‘Super Mario Bros. Wonder’ is Pure Platforming Perfection

When Nintendo first pulled back the curtain Super Mario Bros Wonder, I was admitted, with a little disappointment. To be clear, that’s not a reflection of the game’s reveal trailer, or for that matter, 2D-sidescrolling Mario games in general. Rather, I was just hoping that the next mainline Mario game would be a stellar follow-up Game Super Mario Odysseylike how we got Tears of the Kingdom earlier this year.

What I didn’t expect was that Super Mario Bros Wonder it would blow me away. It may be limited to two dimensions, but the latest Mario is full of novel ideas, interesting types, and hours and hours of platforming joy.

At first glance, Super Mario Bros Wonder It’s very similar to the mustachioed plumber’s 2D side-scrolling games on the Wii and Wii U. Mario and co. that his repertoire of tricks is usual; ground pounds, wall jumpers, and the ever so common platform controls are present and accounted for. What has changed is, well, just about everything else.

screenshot via Nintendo

Nintendo certainly isn’t afraid to stray from genre conventions, and Wonder Flowers is proof of that. These collectibles are hidden throughout the levels, and when collected, the landscape around you changes and warps. Sometimes, these changes will be permanent, other times, there is a time limit attached, but their main purpose is to allow you to track and find Wonder Seeds, which are used to unlock levels and progress from world to world. And don’t worry, you won’t have to collect every hidden Wonder Seed, seeing as you’ll also be rewarded for completing a level.

Wonder Flowers runs the gamut; some may add environmental obstacles, others may add pipes and other objects in a live level, and some may completely change the way a level is played. On one level, to collect the Wonder Flower transforms the ground you are on into a huge snowball, rolling that goes on to the barrel on, destroying the rest of the level – flag included. Otherwise, the game’s perspective shifts to a top-down, old-school Zelda game.

Wonder Flowers (and their effects) are easily the highlight Super Mario Bros Wonder, and while restrictions on pre-launch coverage mean we can’t talk about them all, I wouldn’t want to, if I’m honest. There are so many surprises, surprises, and — dare I say it — amazing moments packed into this game, my suggestion to anyone who picks this up is to go in as blind as possible.

screenshot via Nintendo

For anyone thinking that Super Mario Bros Wonder banking only on Wonder Flowers, think again. There is so much charm and character packed into every inch of this game. Despite Mario being a completely new actor (we’ll never forget you, Charles Martinet), the iconic plumber is as expressive as ever, and I let out a few laughs the first time I saw him crawling into a pipe warp, or almost forget his hat while moving to a new part of the level. If you’ve seen any trailers for the game, you may have also noticed the talking flowers. These little guys don’t really change the gameplay minute to minute, but they do so charming, whether they’re expressing dismay at what’s going on around you, or offering a few words of encouragement. My favorite addition though? That probably has to go to the drumroll crash and a new cymbal that plays every time you land a pound. I don’t know how we survived without it all these years, but now, I don’t want it to go away.

Earlier, I mentioned how her heart Super Mario Bros Wonder is rooted in the established mechanics of the franchise, and that’s certainly true. That said, there are plenty of new items and abilities that we haven’t seen before. Aside from the Super Mechs and Fire Flowers, Mario and the gang have a few new tricks. The Elephant Fruit is a clear highlight, morphing your chosen character into a large, fountain-like elephant that can draw up water and clear enemies and blocks thanks to your newfound trunk. The Bubble Flower, on the other hand, is a bit more defensive, allowing you to shoot out bubbles that can be bounced off and capture and trap enemies.

screenshot via Nintendo

The amount of accessibility mechanics is surprising, given Nintendo’s somewhat lackluster track record. I say “mechanics,” and not “options,” because these aren’t simple toggles you can turn off and on in the game’s menu. Instead, Super Mario Bros Wonder it gives you access to badges, many of which can be used to give the player new abilities that make the whole experience more manageable for less skilled or differently-abled players. The Parachute Cap badge is my go-to, seeing as it allows you to slowly descend when you fall, but the Vine Grappling badge, which lets you throw out a vine that can latch onto walls, quickly came to be another choice of mine. Some provide a helping hand (like the Rescue Bounce badge, which lets you recover from bottomless pits and lava pools), and you also have the option to play as one of the many Yoshis, or Nabbits of different colors, who have immunity all. causing damage.

I’m not entirely sure if Nintendo has any FromSoftware fans, but I sure bet money on it. Super Mario Bros Wonder seems to be inspired by the Soulsborne games, at least when it comes to online interaction. While true co-op is limited to local multiplayer, you’ll occasionally jump into a level and run into other players’ shadow versions, which can be pre-recorded playthroughs of another player beating the level, or an actual player that just happens. to be playing on the same course. You can’t interact with them directly, but they are able to revive you if you get KO’d, or share item balloons if one of you needs a power-up.

screenshot via Nintendo

Each player also has the ability to gently drop a cardboard standee for themselves in a level. Your own positions cannot revive you, but they can be used to revive others, and vice versa. I can safely say that other players have saved my bacon more than once with a well-placed standee, and there have been several instances where out-of-the-way standees have given me enough of a clue to find a secret item or hide course event. If you can fight some friends, you can also join an online lobby, which allows everyone to see a shadow version of their friends. And although you can not play through levels together on the internet, you can compete with up to three others in Friend Races to see who can complete the course the fastest.

So yes, Super Mario Bros Wonder maybe the 3D follow-up didn’t exist Game Super Mario Odyssey that I am praying for, but it has really provided me with something better – a rekindled love for the side-scrolling platformer. Super Mario Bros Wonder It is, without a doubt, the best 2D Mario game since Game Super Mario World hit store shelves more than 30 years ago. Two Wonder which happens to be the last Mario platformer to friends of the Nintendo Switch, then it will go down as a swan for the ages.

This review is based on the Nintendo Switch version of the game. Nintendo provided a review copy.

High Honors

Super Mario Bros. is a masterpiece. Wonder, which offers some of the most inventive, fun and creative platforming action the genre has ever seen. It may have taken three decades, but Super Mario World has finally been dethroned.

Super Mario Bros Wonder

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