Super Mario Bros. Wonder – Something Wonderful?

REVIEW – Nintendo has dared to do what they did a decade and a half ago on the Nintendo DS, and a few years later on the Wii: while the gaming industry has mostly moved away from 2D, they have created a new Mario game in this style.



Now the Japanese company has done it again, but this time with a twist. Like New Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros Wonder is a great result, but like everything else, it’s not perfect.





It’s been 38 years since Super Mario Bros, which completely reformed the side-scrolling platformer: no screen transitions (the MSX port had them), fast pacing, memorable music, and a great game for its time (it’s no coincidence that it ended up on a bunch of “yellow cartridges”). After the Doki Doki Panic detour in SMB2, the third part topped “Grandpa” in every way, and then the 4th game, Super Mario World (long called Super Mario Bros. 4 by N, so the name is justified…) took everything to a new level with Yoshi and the 16-bit SNES. Then, of course, Mario went 3D (’96, Super Mario 64: groundbreaking despite its technical limitations), and we’ve seen him get absolute 10/10s in the genre (Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Odyssey are like that, but especially the former). It may seem like a step backwards to see a 2D game go off into the Nintendo Switch sunset, but it’s not. In fact, the story is not a strong point (it never was: in the Flower Kingdom, Mario and the others reclaim the Wonder Flower from Bowsercastle with Prince Florian – because yes, he merged with his castle). It is the aforementioned Wonder Flower that changes the formula, from which the countdown clock has been removed (this should not be seen as a negative).

As you progress through the levels, there will be flowers, some of which have been placed at points that lead directly to secret locations, but they always have a word or two. But as you collect the Wonder Seeds (most of the time there is not just one at the end of the stage, but a few more hidden away), you progress through the story, and the Wonder Flower, when it appears, will tip the stage over its head. For example, there’s a track where you can stand on a pipe and move like a worm while events happen around you in a slightly LSD-like style. There are 12 characters, by the way, but Nabbit and the Yoshis serve as the easy mode (but they can’t transform with power-ups like Mario can turn into an elephant, so he sprays water and buttsmashes to break blocks). With so many characters, it’s no wonder that four people can play cooperatively, but the first player is followed by the camera, so if the others aren’t paying attention, they could die if they find themselves off-screen. Super Mario 3D World’s bubble solution is better in comparison: it allowed you to escape from losing lives.





The gameplay, apart from the magical twist, is completely classic, as Nintendo hasn’t changed it, although there are some innovations in terms of enemies and power-ups. In addition to the aforementioned elephant, the bubble flower can be used both for combat and as a platforming aid, but there’s also a mushroom if you need to make a tunnel. It’s an ingenious game, but it’s also a charming one: those who don’t get a kick out of the Piranha Plants song are soulless, because it’s quite cute, but it’s also charming and somewhat strategic, as you can use badges to help you. For example, there’s one that shows all the platforms with exclamation points (but there was an example of a Wonder Seed secret being hidden because of it), or even if we fall off the track, there’s one that will bounce us back. There are a lot of options and a lot to get throughout the game, which takes a bit of time if you want to do everything and don’t know where Nintendo has hidden the secrets (so expect at least 10 hours for a 100% playthrough, and maybe 7-8 without it if you’re not that pro).

The environments are varied and bring the style and charm of the franchise, and musically there are more nods to the past while keeping everything modern, but the jump sound effect is a bit odd. It’s just a personal opinion, but most of the time something positive pops up in the text after you beat an opponent (Good, Excellent, something like that, hence the clues) or complete a course. While it’s true that your work should be acknowledged with some kind of praise (otherwise it feels like a soulless necessity), Nintendo may have gone too far with this. There’s no shortage of challenging maps (Wiggler Race – complete as quickly as possible, Badge Challenge – complete for a badge, KO Arena – knock everyone out, Search Party – search for hidden coins), but it has to be said: without the Wonder Flower, the game might not be much more than a New Super Mario Bros. title. If it weren’t included, the rating would be seven and a half out of ten at best.





Super Mario Bros. Wonder easily deserves a nine out of ten. This isn’t Nintendo fanboyism, but it should be acknowledged when a game is fun, atmospheric, and appealing. And Nintendo’s game is just that. Maybe the co-op is held back a bit by its execution, and maybe there’s too much positive feedback in the text, but these are flaws and shortcomings that others might not notice. And that’s really all that needs to be said, it’s a good game. Well, goodbye for a day or two, and then probably Hellboy or Agatha Christie will be asked next…



+ Both modern and classic
+ Excellent in creativity, audiovisual and execution
+ Wonder Flower


– What am I worth without Wonder Flower?
– At the co-op, you have to be careful not to spread the company
– Maybe you write “Good” too many times, for example…?

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Style: 2D platformer

Release: October 20, 2023.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Gameplay - 9.2
Graphics - 9.3
Story - 7.1
Music/Audio - 9.4
Hangulat - 9.8



Probably the best 2D Mario game ever.

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Grabbing controllers since the middle of the nineties. Mostly he has no idea what he does - and he loves Diablo III. (Not.)

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