In the 1990s, the transition from 2D to 3D seemed like it had to be a mandatory step for « longtime » video game companies in order to catch up with what gamers wanted. And that was nothing more than watching his favorite series making use of all the raw power of the generation machines of the time, when moving gazillions of polygons. Poor people, they didn’t know what they were asking … The success stories of those first forays into three dimensions could be counted on the fingers of the hands, with more setbacks than ideas that really worked so well, as the 2D version of those same beloved sagas. We can say, without fear of being wrong, that Super Mario 64 laid the foundations for what would be 3D platform games, becoming a video game that, today, you can enjoy without the need for state-of-the-art graphics… don’t you think so?

Well that’s what you’re here for, to find out in the Super Mario 3D All-Stars review for Nintendo Switch, our verdict for a compilation that not only houses the aforementioned immortal 64-bit classic, but also two equally glorious chapters from the 3D series. We speak, neither more nor less, than Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy, titles that showed that you can do different things, and innovate in a series, achieving playable success along the way. Well, the summer adventure of the plumber had a rather limited success in sales, because of the platform that hosted it, since Nintendo GameCube wasn’t one of the Big N’s best-selling consoles, being the penultimate desktop console in Nintendo’s sales ranking. Good luck with this compilation to find out!

How to evaluate a compilation with three of the greatest video games of all time?

Complicated task to enter to evaluate a compilation that includes what is mentioned on these lines. These are not just three of the best 3D platforms in history, but three video games that have marked millions of players, different enough, if that were not enough, to switch from one to the other and not decide which one is your favorite. And it is that, each of them, with their many pros and their few cons, became the favorite video games of countless Nintendo fans, and beyond, because these titles they were able to convince to the point of selling consoles. Thus, we will concentrate on evaluating Super Mario 3D All-Stars as a compilation itself, without sparing us talking about each of the titles that compose it, but without going into details. Thus, we will not delve into the disappointment our hero got when he arrived at Peach’s castle and see what it was going to cost him to eat the cake promised in Super Mario 64, or how vacations in the paradisiacal Isla Delfino truncated by an impostor vandal in Super Mario Sunshine, or in the precious background of the story of Princess Estela (Rosalina in other places) in Super Mario Galaxy, because there are analyzes on the net over these more than 20 years since the first of them that will get you out of all doubts.

So, what has been said, we will focus on a compilation that may have more or less value, depending on the hands it falls, there are several scenarios. In my case, take a look at this photo taken for the occasion:

Have, I have all the originals since its launch day, even Galaxy 2 that I have left out of this photo… like Nintendo has done All-Stars

And there will be players who not only played the three titles in their day, but also have both games and systems to run them, as is my case. To be honest, the announcement of Super Mario 3D All-Stars thrilled me, but not for me, but for the opportunity that would be for others in order to discover them completely, or for those who want to get rid of the thorn stuck by not having been able to enjoy any of them. Continuing with my personal case, I have to say that the three came into my life in very special moments. Super Mario 64 I keep it with great affection, because it was the beginning of a stage in which his console managed to make me do a real pineapple with my friends. Super Mario Sunshine came the year in which I started dating the one who became the mother of my son, and my wife, while Super Mario Galaxy I enjoyed it like few in the company of my super unexpectedly skilled little boy thanks to the cooperative mode, when my son was only two years old. Certainly, I start thinking about these 35 years of the Super Mario series, and I can find titles throughout my life at key moments … that’s another story, but It is still beautiful to see how the big N franchise has accompanied some of us throughout our lives.

Changes of the trio included in Super Mario 3D All-Stars

In the case of Super Mario 64, since 1997 we have had other occasions to play it, since, not only have we had other portable version in the market, with Super Mario 64 DS for Nintendo DS, adapted to a console without an analog stick, from the title that It also laid the groundwork for using the analog stick in 3D games (almost a sacrilege). To add, that remake Not only did it have more stars than the original, it was also translated into multiple languages ​​(including Spanish), and introduced other characters that were not in the original. The one that concerns us, for its part, does not go so far, because Nintendo has « settled » with offering us the original, as is, without graphic improvements along the way, beyond taking its resolution to high definition (conserving quality of the textures), renaming some buttons to match the Nintendo Switch controls (instead of « push Start « , you will see a » push + « ), and the possibility to play it in portable mode.

Surfer Mario! Hmm… this image looks weird.

