Super Mario Bros. Wonder Review
Super Mario Bros. Wonder Review

Super Mario Bros. Wonder Review

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In recent years, Mario has become synonymous with his 3D adventures, particularly Super Mario Odyssey. Many fans have praised the franchise's transition into the world of 3D, considering it the future of the beloved plumber. However, there has also been a growing group of individuals questioning whether we would ever get another proper 2D Mario game, especially after the mixed reception of New Super Mario Bros. U in 2012. But after a decade-long wait, we finally have a new 2D Mario game, and I am thrilled to say that it just might be the best one yet.

In an exciting adventure, Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, and their friends embark on a visit to the Flower Kingdom, eager to witness the magnificent Wonder Flower in action. This extraordinary treasure possesses the incredible power to manipulate reality itself. However, their joyful occasion quickly turns into chaos as Bowser, the perpetual troublemaker, crashes the party and snatches the Wonder Flower.

To everyone's astonishment, the Flower Kingdom and Bowser's nearby castle merge into a colossal, floating fortress. Bowser, as usual, vanishes into thin air, leaving Mario and his companions with no choice but to explore the vast expanse of the Flower Kingdom. Their mission: to locate the elusive Wonder Seeds that will grant them access to Bowser's lair and put an end to his wicked plans once and for all.

The plot of Super Mario Bros. Wonder may be simple, but the graphics more than make up for it. The Nintendo Switch, although not the most technologically advanced console, manages to showcase its capabilities in this game. The attention to detail is evident in every pixel, and it is clear that the developers poured their love and passion into every aspect of the game. The animations, in particular, are impressive, such as Mario reaching back for his hat when he enters a pipe or the unique lumbering run of the special elephant form. The visuals truly bring the game to life and make the adventure across stunning locations even more enjoyable.

The elephant powerup in Wonder, featured prominently in promotional material, is undeniably the most impressive of the three new powerups. Upon obtaining this powerup, the character transforms into a delightful elephant, complete with a charming moustache in Mario's case. The added weight gives the character the ability to effortlessly smash through blocks, while the trunk allows for swiping attacks. Additionally, the elephant can store water to spray over hot blocks, adding an extra layer of strategy. Personally, I find the animation of elephants squeezing through tunnels to be absolutely adorable and endearing.

In addition to the various powerups introduced in the game, there is another unique powerup that should not be overlooked. This particular powerup allows players to release bubbles that have the ability to absorb enemies and collect coins. Although it may initially seem unimpressive, it has a clever feature that adds an extra layer of excitement to gameplay. Players have the ability to bounce on these bubbles, providing an entertaining experience.

However, what makes this powerup truly remarkable is its potential to effortlessly bypass several levels. With a bit of skill, players can skillfully hop from bubble to bubble, enabling them to skip entire levels. The internet is teeming with countless videos showcasing individuals successfully navigating through the game by utilizing this ingenious technique.

The addition of the second powerup in Mario Wonder is truly remarkable. It transforms the character into a living drill, granting the ability to navigate underground or even into the ceiling. This new feature is undeniably awesome and serves as a fantastic addition to the Mario series' arsenal.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder Review

Moreover, each powerup in the game alters the player's perspective of the levels, allowing access to areas that would otherwise be off limits. As the development team aimed to reintroduce the sense of mystery and exploration from past games, I believe they have largely succeeded in their endeavor. Mario Wonder successfully captures the essence of its predecessors while offering new and exciting gameplay mechanics.

Playing Super Mario Bros. Wonder is an exhilarating experience that brings back the nostalgic joy of the classic Mario games. In a world of increasingly complex and immersive gaming experiences, this game succeeds in capturing the wonder that can sometimes be forgotten. It takes us back to a time where the simple act of jumping, stomping on enemies, and devouring mushrooms was enough to keep us entertained for hours. The game's simplicity is its strength, offering a pure and addictive gameplay that taps into our brain's dopamine center. Super Mario Bros. Wonder reminds us that sometimes, all we need is a dose of uncomplicated fun.

One of the main reasons for the immense success of this game is the return to 2D platforming, which has greatly contributed to its popularity. However, what truly sets it apart is the exceptional quality of its controls. The controls are incredibly precise and responsive, striking the perfect balance between momentum and floatiness when it comes to jumping. As a result, players always feel like they have absolute control over Mario and his friends, leaving the outcome of each difficult jump entirely up to their own skill and timing. In my opinion, this game presents the pinnacle of 2D Mario controls, surpassing any previous iteration.

One significant change that often goes unnoticed in many reviews is the removal of the classic Mario timer. This alteration completely transforms the gameplay experience, as players are no longer pressured to rush towards the flagpole within a set time limit. Instead, they can leisurely explore and thoroughly investigate every corner of the level in search of hidden items, coins, and even discover the elusive alternate level ending points. For individuals like myself who despise being constrained by a ticking clock, this newfound freedom brings an immense sense of joy and satisfaction.

Captivating Wonder Seeds

The “Wonder” aspect of the game's title truly lives up to its name with the hidden Wonder Seeds sprinkled throughout each course. These seeds serve as a catalyst for a mind-bending experience, almost as if Mario and his friends dropped acid and embarked on a hallucinogenic journey. The beauty of these sections lies in their unpredictability, as players are constantly surprised by the surreal and fantastical scenarios that unfold. One moment you might find yourself immersed in a musical number with piranha plants singing, and the next, you could be riding on the back of a tunnel that transforms into a wriggling worm.

