Nintendo’s beloved mascot, Mario, has had countless games over the decades, spanning many different game genres. The one he’s most known for was of course the original 2D side-scrolling platformer. With the release of “Super Mario Maker” and its sequel, I felt as though Nintendo had run out of ideas for what they could do for Mario in this genre, it seemed they’d done it all. With the release of “Super Mario Bros. Wonder” it became evident that the only extra ingredient they needed was, in fact, more wonder. The Mario games are always known for having that wonder and magical heart, and since it’s been a long time since we got a full-blown original 2D platformer, they really crammed a lot of it into one game. Instead of spoiling us with too much, it honestly felt like a recipe that I couldn’t get enough of, making this one of the most whimsical Mario games I’ve played in several years.
In this adventure, Mario, Peach, and the gang travel off to the flower kingdom to meet up with that kingdom’s ruler Prince Florian. Of course, it isn’t a Mario game without Bowser coming in and causing some problems. With Bowser and Bowser Jr., they both have moved on from the mushroom kingdom and over to the flower kingdom to take control. It’s up to Mario and his friends to recover the stolen wonder seeds and save the kingdom. Leave it to the Mario franchise, an already rather trippy IP set in the mushroom kingdom to become even trippier! Who knew flowers were more potent than mushrooms (Ha!). What makes “Super Mario Bros. Wonder” immediately unique to previous titles, is the power behind wonder flowers you stumble upon throughout the levels of the game. While the levels are already fun and creative on their own. As soon as you use a wonder flower, the entire stage magically transforms into a blissful and magical acid trip (the ones appropriate for children of course).
As you get far enough into the game you will begin to notice that abilities you get later on (in the form of badges you can equip) may prove useful in previous stages, helping you reach areas you couldn’t get to before. Some of these areas are harder to find than others, but some backtracking may be required as you will have to have unlocked a certain amount of wonder seeds in order to proceed to new stages. Some of these special flowers that transform you are the Drill mushroom, where you can start drilling into areas of the level, Fire flower, super mushroom, bubble flower, which gives you the ability to fight enemies with bubbles, and the most shocking of all, the elephant fruit which will turn you into a big elephant. What’s also really neat in this title is you have several options of which character to play as. You can play as Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Yellow Toad, Blue Toad, Toadette, Yoshi, Red Yoshi, Yellow Yoshi, Light-Blue Yoshi, and lastly Nabbit. On top of the selection of characters to choose from, you can play all of this game with up to four friends at a time. I had concerns that having so many people on the screen at once would be frustrating, but it’s done in such a way where it really works. When one of your teammates dies, they turn into a ghost and another player can quickly bring them back to life.
Fighting Bowser Jr. in several boss fights reminded me of how you approach a boss fight in a “Mega Man” game where you use some of the abilities earned previously to your advantage, the trick is to know which ability (or badge in this case) to equip for the most efficient way to take him down. Everything about this game is just so fun and thought out, it’s no wonder (no pun intended) that this simple 2D platformer was just nominated for a game award. It brings fresh new life into what I worried was a Mario style game we wouldn’t be seeing much anymore. This is an easy recommendation for anyone with a Nintendo Switch, a fan of Mario games, or just someone who enjoys having fun in general.
For more information, visit HERE
Related: Nick Navarro Reviews