REVIEW: Super Mario 3D All-Stars – An Overpriced Ticket Down Memory Lane?

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Released: 18/9/2020
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Players: 1(-2)
Price: £49.99

Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a collection of three of Mario’s biggest 3D outings released to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the series, collating Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy. As a fan of Galaxy in particular, this game came as an exciting announcement as a way to re-live my memories of that game, as well as an opportunity to get more into the other games.

Looking at what you get in the bundle, Super Mario 64 is a perfectly serviceable game. It shows its age in a lot of places, particularly the camera and certain levels working together to make things far more unpleasant than they need to be, but on the whole it’s plenty of fun. Mario Sunshine is a bit different, and the only game of the three I hadn’t played prior to picking up 3D All-Stars, and it’s not to my personal taste. The water shooting takes away from the aspects of Mario that I enjoy most, but I also know a lot of people do enjoy this game, so it’s definitely a matter of personal preference. I love Super Mario Galaxy, I think it refines the platforming and level design and is a great game to round out the collection.

To move the games to the Switch, a few changes have been made to Sunshine and Galaxy’s control schemes. In the original release, Super Mario Sunshine used the Gamecube controller’s analogue trigger buttons to let you shoot out water with different levels of power. The Switch doesn’t support this, so instead, you swap between using the bumper and trigger buttons to achieve the same utility, which I had no issues with. I also had no issues with using the joy-con as a pointer in Galaxy. It needs frequent recentering but having this on a single button press made the process very streamlined. The option to press the y button instead of shaking the controller to spin is also a very welcome addition. The only control problem I found was using the touch screen as a pointer in handheld mode. This meant taking my hand off the jump and spin buttons, making Super Mario Galaxy feel extremely clunky in handheld mode.

The biggest problem with this game might be the price point, £50 for three games that are all over a decade old is pretty steep, and to add insult to injury, the game is a limited-time release, becoming unavailable even as a download from the Nintendo e-shop as of 31st March 2021. This seems like a cheap trick to encourage people to buy the game to avoid missing out and is something I’d be unhappy to see again. 

Overall, this is a good package and I feel that I’ve personally gotten my money’s worth, so if you know you’ll enjoy the games and don’t mind the hefty price tag, it’s a good buy. If you’re not sure and just want to try the games out, this is probably more money than I’d recommend you spending to do that. If it were priced closer to £30, I’d be more comfortable with it, but for £50 you could almost certainly get more value for money elsewhere if you’re on the fence.

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Games Editor 2020-21

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