These seeds not only aid in progressing through the game's overworld but also serve as a powerful motivator to continue playing. The excitement of discovering each new seed and the sense of wonder it brings adds an extra layer of allure to this already captivating adventure. Truly, the Wonder Seeds are a testament to the game's brilliance and ingenuity, complementing the classic Mario platforming experience.

As Mario and his friends traverse through the Flower Kingdom, they stumble upon a collection of badges that grant them unique abilities. With around two dozen badges to choose from, Mario can equip one at any given time, allowing him to perform extraordinary feats. Whether it's floating through the air using his hat, executing an incredibly high jump, or even utilizing a grappling hook, these badges add a new layer of excitement and variety to the gameplay. While some badges may seem repetitive, mostly focusing on enhanced jumping abilities, they still provide a fun twist to the levels.

Additionally, there are badges specifically designed to modify the game's difficulty, catering to players of all skill levels. These modifiers range from automatically saving Mario when he jumps into lava to adding extra blocks in the courses. They serve as a helpful aid, especially for younger players, in navigating the game's challenges. However, for those seeking a greater challenge, there are Expert Badges that offer high-speed running or even the ability to turn the character invisible. The selection of badges in Super Mario Bros. Wonder truly adds a thrilling and dynamic element to the gameplay experience.

For young kids who are just starting out in the world of video games, there is a way to make it easier and less frustrating. They can simply choose one of the Yoshis or Nabbit from the character lineup. These adorable characters possess an invincibility factor, making them ideal for children who just want to enjoy jumping around without getting annoyed by enemies or obstacles. However, there is a trade-off to consider. While they are immune to damage, they are unable to utilize powerups like the other characters can. Nonetheless, this option allows young kids to have a fun and stress-free gaming experience.

In the game, there are a total of eight characters that players can choose from, including familiar faces like Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Toad, Toadette, Yoshi, and Nabbit. What makes this game even more exciting is that you can bring along three friends to join you on your adventure, either by playing locally or connecting online through Nintendo's online service.

One interesting feature of the game is that collision detection is turned off by default, which can be seen as both a positive and a negative. On one hand, it allows for some hilarious moments of throwing your friends into pits, but on the other hand, it can be frustrating when your jumps are blocked because someone accidentally stood in the wrong place.

While playing a game with friends in the Flower Kingdom can be a great experience, there are a few drawbacks that I have noticed. Unlike previous games in the series, the co-op mode in this game doesn't allow much freedom of movement without the risk of instant death when going off-screen. The camera remains close to the action, which can be a positive for those who prefer a zoomed-in view. However, it becomes frustrating when a player steps outside of the camera's zone and is immediately eliminated.

This issue can be manageable if you are playing with communicative players who understand the limitations. However, during fast-paced platforming sequences, it can be a real hassle. The leader player's speed might differ from others, resulting in someone going out of the camera's view and needing to be revived. This problem becomes even worse when playing with kids or impatient individuals who rush to the next objective while others are still searching for hidden secrets.

One issue that I encountered while playing the game was the competition for the top spot on the flagpole at the end of each level. The player who reaches the highest point becomes the number one player. This became problematic when I played with younger players, such as my little niece. In these cases, I found myself dealing with a hyperactive and uncontrollable player who dictated the pace of the game.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder Review

The only way to regain control and restore order was to either be the first to reach the flag or start the game over. This issue may not arise when playing with adults who can communicate and strategize effectively. However, if you intend to play Wonder with younger kids or family members, be prepared for a potentially frustrating experience.

The co-op experience was significantly hindered by a few ill-advised design choices. Rather than simply enjoying the game with friends or family, I felt like I had to analyze and strategize, meticulously selecting the right individuals for each session. If the wrong combination of players was chosen, the once delightful and comforting atmosphere of Super Mario Bros. was swiftly replaced by frustration as people continuously perished, devoid of any comedic value. Ultimately, despite the potential for enjoyment that co-op mode offered, I found myself gravitating towards playing solo instead.

While Super Mario Bros. Wonder is undeniably a visually stunning and enjoyable game, it falls short in terms of innovation. It doesn't bring any groundbreaking changes to the Mario franchise, which is somewhat disappointing. One would expect Wonder to push the boundaries and redefine what Mario represents, especially considering its release in the modern gaming era. However, it is important to recognize that these expectations may have been unrealistic and unjust. Despite its lack of significant innovation, Wonder remains an incredibly fun game that shouldn't be overshadowed by its missed opportunities.

Nintendo’s most beloved character, Mario, has made a triumphant return to his classic 2D platforming roots in Super Mario Bros. Wonder. This game proves that the franchise doesn’t need to rely solely on the allure of three-dimensional worlds. With tighter controls than ever before, playing as Mario feels as smooth as his perfectly sculpted buttocks. The introduction of Wonder Seeds adds a delightful twist to each level, injecting creativity and keeping players on their toes.

While it may not boast the technical prowess of games like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 or the vastness of Baldur’s Gate 3, Super Mario Bros. Wonder is an injection of pure joy that reverberates through your entire being. It may not be the most innovative game on the market, but it delivers a bolt of unadulterated delight straight to your brain.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder Review
Super Mario Bros. Wonder Review
Nintendo’s most beloved character, Mario, has returned triumphantly to his classic 2D platforming roots in Super Mario Bros. Wonder. This game proves that the franchise doesn’t need to rely solely on the allure of three-dimensional worlds.
Stunning Visuals
Creative Powerups
Diverse Character Options
Co-op Limitations
Flagpole Competition
Camera Restrictions
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