Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Platform Game Compilation Mega Review: Super Mario All-Stars

Super Mario All-Stars is a classic compilation that defined enhanced ports. It remains a worthwhile play due to the ultimate replayability of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario Bros. 3. The inclusion of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels was an unexpected addition as this compilation marked the first time that game had been released outside of Japan.

All four games are ported from their Nintendo Entertainment System counterparts, or the Family Computer Disk System counterpart in the case of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. Because of this, they retain the same tried-and-true gameplay as the originals. There are a few exceptions to this, as it included bug fixes to remove the minus-world glitches in Super Mario Bros. In addition, Super Mario Bros. 3 is based on the Japanese version, so the block that was removed at the end of the world 8 enemy boat is there making it more challenging to jump up from the water onto the boat to get through the pipe to the enemy.

The things that make these games worth playing over the originals are the graphic, music, and sound effects upgrades. The graphics had a huge overhaul owing to the much more powerful hardware that powered the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. They are now akin to Super Mario World with more character detail as well as background elements that enhance the atmosphere. The underground levels also received an echo effect that also helps with immersion into the game's atmosphere. The music is structurally the same, however, they have been enhanced with digital instruments such as drums and horns that weren't possible on the original hardware.

Super Mario All-Stars was released on the SNES. It was later re-released through emulation on the Wii and through the online service on Nintendo Switch. As such, it is easier to access than it ever had been before. The enhanced graphics and sound may make it worthwhile to play the All-Stars versions of these games even if you had played the NES versions before. If you haven't played any or all of the included games, then I wholeheartedly recommend this compilation as it's the most technologically impressive way to play them.

Final Verdict:
5 out of 5

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