Super Mario 3D All-Stars: Will the old controls hold up on Switch?

Super Mario 3D All-Stars will be released on Switch September 18th and is available for purchase until March 31st 2021. Included are Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64), Super Mario Sunshine (GameCube) and Super Mario Galaxy (Wii). All of these games are formatted to be compatible with the Nintendo Switch.

So far, it is confirmed that all three games have been configured to support Joy-Cons, motion controls and two-player co-op mode. The graphics have been improved, alongside a 16:9 resolution to adapt to the Switch screen size. A music player mode has also been added and there are over 170 songs to listen to. 

There will be no surprises when it comes to content, but how well will the older controls translate to the Nintendo Switch? Will the different controls and outdated features be fixed?

Super Mario 64 

The first 3D Mario game – Super Mario 64 – came out in 1996 on the Nintendo 64 console. Play as Mario on his mission to rescue Princess Peach and the power stars from Bowser’s clutches. 

As a part of the 3D All-Stars collection on Nintendo Switch, the game includes Joy-Con controls with rumble mechanics. The picture resolution has been boosted to 720p in both docked and portable mode. 

There is no denying that original game had its faults, especially when it came to controls and gameplay, despite being tremendous fun. The camera is particularly poor, as with most 3D games from the nineties. Often its angling would be off or it would be stuck on a certain point. Although on GameCube the R button is helpful and centres the camera behind Mario, the Switch’s second stick will give much more control and precision. Reportedly, the left stick on Switch will move Mario and the right stick will adjust the camera. L will toggle camera modes, presumably second-person mode. It is already clear that Nintendo has adapted to better-positioned controller sticks and this will allow for more fluid gameplay. 

Super Mario 64’s movement controls also hinder the game. Controls often lagged, causing the player to die or jumps to fail. When the player turns Mario it is too fast. If only a small movement is required, players can often fall off the edge of the game. It remains unclear if Nintendo will have fixed this issue, but it adds to the excitement of the game. 

Super Mario Sunshine 

Super Mario Sunshine debuted on GameCube in 2002. During Mario and Peach’s holiday to Isle Delfino, someone posing as Mario paints and pollutes the isle. In a mission to clear his name, Mario must clean the island and catch the culprit. 

Like Super Mario 64, the visuals have been enhanced. Sunshine boasts 1080p when docked and 720p in portable mode. The controls seem to translate to Switch smoothly, but it seems that the GameCube controller will not be compatible as it has a cross underneath it on the Nintendo Japan website.

The main issue players encounter with Sunshine are the inverted controls. Though they were popular during development, they are now outdated and are most difficult when shooting water using Fludd (Mario’s water jetpack). It seems unnatural to press down to aim up, especially given that these controls have changed over the past eighteen years. On Switch, a reversement or option to turn it off is necessary for gamers who aren’t familiar with older controls. Though this is rumoured, nothing is confirmed. 

Super Mario Galaxy

Hailed as one of the best video games of all time, Super Mario Galaxy came out on Wii in 2007. In order to restore balance to the universe and save Princess Peach, Mario and his Luma companion must travel between galaxies to collect the stars required to power their mission. 

As with the rest of the collection, Galaxy’s visuals have been boosted to 1080p in docked mode and 720p in portable mode. The main question is how will the Wii’s motion controls translate to the Nintendo Switch, especially for those using the Lite console?

Fortunately, the game will work in TV, Tabletop and Handheld Modes. In the latter, touch screen controls can be used whereas motion controls enabled by pointer functionality are used in the others. However, many fans have voiced their concerns that the touchscreen mode may be difficult to use during gameplay. This may disadvantage the player when it comes to gathering star bits and the only solution is a detached Joy-Con that can enable co-op mode and provide assistance. The other difference is that the Y button will carry out the spin technique for those using handheld mode, instead of motion controls with the left Joy-Con.  

Feature image credit: GameSpot

Words by: Isla Glen

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