Super Mario Bros. Wonder didn’t need a Nintendo Switch 2 to …

super mario bros wonder is out now, and it’s a true Nintendo hit. Mario’s latest adventure received lots of rave reviews earlier this week, and it’s easy to see why. The 2D platformer is both a reinvention and return to form for Nintendo’s most important franchise, bringing transformative new gameplay ideas to the age-old formula. There’s also some delicious icing on that cake: this is one of the best-looking video games of the year.

While this is no glittering spectacle marvel’s spider man 2 or photorealistic achievement which is forza motorsport, super mario bros wonder It is a sight worth seeing in itself. This is thanks to the vibrant cartoon visuals, detailed animations and painterly backgrounds that bring depth to the 2D Flower Kingdom. It’s an amazing feat, and it was all accomplished on the same old console that left gamers begging for an upgrade. While a successor to the Nintendo Switch may be just around the corner, super mario bros wonder It’s a reminder that strong art direction can be just as effective as raw power.

sounds amazing

Just looking at screenshots out of context, super mario bros wonder It may not look much different from that New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, From the moment you boot it up for the first time, you’re thrown into a deceptively beautiful world. This is evident from the very first stage, as Mario stands in front of a sea of ​​green and blue hills stretching into the distance. Above it grow star-shaped trees, whose simple leaves blow gently in the wind. Flower Kingdom immediately feels alive in a way that even some of the biggest budget 3D games aren’t able to accomplish.

Mario standing in the Flower Kingdom in Super Mario Bros. Wonder.
Image used with permission of the copyright holder

There are a lot of small details that go into making this possible. Although the levels aren’t filled with hyper-detailed textures, a rich color palette makes everything pop with cartoon charm. In particular, a new snail enemy has stuck in my mind, due to its vibrant pink shell that contrasts with its sticky green body. Even little splashes of pop art make a big difference. Mario’s ground pound is emphasized with a white and yellow flash that gives the maneuver more impact – and it is further underlined with the sound of the snare hit to make it even more impressive.

Everything works together with a revitalized approach to animation. Wonder The most expressive Mario game to date – 2D or 3D – thanks to the tiny details. You can see it in action thanks to an excellent video from GameExplain, which gives a direct comparison Wonder And Super Mario Bros. U DeluxeAnimations of. When Mario goes down a warp pipe deluxe, he’ll just sink into it like he’s riding an elevator. In Wonder, he jumps into the air with one foot and hunches his shoulders before straightening his body to fit in. Touches like these make two games that may look comparable on paper feel light-years apart.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder vs NSMBU Animation Comparison

Smart stylization has always been the secret to Nintendo’s most evergreen games. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker Perhaps the company’s most famous example, but several Switch rereleases in 2023 drive that point home. The original two Pikmin games that came out before the Switch pikmin 4still looks excellent today because of its unique blend of natural realism and bright whimsy. metroid prime remastered It’s an undeniable visual upgrade compared to its 2002 counterpart, but it largely shines by retaining the original game’s charming art direction.

The influence of supreme art direction can be felt especially in this year Kirby’s Return in Dream Land Deluxe, The Nintendo Wii Remaster features a significant visual improvement over the original 2011 platformer, but it accomplishes this through stronger stylization. The boilerplate 2.5D platformer look has been upgraded with brighter colors and bold lines that make it look like a walking cartoon. Even compared to 2018 it’s like night and day kirby star allyA Switch game that looks like it was released a generation apart Return to Dream Land Deluxe, super mario bros wonder It has that same power, and it makes the nearly seven-year-old Nintendo Switch feel like a brand new platform again.

In Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe, Kirby slashes Waddle Dee with a giant sword.

This won’t stop hungry Nintendo fans from clamoring for a Switch 2 – and it shouldn’t. Even the most beautiful Switch games (Wonder included) still suffer from ugly edges that can be fixed by new hardware. And naturally, graphical fidelity isn’t the only way more powerful consoles can improve games – just look. marvel’s spider man 2 With its instant loading. But, it’s the right time for new Nintendo hardware super mario bros wonder We’re reminded that fresh features aren’t some magic potion that will inherently make every game better. Sometimes a series like Mario needs a creative refresh.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is now available for Nintendo Switch.

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