Super Mario Bros. Wonder: Complete

I wrote recently about completing both Dark Souls III and Super Mario Bros. Wonder on the same day and have published my thoughts on the former already. Today I want to talk about the latter.

I purchased the game after work on its release day, a Friday, and within a few levels…I just put it down. The title’s bright palette, familiarity and usual bevy of secrets typically piques my interest like few games can. After a short period getting accustomed to the new physics and controls, I was off, nabbing devilishly-placed pink coins, scouring corners for hidden wonder seeds and bouncing my way to the top of flagpoles, much as I have in the 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s. This is my favorite gaming series ever, why was I so indifferent towards this entry? There is, in fact, nothing tangibly wrong with Wonder. It ticks all the boxes with aplomb, missing a step neither in its nostalgic tendencies nor its forward-thinking accessibility options. New enemies are well thought out, worlds are appropriately diverse and those secrets, my favorite part of both Mario and FromSoftware games, is evident throughout.

However, several days passed without as much as a hint of Mariolust, unlike in decades past. It was only during my incapacitated state, waiting for surgical repair, that I revisited in earnest. Relegated to a bed (and an armchair, for brief stints) aided me in re-discovering my lost inspiration. And so, over the course of three days, I ploughed through the final worlds and today, I share my thoughts on the game.

I have a long history with the franchise, my memories dating all the way back to the original NES and over the years I’ve catalogued my completion of recent games and ranked the entries (as of ~2010). I’ve been quite excited about Super Mario Bros. Wonder but does it live up to its universal praise? In short, it’s fine.

Now, do not get me wrong: Wonder is a great game.

[more to come – interrupted]

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