Super Mario All-Stars
#44: Super Mario All-Stars

Released In: 1993
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo

      A compilation cartridge featuring all three Super Mario games from the 8-bit era, reprogrammed from the ground up with 16-bit graphics and higher quality sound. Also is included is a 16-bit remake of The Lost Levels, better known to Japanese gamers as the REAL Super Mario Brothers 2.

Syd Lexia: This game probably deserves to be on this list due to its sales figures and the undeniable impact it had on the gaming industry, but it certainly doesn't deserve to be #44. If I had my druthers, I'd have placed this at #100, because that's as high as it deserves to be. Impact or not, Super Mario All-Stars is a terrible fucking game. It highlighted the hardware failures of the Super Nintendo. Nintendo had originally promised the SNES would have backwards compatibility, but ultimately failed to deliver upon that promise as they desperately rushed to break into a 16-bit gaming market that Sega had long since entered. Had the SNES been backwards compatible, Super Mario All-Stars would have been completely unnecessary. Oh wait, it *was* completely unnecessary. Mario All-Stars was released in 1993, just three years after Super Mario Bros. 3 was released in the United States. Were we, the gamer community, complete amnesiacs? Were we so focused on playing the newest, loudest, fastest, 16-bittiest games that we had throw out our Nintendo Entertainment Systems and quickly forgotten the "primitive" games we played between 1986-1990? If we had, Super Mario All-Stars would not remind us why we liked these games. The Super Mario games of the NES era were flawless classics and they were not particularly in need of remakes. At the very least, the deserved better than the treatment they got on the SNES. The new aesthetics are awful, particularly in the original Super Mario - the color palette is hideous and many of the graphic changes, such as giant Mario pictures in the coin rooms and World 6-3 being in color instead of black and white, are moronic. And although the remixed soundtracks may be a lot less beepy than the original versions, but they're also a lot less fun. Then there's the controls, the game physics have been fucked with and Mario runs like he's got grease on his shoes. Oh, and they removed classic glitches like Small Fiery Mario and Minus World. But these aren't even the worst problems with the Mario All-Stars. No, the worst problem is the decreased difficulty, which comes in the form of multiple save files for each game. Back in my day, we beat Super Mario Bros. 3 in one sitting. If you can't, then go fuck yourself. Oh, and it was completely gay how they added in sound effects to let you know if you were going the right way in the maze levels in SMB1 and Lost Levels.

Super Mario All-Stars wasn't all bad though. The castle levels in the first two games looked really cool, what with the Bowser pictures and other extra background stuff. These levels hint at the true potential these remakes had. A good remake is equal parts new and old, and that's something that All-Stars doesn't do; these games feel like 16-bit versions of 8-bit games. Not only that, but the graphics are rather underpowered for a 16-bit game. If the development team had played upon the strengths of the Super Nintendo hardware, its extensive color palette and its superb multilayering effects, these games could have absolutely fantastic.

greeneyedzeke: Goddamn you, Super Mario All-Stars. Goddamn you for teaching Nintendo the quiet delight of reselling all of its old games with souped-up graphics and sound. I mean, how many times now has Super Mario Brothers been available for sale? Game Boy Color? Game Boy Advance? Virtual Console? As an Animal Crossing present? Nintendoís turning into Square-Enix minus the homoerotic protagonists.

But All-Stars actually was a pretty good deal. You got the three Super Mario Bros. games released in America and the Japanese Mario 2, rebranded as The Lost Levels. But wait! What if Nintendo puts this game on the Virtual Console? Then youíd be rebuying a rebuying of these games. Holy shit, thatís deep.

Valdronius: Why is this game even here? It's not even really a Super Nintendo game; it's three NES games and an FDS game. I realize that Super Mario 3 is the best NES game of all time, but this is the Top 100 SNES Games. This has no place here.

Murdar Machene: The Lost Levels is by far my favorite Mario game ever. I love how you have to use enemies to catapult yourself in death-defying leaps over chasms and other assorted dangers. I like being able to run through a level almost non-stop, careening around psychotically, barely dodging the enemies. As an added bonus, you can't fly over the whole game.

Douche McCallister: Canít get enough Mario? Play Mario All-Stars with "lost levels" and upgraded graphics of your 8-bit favorites. Correct me if Iím wrong but I think Nintendo might have started a trend with this game that has cost me several hundred dollars buying remakes of games I had originally already played. Thanks a lot, Nintendo. You know how many hookers and giant bags of crack I could have bought with that money? WELL DO YOU!?

DarkMaze: I think the secret to really enjoying Super Mario All-Stars is to think of it less as a replacement for the original games and more as an alternate way to play them. Sure, some of the changes are pretty bogus and a few of the graphical changes significantly alter the mood, but overall it’s a really good-looking facelift and a nice way to play more colorful versions of Super Marios 1-3. You can’t beat the classics of course, but this a fun alternative, like Gus Van Sant’s remake of Psycho.

Okay, bad example.

Plus, it obviously gets points for introducing the real Super Mario 2 to American audiences.

BACK                              NEXT

53: Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts

52: Gradius III

51: Mega Man 7

50: Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals

49. EVO: Search For Eden

48: Legend of the Mystical Ninja

47: Pilotwings

46: Final Fight

45: Super Bomberman

44: Super Mario All-Stars

43: Super Star Wars

42: Kirby Super Star

41: Sparkster

40: Lufia and the Fortress of Doom

39: Shadowrun

38: Earthworm Jim

37: Super R-Type

36: Super Smash TV

35: Mario Paint

34: Killer Instinct

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