Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and other classic 3D Mario games are coming to the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo confirmed today. The collection has been rumored for months and now looks to be the Switch’s premiere release for the fall season.
The collection, called Super Mario 3D All-Stars is out for Switch on September 18 and includes these three games:
- Super Mario 64, released for the Nintendo 64 in 1996, was the first Mario game to ditch left-to-right sidescrolling action for behind-the-back 3D adventuring. The game’s signature draw is simply how pleasing it is to make Mario run, leap and swim through worlds themed to deserts, snow, water and more. Upon release it was hailed as one of the greatest video games of all time.
- Its 2002 successor, the GameCube’s Super Mario Sunshine, was received warmly though was criticized for leaning too heavily on item collection and was hurt by occasional technical slowdown. Sunshine’s signature element is a backpack that shoots water and that a vacationing Mario can use to clean up an enemy- and ooze-filled holiday resort. While Mario 64 has received ports and reissues on platforms as diverse as the Nintendo DS and Wii, Sunshine was never brought to any later Nintendo systems.
- The original Super Mario Galaxy was released for the Nintendo Wii in 2007. It brought 3D Mario action to a system of small spherical worlds and is considered one of Nintendo’s best 3D games.
Weirdly, it seems that the release of Super Mario 3D All-Starsis a short-term thing, as Nintendo noted in a press release today that “a limited production of Super Mario 3D All-Stars launches exclusively for the Nintendo Switch family of systems on Sept. 18 and will be available until approximately March 31, 2021.”
Rumors of a Switch collection of 3D Mario games were reported by the website Video Game Chronicle back in March, with the expectation that Nintendo would sell the compilation as part of a 35th anniversary celebration of the Mario franchise. That anniversary happens on September 13.
Normally, Nintendo would have announced a release like this during a Nintendo Direct online showcase or, at latest, during an online event right before the E3 trade show in June. But the covid-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of E3 and, it seems, a radical change to how Nintendo announces games. It hasn’t held a traditional Nintendo Direct since September 4, 2019. While it has run some smaller and/or game-specific online showcases in 2020, its two most recent major Switch releases, Paper Mario: The Origami King and October’s Switch port of the Wii U’s Pikmin 3, were both announced via Tweets and a press release.
Today’s news was part of a longer pre-recorded 16-minute Mario-themed Nintendo Direct. That event also included news of a 35-player Mario game...