Nintendo are launching Super Mario 3D All-Stars on the Nintendo Switch this Friday, which bundles together Super Mario 64, Sunshine and Galaxy into one package. Weirdly, it’s a package that’s only going to be available until the end of March, but that’s something else entirely.
Either way, the review embargo has dropped for the bundle, and while reviewers are still just as enamoured with these 3D platformers now as they were when they first launched, pretty much every reviewer has commented that the framework of the bundle is wafer-thin at best. Here’s what the critics have had to say about Nintendo’s package.
It’s such a shame as there’s so much to enjoy here. Perhaps all you need to know is that this is the best commercially available way to play two of the most magical, magnificent and downright essential video games in the medium’s history (and to play Super Mario Sunshine too, of course). They’re works of fascinating detail, exquisite design and an abundance of ideas – which makes it all the more baffling that Nintendo couldn’t replicate any of that when bundling them all together.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars marks the long awaited arrival of some stone cold classics on Nintendo Switch, even if it doesn’t always give them the esteemed treatment they deserve to truly shine in the modern era.
It feels like this review is a list of shortcomings – and to be honest, it mostly is – but one can’t ignore the sheer quality and classic appeal of the trio of games included. However they’re wrapped up, the main thing you’re going to be doing is playing the games, and so three classics bundled together running well and looking as you remember is a fine offering from Nintendo. I still think Mario deserved a more lavish birthday celebration, but the classic titles in this collection really can’t be diminished.
We’ve had an absolute blast playing through these three gems all over again, especially now they look sharper than ever. It’s a shame that the presentation is practically barebones with no bonus content beyond the soundtracks, but there can still be no denying the quality of the games on offer here. This is the Beatles’ Greatest Hits of the video game world, and is an absolute treat whether you’re reliving it in HD or discovering it for the first time.
Given its scarcity, those with rose-tinted memories of Mario’s finest outings have probably made their mind up about Super Mario 3D All-Stars. It’s the portable package we’ve all been waiting for – and let me tell you, this trip to the past is by no means bittersweet. Yet, what excites me most is the prospect of new players getting to try out these classics without the burden of expectation or nostalgia on their shoulders. How does a new generation interpret something as endearing and unusual as Super Mario Sunshine? If you’re new to Mario or platforming games in general, this is the perfect place to start or continue your journey with the plucky plumber. And if that’s the case, I envy the adventure ahead of you!
Despite collecting three of Mario’s most well-known games, Super Mario 3D All Stars doesn’t justify their porting onto the Switch. With minimal improvements, few features that truly make it feel like an “Anniversary celebration” and some bafflingly lazy design choices, 3D All Stars feels like more like a quick cash grab.
Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy are not only two of the greatest Mario games ever, they’re two of the greatest video games ever. Each brims with ideas, with intelligent and intuitive design, and with an irresistible pull on the player to get through just one more level before calling it a night – which then becomes one more, and another, until your Switch battery dies. Even without anything extra added, and the non-native-platform awkwardness of Galaxy appreciated, they’re essentials. Super Mario Sunshine is also included.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars contains three legendary games, and this package allows you to experience all of them, the way you remember them. Whether or not these games hold up as competitive, contemporary pieces of entertainment is one question, but they do serve as an amazing time machine taking me to the moments I shared with friends and loved ones years ago, and this is a perfect way for you to form new memories with yours. This is three of the very best 3D platformers of all time, at their best.
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