I submitted this piece to the Geeks.co.uk website (which I located from Simon Reed’s blog), and it was accepted there. I present it here too for the link-averse reader:
I think that the time is right for a re-release of the Super Nintendo classic compilation package ‘Super Mario All-Stars’.
Released in 1993 over here, it combined the original Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 2, 3 and The Lost Levels into one handy package with remade graphics and a save facility. A later version also released in 1993 included Super Mario World as part of the package. It served as the basis for the Super Mario Advance remakes, so this makes me think that it’s time it receives a DS or Wii release (as the DS is roughly up to Nintendo 64 specification standards).
Hardly any mainstream shops sell Game Boy Advance or older games any more, so it would be a good way to make money from their existing games while embracing their new systems.
They could claim that the games are a bargain compared to buying them all individually, and that you could have them all on one handy disk/cartridge. I know that Nintendo has released all of the games on the Virtual Console, but they don’t have a save facility and the priginal Super Mario Bros. is allegedly a poor conversion to the Virtual Console format (according to NGamer magazine). I would buy it myself to test this out, but I’m not spending the few Wii points that I have on a game that is apparently a poor conversion.
I bought Lost Levels last year as both part of the compilation and the Virtual Console version. The Lost Levels version is far superior, as it lets you save your progress if you die (the Wii version lets you do this too, but only if you go to the Wii Menu when you die) and the graphics are very well done, keeping more to the standard of SMW than SMB. The infamous difficulty level of The Lost Levels would no doubt be something very much appreciated by the crowd that believes that the Wii or DS are just for casual gamers.
Would I buy this hypothetical re-release? Well, here’s the situation as I see it: it’s convenient being able to access any of the Mario games that I want, but it is inconvenient to set up the SNES. Therefore, a Wii or DS version would be much appreciated. These games (with the possible exception of Super Mario Bros. 2) are all tried and tested classics and I’m sure many gamers, new and old, would appreciate another chance to play them all at their best in one handy package.