|October 20, 2023
|Nintendo, Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development
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After an agonizingly long wait of over a decade, Nintendo has finally unveiled the latest installment in the iconic Super Mario Bros. franchise: Super Mario Bros. Wonder. Revealed during the June 2023 Nintendo Direct, this game promises to revolutionize 2D Mario gamers. After years of lackluster sequels in the New Super Mario Bros. series, Super Mario Bros. Wonder emerges as a breath of fresh air—a meticulously crafted 2D adventure boasting a totally new art style, a diverse cast of playable characters, and a plethora of mind-bending mechanics.
The recently released trailer, clocking in at a mere 2 minutes and 40 seconds, did an impeccable job of showcasing the game’s standout features: its groundbreaking mechanics, playable characters, and the new art style. However, there’s a wealth of information hidden beneath the surface of this teaser, and I’m here to unravel the enigmatic wonders of Super Mario Bros. Wonder. Without further ado, here are the 8 things you should know about Super Mario Bros. Wonder.
1- The Flower Kingdom
Super Mario Bros. Wonder takes us on a journey through an entirely different realm: The Flower Kingdom. The game’s floral motif permeates every aspect of its design, making the game quite unique visually. Exploring new locations in Mario games has always been a treat, and the Flower Kingdom promises to be no exception. However, upon closer analysis of the trailer, there’s a subtle possibility that the Flower Kingdom might not be the sole destination in Super Mario Bros. Wonder.
Drawing parallels with the world of Super Mario Odyssey, where various distinct realms existed alongside the initial Cap Kingdom, it’s plausible that we’ll be treated to multiple kingdoms in Super Mario Bros. Wonder. And there’s some evidence to support this based on the existence of purple flower-shaped coins, separate from the traditional gold ones. These may be region-specific coins, similar to the triangular and hat-shaped purple coins in Odyssey.
2- Gameplay Mechanics
Super Mario Bros. Wonder is basically the inevitable evolution of the 2D Mario formula, the culmination of literal decades worth of 2d Mario games. While specific gameplay details are yet to be fully revealed, the core gameplay remains familiar, allowing players to run, jump, stomp on enemies, and overcome platforming challenges. Even though only a few levels were showcased, they appear to be significant improvements compared to older 2D Mario games, featuring elements such as bouncing on massive hippo creatures and riding stampedes. Furthermore, the introduction of the Wonder Flower power-up is set to enhance the mechanical design of each level, providing an additional layer of creativity.
3- The Art Style
The art style of Super Mario Bros Wonder in the reveal trailer immediately caught the attention of fans. Unlike the familiar graphics of the New Super Mario Bros games, Super Mario Bros Wonder introduces a fresh 3D style with expressive animations. Over time, the previous art style of New Super Mario Bros. started to feel repetitive and less appealing to fans, who expressed their desire for something more unique and creative. Super Mario Bros Wonder addresses these concerns with its new and charming art style.
4- The Wonder Flower
Super Mario Bros. Wonder introduces the Wonder Flower, a brand new power-up that brings a fresh twist to the gameplay experience. This unique flower is capable of altering not only the level design but also the form of Mario and his friends. In the trailer, you can see Mario and company grabbing onto flowers to likely reach new destinations within the Flower Kingdom or other kingdoms entirely. However, the Wonder Flower isn’t limited to simple transformations; it offers mind-boggling effects.
The trailer showcases Mario becoming “Long Mario,” stretching tall like an accordion and even transforming into a spiky bowling ball. These transformations add a new dimension to gameplay, offering a completely new twist to the Super Mario Bros. experience. It’s worth noting that these forms are not power-ups or captures but rather effects of the Wonder Flower. They are likely temporary and restricted to specific levels or segments.
5- Classic Power-Ups Return
Of course, while Super Mario Bros. Wonder embraces new mechanics and innovations, it doesn’t abandon the beloved power-ups that have defined the franchise. Confirmed power-ups include the Super Mushroom and the Fire Flower, each granting unique abilities. The Super Mushroom not only grants an extra hit point but also provides additional strength to overcome obstacles. The iconic Fire Flower lets Mario throw fireballs, enabling him to dispatch enemies from a distance. These classic power-ups are classic for a reason. It wouldn’t be a Super Mario Bros. game without them. There are some new ones as well, such as the elephant in the room, if you will: Mario’s new elephant transformation. As an elephant, Mario can swing his trunk to send enemies flying into the air, An extremely weird power-up to be sure.
6- A nod to Virtual Boy Mario Land
Super Mario Bros. Wonder pays homage to an obscure part of Mario’s history: the canceled Virtual Boy Mario Land. Super Mario Bros. Wonder introduces a unique mechanic that allows seamless travel between the foreground and background, reminiscent of the Virtual Boy Mario Land. The trailer showcases Princess Peach in the foreground, while other characters occupy the background. Moreover, many levels boast question blocks strategically placed in the background—a feature that enthusiasts of Virtual Boy Wario Land will fondly remember.
7- A Diverse Cast of Playable Characters
Super Mario Bros. Wonder features an expansive roster of playable characters. Alongside the beloved plumber brothers, Mario and Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, and Yellow Toad make their return as playable characters. However, a notable addition to the playable cast is the long-awaited inclusion of Daisy, marking her first appearance as a playable character in a mainline Mario game. Each character may possess unique abilities, as hinted at in previous Mario games.
For instance, Luigi may showcase his high jumping prowess, Peach might demonstrate her ability to gracefully float, and Yoshi could bring back his flutter jumping ability, allowing him to traverse treacherous terrain with ease. The diversity of playable characters offers different playstyles to suit individual preferences. Additionally, the box art confirms the return of Blue Toad as a playable character.
8- New Story
We know Bowser is somehow involved in the story. While Bowser himself wasn’t featured in the 2 minute reveal trailer, he is still likely the main villain of Super Mario Bros. Wonder. After all, Bowser Jr. has been revealed in a boss fight, using an all new form or transformation. The story may deviate from the typical rescue mission, as Bowser potentially invades the Flower Kingdom using the effects of the Wonder Flowers.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder is a trailblazer in the world of 2d platformer Mario games. And really, all 2d platforming games as a whole. Over the years, the genre has lost a lot of popularity and it’s my hope that this game will reignite everyone’s passion for 2d platforming, leading the way for future releases. What do you guys think? And, don’t forget to subscribe for more gaming guides. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you guys next time!
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