Wii

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Super Mario All-Stars

by Pedro Hernandez - December 17, 2010, 2:29 pm PST
Total comments: 34

6

Everything old is old again in Mario's silver anniversary package.

Would you believe that the original Super Mario Bros. release is a quarter of a century old? Yes, in 1985, Nintendo released Super Mario Bros. for the Famicom (as the NES was known in Japan). While technically not his first game (that honor goes to Donkey Kong in the arcades), it was the game that defined the franchise and made it one of Nintendo's most prestigious series ever. The company has been celebrating the milestone in 2010 with new Wii and DS bundles, special events around the world, and the re-release of Super Mario All-Stars in a special limited edition package that sparkles in presentation, but lacks substance.

Super Mario All-Stars was originally released for the Super Nintendo in 1993. It featured four of Mario's NES titles with updated graphics and a save option. These games were Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels, which was released in North America for the first time in the package.

Super Mario Bros. was a groundbreaking title that defined accessible gameplay while never sacrificing challenge. You control Mario through eight worlds, battling Bowser and his minions at the end of each one in hopes of rescuing Princess Peach. Despite how simple it was, almost everything about the game is now a staple of the gaming industry, becoming synonymous with the Nintendo brand.

Both Super Mario Bros. 2 and The Lost Levels share an interesting story behind their existence. The Lost Levels was in actuality the real sequel to Super Mario Bros., and was released in Japan in 1986. When it came time to release the game in North America Nintendo decided that the game would be too hard for American players, so instead they took a game called Doki Doki Panic and changed the sprites so it would feature the Mario characters, while the core gameplay remained the same.

The Lost Levels plays identically to Super Mario Bros., but it is a far more challenging game thanks to new additions like the poison mushroom, clever level design and enemy placement. The Lost Levels also has the option of playing as Luigi, who plays differently from Mario in that he can jump higher, but he has a hard time stopping, which affects the completion of a level significantly.

Super Mario Bros. 2, or Super Mario Bros. USA as it would be known in Japan, tells the story of how Mario and friends entered a world of dreams called the Subcon, and had to save its inhabitants from the clutches of King Wart. When compared to the original Super Mario Bros., the difference in gameplay was like night and day. Rather than stomping on enemies to defeat them, you have to jump on top of them, grab them and toss them onto other enemies. In addition, this was one of the first times you could play as Mario's other friends, Peach and Toad, along with Luigi. Each character played differently, and at times, success depended on which character you selected. Mario is the all-around character, Luigi can jump the highest, Toad is the strongest and Peach is the weakest but can float after jumping. Although it was drastically different from the other early Mario games, Super Mario Bros. 2 was the predecessor to many ideas that would become part of the Mario franchise, such as Peach's abilities and characters such as Birdo and the Shy Guys.

Super Mario Bros. 3 is undeniably one of the most beloved games in the series. For many, it is the true sequel to the first game, as it took the concept behind classic Mario gameplay and expanded upon it in terms of features. Super Mario Bros. 3 would be the first Mario game to use power-ups in the form of costumes. The magic leaf turns Mario into Raccoon Mario, which allows him to temporarily fly and discover new levels. Other costumes, such as the frog suit and the Tanooki suit, were also introduced, and they were a very fun mechanic that would be later used in many later Mario games. The level design is also spectacular, featuring far more varied levels than the two previous games. Such was the impact of this game that the movie “The Wizard” featured it as a way to hype the release.

All four games retain the same, classic gameplay while featuring new, 16-bit graphics and an updated soundtrack. The graphics are indeed a step above the original NES incarnations, adding details such as the night sky in Super Mario Bros., and the foregrounds and backgrounds in the other Mario titles. Ultimately, what matters is the gameplay, and Super Mario All-Stars respects that legacy. You can also save your progress, a feature not available in the original games, which is greatly appreciated.

So, what about the Wii version? This re-release is basically the original ROM pressed onto a disc. What I mean is that this is the exact same game you played in 1993. so despite what the package says this is just a simple re-release. If you play this game on a widescreen TV, it will automatically be formatted to a 4:3 display, something that might upset the owners of these TVs. In terms of control, you can use the Wii Remote on its side to play it like an NES controller, along with the Classic Controller or GameCube controller.

