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Super Mario 3D All-Stars review: A bare-bones nostalgia warp zone

In the early ’90s, Super Mario All-Stars was among the first titles to suggest that important old console games—like the early 2D Super Mario Bros. series—shouldn’t be stranded on the obsolete hardware that originally hosted them. The collection also popularized the notion that older games could be improved with new technology while still preserving their original intent.

Now 27 years later, widespread backward compatibility and regular remasters (including those from Nintendo) have made that concept more de rigueur than revolutionary. Thus, Super Mario 3D All-Stars feels weirdly anti-climactic.

On the one hand, it’s a collection of three of the best 3D platformers ever made (well, two-and-a-half of the best, at least) in a format that’s more easily compatible with modern TVs and the Switch’s convenient portable form factor. On the other hand, that’s pretty much all it is.

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