Do you remember searching the internet for any sliver of information on an upcoming game? Watching trailers over and over, dissecting every piece of information available? How about simply counting down the days to a game’s release, daydreaming of eventually playing out?

The typical waiting game was cut out almost completely for the release of Super Mario 3D All-Stars on the Nintendo Switch. After being announced just two weeks ago in a Nintendo Direct celebrating Super Mario’s 35th anniversary, 3D All-Stars became available for physical an digital purchase on September 18, 2020.

The package, a spiritual successor to the 1993 Super Mario All-Stars that packaged the first three Super Mario Bros. games along with Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels. contains three genre-defining classics from Nintendo’s catalog.

  • Super Mario 64 revolutionized the 3D platforming genre when it launched for the Nintendo 64 on September 29, 1996 in North America. The classic has appeared again on multiple Nintendo platforms: including a full remake with additional characters as Super Mario 64 DS, as well as emulations of the original game on the Wii and Wii U Virtual Console services. The original game appears on the Switch collection, with an upscaled resolution as well as removal of some exploits that existed upon the game’s original release.
  • Super Mario Sunshine put the mustached-plumber on the Nintendo Gamecube on August 26, 2002 in North America. The quirky game featured a robust hub world in Delfino Island, the F.L.U.D.D. gadget that allowed for unique gameplay and hovering action, and in a rarity for Mario games at the time, voice acting and full cutscenes. While Sunshine’s gameplay is a bit of a departure from 64 and even the eventual Galaxy, this Gamecube entry has withstood the test of time as a fan favorite. Sunshine hasn’t been available in any way, shape, or form since its initial Gamecube release, so its inclusion on 3D All-Stars is perhaps the most highly anticpated.
  • Super Mario Galaxy took the Mario franchise to new heights on the Nintendo Wii on November 12, 2007 in North America. Besides literally taking Mario in to outer space, Galaxy featured many more unique environments than its predecessors. These Galaxies, still featuring multiple Star-earning missions, spanned various biomes, and allowed for 360-degree exploration of many planets. As the sixth-highest reviewed game of all-time on Metacritic, Galaxy is a spectacle to behold and a worthy addition to the Nintendo Switch library.

Super Mario 3D World, a November 2013 release for the Wii U, will be re-released on the Nintendo Switch as Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury on February 12, 2021. Super Mario Odyssey, the latest entry in the 3D Mario series, was released for the Switch on October 27, 2017.

This leaves Super Mario Galaxy 2 (May 2010, Nintendo Wii) and Super Mario 3D Land (November 2011, Nintendo 3DS) as the only 3D Mario games not playable on the Nintendo Switch.

The three game package does little to remaster or otherwise improve upon the games original releases. Additionally, the game has no special features beyond a music player and an artsy game-select screen. An achievement system, reward for completing all three games, or timers for each game would have added a little value to the re-releases.

Some nifty artwork featuring highlights across this trilogy of games.

Still, even at full price, Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a must-own for Mario fans. Sunshine alone goes for over $80 on eBay, so the chance to own all three games, as well as take them on the go, makes them worth the $60 price tag.

I do worry slightly that Nintendo will overdo re-releases in the coming years. Fans are already begging for a Galaxy 2 port, while Legend of Zelda fans are clamoring for a similar package that could bundle games like Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword.

While I can’t say that’s a package I wouldn’t buy, it’s a slippery slope. All of those Zelda games, save for Skyward Sword, have already been re-mastered. Now we have fans clamoring for re-masters of re-masters. It’s great to have our favorite games brought back to life on a new console, but there also has to be a steady pace of growth of creativity within Nintendo’s releases.

Super Mario Sunshine (alongside Super Mario World and Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius) was one of the first video games I played as child after getting a Nintendo Gamecube for Christmas in what I assume to be 2002. I can’t wait to dive into Delfino Island, the world that made me fall in love with video games at six years old.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars offers a great package whether you’re playing through the games as a longtime fan or if you’re just experiencing your first time with any of the three games.

I was originally planning to play the games in chronological order, but I can’t help but to play the game I was the fondest of. Excuse me while I boot up my Switch to play some Super Mario Sunshine for the first time in a long time.

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