Super Mario All-Stars: 25th Anniversary Edition Reader Review
Never meet your childhood heroes – you’ll only leave disappointed. These words were constantly at the back of my head as I loaded All Stars into my beloved Wii. I had played all these games in my youth and have nothing but fond memories of the adventures I had with the rotund plumber but Super Mario All Stars is a collection of classic Mario NES games updated with SNES graphics and sound, all on one disc: the important Super Mario Bros, the insidiously difficult Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels, the underrated Super Mario Bros 2, and the epic Super Mario Bros 3. Surely I have nothing to worry about. The games themselves offer up an instant shot of nostalgia. Even before gaining control of your portly plumber, you may realise that a smile has planted itself across your face. Such is the power of Mario. It’s amazing at how quickly it all comes rushing back: the warp pipes, the power-ups, the strategies, the music; pure childhood bliss. What I forgot, however, was that these games are notoriously difficult. The fact that the physics have been changed from the original NES games doesn’t help the issue. Mario and friends seem heavier, less nimble versions of themselves. While this doesn’t break the experience I can’t help but wonder if the games really needed these changes? My recommendation would be to rather sink the cash into the Virtual Console versions. Sometimes perfection shouldn’t be tampered with. Having said that, however, I’d love to see a remake of these games using the New Super Mario Bros Wii game engine.
As for the package as a whole, I was surprised to see the classic “Mario Red” packaging not only houses the Wii disc with the four legendary Mario adventures, but also included is a collectable full colour booklet showing rarely seen concept art as well as a superb soundtrack featuring classic tunes and instantly recognisable sound effects from the Mario universe – perfect for tricking out your cell phone with Mario goodness. I personally have a “Mario death tune” as a message tone. Every time I get a text, anyone in the vicinity is bound by law to make a comment about how much they love Mario.
These games are pure gold with solid memorable game play. Whether it’s reliving the stomping of that first Goomba’s poor little head in Super Mario Bros, to the first gawking of the innovative, colourful World Map in Super Mario Bros 3, I was glad to have had these games build the foundation of my gaming career. Owning this remarkable collection would be a suitable addition to any Mario fanatic’s game library and I am glad to report that meeting my childhood hero was not a disappointment but a remarkable chance to relive my childhood, although I think I’ll stick to the virtual consol versions for purity sake.