. This is all a prelude to why I am so excited for this collection; I never got to play the original Super Mario 64, named after its home console, the Nintendo 64, because I never had one. I never got to play Super Mario Sunshine on the Gamecube because I never had one. I never got to play Super Mario Galaxy, because I was a child and asking my parents for a new game to play whenever I got bored was basically killing any prospects for my birthday or Christmas.
Enter Super Mario 3D All-Stars. This game is a collection of the three aforementioned games, branding them as the best the 3D Mario games Nintendo has to offer, and that statement is not exactly false. Mario 64 defined 3D platformers and is still an extremely popular title today; Mario Galaxy is one of the prettiest Mario games with ingenious level design and stunning, atmospheric (haha, space joke) soundtracks; and Mario Sunshine is the best one. My personal opinions aside, this game is the perfect opportunity for gamers like me who missed out on some of the stone-cold classics of yester-year.
It is important to note that these games are not remasters, like Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition; they are ports. This means very little from the original game has changed. Aside from a few graphical tweaks, like pumping up the quality of the old games by a tad and control re-mapping, not much will change from the originals. No graphical overhauls, no remastered music, nor any new content will be added to these games in this state. Some fans have criticized the notion of porting three comparatively archaic games with little to no change and still charging full price, but there is an even bigger controversy with this game.
Nintendo has made a lot of decisions during the pandemic that have not really been in line with their modus operandi of the past. The most important part of that sentence is “during the pandemic”; considering the current state of affairs, it is entirely understandable that Nintendo and hundreds of other companies have had to change the way they operate. Even with that concession, the choice to make this trilogy port a limited-run blows not only my mind, but the mind of just about every Nintendo fan in the world. Super Mario 3D All-Stars will be available from September 18, 2020 to March 31, 2021. For the non-math majors out there, that is just shy of six months and two weeks. Come April 1, 2021, Super Mario 3D All-Stars will not be available to be bought physically or digitally, nor will it be produced ever again. Anyone who does not have a copy of the game by that point either must dig up the original games or pay the exorbitant fees of online scalpers to have a hope of seeing the games on their Switch.
Despite the rather harsh time limit players will have to get their hands on such a great collection, Super Mario 3D All-Stars promises to be a trip to Nostalgia Land on a modern console, and I, for one, have already pre-ordered my ticket.