The Games of Super Mario 3-D All-Stars (Switch)

I love video game collections and compilations and writing blogs about them.  But you know who doesn’t do video game collections very much?  Nintendo!  So Super Mario 3-D All-Stars is a pretty big deal.  Or is it?  Well we’ll take a look at that as well as the games in this set.  Plus a few bonuses.  So as Mario would say, “Let’s-a go!”

Super Mario 3-D All-Stars has only three games: Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy.  While it’s disappointing there are only 3 games (really no reason why Galaxy 2 shouldn’t be on here), they are three of the best 3-D platforming games out there.  It’s full price at 60 bucks, but 20 dollars per game doesn’t seem so bad when you look at it that way.  The collection is pretty bare boned, with just the games and soundtracks included (music selection should just be standard in any game, really).  It’s a bit disappointing since the Mario All-Stars game that came before it not only had all the NES classic Mario games plus one we never got in the US, it also touched up the graphics and sound to 16-bit standards.  Now that collection was a pretty big deal.  One last disappointment is that Nintendo is going to stop selling this game digitally and physically next March 2021.  I just don’t understand why they’re doing that.  But I bought the game anyway so I guess I’m not helping the cause of sending a message to Nintendo about making better collections.  I’m just glad I got a physical copy of this game!  Anyway, let’s take a look at the games on this collection.

Super Mario 64

In my opinion (and many others), I think Super Mario 64 is a very significant game for many reasons.  While it’s not really the first 3-D platformer or first 3-D game, it’s the one that perfected the concept and pretty much any game after that followed its example.  It was just amazing back then.  I played it to death back in college and it’s one of the only Mario games I’ve completed 100 percent.  Yup, I got all 120 stars, saw Yoshi on the roof, etc.  Only other Mario game I can think of that I’ve finished all the way was Super Mario World, where I got all 96 exits.  I still think Super Mario 64 is a GREAT game, and probably my favorite 3-D Mario game just on significance and nostalgia alone.  However, I didn’t play it much on this collection, simply because I had played it to death back then.  It’s definitely one in need of a touch-up, as this is the original N64 version and hasn’t aged as well graphically.  Even the DS version looked better than this.  Why couldn’t they have put that one on here, too?  The Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection had DS games on it, so why not here?  Also, the controls seemed slipperier than what I remember, and there also felt a tiny bit of a delay in jumps after button presses.  I wonder if it has anything to do with this being a wireless controller and the original one had cords?  I know that seems like it may just be my imagination, but I did play the original to death, so I don’t know.

Super Mario Sunshine

So I may rag on this game a bit, but it doesn’t mean I think it’s a bad game.  It’s still one of the best 3-D platformers ever made.  While shooting water with the F.L.U.D.D. backpack may be gimmicky, it’s still fun.  And I also really like the vacation theme.  Areas really play this theme well, like a beach resort, amusement park, heck even the ghost house level is a haunted resort hotel!  And outside of the GameCube, the Switch is the only other console you can play this on.   But when I first played it, I thought the controls were a bit slippery.  When I tried it again, I remembered saying that, but thought it could’ve just been my imagination.  But nope!  The controls are as slippery as I remember them, and it made the game really frustrating.  Because of this, I feel that this is the weakest of the 3-D Mario titles.  But again, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad game.  It’s still great.

Super Mario Galaxy

When I first played this again on the All-Stars collection, the first thing I thought to myself was, “Man, I forgot just how GOOD this game was!”  No slippery controls, they translated the motion and pointing controls here well, and it still holds up graphically even today.  It was one of the best looking Wii games, I felt.  Back when it came out on the Wii in 2007, I named it my Game of the Year.  I’ve said before that I wished I had played Portal that year, because I would’ve named that my GOTY, but Mario Galaxy still isn’t a bad choice.  I’d say that aside from Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy is probably my second favorite 3-D Mario game.  I even like it more than Odyssey.  Only problem I had is that it focuses more on straight up action and not much on exploration. In a way, that’s kind of neat since the 2-D Mario games were more like that, but the exploration aspect was still sorely missed.  And again, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t have put Super Mario Galaxy 2 on this collection.

And that’s all what’s on Super Mario 3-D All-Stars!  Let me know what you think, and tell me your favorite 3-D Mario titles.  Also, while I’ll say that these games are great for kids, I have a lot of parents ask me which games they should get to introduce young first time gamers to.  And I usually don’t recommend Mario games to them because Mario games can be pretty hard and frustrating.  So for games to introduce young kids to, I recommend Kirby games instead, or classic arcade titles like Pac-Man.


And now for some extra Mario bits and pieces.

Super Mario Bros. 35

They say this is Mario’s 35th anniversary, but Mario as a character has been around longer than that.  It’s really the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros.  To celebrate, Nintendo made this game free for Switch Online users.  It’s kind of like Tetris 99 except you play Super Mario Bros with 35 other people, and when you defeat an enemy it gets sent to another player to deal with.  But the same can happen to you!  It’s a neat idea and I like all the unlockables, but I didn’t stay interested in it for very long.  I’m just not that big of a fan of the Super Mario Bros. game, believe it or not.  Sure I thought it was neat when I first saw it (which was actually in an arcade, not on the NES), but I never felt that it was good enough for me to go out and buy a NES for (the game that caused me to want a NES was actually Zelda).  Also, like Super Mario 3-D All-Stars, this game will be only available to play until March 2021, which I still just don’t understand.

Misc. Mario Morsels

There are two more big things Nintendo has released this year for Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary.  One is Mario Kart Live Home Tour.  It’s an RC car of Mario or Luigi that you control with the Switch, and the RC car has a camera on it so you can see what is happening on the Switch screen with augmented reality.  At first I couldn’t find this one, but luckily I managed to get the Luigi set, which is the one I’d rather have anyway, so I’ll be talking about this one at closer to Christmas.

The other thing they released was a Game & Watch handheld that lets you play the original Super Mario Bros., the Japan only sequel, plus a Mario version of Ball and a special clock.  As of this writing, I haven’t been able to find this one yet.  But I won’t be TOO upset if I can’t get it, because like I said, I’m not as big of a fan of the original Super Mario Bros.  It would just be nice to have in my collection (Update: I might get one for Christmas).  But that’s all I have to say for now!  Later!  –Cary

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