That's not to say that some thought didn't go into the package. As I detailed in a blog post, the game comes in a beautiful package that includes a soundtrack CD featuring ten Mario songs from each game he's been in as well as classic sound effects, and a booklet that details the creation of each game according to its creators. It is indeed a nice package that adds some value to the title, but it might not be enough to convince you to play this game again.

Speaking of which, that's the other problem with this title. Since its release in 1993, Nintendo has re-released the All-Stars version of these titles on the Game Boy Advance. Not to mention that the original NES titles can be downloaded on the Wii's Virtual Console. So if you owned these titles and played them immensely, then this re-release will not be as appealing. Finally, there was a version of All-Stars that included Super Mario World, and it’s disappointing that it wasn't the version included in this package.

So in the end, the value of the game lies in whether you want to invest once more in these classic Mario titles. The special features are minimal, and the game is exactly as you remember it from 1993, which in turn were very close to how you remembered them during the NES days. These may be some of the greatest games ever made, but this package isn't worth double dipping for again.

Summary

Pros
  • Beautiful anniversary package
  • Excellent 16-bit graphics and sound
  • Four great games
  • Multiple control options
  • Save feature
Cons
  • Forced 4:3 display
  • It's the exact, same game from 1993
  • Limited bonus features

Talkback

MorariDecember 17, 2010

Didn't the original SNES version come with Super Mario World?

The regular release didn't, but there was a special limited system pack-in version that did.

TJ SpykeDecember 18, 2010

Correct. The original game came out in 1993, they re-released it in 1994/5 with Super Mario World. The only changes to SMW is that they altered Luigi's sprite to make him taller and thinner than Mario (rather than just a color swap like in the original SMW release).

TurdFurgyDecember 18, 2010

A review AND a history lesson, way to go the extra mile

I would love to have Super Mario All-Stars on my Wii. I would not love to pay $30 for it and put in a disc every time.

Kytim89December 18, 2010

I want it on virtual console for $15.

TJ SpykeDecember 18, 2010

And i'd like sex with Polina Dimovska, but it ain't gonna happen. Even if they did release it on VC, there is 0% chance it would be as low as $15.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 18, 2010

Quote from: TJ

And i'd like sex with Polina Dimovska, but it ain't gonna happen. Even if they did release it on VC, there is 0% chance it would be as low as $15.

And that's why I bet they didn't include Super Mario World in the package. They didn't want this package get in the way of VC sales. Which is stupid because many companies release compilations alongside individual VC releases, like Sega and SNK.

TJ SpykeDecember 18, 2010

I agree. I don't want anyone thinking I wouldn't like to see it on VC, I just think that it is unrealistic and realized this back when VC was announced. I haven't bought certain Sega games I know I would like because I can just play them on Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection. SNK Playmore have released several games both on VC and the retail Wii game SNK Arcade Classics: Volume 1.

AdrockDecember 18, 2010

More importantly, we need to talk more about this Polina Dimovska.

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Staff AlumnusDecember 18, 2010

4 years ago when they started releasing the original NES games on the then-new Virtual Console, I, like many others wondered if they would eventually release All Stars using that service, possibly for a few more points. I held off for a while, but after waiting for so long I gave up and started buying the originals.


Much like Capcom and all the versions of Street Fighter 2 on VC, (why not just release Super Street Fighter or Turbo first?) Nintendo opted for the greedy option.
But even worse than releasing it as a super-late VC title that basically makes you feel like you wasted points on the original versions, they put the 16mb file on a 4.7gb disk for $30!


Boo'urns - no purchase for me.

Kytim89December 18, 2010

Quote from: TJ

And i'd like sex with Polina Dimovska, but it ain't gonna happen. Even if they did release it on VC, there is 0% chance it would be as low as $15.


Me to.  ;D

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 18, 2010

Quote from: famicomplicated

But even worse than releasing it as a super-late VC title that basically makes you feel like you wasted points on the original versions, they put the 16mb file on a 4.7gb disk for $30!

This.

This is what bothers me the most about this title. They have all this disk space to work with, and this was the best they could do? They could have included All-Stars, Mario World and maybe Mario 64, a quick demo for Galaxy 2, video interviews, music samples, images, maybe a few more mini-games and even more stuff... But no.

