To say the last couple of months have been a wild ride for Nintendo fans (especially Super Mario fans) would be an understatement. We’ve got an incredible amount of leaks showcasing early assets, and fans have even been able to patch Luigi into Super Mario 64 (he was initially intended to be a playable character). Thanks to early source code being a part of the shenanigans. As if that wasn’t enough, Nintendo has just announced a plethora of new games and merchandise commemorating the beloved plumber’s 35th anniversary.
First, the fantastic Super Mario All-Stars collection has dropped on the Nintendo Switch’s Online service. Previously released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System(SNES), this game was a 4-in-1 featuring remastered versions of Super Mario Bros. 1 through 3. It also contains the notoriously difficult Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2 under the moniker of “The Lost Levels.” I had the honor of writing about this installment for The Well-Red Mage’s Mario Multiverse collaboration earlier this year. It’s a great collection and, in my opinion, the traditional means of playing the western Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3.
Nintendo has been porting many Wii U games to the Nintendo Switch, including Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and New Super Mario Bros. Ultimate. Just as many folks were speculating- we are, in fact getting Super Mario 3D World on Switch with a few bonuses. It might just make it worth double-dipping for those who invested in the Wii U during the last console generation. It will be coming with the “Bowser’s Fury” DLC pack as well as online play. The addition is historic- it will mark the first time that a traditional Mario platformer (not counting spin-offs such as Mario Kart or Super Mario Maker) will have proper online functionality. Set for a February 12 2021 release.
Speaking of online multiplayer, it looks like Nintendo is hopping on the battle royale craze in the form of Super Mario Bros. 35. Coming to Nintendo Switch Online on October 1, this looks to be the original Super Mario Bros. with a few added twists. Essentially, you’ll be competing with 35 other players and will have the ability to send defeated enemies onto the screen of other players to create for some hectic scenarios. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one makes for some tense situations and heavy use of profanity in the same way Mario Kart has for almost 30 years.
Perhaps the hottest announcement of all is the launch of Super Mario 3D All-Stars this week. This 3 in 1 house (ever so slightly) revamped ports of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy- complete with pro controller support. Each title is a classic in its own right (not that you needed me to tell you that). But even more so because Super Mario 64 is Charles Martinet‘s first significant role as Mario’s voice. You can thank this man for all those wahoos, woahs, and mama-mias from your youth. Oh yeah, and he’s also the narrator for the recently released High Score mini-series on Netflix. (Unfortunately, he doesn’t roll out Mario’s voice at any point in the series. That said, it’s still an excellent place to get a crash course in gaming history!)
It may be a bit disappointing that there’s no news of another (brand new) mainline Mario game coming down the pipeline. However, there is enough content for fans looking to celebrate the plumber’s 35th anniversary until then!