Earlier this morning, Nintendo dropped yet another surprise Direct onto our feeds and shocked most of the gaming world. I say “most” because many of these announcements have already been rumored and speculated about, so for those who keep tabs on such things, much of what we saw was pretty expected with a few twists here and there to keep us on our toes.
The theme of this Direct was a celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Super Mario franchise. Throughout the pre-recorded presentation, announcement after announcement hit us hard and fast, leading to much celebration with a wee bit of consternation (which tends to be a predictable cycle for Directs these days). Ports, new titles, and even a few oddball releases were all present in this celebration today.
Rather than going through each of the announcements step-by-step, let us just highlight a few of the stand-out titles and speculate a little bit on just what, exactly, Nintendo is thinking.
Super Mario Bros. 35
Following in the tradition of Tetris 99, Super Mario Bros. 35 appears to be a battle royale style game where you compete against 34 other players as you engage in different challenges in the original Super Mario Bros. game. This looks to be a frenetic and amazing time, especially if you (like me) frequently go back and replay the original. I am definitely looking forward to being taken down a few pegs as other vastly superior gamers break my spirit and bring me to tears.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
No longer content with being stuck on a dead system, Super Mario 3D World will finally take its rightful place among the exquisite selection of Wii U ports. The Cat Suit alone is reason enough to get this game, and the local co-op, engaging level design, and beautiful visuals will capture families across the world. There isn’t much information about the Bowser’s Fury add-on yet, but if we could get Bowser in a Cat Suit as well? I’m sold.
Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros.
This is one of the most exciting releases for me. The Game & Watch is an absolute classic, and being able to have a device that is dedicated to playing the original Super Mario Bros. and a variety of other Mario-related mini games really brings me back to the good ol’ days of the GameBoy Advance. While I do wish they would have included more Mario-related software, the original SMB has more than proven its worth and long-lasting appeal.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
While this was certainly a puzzling announcement, I could see kids and families having an absolute blast with this game. Having a Mario Kart course that you can digitally build in your living room and race against others seems like a child’s dream. I might just have to invest in a few of these karts just so I can prove to my four-year-old son how Mario Kart is supposed to work.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars
For many people, this was the absolute highlight of the show. While Nintendo has certainly made two of the three games in the collection available on the Wii U, this will be the first time we have ever seen a release of Super Mario Sunshine outside of its original GameCube release. Having all three of these games in package is certainly a dream come true for many people. While there is still some confusion around how the “limited digital edition” is supposed to work, consternation at the $60 price point, and confusion as to why Super Mario Galaxy 2 isn’t included, it is still a welcome reality that we will finally get these games released on a modern system – especially one that supports portability!
What were your favorite announcements from the Direct? Were you most excited about the Mario furniture in Animal Crossing? The line of clothing that will be prohibitively expensive? Let us know in the comments below!