Initially released on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985, Super Mario Bros. has become one of the world's most recognisable franchises. This year marks its 35th anniversary, and the celebrations are well underway. Running until March 2021, players can expect dozens of new games and collectable merchandise to make the most out of this major milestone, including a very special re-release of three fan favourites. So here are four ways to celebrate Super Mario's 35th anniversary in a big way.
1. Revisit These Classics
Super Mario 3D All-Stars
Rumours had been circulating for months that three iconic Mario games would be released on the Switch, and now Nintendo has officially announced Super Mario 3D All-Stars. The collection will feature high-definition ports of Super Mario 64 (1996), Super Mario Sunshine (2002), and Super Mario Galaxy (2007). This will be the first time these games will be available to play outside their original consoles to a new generation of players.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars will also include "an in-game music player mode to play the music and songs from all three games," as Nintendo writes a press statement, similar to the music player in Super Mario Odyssey. The collection will be available from Sep. 18 for a limited time until the end of March 2021, and you can pre-order the game for £49.99 from the Nintendo e-Shop.
It's also worth noting that if you were planning on using a GameCube controller for the full experience, it's sadly not compatible per Eurogamer. However, the Joy-Con's motion control features will be utilised for Super Mario Galaxy to replicate the Wii controller.
Super Mario All-Stars
If you have a Nintendo Online subscription, you can now play the original 1993 All-Stars collection. Initially making its first appearance on the SNES console, this collection features "upgraded" versions of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario Bros. 3.
You can find the collection on the NES & Super NES library alongside other Mario classics like Super Mario World and the first Super Mario Kart.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
Described as an "enhanced version" of the Wii U game, Super Mario 3D World also includes new content in the form of Bowser's Fury. As entertainment site Screenrant writes, the info on this new portion of the game "has been scarce, but a seemingly new nighttime world" has now been incorporated, which could potentially "show the original game (or brand-new content) from the antagonist's perspective", i.e. playing as Bowser instead of Mario, Luigi, and Peach.
Super Mario 3D World will also see the release of new amiibos for Cat Mario and Cat Peach, which is a suit that allows the characters to briefly climb up or cling to walls.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, as well as the two amiibos, launches on Feb. 12, 2021.
2. Deck Out Your Animal Crossing Island With Mario-themed Decor
In previous titles, Animal Crossing players could decorate their homes and villages with a bounty of Nintendo-related items. New Horizons doesn't currently have this feature, but in March 2021 it'll join the celebrations and players will finally be able to purchase (and possibly create) items from the world of Mario.
Nintendo hasn't announced exactly which iconic furniture and clothes will be added as of yet, but I'll keep you posted. Previous games have seen things like Warp Pipes, the Fire Flower, coins, different shells, and 1-Up Mushrooms as decor.
3. Build Your Own Mario Kart Circuit & Lego Set
In partnership with Velan Studios, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit lets players create and race their own course through mixed reality (MR) by combining physical remote control karts and course markers with Switch gameplay. You'll also be able to race your friends in the real world, producing a "new take on local multiplayer" as Velan Studios tells Bustle in a press statement. Mario Kart: Home Circuit is available on Oct. 16, 2020.
While not connected to the Switch, the new Super Mario LEGO sets also use mixed reality to give builders the experience of creating and playing with their own Mario levels. To celebrate the 35th anniversary, the LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System is now available at LEGO stores and the Nintendo UK store, alongside multiple Super Mario sets "including the Adventures and Mario starter course," Nintendo writes in a press statement.
4. Get Your Hands On Some Collectables
Not only are there dozens of games to experience, but Nintendo are also releasing some awesome anniversary-themed items. There's going to be a new set of merchandise exclusive to the Nintendo UK store which will be released later this year. A collectable Game & Watch device will also be available to buy on Nov. 13, 2020, which is inspired by the original Game & Watch systems released in the 1980s.