We have learned of rumors that Nintendo are planning multiple remasters of classic 3D Super Mario titles, along with “most of Mario’s back catalogue [sic],” and a new Paper Mario game.
Video Games Chronicle (VGC) reports that “multiple sources” told them (in VGC’s words) “Nintendo will reveal plans to re-release most of Super Mario’s 35-year back catalogue this year, remastered for Nintendo Switch.” This is part of the 35th anniversary of the Super Mario franchise.
Across VGC, EuroGamer, and Gematsu, these would include (in Gematsu’s words) “high-definition remasters” of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy, (all three corroborated between sources for EuroGamer, and Gematsu) and a Deluxe version of Super Mario 3D World “which will include an array of new levels” (in EuroGamer’s own words).
VGC’s source goes further, claiming “most of Mario’s back catalogue will be remastered for Switch” (again, in VGC’s words). VGC also states Nintendo would “release several other Mario titles in 2020,” including a new Paper Mario game.
Finally, more information about (in VGC’s words) “new details of Nintendo’s partnership with Universal, and the pair’s Super Nintendo World theme park attractions and animated Super Mario movie” would have been revealed.
All of this was set to be revealed during E3 2020, which has now been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Is it True?
If ever there was a time for a glut of Super Mario titles, the 35th anniversary would be the perfect time. The movie, theme park, and even Lego set would make sure the brand is in the forefront of consumer’s minds. Even so, we do wonder if this is just too much Mario.
For the franchise’ 30th anniversary, Super Mario Maker was announced on Wii U. A major Mario title certainly could release on an anniversary, or a remake of a popular game. All of the above would mean at least five Mario games in the works.
While Nintendo has multiple development groups, the biggest curiosity are the remakes of the 3D games (64, Sunshine, and Galaxy). All three have Mario moving in different ways and different gameplay. The rumor would suggest all of these would be announced and similar times, most likely meaning similar release dates- if all are being developed at the same time.
There may be a way to speed up development, depending on how the game engine for Super Mario Odyssey works. While unlikely, there is a slim chance the game could be modified to control identically (or closely) to the originals. Then again, there are less issues working from scratch instead of re-purposing something else.
If the remasters are being worked on one at a time, it would make no sense to announce later games now (other than to placate fans of those releases). If they are being worked on all at once, then it makes it harder for Nintendo to market “the next big Mario game”– when releases are coming thick and fast, or at the same time.
Super Mario 3D World was highly praised, but it was no secret the Wii U was a flop, giving nothing the new casual gamers attracted to the Wii would want, and failing to appeal to everyone else.
The last Paper Mario title was Paper Mario: Color Splash on Wii U. The game did not perform too badly with critics or gamers, but the comments since Super Paper Mario demanding a game closer to Thousand Year Door or the original Paper Mario remained. In fact, we are surprised this list does not include a Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door remake or port.
There was also Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. The title did reasonably well critically, but it was the last non-remake title before the developer, AlphaDream, went bankrupt. As such, Paper Mario has not been seen as much of a heavy hitter for a few years.
As other titles are promised, we should mention a new 2D Mario seems unlikely, due to the success of Super Mario Maker 2. As such, it would have to look radically different and have new features to tempt players away from what the world can make.
We feel the rumor is partially correct. A new Mario title or two makes sense, though we would be surprised if Nintendo tried to release three 3D Super Mario adventures at once. In addition, attempting to give second life to Wii U titles (such as Super Mario 3D World) on a more popular console is a no-brainer.
Then again, it would not be the strangest thing Nintendo had ever done. It is certainly in character for the company, and while Mario is well known, the new movie and theme-park could lead some to try their first Mario game. A “greatest hits” selection may just seal the deal.
We still do wonder what else Nintendo will be working on. Third party titles will still keep Nintendo in the green, but if you are not a fan of Mario, you may end up seeing red.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!
UPDATE: More rumors have developed, claiming that the alleged Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy remasters will be part of a collection. In addition, the alleged new Paper Mario will also go back to the series RPG roots. You can read more about those claims here.