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Console Corner: Super Mario 3D All-Stars review

Damien Charles Lucas November 1, 2020
Console Corner: Super Mario 3D All-Stars review

Today, we review Super Mario 3D All-Stars, just as Super Mario turns 35 this year. If that doesn’t make you feel old, how about combining three of the famous plumber’s best and most iconic adventures into one compilation for Nintendo Switch?

Surf that shell

Super Mario 3D All-Stars review

Nintendo has put all those memories in one box – the N64’s Super Mario 64, GameCube’s Super Mario Sunshine, and Wii’s Super Mario Galaxy.

The compilation includes high-definition ports of the first three 3D platformers in the Super Mario series. This is accomplished through emulation of the old consoles.

High-tech, high-resolution

All three games support the Switch’s Joy-Con controls with rumble function. They are displayed at higher resolutions, such as Sunshine running in a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Sunshine and Galaxy are both displayed in 1080p in TV Mode and 720p in handheld. Meanwhile, 64 is displayed in 720p in both modes in a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Galaxy also features optional Joy-Con controls that imitate the motion-controlled pointing of Wii Remote. Mario’s spin ability is remapped to the Y button.

And the upcoming update will bring even better and more refined camera control.

In Handheld Mode, players can use the touch screen in lieu of the pointer – although it all gets a bit too fiddly for my liking.

Surf that beach

Nostalgic buzz

All three games hold up well and Mario fans will be filled with a fuzzy nostalgic buzz at reliving iconic gaming moments. They all come at increased resolution too, which makes each game look better than ever.

For most, just having these bad boys to relive on the Switch will be enough. But for anyone hoping for a bit more gloss and additional content and features, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. Beyond what each individual game has to offer, there’s little else to see here.

I found the Super Mario 64 – which with the benefit of hindsight was rather unimaginatively named – a tough ask to play through again. Despite the touched-up and amplified visuals, this shows its age. It is best left to fond memories from way back when.

Big boss battles

The crowning glory of the whole package is Galaxy. This remains a straight-up gaming masterpiece and my god it’s still a challenge. I honestly believe this makes the whole thing worthwhile on its own.

I spent months playing Odyssey when I first got my Switch. That, too, is a masterpiece but Galaxy was the forefather and revisiting it on Switch has been a joy.

Yes, there may not be much else going on for your money here and a distinct lack of bells, whistles and gloss. But having all three classics in one collection, on your Switch, available in handheld mode, with boosted visuals, is a must for any moderate Mario fan.

Note to gamers

Super Mario 3D All-Stars is available on Nintendo Switch as a limited-time release. Physical and digital editions will only be on sale until 31 March 2021. After that it will be no longer available from retailers or the Nintendo eShop.

However, those who purchase the collection digitally will still be able to redownload it after that date.

Rating: 8/10

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Damien is an experienced journalist and has seen it all as a West Ham season ticket holder of 30 years. Well, everything except a major trophy - sorry Intertoto. Jimmy Walker would have saved it