Every Super Mario game is an event at Nintendobecause Super Mario is not only one of the most well-known faces globally but also Nintendo’s ambassador to the world. The games dedicated to Mario somehow dictate the line, they remind the world of the Nintendo Difference and each one in some way wants to be a sort of game design treatise.
It was valid for Super Mario Bros.which is still taught in schools today for its ability to be fun and playable after decades, and applies today for Super Mario Bros. Wonderthe latest incarnation that brings our heroes to the Flower Kingdom to clash once again with the arch-enemy Bowser.
Yes, the story is still the same, but then again Super Mario isn’t played much for the story or to know how it ends, but how we get to the writing The End.
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Super Mario Bros. Wonder (you can tell from the title) it aims to amaze us, to amaze us, to always give us a reason to move forward and discover what other ideas await us. But first we will have to choose who to play, because although the title is dedicated to Super Mario, we will be able to choose to play with other characters from his narrative universe: Luigi, Peach, Daisy, 3 Toads and 4 Yoshis of different colors and the Ruboniglio. All characters can tackle levels in exactly the same way, with the only difference being Yoshis and Ruboniglio take no contact damagebut they only lose a life if they fall or are crushed.
An elegant way to make the game more accessible to younger children to those looking for a more contained challenge. This choice, however, has a consequence: those characters cannot take advantage of the upgrades.
Besides, what would Mario be without funny transformations? In addition to the classic smell which causes it to increase in size and more fiore of fire, which are now old acquaintances, 3 more power-ups are added: the transformation in elephant, which allows you to hit opponents with your trunk and water some areas with water, so as to reveal secrets or cool red-hot platforms; The hat drill, very useful for overcoming inaccessible areas and protecting the head from attacks from above; the possibility of throwing bubbles which trap enemies but can also become improvised platforms, with a nod to the great classic that it is Bubble Bobble.
Among other things, the possibility of store one of the transformations to use it at a later time, perhaps after suffering a blow, or exchange it with the active one.
So it’s over here? Absolutely not, why Super Mario Bros. Wonder it’s a title full of transformations, surprises, absurd enemies and reversals of perspective. A journey that we could almost say is lysergic and which is based on the classic two-dimensional structure that has made the brand’s fortune.
On what is one fairly conventional structure, made up of macro areas in which to collect special seeds, called wonder seeds, which allow you to unlock other levels, a semi-open structure is inserted which allows you to tackle certain areas in the order you prefer. As tradition dictates, there will be levels set in the desert, underwater, icy and in fire, all colorful, all spectacular and detailed. Inside them there will be space for old acquaintances and new enemies, but this is only the springboard on which Super Mario Bros. Wonder he swings before taking the leap.
Beyond perspective games which allow, upon entering a tube, to find oneself playing in the background or in the foreground and of the classic secret areas, the real change of pace is given by the wonder flowers: hidden or in plain sight in many levels, they completely change everything they have around with unpredictable effects.
Sometimes we will turn into a blob that can stick to wallsother times we will be forced to ride strange blue bison or we will find ourselves floating in zero gravity, jumping on rockets with colored trails, trying to manage a body stretching to excess and so on. We could fill a page telling all the situations we’ve gotten ourselves into, but why take away the surprise?
The progression of the game also follows a very particular rhythm: some levels are very classic, some are short and challenging, others longer and ironic, others are a sort of treasure hunt in confined spaces, perhaps with invisible elements to discover, still others are small challenges that serve to unlock pins that offer a further nuance to your gaming style. These pins, wearable only one at a timethey will allow you to jump higher or farther, immediately have a mushroom, perform a double wall jump, run faster or glide and will prove to be fundamental for taking a game to the next level or saving your skin at the right time.
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And it’s not over yet because there’s also a sort of multiplayer which offers an additional level of reading and enjoyment. Nintendo doesn’t shine in the online sector and this time too we shouldn’t expect any kind of revolution; however, it is possible to play through the levels cooperatively. Maybe helping each other to overcome certain points, or online. In this case we will be able to see a group of people scattered around the world who at that moment are playing exactly the same level as if they were ghosts in the background and interact by sharing useful objects or saving each other’s lives.
Playing together, above all locally, perhaps with the childrenit’s an excellent way to increase the longevity of a game that will still engage you without frustrating you and that once finished will still have more to tell you.
Why yes, of course: there’s the main story and Bowser to defeat, but then there’s everything elsethere are secret levels, bonuses, the challenge of completing all the levels as best as possible and collecting all the wonder seeds and above all there is a game that continues to remain relevant, wisely mixing solid foundations of the past with ideas and gimmicks that continue to push him forward.
Mario, and his entire group, is back with a nice two-dimensional game which will entertain you and the little ones for hours. But had he ever left?