The Return of Mario
Super Mario Bros. Wonder is making a return on October 20, bringing back the classic 2D side-scrolling style that defined the Mario franchise. This time, Mario's adventure takes him from the Mushroom Kingdom to the lively Flower Kingdom, where the environment is dynamic, and unique items create unexpected gameplay.
It's been more than a decade since the last game of this kind, dating back to 2012's New Super Mario Bros. The game's philosophy has evolved from a time when everything was straightforward to today's emphasis on player freedom.
This newfound freedom is a key aspect of the game. Players can select the order of courses they want to play and explore the world map, breaking away from a linear path. The game offers a diverse roster of characters, including familiar faces like Mario and new additions like Daisy. Some characters, such as the various Yoshis and Nabbit, provide a gentler gaming experience, being impervious to damage, and Yoshis can even eat enemies.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder revives the classic 2D side-scrolling style of Mario while introducing innovative features and empowering players to shape their own gaming experience, making it an exciting addition to the series.
A Kingdom of Flowers
In Super Mario Bros. Wonder, players encounter exciting game elements, like the captivating Talking Flowers. The game starts with the usual challenges such as enemies, pits, and pipes. What makes it unique are the "Wonder Flowers" found in each level. These flowers, when discovered, completely transform the gameplay. During the one-hour gameplay session, players experienced various Wonder Flowers that turned them into Goombas, unleashed stampedes that carried them far beyond the typical level's end, and even inflated us like balloons. Each encounter with a Wonder Flower feels like an impromptu Mario Party mini-game seamlessly woven into the platforming action.
This gameplay feature is most evident when players find the first Wonder Flower, as shown in the initial stage. In this case, it causes all the pipes to move up and down, including one pipe that cleverly uses Mouri's inchworm concept to help Mario and his friends navigate the stage and collect hard-to-reach Flower Coins. The sequence reaches its peak when players acquire a "Wonder Seed," the game's primary collectible, which brings the Wonder Effect to an end. In each main course, players can locate at least two Wonder Seeds: one for completing the Wonder Effect and one for completing the level. If a course has multiple exits, each exit offers its own Wonder Seed.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder also incorporates RPG elements into its gameplay. Players gather purple coins to purchase "badges" that bestow various abilities upon players, such as invisibility or revival when equipped. These abilities are no longer tied to specific characters. The game separates characters from their abilities. This offers an enjoyable way for more experienced players to explore the game from a different perspective. However, it's important to note that only one badge can be equipped at a time, and this limitation applies to the entire team of up to four players playing on the same console. If players wish to replay a level for any reason, they can always try out new badges to change up their experience.
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