Out of that, it is the same video game, and proof of this is that it even preserves the graphic « flaws » of the original version, or rather the curiosities that made possible its arrival in the first batch of Nintendo 64 releases. Take a look at this image to understand:

Super Mario in the distance about to stay still … »…

… And when it stays still. Do you see the difference in polygons?

As to Super Mario Sunshine, the first thing is to say that officially this is the first time we can play it on a console other than the Nintendo GameCube or Wii (Let’s remember what we have lost called « backward compatibility with the previous generation »). Outside of that, again it is the same game but with a function that has fallen by the way which in the original was present. In case you did not know, the L and R buttons on the GameCube controller were analog, which was translated, in the case of this video game, in controlling things like the power of the flow of the Aquac water jet, the nice and useful backpack that the plumber carries in this summer adventure. Thanks to that, you could measure the distance of the water jets, or propel yourself, in its jetpack mode, with more or less force. In this case, given the impossibility of being able to measure this without the travel of the analog buttons, In any case, the Acuac works at full power, losing something that remains a curiosity of the original, because we can play without problems even with this absence. Along the way we won a panoramic format that suits you wonderfully (Super Mario 64 does not have this possibility) and a high definition that makes you look younger for a few years … unless you stop to observe details that reveal their age.

Come to Super mario galaxy, is without a doubt the one who comes out the best of the trio in this compilation. Each video game of our hero always tries to take advantage of some key function of the platform that gave birth to the title in question. In Sunshine’s case, it was those analog triggers that we’ve lost, while the galactic adventure made heavy use of the Wiimote pointer, the Wii Remote, as well as the motion control (basically, shake the controller for certain functions). Nintendo Switch does not have the sensor bar combo and infrared pointer controls, responsible for the « magic » of the pointer, but instead makes a excellent use of the gyroscopes of the Joy-Con, or of the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, to bring the pointer back to our screens, in such a way that you will not miss the original method. To get started, no need to point to the screen (since there is no sensor bar on it) to make use of it, simply point in front of where we are positioned. Pointer running out of control? You have a button to relocate it at any time.

Some « monsters » are what the people of Nintendo’s localization department are, who give us moments as funny as running into this android

As we said, Super Mario Galaxy wins with the switch to high definition, something that is not exclusive to Nintendo Switch, since an agreement made possible its arrival at NVIDIA Shield in China, something that made this video game available on « a non-Nintendo laptop », while the subject of the pointer and the motion control, so the version of Super Mario 3D All-Stars is undoubtedly the most faithful to the original.

And it looks so good that here it could almost « almost » pass for an avant-garde game … but, if it is a matter of getting the colors out of it, we can compare it with Super Mario 3D World on Wii U (remember that it has been announced a version for Nintendo Switch) or Super Mario Odyssey to check how much Nintendo has advanced in all these years in terms of graphics. If it is in gameplay matters, each has several unique issues to offer for which the years are not so heavy.

Galaxy’s peculiar force of gravity always impresses and steals a smile the first time someone confronts it

Looking for meaning in the compilation

The main point, and perhaps what this compilation should teach us, is that the thing goes far beyond the graphics. The three video games that make up Super Mario 3D All-Stars they have such different mechanics, which make them unique and show us the good work of the Big N when it comes to pampering its franchises. The software of the Nintendo 64 era in many cases has aged very poorly, not only in graphics, but also in mechanics. Super Mario 64, although it may seem simple today, is a master level design lesson that retains its charm and is tremendously fun. Get used to your camera again, which in its day was a great innovation for this world, is perhaps the biggest challenge you will find when facing it, but certainly some levels feel « old school », from when things were not so simple . With the other couple of titles, you can see an evolution towards making things more accessible, looking for the perfect balance so as not to disappoint longtime players.

Estela’s story is told like a beautiful story. I enjoyed reading it to my son when he was little as we went on this galactic adventure

See also

Super Mario 3D All-Stars tries to be for Nintendo Switch, what Super Mario All-Stars was to Super Nintendo: A compilation of the NES « Super Mario » video games with a facelift from the 8-bit originals, as the character sprites had been redesigned for the occasion, as well as other graphic elements. Besides being the same games with a list of minimal changes (and more than changes, rather « adaptations » for the platform), what we can really hold against 3D All-Stars is that the Super Nintendo had all the episodes of « Super Mario Bros. » appeared so far, including The Lost Levels (by way of curiosity, saying Super Mario World was not included initially, but later Nintendo released an updated version called « Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World » to add it to the offer). Arrived at the Nintendo Switch compilation, we find that it covers « only » three generations of consoles (Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube and Wii), and Leave the excellent and unforgettable Super Mario Galaxy 2 out of the party. Including this title, it would have been almost like the decision to make The Lost Levels part of the original.

