NINTENDO has had a great year with the Nintendo Switch, matching or surpassing the huge games from other developers.
Despite releasing The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom earlier this year, Nintendo Switch fans have been wondering what the next big thing is for Nintendo.
After some hands-on time with the game, I'm now convinced that Super Mario Bros. Wonder is the game that we’ve been waiting for.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder is a beautiful, big-budget Nintendo game, squeezed into the 2D format.
This has all of the inventiveness and imagination of Super Mario Galaxy games, finally delivered in the format of a classic 2D Mario adventure.
In our previous Super Mario Bros. Wonder preview we remarked on how the New Super Mario Bros. series of games had become visually stale, but playing more of Super Mario Bros. Wonder made us realise that this applies to the gameplay, too.
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The 2D Mario games are classics, no doubt about it, but they’d also become formulaic and predictable — Wonder is anything but.
Wonder Seeds are the key mechanic, transforming stages into explosive set pieces for Mario and the other playable characters to navigate, often with extra challenges along the way, such as collecting blue coins.
It’s the same simple and “approachable” gameplay we’ve always seen from Mario games, but there are more opportunities than ever for skilled players to show off in a way that doesn’t just simply skip through the stage and hazards.
This becomes most obvious in Badge Mastery challenges.
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Badges are equippable items that transform Mario’s R-button spin – a current 2D game staple – into something entirely different, like a cap glider, or a wall jump that allows Mario to ascend instead of jumping away from the wall.
Each Badge Mastery challenge takes the core concept and amps up the difficulty, and the challenge for that aforementioned wall jump includes rotating platforms that Mario has to narrowly balance on.
In terms of difficulty in some of these sections, it feels like the new generation of developers at Nintendo have taken inspiration from those tougher Super Mario Maker courses.
But even in those intense challenges, you’re given plenty of time to think about your strategy and perfect your jumps.
This game isn’t abnormally hard for a Mario game by any means, and that’s at least because every stage has a simple Wonder Seed for you to collect at the end when you reach the flag.
Getting through the game isn’t tough at all, but you’ll be returning to stages multiple times in order to find every Wonder Seed and hidden exit the stages might have.
It takes inspiration from Super Mario World, both with those hidden exits, and the sheer amount of new ideas it injects into a 2D Mario platformer.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder is set to be one of the final great games of 2023 and of the Nintendo Switch, and we’re excited to share our verdict in the future with our Super Mario Bros. Wonder review.
Written by Dave Aubrey on behalf of GLHF.
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