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The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

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Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

‘Super Mario Bros. Wonder:’ A much-needed fresh coat of paint on beloved 2D platforming sub-franchise

Courtesy of Nintendo

“Super Mario Bros. Wonder” officially released this past October, marking the end of the 2D platforming sub-franchise’s dry spell. For years, gamers’ beloved Italian plumber avoided 2D platforming in favor of the 3D treatment due to the oversaturation of the “New Super Mario Bros.” series.

This fresh approach to Mario’s 2D platforming stands out as a remedy to the previously repetitive formula. The entire game got overhauled, making it feel like a revamped experience for Mario fans.

For the first time ever a “Super Mario Bros.” game delivers a unique style and color palette. No longer does the plastic, toy-like appearance of “New Super Mario Bros. U” and “New Super Mario Bros.” bore the eyes of players, but rather the game takes on an art style never seen in a Mario game that looks much more cartoony, welcoming and charming.

On top of that, the game actually includes unique animations. The characters prove reactive, and rather than feeling like still images, they display emotions for every action the player takes.

The fresh graphical style and engaging animations make for an adventure through an unknown world rather than a series of obstacle courses. Players find themselves unable to put the game down, even when the courses get difficult.

“Super Mario Bros. Wonder” presents some of the best platforming in recent memory. The controls prove smooth and easy to manipulate, while the courses themselves allow for variety in both mechanics and difficulty. The developers pay excellent attention to detail while crafting the individual levels, and the Wonder Flower mechanic alters the course, changing the experience so that one level feels like two. Gameplay can be drastically altered, making for an endlessly replayable experience.

Now equipable on each level, abilities now allow players to fly with their hat or gain a mushroom power-up upon the start of each level. This improvement allows players to engage with a game that best suits their playstyle and doesn’t restrict abilities on certain levels.

Nintendo makes some of the best music in video games, and the soundtrack for “Super Mario Bros. Wonder” proves no different. The music feels as jovial as previous Mario entries but retains a new sense of awe and wonder not quite experienced in the 2D platforming games. Players will find themselves humming tunes all day long even after beating the entire game.

“Super Mario Bros. Wonder” comes as a much-needed refresh for a franchise that relied on the same tricks, graphics and mechanics for years. Fans will not want to miss out on this experience.

10 Wonder Seeds out of 10

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About the Contributor
Ryan Ranc, Life & Arts Reporter