It was beginning to be quite strange that, during the year in which we were able to enjoy an animated film from Super Mario, which also destroyed all kinds of records and left the vast majority of fans amazed, we would not have a new game by the Italian plumber. But Nintendo had a surprise in store for us. One that even raises the quality bar again in the platform genre. Super Mario Bros. Wonder It is, undoubtedly, one of the best games of 2023.
Nintendo, with the launch of each new Super Mario Bros., has misused us to believe that two-dimensional platforms are a genre that lends itself to constant innovation. However, that thought is far from reality. The room for improvement is minimal. You just need to turn to see the metroidvania to verify that, except in specific cases, it is increasingly difficult to find something that really feels different.
But those from Kyoto, almost with each title of Super Mario Bros., they manage to find the formula to develop an outstanding game. With wonderFortunately, it has not been the exception. In fact, I have no problem in stating that it is the most daring leap and, at the same time, the one that has given the best results since the franchise was born in the distant 1985, which is not a minor issue. It is not only the wonderful visual proposal, but also how shines in terms of gameplay.
Before moving on to the most important thing, I must first tell you that Nintendo has once again focused its efforts on the playable part. That is, don’t expect Super Mario Bros. Wonder break the mold and propose, for the first time in the history of the saga, an elaborate story. You won’t find it here. Honestly, you don’t need it either. I prefer that the company continue to focus its attention on the gameplay rather than a deep narrative.
Making the above clear, let’s now review the best of Super Mario Bros. Wonder. As soon as your character sets foot on the first stage, you will realize that Nintendo once again exhibits its mastery in level design in a 2D environment with lateral scrolling. Any object you see always has a reason for being in that precise place. Sometimes to become a support, other times to get in the way.
Unlike previous deliveries, Super Mario Bros. Wonder relies, and a lot, on the exploration. It is perceived that the scenarios, set in the Flower Kingdom, are larger and hide more secrets than before. And if that was not enough, This is the first time a 2D Mario title has removed the time limit.. Yes, there is no more worrying about the stopwatch to finish the level, which makes it easier to go through it more calmly. If you explore, you will have your rewards.
However, the biggest novelty of Super Mario Bros. Wonder In relation to level design, and the one that truly allows it to distance itself from its predecessors, is the Wonder Flower. This is an item that we can find in the scenarios. When you take it, the experience takes a 360 degree turn.
The Wonder Flower is capable of completely alter the level design. You will be surprised to see that the pipes begin to move as if they were worms, the perspective of the game changes or the stage becomes infested with enemies or interactive objects. The variety of situations is very diverse and I am only telling you some examples.
Believe me, it’s crazy that what appears to be a common and calm level, from one moment to the next comes to life and challenges you to react quickly to face the changes. If you’re not ready, Super Mario Bros. Wonder He doesn’t hesitate to punish you.
At this point I have to talk to you about the difficulty. Mistakenly, plumber games are thought to be a piece of cake. At least in the case of wonder, It is not like this. When you play solo, There are times when the game requires skill and speed with the controller. You are going to die more than once trying to overcome specific areas, and that is also part of the magic of Super Mario Bros. Wonder. To try as many times as necessary until you come out triumphant.
Does the above mean that younger or less skilled players can’t enjoy it? No not at all. The truth is that Super Mario Bros. Wonder can be adapted for novices and experienced alike to enjoy. To do this, they have provided a local cooperative mode for up to 4 players. As its name indicates, cooperation between all participants is key to passing each level. Certainly, the game becomes easier with this mode. The challenge comes, then, when you play it alone.
We cannot talk about a new Super Mario Bros. without mentioning, also, the new power-ups. In wonderthe one that will have the most impact on your enemies and the stage itself is the Elephant, which transforms you into a fearsome elephant that destroys everything in its path. For his part, the Champitaladro allows access to certain areas of the map thanks to its perforations, while Bubble Flower Traps enemies in a bubble and turns them into coins.
Regarding the diversity of enemies, Super Mario Bros. Wonder does not disappoint. There are many rivals who debutand their abilities were designed so that you, as a player, take advantage of the wide range of power-ups to defend yourself and then get them out of the way. Those who are left behind are the final bosses. Not because of variety, but because defeating them does not represent a challenge to match. It’s the only disappointing part of the game.
The last big bet Super Mario Bros. Wonder, but not the least important, is the visual renewal. We see a totally different artistic style to which we were accustomed in 2D playable experiences. The combination of so many colors, the effects and the careful animations put the icing on the cake. Likewise, we must applaud the extraordinary work of composer Kōji Kondō, who once again captures his melodies in a masterful way. He is, by the way, a Super Mario with daring music that breaks with the usual.
Overall, words are lacking to describe what a fantastic experience it is. Super Mario Bros. Wonder. I would dare say that it is the best installment of the long-running franchise, a new reference point from which Nintendo, and any other company that aims to stand out in the genre, must depart. If you have a Switch, it cannot be missing from your library.