Super Mario Bros. Wonder finally feels like a “New” Super Mario – Preview
Super Mario Bros. Wonder is just under two weeks away from release. We’ll have a complete, in-depth review of the game then, but for now, we’ve got a smaller preview, and hopefully, it’ll answer some questions you might have about the game.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder will be released on October 20th. We’ve got a bargain guide for the game as well.
There’s no New in the title of this one. Is this actually a new Mario Bros game?
Of course it is! Who would write such a silly question? If you don’t count the Switch port of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and go back to the original Wii U release, it’s been over a decade since there was a new Super Mario Bros. game in 2D.
Also, Nintendo’s gone and let the developers loose on this one. Taken the Mario style guide and threw it out the window. Everything here has been touched and updated. We’ve got a whole new look, brand new animations, an entirely new kingdom, a gameplay loop and even a new voice actor for Mario.
Mario still looks like Mario; why is it so different?
This new look may not be apparent just from looking at screenshots. The game’s animation is entirely different. After playing Super Mario Bros. Wonder for even just a minute, you can instantly tell way more thought has gone into how Mario and friends move and interact with the world (and with the music). The game is also much faster than previous Mario titles; he’s more nimble and agile.
But it’s still a Mario Bros. game, right?
While the bones of the Mario game are the same, you move through courses and worlds unlocking levels – all that’s there. The new gimmick, if you will, is the Wonder Flowers. Every course has one (or more), completely changing how a level is played out when collected. In one level, you all turn into Balloons and float around. In another, it makes the level play out overhead. Some levels go fast, slow, or even upside down. Wonder Flowers also open up alternative paths, hidden levels and exits as well.
Not only is every Wonder Flower different, but also the level they’re within. So many ideas are constantly thrown at you; some are one-offs and never seen again. There are a few repeats of concepts, but the execution is different. Some of these Wonder Flower courses will get developers stealing just one idea and making a whole game from them. Each level has unique ideas, polished and shiny. There’s a genuine surprise every time you hit a flower.
What about this badge system, then? What’s all that about?
The new Badge System in the game is like a collection of new powerups for Mario. The Parachute Cap lets you glide further. Wall-Climb Jump enables you to do a wall jump vertically; even one saves you from lava, makes you go faster, brings in coins, or reveals where secrets are.
So where do you use all these? There are specific stages that showcase and test you with these badges. Or if you’re struggling on one course, you can swap badges after you die and get past that tricky bit. They complement your skills or lack thereof to help you out.
What’s this asynchronous online mode all about?
While the game is entirely playable in co-op locally (and you can set up races with your friends online), the only other real way to play with other people is through the game’s persistent online mode.
This optional online mode allows other players to appear in your game as ghosts. You don’t race against them; instead, you can see what they’re doing, and it can help you find secrets and beat puzzles. They can also help revive you by leaving a standee around the course or touching them while you’re a ghost. Even with limited people with the game, we’ve seen others help us complete courses and even leave standees to help solve puzzles.
How’s the new Mario voice?
After hearing Charles Martinet be Mario for all of my life, you can tell it’s someone different doing it – but is it any worse? Not at all, some catchphrases have a different tone, but for the most part, it’s still Mario.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder is calling me, so I have to run. Wonder is possibly going to be the more-ish Mario game, and it’s certainly the freshest and most surprising 2D Mario has felt – possibly ever. We’ll have more in our full review soon, but everything looks quite wonderful so far. I can’t wait to talk about it more soon.