After an exciting announcement and far too many hours spent playing on my Switch since September 18th, it’s time for the Retro Dodo official Super Mario 3D All-Stars review!
It’s already the top-selling game on Amazon, number one in the September 2020 game charts, and the second best selling game of 2020, and it’s only been out for a few days!
If you’ve read any of my articles before, then you’ll know how much of a Nintendo nerd I am. My very first console was the N64, and I can still remember tearing the Christmas wrapping of my Super Mario 64 game box when I was 7-years-old and seeing Mario pop out of that green pipe for the very first time.
My dad is Italian, so you can imagine how excited he was to see the game text say ‘Ciao!’ over Mario’s head!
The same goes for Super Mario Sunshine, possibly one of the most immersive Mario-platform games that we’ve ever had on a console. I was 13 when this game came out, and I don’t think it left my GameCube’s disc port for around 2 months straight.
Using F.L.U.D.D to clean up the streets of Isle Delfino almost made community service seem cool, and the difference in graphics between Mario 64 and Sunshine is phenomenal!
What a difference five-years can make!
Then comes the mind-bending madness of Super Mario Galaxy, one of the best Wii games of all time and another instant hit.
I bunked off college to go and get this game, possibly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Far more than just providing a platform for Super Mario Odyssey to come to fruition, Galaxy showed us a whole new way of playing – namely upside down!
I’ve been playing this game non-stop since it arrived on my doorstep, and I’m very much looking forward to writing this Super Mario 3D All-Stars review.
If my 7-year-old self could hear me say that he’d be buzzing!
Table of Contents
Super Mario 64
Turning this game on and hearing the music was absolutely amazing. Just being able to play with Mario’s face on the title screen in enhanced graphics scores a nostalgia factor of 10 alone!
I’ve not gone back to Mario 64 for a long time, which is why I was so excited at the prospect of this Super Mario 64 All-Stars review.
I wanted to keep that memory of playing this game back when the graphics were good, and thanks to the magic of the Switch, I can play it on a big TV again without feeling like my eyes are about to bleed.
I love the fact that rather than remaking this game and updating all of the graphics and courses, Nintendo have kept all of the elements exactly the same as they were.
The characters are blocky, just like back in the good old days, but the whole thing has been upscaled perfectly.
It is a shame that Mario 64 doesn’t appear on the Switch in a widescreen format, but T.Vs weren’t widescreen back in 1997, so it’s totally understandable.
What Is The Story?
Mario appears out of a pipe just outside of Peach’s castle. He’s been invited over for some tea and cake, probably with the hope of getting to second or third base before the night is through.
When he arrives at the castle, he discovers that Bowser has kidnapped Peach and used the power of the 120 Power Stars in the castle to trap her and the Toads.
Lord Koopa has turned each of the paintings in the castle into worlds that he has hidden the Power Stars inside. It’s up to Mario to retrieve them all and give Bowser a good whoopin’!
How Does It Play?
Super Mario 64 is a joy to play on the Nintendo Switch.
I’ve been using both the Pro Controller and the Joycon-holster set-up so far while completing this Super Mario 3D All-Stars review, and both have been very responsive.
It certainly beats the claw-hand we all had to develop on the N64 controller!
The blocky graphics have been polished and enhanced, making the game feel almost like a brand new adventure.
I can still remember all of the warp shortcuts, though I still tend to be a bit too hasty and fall off the edge of platforms quite a lot.
Handheld Vs Docked
I’m going to be honest; playing this game on a handheld has been my dream since I first got it back in 2007.
But since I’ve been playing this game up on the TV and seeing how crisp and clear it is now, I can’t decide which I like best.
If you were to push me (which Brandon is doing), I would have to say that the TV docked mode has the upper edge as the 4:3 ratio doesn’t seem to be as obvious.
That’s how I played it back in the day, after all, and even though it would be nice if it filled the entire screen, it adds to the whole package for me.
Super Mario Sunshine
Mario fans were amazed by the GameCube’s ability to make the waters of Isle Delfino glisten as though they were real.
Now, the Nintendo Switch makes this game look as though it was a Switch launch title. The cut-scenes and characters are crisp, and the whole game has been given a whole new lease of life.
I’ve always been a fan of Mario Sunshine, but without an MK E.O.N, one of the best GameCube accessories of all time, the GC graphics look a little dated on modern TVs.
Now, we can all enjoy hanging out with the Piantas and Tanookis in widescreen HD brilliance!
I was smiling like a Cheshire cat when the first cut-scene came on, and I’m looking forward to when you lot clear off so I can carry on playing again.
(Hmm…what’s that, Brandon? Be kind to the readers? Ok, got it.)
What Is The Story?
Mario, Peach, Toadsworth, and some select Toady minions have decided to leave the Mushroom Kingdom for a break on the sunny Isle of Delfino.
Sun, sea, sand, and a dolphin-shaped island filled with people who can’t seem to stop hula-dancing.
Sound’s like paradise, right?
It would be if Shadow Mario hadn’t turned up to cover the island in paint and sully our favourite Italian plumber’s good name!
Instead of chasing after Bowser, Mario has to stop his shadowy doppelgänger and clean up Isle Delfino with one of Professor E. Gadd’s inventions; F.L.U.D.D.
