So, it's Mario's 25th birthday. And to celebrate, Nintendo released a red colored Wii bundled with New Super Mario Bros, the original Super Mario Bros installed, and a Wiimote plus. But also, and most certainly more interesting, they released a 25th anniversary version of the 1993 SNES game Super Mario All Stars. This is a Limited Edition, which comes with the game to play on your Wii, an art booklet and a soundtrack CD. Nintendo rarely does this kind of thing, but when the novelty wears off, is the package still worth a purchase?
Well, it depends on where you stand. However, the fact is, nothing that comes in this 30-dollar box is going to blow you away. But, if what's inside sounds like it's worth your money, then it is. First and foremost, the game. You're getting a direct port of the original Super Mario All-Stars, which includes 16-bit remakes of Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, 3, and The Lost Levels, which is the Japanese version of Mario 2. The games are not altered in any way. Even the original Super Mario Bros which is pre-installed on Nintendo's red Wii added a little "25" to the coin boxes. The game is obviously not available on the Virtual Console, but if it were to come out, you'd have to use a Classic or Gamecube controller to play it, being that it's a SNES game. However, this Wii version can be played with the Wiimote held sideways, which is preferred, in my opinion. I guess that's something? But the biggest offender is that there was a Super Mario All Stars + World version for the SNES, which included World. I don't understand why this game is not on the Wii package. Maybe so that all the games, which were NES games, can be played with the Wiimote sideways, since adding a SNES game would break that? I don't know. Even so, that's not an excuse. The games are still excellent, and it's convenient to have them on a Wii disc, but come on. They game came out in 1993. That's not going to impress anyone.
The extra stuff, however, is a little more interesting. The Soundtrack CD is nice, but it's a lie. It does not have 20 songs, it has 10. And 10 four-second sound effects. Okay. But the songs are actually quite good. There's one song from each major Mario title, from Super Mario Bros. to Galaxy 2. They could've added more songs, actually having 20 songs would be nice, but what's there is good. I can't complain. I should note, they're the original songs found in the games, not remixes or anything like that (with the exception of the Galaxy 2 track, which is the Trailer arrangement of the first Galaxy's music, which is not found in the actual game).
The Art Booklet is also pretty good. It's got thick, good quality pages with tons of art work from Mario in all the games, the enemies, and even never-before seen (as far as I know) concept art for the games. There's also a little history on the major games, again going from Mario 1 to Galaxy 2, telling you when they came out, showing their box art, some pictures and concept art from the games, and little comments from the creators. It's nice, but like everything else in the package, it's not going to blow you away.
And that's the whole feeling I get from Super Mario All-Stars. It's just nice to have. But it's not amazing by any stretch of the imagination. The SNES game? Alright, cool. Soundtrack CD with 10 songs? Sure, nice. Short, albeit interesting Art Booklet? I'll take it. It's pretty straight-forward; if you feel all this stuff is worth your $30, then it is. You're not going to find anything you weren't expecting, though. It's clear the whole thing's got an underwhelming feel to it, but it's what we're getting. Buy it if you want to.