AVDecember 18, 2010

Quote from: NWR_pap64

Quote from: famicomplicated

But even worse than releasing it as a super-late VC title that basically makes you feel like you wasted points on the original versions, they put the 16mb file on a 4.7gb disk for $30!

This.

This is what bothers me the most about this title. They have all this disk space to work with, and this was the best they could do? They could have included All-Stars, Mario World and maybe Mario 64, a quick demo for Galaxy 2, video interviews, music samples, images, maybe a few more mini-games and even more stuff... But no.

I agree 100%. I really wish Nintendo listened to me:
Super Mario Brothers Collection Special Pack Wishlist


I'm not a fan of the CD either. Fucken SFX on the CD too? Really thats lame.

Who is this Polina Dimovska?

I just picked up a copy today at Sears because I'm a consumer whore, but the soundtrack and art book won me over. It's a very nice package deal, I suppose, but now I own every version of SMB3 every released: NES, SNES (All-Stars), GBA, Virtual Console, and now Wii.

TJ SpykeDecember 18, 2010

Quote from: Halbred

Who is this Polina Dimovska?

A Bulgarian model who's biggest attribute is her large breast size. she posed for some country's version of Maxim magazine (which apparently allows nudity, unlike the US version).

lolmonadeDecember 18, 2010

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I would love to have Super Mario All-Stars on my Wii. I would not love to pay $30 for it and put in a disc every time.

Agree with the price.  I would not want to pay for VC games and then have to re-buy them if the wii breaks beyond repair.

AdrockDecember 18, 2010

Like I said in the other thread, I just felt like this was a wasted opportunity. Mario is the most recognizable character is video games. This could have been an amazing collection. If you're going to do a limited edition collector's package, go all out! If Nintendo updated the graphics and music for ALL past 2D Mario games, including Super Mario Land 1 and 2, put in some interviews, behind the scenes footage, a Mario history featurette shedding light on rare and canceled games (some people don't know there was a canceled Mario Land game on Virtual Boy and I'd, personally, love to hear more about that), this could have easily sold for $100. Most of us would pay it too. It would be pricey, sure, but people are willing to pay a premium for premium content. I guess that's besides the point since many of us, including myself, bought it anyway and all of this is pure profit for Nintendo.

Quote from: TJ

Quote from: Halbred

Who is this Polina Dimovska?

A Bulgarian model who's biggest attribute is her large breast size. she posed for some country's version of Maxim magazine (which apparently allows nudity, unlike the US version).

*ears perk up*

Quick, Robin! To the Googlemobile!

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 18, 2010

Quote from: Adrock

Like I said in the other thread, I just felt like this was a wasted opportunity. Mario is the most recognizable character is video games. This could have been an amazing collection. If you're going to do a limited edition collector's package, go all out! If Nintendo updated the graphics and music for ALL past 2D Mario games, including Super Mario Land 1 and 2, put in some interviews, behind the scenes footage, a Mario history featurette shedding light on rare and canceled games (some people don't know there was a canceled Mario Land game on Virtual Boy and I'd, personally, love to hear more about that), this could have easily sold for $100. Most of us would pay it too. It would be pricey, sure, but people are willing to pay a premium for premium content. I guess that's besides the point since many of us, including myself, bought it anyway and all of this is pure profit for Nintendo.

Hell, all of what you mentioned could have been included and still the game would have been priced at 30 bucks. If Nintendo wanted to save money, they could have easily included past video segments from the Nintendo Channel from all regions. All images could have easily been converted and included in the disc, and a lot more ROMs could have easily been adding and it STILL would have been pure profit for them.

Here's what frustrates me: Sonic has been in apparent decline for years now, and Sega hasn't been caring about the quality of his games for a while (though that is changing with Sonic 4 and Colors). And yet, Sega goes all out with his classic games collections. Sonic Gems Collections was amazing and filled with a lot of content. Same with Sonic Classic Collection and the Genesis collection for the 360 and PS3.