You have music for a while!

The icing on the cake that Nintendo wanted to place to round off this compilation and offer additional value, is that Super Mario 3D All-Stars includes the complete soundtrack of this trio of aces, with literally hours of music to enjoy anytime. That translates to a total of 175 songs spread over 36 tracks of Super Mario 64, which means more than 49 minutes of songs, 58 of Super Mario Sunshine, 1 hour and 11 minutes, and 81 of Super Mario Galaxy, which adds more than 2 hours of music! In this saga there is no game with a bad soundtrack, but we would like to emphasize that this third game that completes the compilation has one of the most spectacular ever composed, knowing how to transmit the greatness and immensity of what exploring the galaxy would involve us. It is easy to get excited listening to their melodies, sharing the sensation that the protagonist must be feeling when visiting planets, discovering new areas, playing with gravity and physics … something that we could also apply to the feeling of adventure and fun that we feel when playing Super Mario 64, or the summer heat that he knows how to transmit in the case of Super Mario Sunshine. Nintendo never neglects the music of its gameseven less when it comes to its main insignia.

Conclusion: that the years do not weigh few times is so easy

We already warned at the beginning: it is difficult to analyze a compilation that contains three of the best video games, let alone platforms, of all time. That is why in this analysis we have not focused on gutting each one of them, but its value as a compilation. That through him be the only way to enjoy all three on Nintendo Switch, is already a point in your favor. That precisely this game console has achieved worldwide success, will allow many of those who missed these 3D chapters to discover them. It will also be an opportunity to remember them for those who have not played them for years, counting on a portable factor that turns Super Mario 3D All-Stars into something round for fans of the plumber.

Glad he is, to go out for a walk again!

There are many scenarios in which deciding on it is going to be the right decision, while there will also be those who do not see much value in this compilation. For example, if you know them like the back of your hand, or you have the original games, having them all in one place may not be enough. To add that a major facelift, as in its day was given to the titles included in Super Mario All-Stars, would have further justified this product made for the 35th anniversary of the franchise, being in reality exactly the same video games, in high definition and with some necessary adaptation to make them possible on Nintendo Switch, something that ranges from adaptation of texts to include the new buttons, or the conversion of the Super Mario Galaxy pointer to be able to work with the Joy-Con or Pro Controller ( keep an eye on the controls without this function), even the absence of analog triggers to make Super Mario Sunshine possible as we knew it on the Nintendo GameCube. And then there will be those who have the thorn stuck for not having included Super Mario Galaxy 2 in the proposal, a video game very close to the first installment, and deserving of a place in this compilation … but, be that as it may, we cannot detract from Super Mario 3D All-Stars as the compilation that gives us the opportunity to play these great timeless classics, anywhere we want, thanks to Nintendo Switch, and let alone the hours of fun that it holds inside. Whether you knew them, or if you are new to them, they are a trio of essentials for all lovers of platform video games.


We have analyzed Super Mario 3D All-Stars in version 1.0.0 thanks to a download code provided by Nintendo Spain

A compilation of timelessly round 3D platforms

For many early 3D games, the years weigh so heavily that it is almost embarrassing to look them in the face. This is not the case with Super Mario 64, which thanks to this compilation called Super Mario 3D All-Stars allows us to once again enjoy the title that laid the foundations for three-dimensional platforms. It is an excellent opportunity to play it again, or discover it, just as it happens with both Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy, games with such unique characteristics and mechanics, that switching from one to another really makes you feel like you are playing something completely different. and, in turn, tremendously funny and witty. This is a compilation of enormous value, except for those who may know these titles like the back of their hand, or already have them. Being able to enjoy them wherever you want is a winning card.


Three of the best video games in history, let alone 3D platforms, in one place

A compilation that is tremendously enjoyed in portable mode

Excellent adaptation of Wii controls in Super Mario Galaxy


The biggest « against » is the decision not to have included Super Mario Galaxy 2

In Super Mario 64, the HD adaptation could have gone further. Graphically, overall, it feels like more could have been done

If you own all three games, the consoles where to enjoy them, and you know them like the back of your hand, you may not be interested