A reader is upset at the Switch’s recently announced Super Mario remasters and lays out five ways Nintendo could’ve improved them.
Considering it’s been rumoured for months, and Nintendo has barely had anything new out all year, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to describe Super Mario 3D All-Stars as a disappointment. These are classic games (well, Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy are) and of course they should be available in their original form on current Nintendo hardware, but that’s not exactly a difficult thing to do.
None of these remasters seem to do anything more complicated than swap in a few (a very few by the looks of it) higher resolution textures. It looks like the sort of thing that would take weeks to sort out, not months or years, and yet apparently this reveal has been pushed back until the last minute and they’ve missed the 13 September release date they were aiming for. But why? What is there in any of these remasters that would’ve taken more than a couple of people a few weeks of work to sort out?
Maybe I’m oversimplifying things but I don’t think so, not when you consider Activision managed to recreate Crash Bandicoot from scratch with a complete remake of all three original titles that cost just £35. By comparison Nintendo didn’t do much more than slap three ROMs onto a cartridge and yet they’re charging £50! It’s come to something when Activision are not only offering a better product than Nintendo but better value for money.
To be honest, the more I worked on this feature the angrier I’ve got about it, given everything that could’ve been done but wasn’t. And before anyone bothers mentioning the pandemic please don’t. You don’t co-ordinate a massive 35th anniversary celebration across multiple different industries – from clothing to Kinder eggs – in six months. This was started way before the pandemic, so this is all it was ever meant to be.
I’ll tell you what I think it should’ve been though and really, this is just the tip of the iceberg:
1. Remake Super Mario 64
Seriously. Half the work is already done in Super Mario Odyssey anyway, as anyone will know who’s played that level. Super Mario 64 is one of the most important video games of all time and it deserved the Crash Bandicoot treatment at the very minimum. Completely new, modern graphics and a revamped camera – which if it’s not changed is going to seem very old-fashioned and stop many newer players form appreciating the game. But they don’t seem to have done that at all, they haven’t even bothered to give it a widescreen mode.
2. Finish Super Mario Sunshine
This should’ve been a given as well, as everyone who remembers it from the first time around will know that Super Mario Sunshine was rushed out and, like Zelda: The Wind Waker, the whole last third of the game was a hurried mess of repetitive objectives and nothing like the imagination of the first two-thirds. It clearly wasn’t finished properly and yet here was the perfect opportunity to change and improve it, and stop it from being regarded as the black sheep in the 3D Mario family. Nintendo have had 18 years to work out what they should’ve done and yet they’ve completely ignored the opportunity.
3. Include Super Mario Galaxy 2
Why is Super Mario Galaxy 2, the best video game – and certainly the best Mario game – ever made not in this compilation? It’s the newest game so it needs no major changes to the graphics (and based on how they’re treating the first one wouldn’t have got it anyway) so the amount of effort to include it was miniscule. But no, not only is it not part of the package but the Nintendo event tried to erase it from history in their medley of highlights from the series, as if willing everyone to forget it ever existed.
4. Add something new
When Super Mario 64 was remade for the DS they added a ton of extra content, including three new playable characters. And this was on the DS, where the game barely ran properly in the first place. On the Switch they’ve added… widescreen support to Super Mario Sunshine. That is legitimately the only new feature that has been added as far as Nintendo has said. Why not add that DS content to the remaster? Why not create new content? Add new worlds to the other games? Dig up some of the abandoned ideas that never made it in, like the co-op mode and more Yoshi for Super Mario 64. Do something, anything to justify that £50!
5. Provide some context
For some reason, the announcement for Super Mario 3D All-Stars spent the longest time explaining that you could listen to the soundtrack separately, or when the Switch is off. Wow, amazing. That’s all you’re adding to the game? You didn’t think some sort of documentary or behind the scenes info, or interactive museum of Mario memorabilia, might have been in order? Anything to prove this wasn’t just whipped up in the intern’s lunch break? No, apparently not. Oh well, I guess I’m not going to bother to pre-order then.
By reader Onibee
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