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Monday, July 15, 2024

Super Mario Bros Wonder Series Explained

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The Super Mario Bros. series never fails to surprise me with each new installment, and the latest game, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, is no exception. Its name is an accurate description, as the game is truly a wonder to behold. From its vibrant aesthetics to the lovable talking flower of the Flower Kingdom, who always has a word of encouragement, the game is filled with charm. The title is a joy for both solo players and groups of up to four, with new effects and the playful antics of Mario constantly keeping things fresh.

Immediately, the vibrant palette of Super Mario Bros. Wonder grabs your attention. Its combination of vivid blues, reds, greens, and yellows is not only classic Mario, but it also brings a certain modern flair to it as if this was the sequel Super Mario World deserved, recreated in 2023 instead of 1995.

The animations here are the real star: Mario’s little gestures, such as adjusting his hat when he jumps into pipes, and the exaggerated reactions of the creatures he encounters, give the game a sense of life. Mario’s adventure through the Flower Kingdom feels full of character thanks to these details.

Predictably, Mario is entangled in another one of Bowser’s schemes.

What is the Flower Kingdom? It is a neighbor to the well-known Mushroom Kingdom, introducing new foes for Mario to conquer. Plot-wise, Mario, as a guest in the Flower Kingdom, inevitably gets wrapped up in Bowser’s latest mischief. Bowser has harnessed the Wonder powers of the realm to merge himself with the main castle, wreaking havoc for the kingdom’s denizens. As expected, the plot is not the game’s strong point, but it serves as a fun backdrop to the gameplay.

The Wonders of Flower Power

But the lack of a complex storyline doesn’t take away from the excitement of traversing the Flower Kingdom. There are plenty of varied and creative levels spread across six worlds, and the Petal Isles hub, which hosts its own stages. Most levels possess at least two Wonder Seeds; one at the level’s conclusion and another hidden within. Unlocking the hidden seed often requires finding a Wonder Flower, which triggers surprising events. Regrettably, I can’t share details, but expect Mario to undergo transformations, camera perspective changes, and even a dance party! The unpredictability of the Wonder effects kept me looking forward to new stages. Even if I missed a Wonder effect, I was eager to revisit levels to experience them. Simply put, the Wonders are the game’s highlight.

The unique effects of the Wonder truly set the game apart.

It’s a delight to encounter different enemy groups in each world, with a blend of classic adversaries like the Lakitus and Pokeys of Super Mario Bros. 2, and innovative ones like Bulrushes and Maw-Maws. The Bulrushes charge you unrestrained, but they offer the thrill of a ride, an aspect cleverly exploited by Wonder. On the other hand, the seemingly harmless Maw-Maws turn into devouring monsters upon spotting you, while the Mumsies are quite unthreatening except for their challenging height. The fresh set of enemies in the Flower Kingdom is something I’m eager to see more of in the future.

The Badges are Essential, Really

A refreshing tweak to the traditional 2D Mario game is the introduction of Badges, approximately two dozen activatable or passive effects that can be selected for each level. From Boosting Spin Jump, Grappling Vine, Safety Bounce, to Sensor, these Badges allow you to customize your gameplay according to your style, enhancing the replay ability. Badges can be acquired at shops or earned by completing specific challenge stages. However, buying Badges with purple coins felt lackluster, particularly as they were quite abundant. A unique challenge associated with each would have been a better approach.

The smooth integration of the online component is quite surprising.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder introduces a seamless online multiplayer feature along with the traditional four-player local. Although it doesn’t replace the irreplaceable couch co-op, the online multiplayer works smoothly and offers a fun diversion from the main gameplay. The game does well to make multiplayer feel less like an add-on and more like an integral part of the game with features like Standees and Ghosts.

Elephant Mario: Unusually Brilliant

Despite being inexplicable, Elephant Mario is a fantastic addition to Super Mario Bros. Wonder. His hilarious animations and commanding presence are a joy to experience. With a water-holding trunk that can send enemies flying, douse hot blocks and water plants, Elephant Mario is a game changer. The ability to break bricks with his trunk just adds to the fun.

Drill Mario, another welcome addition, can dig into the ground or the ceiling to uncover hidden areas, catching enemies off guard.Elephant Mario reigns supreme with his commanding presence and humorous animations.

Bubble Mario, on the other hand, falls a bit short. Although he can capture coins and enemies in his bubbles and use them as jumping platforms, given a choice, I prefer Elephant Mario or the classic Fire Mario.

The Creme de la Creme of Super Mario Games

While Super Mario Bros. Wonder is brimming with joy, it doesn’t quite reach the pinnacle set by the last mainstream 3D Mario tour de force, Super Mario Odyssey. The soundtrack, although far from poor, doesn’t strike a memorable chord this time around. Furthermore, while it does present a handful of expert-level stages – including a particular group I won’t divulge here – Wonder is somewhat lacking in its challenge factor. As such, it doesn’t present seasoned gamers with as much to sink their teeth into as its predecessor. With that said, it must be remembered that Mario is a game for all, and my daughter found great joy in having Nabbit as a playable character, since no enemy could harm her, making our journey through the stages that much more enjoyable. That being said, I find myself yearning for Mario’s forthcoming 3D escapade, especially as it’s now been over six years since Odyssey.

The Final Analysis

Super Mario Bros. Wonder sets a fresh benchmark for future 2D Mario platformers. It’s vibrant, it’s teeming with life, and it’s completely joyous. It also consistently surprised and delighted me with its unique Wonder Effects, which briefly transform the levels into something entirely new. These effects were like a delightful dessert served in the middle of each stage’s main course, they were simply irresistible and never failed to bring a smile to my face – just like the indomitable Elephant Mario. Save for its lack in advanced challenges, Wonder feels like the successor to Super Mario World for the 21st century, and I don’t think I can pay it a better compliment than that.

Sara Jackson
Sara Jacksonhttps://www.magzica.com
Introducing Sara Jakson, an accomplished author with a passion for celebrity journalism. With her keen eye for detail and captivating writing style, Sara has become renowned for her insightful articles on the lives of the rich and famous. Her ability to uncover the hidden stories behind the glitz and glamour has made her a trusted voice in the industry. Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of celebrities as Sara Jakson takes you on an unforgettable literary journey.

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