Growing up with Mario
I have been a Mario fan for as long as I can remember. Getting together with family to play the original trilogy on the NES was a high point of my childhood. I didn’t have all of them growing up, only Super Mario Bros, but my cousins had 2 & 3, meaning I would get to experience these when we got together. These were great times, talking about what they have seen, showing off Nintendo Powers and figuring out how to beat the next level.
Then the SNES came out. It seemed I had to leave the originals behind. We still had a NES, but it was in storage. As a kid, it felt like such a chore to pull it out, unhook the SNES and plug in the NES. This was the days of using an RF adapter way before most TVs had more than one input. If only Nintendo would find a way to play the first Mario titles on the SNES. Then, my seven year old brain exploded, because they did just that.
Super Mario All-Stars Changed Everything
When All-Stars released in 1993, I was so excited. Yes, they were essentially the same games I had played to death, with the exception of Lost Levels, but they were all here! I could play every Mario adventure (save for Land 1&2) on my SNES now. The excitement was palpable and I began to assume that Nintendo would follow suit for all future iterations.
When the 64 came out, I waited for the announcement of a All-Stars 2 with other lost content. Then I had the same thought for the GameCube, of course it would come out then. They did a Zelda collection, Mario is surely next? It never came. Obviously Nintendo did not want to take my money, and all the money of other ravenous fans wanting to relive their childhood. Or did they?
Wii Would Like to Play
The Wii brought the Virtual Console and it was a game changer. The time spent playing games from the NES to the N64 was countless. The Wii felt like the perfect Nintendo system as it could play GameCube titles as well, meaning almost all of Nintendo’s history was accessible. Sadly, the Wii U’s virtual console did not live up to half the greatness as its predecessor. It added a few more consoles, including the Game Boy and DS, as well select classics such as as DK64 and Earthbound.
For every stride forward, it seemed that Nintendo would take a huge step backwards with its back catalog of content. The Nintendo Switch has some of Mario’s greatest hits with the original trilogy, Lost Levels, World and Yoshi’s Island as part of the NSO service. We also have Odyssey and New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe, but there are so many titles missing. As we currently await Mario’s 35th anniversary, rumors swirl about the potential Mario 3D collection.
I want Nintendo to go a step further, much further. We need a complete set of Mario available on the Switch to make it the only console you need to experience the plumber’s greatest adventures. It doesn’t have to be in one package, or even go in the way I envision, but this would be an excellent way to experience these titles.
Switch Up The Future
The much rumored Mario 3D collection is supposed to contain Mario 64, Sunshine and Galaxy, with Mario 3D World getting a Deluxe edition at a later date. This still leaves many titles not accounted for that should have their place on the Switch. The New Super Mario Bros series needs to be represented and bundling the original DS game, the Wii sequel, and 2 from the 3DS into a “New” Super Mario All-Stars game would be excellent.
These titles do not get enough praise as many fans will say they are watered down or cheap Mario games. I disagree with them. They are fantastic additions to the series! Sure they don’t add the same layers that a new 3D Mario would add, but sometimes a simple side-scrolling level can hit the sweet spot.
Remembering the Past, Embracing the Future
Then we are left with two other 3D games, Galaxy 2 and 3D Land. These could be sold separately or paired in another Mario 3D collection with 64 DS. This title is different enough to be considered its own game and be included with the previous two games. Even if its not the main selling point, having it along for the ride would be a cherry on top.
Lastly, the NSO would need to add Game Boy, GBC and GBA games to include Land, Six Golden Coins, Mario Deluxe, and Mario Advance 1-4. This would effectively cover every Mario. For those who would think this is over doing it, they don’t need to buy it. Not every game is made for everyone and that is the beauty of having options.
Some consumers will want them all. They’ll want to share with their kids, spouses, and loved ones the great games they played in their youth. Other people may want to look deep into the history and see what they missed. Even if Nintendo was to only do some of these ideas, it would be good for them financially. Mario has always been a cash cow for Nintendo and with the Switch user base growing, the money train isn’t going to stop anytime soon.