Is it a new game? Is it a remix? No, it’s-a me, Mario!
To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the first release of Super Mario Bros, Nintendo ported three of the most popular 3D Mario games onto the Nintendo Switch: Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy.
Essentially, the idea of the release is to allow fans to play previously console-exclusive games all on a single handheld device. Added by the updated graphics and mechanics, the game fulfills the long-time requests of fans of the Super Mario series from including the N64’s Super Mario 64 to Wii’s Super Mario Galaxy.
While some fans are content with the release due to particular feelings of nostalgia towards their childhood games, with the lack of updated content or technical improvements, the collection serves as another example of Nintendo’s growing interest in capitalizing on its older iconic franchises.
To begin, this demand for older Nintendo games to be remastered in newer consoles stemmed from the frustrations of having to deal with outdated equipment and systems to play early games. With Super Mario 3D All-Star’s release, the switch over has been shown to improve certain aspects of “specific” games. For example, Mario Galaxy on the Nintendo Switch can run at 1080p resolution at 60FPS, which is considered a significant improvement compared to the quality in its original console.
On the other hand, even with these improvements, almost nothing about Super Mario 64’s graphics has changed, particularly the aspect ratio still being at 4:3. While it is understandable that Nintendo might have wanted to keep everything original for older fans, it is not a valid excuse to deliver an unpolished game. What is worse is the fact that fan developers themselves could put Super Mario 64 on the graphics of the Switch. What does this say about the work ethics at Nintendo, when their customers are doing their jobs better? Was this just a one-time exception, or will future ported games always be subjected to negligence?
In addition, even though Nintendo is fulfilling the demands of their consumers, like many other games, the collection leaves more to be desired. The fact that widely popular 3D Mario games, such as Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Super Mario 3D Land, were not included in the anniversary collection is a major upset to the fandom. Sure, one can argue that 3D Land was made specifically for the Nintendo 3DS, but it is the same for the games that were ported. In fact, it comes off more than lazy on Nintendo’s end as Super Mario Galaxy 2, the sequel to Super Mario Galaxy, was left out of the picture even though both games were exclusive to the Nintendo Wii. This begs the question: did they simply run out of time, or did they just want to increase their profits?
Speaking of profit, how many coins are they trying to collect with this kind of marketing strategy?
Like before, it has always been within expectations that Nintendo will one day capitalize on its popular content from beyond the Super Nintendo Entertainment System generation. For example, with the release of All-Stars, the limited-edition value put on the assemblage of these fan-favorite games is Nintendo’s strategy on opting for the minimum while pricing for the absolute maximum.
While this is to prevent low sales at the start of the release, this anti-consumer practice causes many players to be frustrated with Nintendo’s indecision to announce any news of re-releasing the games at a later time.
However, it should be noted that Nintendo has used this strategy of releasing a lackluster game to sell more add-ons for players, as seen in its approach to Pokemon Sword and Shield. As a result, who is to say that they are completely done with the 3D All-Star? Perhaps in a couple of years after the so-called “limited time,” they release an All-Star deluxe, complete with every 3D game with extra content like they did with Mario 3D World’s Bower’s Fury.
“But that’s just a theory, a game theory.” -Matthew Robert Patrick
Ultimately, it is a troubling case when it comes to Nintendo as their company has provided millions of people quality entertainment with well-known titles, such as Mario and Zelda. With Nintendo fans pulling out their wallets for anything the company releases, it is difficult to say when Nintendo will attempt to experiment or “go out of their comfort zone.”
But, until then, players can only watch as Nintendo continues to release their older games, whether for the better or not.