GoNintendo Video Review - Super Mario 3D All-Stars

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Super Mario 3D All-Stars packs in three classic 3D Mario games from years gone by. Is the collection worth your time, or are these classics better experienced on their original hardware?

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I want to point out that this game has been confirmed to be using emulation (read: not a port) and this would explain why some struggles or odd choices such as camera options have not been “fixed”. These games are using the original ROMs.

See this video if you are skeptical of this point: https://youtu.be/BgK4siZzepI

Personally this doesn’t bother me. Sometimes when a game is “ported” to a new system, some of the basics are lost in translation. Controls are off just a bit, new assets don’t feel quite like the original. Actually the original Super Mario All-Stars game is an example of why ports/upgrades to these classics is not always a good thing.

Nevertheless, it’s worth pointing out. These are original ROMs running in emulation.

Correct, but not “original” ROMs. The ROMs have been edited with some new icons and textures. The “Press +” for example at the start of SM64 and audio changes.

But still then emulated.

I understand what you’re saying, but it actually *is* the original ROM.

The solution in use here is an interesting one. Instead of updating the original ROM with the new asset, the emulator is configured to “override” certain assets and instead fetch it from a new bundle of supporting files. So the emulator is actually substituting the “Press +” image in real-time with the updated asset, leaving the original ROM intact. The original ROM was not updated. Fascinating stuff. Watch that video I linked if you’re interested in learning more.

Ah I see. I knew you could get ROM patches and use them with emulators but any I’d ever used permanently altered the ROM by applying the patch. This “LUA” system is interesting but I guess it’s similar to how a patch is applied to a physical disc/cart game.

I’m both disappointed and excited that this is how Nintendo got the games onto Switch. Disappointed the output is not much better than the original games. But excited that they have emulators for N64, GC and Wii running and running pretty flawlessly.

I’m gonna keep an eye on the homebrew scene. Already talk of trying to inject other ROMs in place of the Mario games to see how things run. If the homebrew scene gets more games running it might encourage Nintendo to actually release more. I could see them adding N64 to Nintendo Switch Online but then releasing GC and Wii as standalone purchases or with a “Premium” NSO subscription plan.

I'm still a bit conflicted about this game. On one hand, it feels like a lazy compilation with very little effort being sold for full price, and I really hate the artificial scarcity they're building here by removing the digital version after a certain date. I don't enjoy rewarding companies for this kind of anti-consumer behavior.

On the other hand, I love all three of these games, and I don't have a reliable way to replay them right now (outside of emulation, I guess, which is something I'm not a huge fan of).

So I'll probably wait some time to see how I feel with a cooler head and probably end up getting it digital anyway.

All I need to know. Got mine pre-ordered and its worth the wait!

Wed Sep 16 20 12:31pm
Rating: 2

I do think it's a bit of a shame that they didn't spruce up the games a bit more--the original All Stars set some expectations by substantially improving the graphics and sound of each NES game and adding game saves. But I know that improving 3D models and textures is quite a bit bigger task.

Quality of Life stuff is probably where I would have put the effort... better camera controls in Mario 64, for instance.

And I would have included Mario Galaxy 2.

Still, it looks good and I have it preordered.

Wed Sep 16 20 12:41pm
Rating: 1

The level of effort in this collection is very low, relatively speaking. See my earlier comment in this thread. These games are merely being emulated in all 3 cases. There was no port made. Pikmin 3 Deluxe, for instance, is a port. So is the upcoming Super Mario 3D World. This collection is not. It is running the original ROMs on an emulator.

I find that developers (Nintendo included) sometimes mess up the original game when they try to dash it up with modern sensibilities. I’ve always preferred the “virtual console” approach of simply handing you the original game warts and all. So I’m happy with the direction chosen with Super Mario 3D All-Stars. I do think it should have been a $30 or $40 title though...

Good review RMC!

I have mine pre-ordered, but I still wish they at least had Save States.


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