[Review] Super Mario 3D All Stars – Nintendo Switch

Written by James Fairbanks
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Release Date: 18/09/2020
  • Price: £49.99 / $59.99
  • Review code provided by Nintendo

Introducing The Super Mario 3D All-Stars Review

Super Mario 3D All Stars was not only an avenue through which I was able to re-experience the games that I grew up with, that shaped the way I look at gaming and the world as a whole, and games that brought my brothers and I together.  This was an experience MANY got to share for the first time with their friends and family.  There are few things on Earth that can unite several generations, but Mario games are things we’ll all gather around a screen to watch someone else experience. 

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Uncovering your Nintendo 64, your Nintendo Gamecube, and even your Nintendo Wii has become less and less desirable these days as Nintendo just ports some of what made their older systems great to the Switch.  With the release of Super Mario 3D All Stars, there are even fewer reasons to consider doing this.  However, this may be for the best because the Nintendo Switch is such a versatile system to play games on that it’s almost become a joy to ask the question “how do I want to play today” before picking up your favorite Pro Controller, your favorite colors of Separated Joy-Con, or taking your Switch on the go for some handheld play!  While, Nintendo fans will never forget the golden relics that still exist on their various older systems, we can still rejoice in the fact the Switch offers so many ways to enjoy these ported classics.

Personally, however, Nintendo could have done more to show us the $60 price tag was more worth it for this title.  Yes, all 3 included games offer up completely unique adventures, hours of gameplay, and multiple files to enjoy them on, but it did feel a little…lackluster.  There are many more 3D Mario appearances in the Nintendo lineup that could have been included in this gathering of his greatest adventures and appearances.  Specifically when considering how many versions of Super Mario 64 exist.  As described in our Super Mario 64 reviews, even the version in 3D All Stars isn’t the original release and offers a slightly varied experience.  With that in mind, it seemed strange not to include more of Mario’s other, lesser known but still knockout adventures.

Everyone also remains confused about the fact 3D All Stars is only available for a certain amount of time and will supposedly stop being available in March.  There are many theories as to why this is, but no one seems to have a clear idea of what Nintendo is planning.  While we play games that stand the test of time, Nintendo continues to leave us in the dark about why it’s only available for limited time. 

Who Is Mario?

Running around in circles trying to figure out Nintendo’s plan will satisfy longtime fans of the game company’s long history of strange decisions.  Meanwhile, new players, new fans, and curious Switch owners are probably picking 3D All Stars up to experience Mario for the very first time!  With that being the case, these are the perfect entries to introduce you to Mario, his many talents, and a great deal of the wacky characters in the Mario Universe.

Who Is Mario In Super Mario 64?

Mario, as well as the player, is a guy walking into a castle on ground he’s never walked before, to embark on an adventure that he never expected to take place.  Super Mario 64 is the perfect introduction to a 3D Mario game because this is his FIRST 3D adventure!  It’s a game that taught the player what it could do as the game learned it, too!  It wasn’t a game that expected you to be familiar with the 3D look of everything on screen, it was a game that wanted you to be comfortable before you jumped a cliff, fought a boss, or swam to the bottom of Jolly Rogers’ Bay!  Mario even has several options for jumping and attacking, about as many as a regular human could think of for those actions on any given day.  Mario is a man, learning how to move in a 3D space for the first time in Super Mario 64.

Who Is Mario In Super Mario Sunshine?

As I replayed this game, I realized just how janky and strange the controls and physics were, making it a very difficult game for first time 3D Mario game players.  However, if you wanted to see Mario do more plumbing than he EVER has, then Super Mario Sunshine is the adventure for you!  Strap on your favorite talking squirt gun and clean poop colored muck, unclog pipes, and take on hideous bosses that are allergic to water in this Mario game that feels more like a set up for a strange new subset of Mario game.  Mario is still a man, only this time, he has a squirt gun that lets him fly, clean things, jump super high, and Sonic Run his way through doors and into walls.  He also falls off a lot of things.

Who Is Mario In Super Mario Galaxy?

Reviewing Super Mario Galaxy after replaying it again on the Switch only reminded me that the Mario in this game is one of the best versions that we have ever gotten in his 35 years of existence.  Not only is Mario well versed in spin-punching things in the face, stomping on Goombas, and playing Dead Man’s Volley with a giant octopus king, he’s also right at home in this adventure on the Switch.  During the Wii days, this adventure felt so much longer because you’d have to put the game down to recharge your batteries, or sleep would eventually lull you into it.  With the Switch and it’s various ways to play every game, you don’t have to pause the adventure anymore!  You can continue on the go, in your room, in the living room, and even at the dinner table [NOT RECOMMENDED].  Mario is a high flying, galaxy galloping king in this game with only more surprises to share, levels to conquer and friends to meet in the sequel.

Finally: Is It Worth It?

Initially, my answer to this question was a flat-out No.  I was heavily disappointed in the, what I assumed to be, meager amount of content included in Mario’s 35th anniversary celebration.  I was disappointed that my favorite of his adventures, Super Mario Galaxy 2, hadn’t been included.  I was also confused because they didn’t even consider Super Mario 64 DS, which is the clearly superior port.  However, after playing through and reviewing each game twice, I can safely say that this is the perfect amount of content for this type of game.

Of every Mario adventure, these 3 stand the test of time as his greatest.  Super Mario 64 with it’s incredible “learn with me” gameplay, visuals, levels, and those [FRUSTRATING] memorable Bowser battles.  Super Mario Sunshine with its fresh take on Mario’s movement, abilities, and adventure. Finally, Super Mario Galaxy with it’s, well it’s perfection.  These games show off some of the best Mario has to offer, while yes it would have been fun to see some of his spinoff/port adventures, these are his best.  These are his strongest.  These are the most nostalgic.  These are many Nintendo fan’s favorites.  If that’s not satisfying, then, well, these are what we got.

Pros:

  • All 3 games are still incredible.

Cons:

  • Didn’t improve Sunshine’s controls or physics
  • Touch controls for Galaxy’s reticle

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