Meanwhile, Nintendo, who is on top at the moment, has Mario, a character that is still selling games and consoles and is still beloved in the industry. What did they give him? An old SNES ROM burned onto a DVD, a nice box, booklet and CD.
'
Sad that the "inferior" mascot gets better treatment than the character that nurtured a generation of gamers.

I am gonna stop because I could easily dive into a big Nintendo rant, but boy does this ever frustrate me.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 18, 2010

Quote from: NWR_pap64

Meanwhile, Nintendo, who is on top at the moment,

Winner, winner.  Why go through all the extra effort to sell something?  Nintendo isn't like SEGA and desperate for the cash.  Besides, even without the extra effort, this'll probably outsell any of the various Sonic collections (assuming Nintendo prints enough copies)...

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 18, 2010

Quote from: UncleBob

Quote from: NWR_pap64

Meanwhile, Nintendo, who is on top at the moment,

Winner, winner.  Why go through all the extra effort to sell something?  Nintendo isn't like SEGA and desperate for the cash.  Besides, even without the extra effort, this'll probably outsell any of the various Sonic collections (assuming Nintendo prints enough copies)...

It definitely has in Japan at least. It was on the top ten in Japan last week according to Media Create.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 18, 2010

Amazon had ~800 copies in earlier today.  Sold out in about four hours.

Luigi DudeDecember 18, 2010

Within a year we had New Super Mario Bros Wii and Super Mario Galaxy 2 released.  Everyone needs to just pretend that those games were Nintendo's real way of celebrating his 25th anniversary.  I'd say there's no better way to celebrate then by releasing 2 brand new amazing Mario platformers within 6 months of each other, which just so happens to be 6 months away from his 25th anniversary.

Yeah I know Nintendo didn't plan it like that, but if you pretend they did then it actually does make it look like Nintendo really made a big deal out of the event instead of just lazily dumping a small SNES ROM on a full DVD leaving over 99% of the disc blank.

AdrockDecember 18, 2010

Quote from: UncleBob

Winner, winner.  Why go through all the extra effort to sell something?  Nintendo isn't like SEGA and desperate for the cash.  Besides, even without the extra effort, this'll probably outsell any of the various Sonic collections (assuming Nintendo prints enough copies)...

This was true 17 years ago. Nintendo could have sold Super Mario All-Stars by just packaging the original 4 games without the updated graphics, sound, and music and it still would have sold millions. Why go through all the extra effort? Because you're likely to make more money that way.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 18, 2010

Quote from: Adrock

This was true 17 years ago. Nintendo could have sold Super Mario All-Stars by just packaging the original 4 games without the updated graphics, sound, and music and it still would have sold millions. Why go through all the extra effort? Because you're likely to make more money that way.

It wasn't that way 17 years ago.  Nintendo and SEGA were fighting tooth and nail in the Genesis/SNES era.

AdrockDecember 18, 2010

I was commenting specifically on: Why go through all the extra effort to sell something? My bad.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 18, 2010

Ah.  My point was that this title is going to sell, regardless.  In fact, I'd say Nintendo is going to make more money off this no-frills release at $30 than they would have if they had redesigned the individual titles and sold the collection at $50.  So why bother to redesign everything?  If nothing else, they can sell the All-Stars version today, then redesign them tomorrow - and sell them twice (doesn't that sound very Nintendo-like?).

17 years ago, though, that wasn't the case.  People went crazy over All-Stars - I really wonder how many systems that promotion sold - remember, they didn't just sell the game in stores - but they also gave it away with new system purchases!  Nintendo made money, hand over fist with this promotion back in the day - and I wouldn't be surprised if someone had access to the numbers and the time to deal with it could go back and see if this wasn't about the same time period the SNES really got a boost over the Genesis.  Remember, the Genesis was actually outselling the SNES for awhile.  The remaking of the games wasn't just to sell games - it was to move systems and give the SNES the kick it needed.

AdrockDecember 18, 2010

Quote from: UncleBob

Ah.  My point was that this title is going to sell, regardless.  In fact, I'd say Nintendo is going to make more money off this no-frills release at $30 than they would have if they had redesigned the individual titles and sold the collection at $50.  So why bother to redesign everything?  If nothing else, they can sell the All-Stars version today, then redesign them tomorrow - and sell them twice (doesn't that sound very Nintendo-like?).