Mazza has to team up with this watery marvel so he can get back in the citizens good books and be allowed to leave the airstrip.
This guy never gets a rest!
How Does It Play?
I always loved the GameCube controller, but I’ve had no problems with my Joycons while playing this game.
It’s super easy to play handheld too; I can finally have a handheld that plays GameCube games that isn’t attached to the Wii-U!
The controllers are very similar to the GC at any rate, meaning that it didn’t take too long before I was filling up and firing water out of F.L.U.D.D like pro again.
Use F.L.U.D.D as a jetpack, rocket, while running on water, or just for its primary purpose of cleaning the streets of paint-based evil.
The camera angles are very intuitive and follow Mario perfectly wherever he goes, and the newly enhanced graphics make for a very enjoyable playing experience.
Handheld Vs Docked
I’ve spent most of my time while pondering what to write through this Super Mario 3D All-Stars review playing Sunshine on handheld mode.
The novelty of having a GC game on a modern handheld was just too good to ignore, and the game looks so sweet on the Switch’s screen.
Kicking back in bed while playing Mario Sunshine; what could be better?
Well… I can think of one other game that might prove to be a winner on that front…
Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy always looked and played like a game way ahead of its time, and now gamers can enjoy this classic Wii title on their Switch anytime, anywhere, with better graphics to boot.
My honest first impressions are that I’m so glad that I don’t have to use that annoying Wiimote to play this game anymore!
It’s what made both Mario Galaxy and Skyward Sword quite tedious for me. Bowling and boxing on Wii Sports felt fine, but swimming and flying while holding a rectangle just felt plain odd.
Now I can stick my feet up on the dog with my Super Mario Shoes and play Galaxy with the Pro Controller, giving me much more control of this wacky space adventure.
What Is The Story?
After a brief rest following the clean up of Isle Delfino, kicking-ass in Smash Bros, and throwing bananas in various Mario Kart titles, Mario has had to head off after Peach once again.
Bowser has gotten a hold of her with his grubby claws once more, though this time he has taken her to the centre of his very own galaxy where he’s plotting to take over the universe.
This guy has more failed attempts of world domination under his belt than Voldermort!
Mario, Luigi, and a host of new characters, including Rosalina who you should all know by now, have to band together to rescue Peach and save the day.
It’s probably time that Peach abdicated and got a normal job doing something less ‘kidnap-friendly’ like writing a blog or working as a mail carrier.
How Does It Play?
Without that annoying Wiimote, this game plays so much better. I’m enjoying the experience so much more and not finding it hard to move my way around the myriad of planets in this fast-paced game.
Galaxy is a bit of a mind-melter, but that’s why I love it. Not only do we have to think about the normal 3D game world, but we have to do it in space while running around planets and shooting through ‘the void’.
The graphics are spot on too. This game looks almost like Odyssey when you play in handheld mode, and the controls in both instances are super easy to grasp no matter what your gaming skill level is.
Handheld Vs Docked
For me, it’s easier to play this game on the TV.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy playing handheld, but there’s so much going on in Galaxy that playing up on a big screen allows you to immerse yourself in the madness so much better.
The colours are crisp, and the graphics don’t feel stretched on a 42″ TV.
If you’re a fan of the Legend of Zelda audio CDs and other in-game soundtrack compilations, then you’ll love kicking back and listening to the classic tunes that made these three games so great.
As part of this Super Mario 3D All-Stars review, I’ve sat and listened to these tunes while guessing which level they were from and what action was happening at the time.
This is why I love my job; it’s tough, but someone’s ‘gotta do it!
The music collection is a nice touch, and while it isn’t something that I’ll be opening up every day, it still adds more value for money to this game.
I paid £49.99 for this game on pre-order through Amazon and received a £5.00 refund!
That’s basically £15 per game for three of my favourite titles of all time.
It’s safe to say that I call that incredible value for money.
Three enhanced games with rumble feature and Joycon compatibility , plus three music collections, all for £45.
You can’t go wrong with that!
I went for the cartridge option as I like to collect the cartridges and boxes, but downloading is also perfect if you’re short on space and too impatient to wait for a delivery,
Now, the game is appearing on auction sites for a heck of a lot more, and thanks to the limited production run of 3D All-Stars, your copy could be worth a pretty penny in the not-too-distant future.
I won’t be selling mine though; mucking around on Yoshi in Mario Sunshine is far too much fun!
Just make sure you buy or download a copy before March 31st 2021 as it’s going off sale then!
Being able to ‘switch’ from Super Mario 64 to Super Mario Galaxy on the same cartridge without setting up two different machines is mind-blowing for someone who has played these games on their respective devices over the years.
This game was always going to get a high score from me, and it’s a serious win for Nintendo.
What better way to celebrate 35 years of one of gamings most-loved characters than with three of the best games of all time remastered for a new generation to enjoy.
Gaming is the gift that keeps on giving, and at £15 a title, it’s a gift that’s also a bargain!
If you’re still on the fence, then I have two words for you…
… LETS’A GO!
Ok, that might technically be three, but you get the idea.
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 33 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.