You’ve probably seen some reviews and hype surrounding the re-release of Super Mario All-Stars for the Wii. It’s Mario’s 25th birthday, and Nintendo appears to have put out a memorable edition of the game. But is that really all they ought to have done?
1UP’s review of the game gives an interesting criticism of Nintendo’s treatment of their most valuable asset:
Publishers like Nintendo are quick on the trigger to protect their works, launching cease-and-desist letters and DMCA takedown notices at the drop of a hat, which means it’s ultimately up to them to be the curators of the history their creations have established. If the best we can hope for to mark the silver anniversary of one of the most monumental video game masterpieces is a quick and dirty rerelease with a bit of pretty but insubstantial packaging, it’s little surprise that so few people take gaming seriously as a medium. Why should they, when even its most influential creators can’t be bothered, either?
It’s true, isn’t it? This release should have been monumental, with souvenir gold cartridges, extensive interviews with the creators, new or forgotten levels and materials, and so on. If a company like Valve can put together an interactive developer’s commentary, isn’t it incumbent on a Nintendo to meet or exceed that level of respect for its properties?
I’m surprised they’re even treating it like a normal game. If I were them, I would have practically given this away, not only as a “thank you” to the gamers of the world for supporting Nintendo and Mario for the last 25 years, but as a way of creating goodwill in a community where Nintendo is often criticized for being less than generous.
Having a truly special edition, maybe with a live playthrough by Miyamoto or poster-sized maps of the game levels, would have made this anniversary an affair to remember. As it is, it’s merely competent. Doesn’t Mario deserve more than that?