Mario's first 2D outing in over a decade brings a lot of new elements to the table while still retaining aspects from previous games.
Presentation - 9.0
Gameplay - 9.0
Value - 8.0
- The art style is vastly improved from the NSMB games, and it's clear a lot of care went into making each character's animations. The graphics could have used a little more polish, but nothing detrimental to the experience.
- The soundtrack does its job well. There are a few noteworthy additions to the Mario repertoire and multiple remixes of known tracks. Some bonus content even features songs from previous games.
- The physics is the same as that of the NSMB games. A few of Mario's movements, however, are locked behind the badge system, such as triple jumps. The badges offer a lot of variety; some introduce Metroidvania-esque features like a grapple, while another adds P-Switch-like blocks. There's an option to let the game choose the best fit for each level, but as far as I can tell, no secrets are exclusive to one badge or another.
- The difficulty is lower than the NSMB/3D World games, with the average seasoned Mario player likely beating most levels in a single attempt. There are exceptions, though, such as the secret Special World.
- There's only one boss repeated a few times across the entire game, with a few changes in scenario each time around. The final boss, on the other hand, with its rhythm game elements, is one of the best Mario Boss fights Nintendo has ever crafted.
- As expected, most of the crazy creative stuff in the levels comes from the wonder seeds. If you've played Yoshi's Island and the SNES DKC games, you're acquainted with the gimmicks you'll encounter when the seeds are active. Still, some are very impressive and are the game's highlight.
- In essence, this is still a successor to NSMB/3D World games and retains a lot of familiarity with them. Wonder seeds aside, the levels are traditional and straightforward. I feel Nintendo did an exceptional job marketing this game; comparing Wonder to NSMB trailers is like night and day, while the games are relatively similar.
- Length-wise, you're looking at about 10-12 hours of gameplay to 100% SMB Wonder. It's just a smidge shorter than the NSBM/3D games, if at all.
- After completing the game, you can purchase a few extra badges. You'll also be aware of the number of hidden/unbeaten levels in each world. There are no unlockable characters or costumes.
While Super Mario Bros. Wonder is no once-in-a-lifetime masterpiece, it's hard to think of any serious flaws or mechanics that could be vastly better in this game.
Overall, it's a worthy successor to the NSMB and 3D World games, something the Switch had been lacking so far (the other games being ports of Wii U titles). If you're a fan of platformers, it's worth checking out.