Certainly, it would sell regardless. However, I believe Nintendo would have made more money by remaking each game and selling at $50. For simplicity's sake, let's say the game sells 1 million copies, that's $20 million dollars. Re-selling costs Nintendo $0, but remaking the game wouldn't cost anywhere near $20 million. After recouping development costs, everything else is pure profit. Also, consider that more people would have likely bought an upgraded All-Stars since that seems to be the major deterrent for most people who didn't buy Super Mario All-Stars on Wii.

Still, you're right. Nintendo will likely remake them again at some point, probably next generation so they can all it Super Mario Collection HD. I just hope they'd consider remaking every 2D Mario.

lolmonadeDecember 18, 2010

Quote from: Adrock

Quote from: UncleBob

Ah.  My point was that this title is going to sell, regardless.  In fact, I'd say Nintendo is going to make more money off this no-frills release at $30 than they would have if they had redesigned the individual titles and sold the collection at $50.  So why bother to redesign everything?  If nothing else, they can sell the All-Stars version today, then redesign them tomorrow - and sell them twice (doesn't that sound very Nintendo-like?).

Certainly, it would sell regardless. However, I believe Nintendo would have made more money by remaking each game and selling at $50. For simplicity's sake, let's say the game sells 1 million copies, that's $20 million dollars. Re-selling costs Nintendo $0, but remaking the game wouldn't cost anywhere near $20 million. After recouping development costs, everything else is pure profit. Also, consider that more people would have likely bought an upgraded All-Stars since that seems to be the major deterrent for most people who didn't buy Super Mario All-Stars on Wii.

Still, you're right. Nintendo will likely remake them again at some point, probably next generation so they can all it Super Mario Collection HD. I just hope they'd consider remaking every 2D Mario.


I think penny arcade sums up pretty clearly who Nintendo is catering to when releasing this edition.

Jokes aside, I see the release being more geared towards kids and new gamers.  Think about it this way: Many parents are uninformed, and go with what they know.  They know the Wii because of the co-workers who rave about wii sports, so they buy it thinking it could be a family activity.  Then once they grow tired of that game, they might buy the old mario game collection because they know it's safe for their kids to play and it's also cheap (compared to typical retail prices).  Most parents also might not bother with any internet connectivity on their Wii, so they may not know of the shop channel, or would prefer physical formats.

Nintendo knows their business better than anyone.  If they can get young people to become Nintendo loyalists, then they will be able to keep them coming for at least another console generation (hey, it worked on me and I assume other people on this site), and what better ambassador than the fantastic original collection of mario games for the NES?

Mop it upDecember 18, 2010

Looking at New Super Mario Brothers Wii, I'd bet that a New Super Mario Brothers All-Stars (All four games remade in NSMB style with 4-player multiplayer) would have also been a 10+ million seller. And it would have been an incredibly easy project to create, seeing as how fast fans recreated the old games using homebrew.

Quote from: UncleBob

Amazon had ~800 copies in earlier today.  Sold out in about four hours.

Are you sure that some of those didn't go to fill pre-orders? My pre-order didn't ship until yesterday (the day you posted this).

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 18, 2010

That's *possible* - but I added "999" copies to my cart that instantly got bumped down to ~7XX copies.  Then, refreshing through the day (and going by posts on CAG), it slowly sold down.

Mop it upDecember 20, 2010

Ah, I was wondering how you knew how many copies they had left. Clever.

ThePermDecember 21, 2010

you know if you type Polina Dimovska in google you get more TJ than the girl.  It probably isn't that difficult, try harder before you give up. :P

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Wii

Game Profile

Super Mario 25th Anniversary Special Edition Box Art

Genre Action
Developer Nintendo
Players1 - 2
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Super Mario All-Stars
Release Dec 12, 2010
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone
jpn: Super Mario Collection Special Pack
Release Oct 21, 2010
PublisherNintendo
eu: Super Mario All-Stars
Release Dec 03, 2010
PublisherNintendo
Rating3+
aus: Super Mario All-Stars
Release Dec 02, 2010
PublisherNintendo
RatingGeneral
kor: Super Mario 25th Anniversary Special Edition
Release Dec 11, 2010
PublisherNintendo

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