Super Mario Wonder: Review
This game was reviewed on a Nintendo Switch OLED
Reviewed by: I.C. Leviathan
This review is about Super Mario Wonder for the Nintendo Switch. This game is an 8 out of 10.
This game has a lot of highlights, which are brought down slightly by some unfortunate oversights that keep the game from being a masterpiece. One notable drawback is the gravity and aerial control when piloting your character. It can be quite difficult to hit wall-jumps in certain levels because of this, especially the musical levels. There are also some missed opportunities for gameplay involving specific characters.
Otherwise, the game controls almost perfectly when initiating the other abilities that each character has, and the level designs are unique and clever.
The story is exactly what you'd expect for this type of game. Lighthearted, simple, and to-the-point. Dialogue is presented through the residents of Flower Kingdom, informing the player of new hazards when traveling from world to world.
Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, and an entourage of Toads and Yoshis, with Nabbit to join along are invited to Flower Kingdom, home to the great treasure, "The Wonder Seed", which can warp reality. Bowser, the King of the Koopas, decides to take advantage of the mysterious relic. As he touches it, he turns himself into a castle. Armed with his new power, he wreaks chaos across the land. Mario and his friends venture off to stop the evil Koopa King across six large worlds and a bonus world.
As one of eight playable characters, the player is tasked with reaching the end of each level, which is represented by a flagpole. Each stage consists of two Wonder Seeds to collect at both the beginning and end. These trigger bizarre effects that completely change the gameplay of the level. Effects such as stampedes of enemies, entire level elements coming to life, and entirely new sections of the level opening are just a few examples. I really appreciate the unique elements that each level has. The effects of Wonder Seeds provide a fun challenge, especially in the later levels.
The control scheme is quite simple, and the general movement feels tight and responsive. Every Nintendo Switch compatible controller can be used to play this game, which is great for accessibility. I personally played the game using a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and the experience was flawless control-wise.
The graphics in this game look great. The Nintendo Switch handles everything on-screen with ease. The game runs at a solid 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second. The game never drops from this performance ceiling. It is no surprise that the game runs this well since most Nintendo games focus primarily on optimization over technically advanced visuals. The expressive art style helps this game look like a moving CGI movie. The characters in the game are very expressive too. For example, when you stomp on an enemy, any nearby enemies will cower in fear over being squashed themselves.
Replay Value –
Each level has two Wonder Seeds to collect. Collecting both is not a requirement for most levels and most people playing probably won't collect all of them on their first try unless they're specifically aiming to 100% the game. Also, some levels require the player to play as different characters to find bonuses. One level in particular has different paths for every character. There is a choice of completing this level solo as every character individually or playing the stage with three friends a couple of times to get everything more quickly. There are plenty of opportunities to replay the game with friends to unlock different pathways and discoveries to be made for new pathways that can only be completed by playing together. In short, the game's multiplayer modes are where the game is at it's strongest.
In conclusion, Super Mario Wonder is great but it's limitations hold it back from being a masterpiece. Minor annoyances such as limited power-up selection, which some are overused way to much compared to others and overly aggressive gravity in regards to general movement distract from the otherwise great gameplay mechanics and graphics. With all of the content the game provides, it's not quite worth it's $60 price tag in my opinion. But, if you find the game on sales for $10 or so off, it is worth you money.
Reviewed by: I.C. Leviathan