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Timeless games that require no introduction, this 1993 release for the 16 bit Super Nintendo collected remastered versions of all four side scrolling Mario platformers that had originally appeared...
Retail release, faithful emulation of a timeless classic, and a widescreen mode that automatically adds pillarboxing.
Poor bonus material that doesn't help justify the asking price for what amounts to a single Virtual Console SuperNes title on a disc.
Timeless games that require no introduction, this 1993 release for the 16 bit Super Nintendo collected remastered versions of all four side scrolling Mario platformers that had originally appeared on the NES.
These 1980's classics were faithfully ported over with graphical and audio enhancements that made them feel right at home on Nintendo's 16 bit machine. And while the first domestic release of the Japanese exclusive sequel to the original, subtitled 'The Lost Levels' for this collection, originally stole the show, it's the wonderful conversions of Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3 that represent the main reason to play this collection today. With control configuration options and the addition of onboard saves, a particularly welcome addition for Super Mario Brothers 3, Nintendo did a magnificent job back in 1993 and was rewarded with a release that quickly reached the Player's Choice million seller threshold.
Nintendo though was faced with a dilemma with this title when the Nintendo Wii launched in 2006 with a digital storefront known as the Virtual Console. On this service, emulated SuperNes titles typically went for $8 a game. But Nintendo was successfully selling hundreds of thousands of downloads of the NES originals for $5 each. Faced with concern over negatively affecting the success of their most popular downloads by selling an upgraded collection of all four for only $8, this title sat gathering dust until an opportunity presented itself in 2010.
With a dwindling release calendar as priority was being given to next generation projects and the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Brothers approaching, Nintendo saw a opportunity to dust this asset off with a full retail release over a decade after it had originally appeared. Amounting to a ready made release thanks to Nintendo's existing Wii SuperNes emulator, this classic once again was made available to celebrate Mario's heritage while helping shore up the Wii's thin release schedule. Amounting to a Virtual Console download on a disc, Nintendo paired this with an audio CD showcasing the franchise's history along with a history booklet and priced the release at $29.99. Sales were brisk and these classic updates were as wonderful as they originally were back in 1993. But sadly, what should've helped justify the $30 price tag was instead its downfall for many since the extras were short on value.
Happily sold to many a fan, the game itself remains as great as ever. But there continues to be a lingering feeling that Nintendo should've done more with this opportunity. A full revamping with the New Super Mario engine was likely out of the question due to resource limitations as they focused on the 3DS and the Wii's upcoming replacement. But many a fan felt like the inclusion of additional classics or more compelling extras would've gone a long ways towards helping justify the asking price.
But despite all the criticism of the bonus materials, this early Nintendo compilation still manages to shine as brightly as it first did over twenty years ago.