Mario’s never been one to turn down a shindig–one need only look at the numerous Mario Parties he’s thrown over the years for proof of that–but his anniversary is one occasion that is rarely celebrated. His 25th anniversary was marked with a Wii re-release of Super Mario All-Stars, of all things–hardly the most auspicious way to commemorate such a remarkable milestone. This year, however, Nintendo is giving Mario a more fitting anniversary tribute, headlining the festivities with Super Mario 3D All-Stars, a Switch compilation featuring a trio of the plumber’s most influential adventures: N64’s Super Mario 64, GameCube’s Super Mario Sunshine, and Wii’s Super Mario Galaxy.
But while Mario 3D All-Stars is ostensibly a celebration of Mario’s history, a chance to revisit the plumber’s genre-defining leap into the third dimension, it’s still lacking in some regards. For one, you won’t find anything in the way of supplemental material here: just Mario’s first three 3D adventures, modestly touched up for high-definition displays, and their accompanying soundtracks. The presentation is minimal but handsomely designed, and the soundtracks are a nice bonus, but the package on the whole hardly feels like a celebration of the series in the way that, say, Kirby’s Dream Collection or even the original Super Mario All-Stars did.
Still, the games that are included here are some of Mario’s most memorable, and they’ve all been given an HD sheen. Mario 64 runs in 720p whether you’re playing on the television or in handheld mode, while Sunshine and Galaxy both run in 1080p docked and 720p in handheld. Sunshine’s aspect ratio has also been increased to 16:9. Thanks to the improved resolution, the games all look more vibrant and colorful than ever, which helps mask their otherwise aging visuals; Galaxy in particular has benefited greatly from the HD touchup and is often stunning. The UI elements in each game look much crisper as well, and the in-game text has been updated to reflect the tweaked controls (and in Mario 64’s case, the fuzzy font has been smoothed over, making it much easier to read).