Super Mario 3D All-Stars Nintendo Switch Review

Super Mario 3D All-Stars contains some of Mario's best adventures but as a 35th-anniversary collection, it falls short of what should be a celebration of one of the biggest figures in entertainment

By Grayshadow, Posted 19 Sep 2020

Super Mario 3D-All Stars brings 3 incredible Super Mario titles to modern audiences in their original states. This does maintain the classic experience but at a cost of including the same issues present within the original games. Those hoping for an improved camera for Super Mario 64 or a Blue Coin radar for Super Mario Sunshine will be sadly disappointed. Regardless these classic games still hold up today with incredible gameplay and challenging platforming. Super Mario 3D All-Stars contains some of Mario's best adventures but as a 35th-anniversary collection, it falls short of what should be a celebration of one of the biggest figures in entertainment.

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You can choose between Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy easily from the title screen. Along with the soundtracks for each of the acclaimed titles. You can return and select any of the titles with ease, with loading times being very reasonable.

Super Mario 64 will likely, and should be, the first game players will experience. Mario has come to Peach's castle to enjoy some cake but once arriving finds out that Bowser has taken control of the Castle and all of its Power Stars. Mario must retrieve all the Stars and rescue Peach from Bowser.

Despite being over 20 years old Super Mario 64 still holds up today. The pinnacle of 3D platforming and a monumental leap for gaming in general Super Mario 64 holds a dense array of stages, challenges, and boss fights. Providing players with full control of Mario and giving ample ways to complete objectives through the creative use of the skills provided. There's always a straight path provided but players have found ample ways to complete objectives thanks to Mario's diverse platforming skills. While Nintendo maintained the classic game they could've gone further.

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Super Mario 64 does not support widescreen support, which has become a standard for re-releases for classic games for the modern age especially when they're over 20 years old. In addition, things such as improved camera work would've been greatly appreciated and it's not here. You still have to fiddle with the old N64 camera work, which while revolutionary for its time is archaic for modern gaming. Nintendo also did not improve the draw distance so expect just as much pop-in as in the N64 version.

Super Mario Sunshine is the next title part of the package. Mario, Peach, and the Toads have taken a vacation to the tropical is Isle Delfino. When arriving they find that island is suffering from a huge pollution problem and their guardians, The Shine Sprites, have scattered. Worst is the person causing the calamity is impersonating Mario, which the islanders blame for the contamination. Mario along with his new robotic friend FLUDD must clean the island, collect Shine Sprite guardians, and capture the imposter.

Like Super Mario 64 this is a 1 to 1 replica of the Gamecube classic. Thankfully the visuals for this game still hold up today and the gameplay is as amazing as ever. The tropical landscape holds many secrets and lush locations, each teeming with variety. Replaying this title I started to notice a lot of details that went above and beyond such as the ability to see distance locations, highlighting this interconnective world. However, the issues that plagued the original are still here. The most notorious being the Blue Coins.

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Those familiar with the original know that the Blue Coins were the most infamous collectibles within this otherwise stellar game. Trading 10 at a specific vender would grant Mario a Shine Sprite and these coins are hidden in elusive locations and placed in difficult to reach parts of stages. Finding them and getting to these hard to reach areas is entertainingly challenging but the issue is that the game does not explain which chapter within a level contains a Blue Coin. Since levels in Super Mario Sunshine alter based on which Shine you're going after this also changes whether a Blue Coin is in that area. There are no indicators of this or radar to help locate the coins, which if you're missing 1 can become a mind-numbing activity of search everywhere. This can be incredibly frustrating if you plan to 100% the game without a guide. Thankfully the internet has plenty of helpful guides but a modern system should've been included here.

Super Mario Galaxy is the final game available. Mario is about to join Peach for the Star Festival but Bowser appears and has taken Peach into space, leaving Mario in orbit. Mario is rescued by a star child named Luma led by a woman in blue. She agrees to aid Mario to defeat Bowser who has taken the Galaxy hostage.

Those who played this amazing title on the Wii know that the game was built with the Wii Remote in mind. Amazingly Nintendo has recreated those same controls with the Joy-Cons. You can use them as separate controllers, with the Gamepad, or Pro Controller easily. The star icon can be reset into a central position at any time, making it easy to recalibrate which those familiar with the Wii version know that was a major problem.

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Despite being a Wii game Super Mario Galaxy can match any modern game when it comes to visual presentation and technical quality. I was floored how well this game still looks, with an amazing soundtrack that soars beyond most modern games from other AAA publishers. 

Super Mario 3D All-Stars delivers some of Mario's best adventures into 1 package but without any notable improvements. The core games alone are amazing, each one is worth the asking price but as a re-release Super Mario 3D All-Stars is lacking. There's little in terms of improved quality or gameplay elements that makes these titles distinguished from the original versions. Considering that the modding community has provided things such as widescreen support for Super Mario 64 it's doubtful that Nintendo couldn't do the same. Super Mario 3D All-Stars is an incredible package it's just not a great re-release.

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Switch
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Developer(s): Nintendo
Genres: Adventure
Themes: Classics
Release Date: 2020-09-18

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