When someone mentions video games, one persevering plumber always comes to mind. “Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition” is the compilation of the first three “Super Mario” titles as well as the secret levels pack. This limited release hit stores Dec. 16 and was sold out within weeks. Back by popular demand, Nintendo is again releasing this nostalgia-fueled platformer pack on March 13 solely for the Wii.
Released originally for the Super Nintendo back in 1993, this title hasn’t changed a bit. The images used to help players with the button scheme are still of the SNES variety. That being said, this 25th anniversary edition comes with a few extra perks to warrant the $30 price tag. Included is a soundtrack of Mario-related theme songs that is bound to produce tears for those of us who grew up with these games. There is also a short history booklet with original artwork and designer interviews.
The four games you can play are identical to the games that could have been played on the SNES version, but I must admit that these games work a lot better than the Wii Store downloadable versions. These are the titles that helped make the video gaming industry what it is today, and they are still fun to play.
I spent a few hours replaying a bit of my history when playing this game, and I found myself challenged in a way I wasn’t before. You can die in these games and have to start over from the beginning. Games don’t do that anymore. I started out sprinting through the levels of “Super Mario Brothers” only to land several times in the pits of doom. After taking a more conservative approach to my playing style I was able to beat the first game with only a few breaks in between, which leads to the most amazing thing about these games: you can save your place rather than having to restart the entire game every time you have a moment to play. After saving and quitting a game, the next time you play, the game starts at the beginning of whatever world you left off on.
This game is well worth the money for anyone who enjoyed these titles on the old NES or SNES. The soundtrack CD and history booklet are just a bonus to this solid title. The only thing I found odd was there was absolutely nothing different between the 1993 SNES All-Stars game and the 2010 Wii version; even the controller images were still of the SNES variety. Pick up this title and spend the evening battling it out with friends over who can dominate the past.