On September 18, 2020, Nintendo released a trilogy of Mario classics together for Nintendo Switch. Super Mario 3D All-Stars consists of three games: Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. Featuring upscaled resolution, these three titles have been optimized for HD display.
However, the internet has created a ruckus over how Nintendo is handling this trilogy. Rest assured, for many players, Super Mario 3D All-Stars is indeed worth it. However, it's worth addressing the few caveats so you know what you're getting into before you buy.
The $60 price tag
Super Mario 3D All-Stars will retail for $59.99. This is the full price of a contemporary console game. The games in this trilogy come from several generations prior. However, considering the legacy of these three titles, they're among the best games ever released. Keep in mind that remasters of Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Wind Waker all were marked full price for the 3DS and Wii U, respectively. Wind Waker HD's $50 price tag was equal to Donkey Kong Coutry: Tropical Freeze's but $10 less than Super Mario 3D World's $60 price tag.
The Limited Release
Nintendo is taking the Disney Vault approach with the Super Mario 3D All-Stars release. After its release on September 18th, the title will be available for purchase until the end of March 2021. This means the title will surely float around as a used title at GameStop but will disappear on the eShop.
Right now, Nintendo has not commented on why they're going the limited-release route. One could argue it's to guarantee sales. By releasing a rare compilation, Nintendo likely believes more people will buy it based on exclusivity and novelty. It's also worth knowing that casual gaming families and those who don't dwell on internet forums and social media pages will surely buy the game without giving the limited release much thought.
This is not the first time Nintendo has made a compilation a rare find. Super Mario All-Stars was released for the Wii in 2010 before going out of print shortly after. Even before that, Nintendo's Legend of Zelda Collector's Edition, which contained four titles from the Zelda series, was never even offered at select retailers. Save for used copies at GameStop, this title was exclusive to Club Nintendo members who fulfilled certain conditions such as redeeming codes from eligible games.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is Missing
While each Mario game has its fanbase, fans of Galaxy 2 would arguably say it's the best Mario game that and should be in the collection. Galaxy 2 featured a refined and more challenging experience from the first Super Mario Galaxy. This colossal experience also featured a much-improved reward for collecting all Stars in the game: the greatest challenge in the series known as Grandmaster Galaxy.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 introduced new power-ups like Cloud Mario and Rock Mario. The title featured a callback to Super Mario 64 in the form of a completely revamped Whomp's Fortress. Plus Yoshi returned to aid Mario in numerous stages.
Galaxy 2 is tied with Galaxy and Odyssey with a score of 97 on Metacritic. This grand experience offered polished quality from start to finish. Many fans want to know why arguably the best game of the selection has gone missing.
Also of note, the selection excludes Super Mario 3D World which is another fantastic title albeit released on the unfortunate Wii U. The title will receive its own re-release for Nintendo Switch in February. It will also include the new Bowser's Fury campaign.
So why is Super Mario 3D All-Stars still worth it?
Depending on your love for Mario titles, these games might be among the greatest you've ever played. For players who sold their N64, GameCube, and Wii, it's worth adding these titles to their Switch collection. Reliving these nostalgic moments is akin to the many re-releases of the 2D Mario games. Only now 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy finally get to shine, pun not intended.
It also makes a fantastic gift for children. Newer Mario fans who started with 3D World, Odyssey, or the 2D games will certainly enjoy these timeless Mario experiences. Arguably, Sunshine is a little rougher around the edges than the other two. This is thanks to the extra challenging Secret Worlds and Corona Mountain. However, it's still a fine game in its own right.
I've always argued against a price tag determining the worth of a game. The worth comes from the player's experience with the game. In this case, however, with the limited release, it's almost assured that Nintendo will not slash the price before they remove the game from the eShop. It will likely retail for slightly less at GameStop(if they still exist in 2021) once the game leaves the eShop and retail buyers trade in their title. Super Mario All-Stars for Wii was a common sight for years at GameStop so 3D All-Stars will surely meet the same fate.
The only people who might not see it worth buying this compilation already own fully playable copies of these games. Wii/Wii U owners have Super Mario 64 on their Virtual Console while DS/3DS owners have the remake, Super Mario 64 DS, readily available. GameCube/Wii owners can play their copy of Sunshine anytime while Wii/Wii U owners can also boot up Super Mario Galaxy. Keep in mind that Wii U, 3DS, and Wii were all backward-compatible systems.
In my case, I already have Super Mario 64 for my Wii U and it runs perfectly on there. I cleared Super Mario Galaxy 100% on several occasions and I had 119 Shine Sprites and 5 Blue Coins in Sunshine. That was before my accursed MadCatz memory card decided to corrupt. Either way, good riddance to those last blue coins.
Collectors will find novelty in owning the title. Moms and dads will certainly want to consider 3D All-Stars and bring their young children into the world they grew up in. Finally, anyone who values these Mario titles, who misses the experience, and wishes to relive some of the best games of all time will certainly enjoy their purchase.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars looks like a fun-filled experience for just about anyone. It's not the perfect effort on Nintendo's part but it's hard to say no to such amazing titles. Are you planning to get Super Mario 3D All-Stars? Let us know in the comments below. Finally, be sure to follow our social media links below to grab the latest gaming info, reviews, previews, and editorials from The Geek Getaway!