Super Mario 3D All-Stars Gives You Everything You Could Want – Except Super Mario Galaxy 2

In case you weren’t aware, this year is Mario’s 35th birthday and Nintendo is pulling out all of the stops.

Well, maybe not all of them. As with anything, there are more than a few complaints about the Big N’s plans to celebrate everyone’s favorite plumber’s big day, but we’ll get to that later.

First, we have a Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection coming that will consist of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. That covers three generations of 3D Mario platforming and only leaves out one big game (two if you count Super Mario 3D World) and that is Super Mario Galaxy 2.

A refresh though not a remake like the SNES Super Mario All-Stars, this 3D Mario collection will be available until March of next year. That’s right – it’s a time-limited release. So, if you want to pick it up, you’ll probably want to do that before it becomes unavailable. Oh, and speaking of the aforementioned Super Mario 3D World (originally released on the ill-fated Wii U), that game will be coming out for the Switch next year. It looks like it will feature some new content, too, which will perhaps breathe new life into the multiplayer concept the game had at its core. Called Bowser’s Fury, Nintendo didn’t really show off much about this added content. And speaking of the Super Nintendo classic collection we mentioned above as well, that is available now for the Switch on the SNES retro store.

But Nintendo didn’t stop there. We also got an augmented reality Mario Kart race car toy-slash-gadget that is likely to drive kids nuts this Christmas. Whether or not this will get the same amount of love that the Labo got remains to be seen. Nonetheless, it is a cool concept and one that would be really cool to expand upon. Players set up race tracks in their home and then the Mario character-themed carts that have cameras attached to them race around in an AR world with the mechanics of the Mario games. It really has to be seen to be believed.

Nintendo will also bring out a new Game and Watch featuring classic Mario games. We’re sure this is going to become this year’s scalper gadget special though who knows. Maybe Nintendo will implement a system like Sony is using for their PlayStation 5 preorders and invite people who sign up to purchase their Game and Watch.

Last, but certainly not least, is Nintendo’s take on the battle royale concept with the original NES Super Mario Bros. being rechristened Super Mario 35. Taking a page from Tetris 99, this game pits 35 players against one another in classic NES Mario stages with the last Mario standing the winner. It’s a neat concept and an online-only purchase on the Nintendo store.

Outside of gaming-related content, Nintendo is also planning a series of events to celebrate Mario and his contribution to video game history.

What do you think of Nintendo’s anniversary plans surrounding Mario? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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The Nintendo Switch 2 or Just a Switch Pro? What We Know

There’s little denying the popularity of the Nintendo Switch, but, with Sony and Microsoft’s new systems right around the corner, Miyamoto and company have to be feeling pressure at this point from the market to do something “more.”

But the problem is that no one knows exactly what this “more” might mean. An upgraded console? Entirely new hardware? Or a diversification of the hardware options to accommodate a range of gamer types and budgets.

While we don’t have any news on a new console – as in a Switch 2 – we do have some indication of where Nintendo’s mind is heading and what the future of the company’s hardware could look like.

Basically, it looks like the second and third predictions are spot on yet we don’t have enough information yet to definitively say that Nintendo might be exploring an iterative approach to the Switch which would obviate the need for a “Switch 2.” In other words, though we don’t know anything about a Switch 2 as of yet, and all indications are looking like Nintendo is going to keep farming the current system, that doesn’t mean that Nintendo isn’t considering a “next-gen” system separate and apart from the Switch one day. What this is really about is a question of backward compatibility and, if Sony’s moves are any trend indication, we think Nintendo is possibly exploring ways to make console generations less meaningful when it comes to disruption in a gamer’s core library.

Nintendo’s president Shuntaro Furukawa said of the release of the next-gen consoles from other companies this year, “We do not believe that the business trends of other companies will have a significant impact on our business.”

It’s also looking increasingly likely that Nintendo is developing or considering the oft-reported “Pro” line of consoles. These models would offer graphical upgrades to the current mainline console as well as rumored access to services like Twitch and Discord. This goes back to the tier idea that seems to be floating around Nintendo’s offices and could possibly determine the future of the Switch more than anything else. We already have the entry-level Lite pure handheld version, and of course, there’s the main system itself but now with upgraded bits here and there to make batteries last longer, among other things. It looks like all we are missing is the oft-rumored though never seen Switch Pro.

And it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing it this year. Nintendo brass has already said, definitively, that no new consoles will be coming out this year nor will they really be discussing that. So, Sony and Microsoft, it’s your stage.

Even though we don’t have any rumors about a Switch 2, we think the idea that Nintendo might diversify with different hardware models could be a good sign of where the company is heading in the short term. We’re also pleased to see that the considerations for a “high-end” version seem to be geared towards the “hardcore” crowd. It’ll be interesting to see where Nintendo’s new, vastly more complex, hardware structure ends up taking it. After all, everyone else is following the traditional rule book – the one that Nintendo helped write – while the former hanafuda company is looking for new ways to bring gaming to the masses.

What do you think of the possibility of a Switch 2? What would you want out of that kind of machine? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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New Paper Mario Announced for Release!

Paper Mario Returns in the New, Foldable Format with The Origami King This Fall!

Pre-Order HERE: https://amzn.to/2XH9F2y

The Mario saga is long and involved, but we often only get glimpses of the “lore” that ties the Mushroom Kingdom together in the mainline games.

For those of us that need a little bit more time with Mario – as well as the opportunity to get to know him and his universe better – the Paper Mario series has provided a wealth of joy and entertainment ever since it debuted on the Nintendo 64 in Japan back in 2001.

If you aren’t all that familiar with the Paper Mario series, think of it as the RPG counterpart to the platforming classic.

Originally drawing inspiration from the once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between Square and Nintendo that resulted in Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario takes the story elements and general adventure structure of that game and ports it all over into its own unique series of Mario games.

What makes Paper Mario fun for fans is that it is often a game focused heavily on story and typically features witty dialogue and novel situations for our titular hero.

The Origami King looks set to largely continue this tradition when it launches on July 17, 2020.

The official Paper Mario The Origami King trailer from Nintendo

So what’s the big deal with The Origami King, aside from its unexpected announcement and concomitant imminent release date?

From what we can tell, The Origami King looks set to bring back all of the charm and characters that people know and love but the tone of the story is, at least from the trailer, darker than we’re used to from a Mario game.

It looks like Bowser and Mario will be teaming up against whoever has “creased” the Mushroom Kingdom into an origami-style bondage which is both a nice shift from the typical scenario between the hero and villain as well as allows for interesting storytelling opportunities.

As anyone who has played the Paper Mario games can tell you, Bowser often ends up stealing the show when he’s around.

Aside from its bright and colorful graphics done in a unique “paper” style, Paper Mario is also a compelling game when it comes to combat and interacting with its world.

While world interaction isn’t anything new to these games, the origami effect allows for some unique ways that of doing so that promise to help this title continue the tradition of excellence established by its forbears.

Specifically, Nintendo highlights Mario’s new ability “called 1000-Fold Arms, allows you to interact with the landscape by stretching out and pulling, peeling and revealing new locations, helping you to solve puzzles and uncover unexpected surprises.”

Also unique to The Origami King is what the Big N is calling a ring-based combat system that combines elements of a puzzle with the RPG mechanics we know and love. Again, none of this was expected just in case you were wondering why this hype machine appeared out of nowhere.

While we do know that this is Mario’s anniversary and that Nintendo is pulling out all of the stops to make 2020 a big deal for their mascot, no one really thought a Paper Mario game was in the mix. Now we do and we won’t have to wait long to bring a swift end to the Origami’ King’s reign.