Super Mario 3D All-Stars, a game that is no longer available to buy digitally and is only available in stock at certain retailers, has received a brand new update.
Version 1.1.1 (opens in new tab), available now, adds support for Nintendo’s new wireless N64 controller – which is currently sold out until 2022.
The update means you can play Super Mario 64 the way nature (or Nintendo) intended, but due to the game’s limited-run release – and the fact the Switch N64 controller won’t be nestled under many trees this Christmas – few will actually get a chance to enjoy it.
Luckily, there's some good news for fans of the moustachioed plumber’s 1996 entry. The Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack includes Super Mario 64 in its library of games, and if you own the new N64 controller already, you can get pretty much the same experience as those who own Super Mario 3D All-Stars.
Before you turn your nose up at that suggestion, it’s worth noting that the quality of Nintendo Switch Online’s N64 emulator isn’t as bad as many first feared. Input lag is deemed to be reasonable, and image quality is generally pleasing overall. The expensive price for Nintendo’s premium tier subscription remains a contentious issue, however.
Opinion: a Wario-esque move by Nintendo
While it’s great to see Nintendo supporting older titles, adding updates to a game that many people were strong-armed into buying solely so they didn’t miss out is rather odd. Nevertheless, it's a nice touch and means that along with Super Mario Sunshine, which can be played using a GameCube controller, you can get a more authentic experience should you wish.
The timed release of Super Mario 3D All-Stars is not worthy of any sort of praise, though. The compilation, which was released to celebrate the portly plumber’s 35th anniversary, includes Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy.
However, on March 31, 2021, the game was delisted from the Nintendo Switch eShop. Physical versions are also no longer being printed, either, which means once stock sells out, it'll be extremely hard to find. As a result of Nintendo’s arbitrary cancellations, March 31, 2021, was jokingly referred to as “the day Mario dies” by the internet.
The practice where companies artificially create demand is never good for consumers. By releasing a limited amount of units, those who may have been on the fence will often panic-buy a product, just to be part of the zeitgeist or due to fear of missing out (FOMO). It’s something that we hope Nintendo doesn’t do again in the future, particularly when it involves classic games that everyone should be given the opportunity to play.
It doesn't mean that this compilation is the best way to experience these titles, though. As we noted in our Super Mario 3D All-Stars review: "These aren’t anything like remasters, and it can feel at times that Nintendo cut some corners to bring the games to Nintendo Switch without too much hassle."
Nintendo's strategy, as distasteful as it is, sadly paid off. The company announced that it sold 9 million copies of Super Mario 3D All-Stars by March 2021 since its release in September 2020. How many of those copies were bought without the influence of FOMO is up for debate.
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