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The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

Super Mario Wonder: Next step for 2D Mario

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Photo courtesy of Nintendo.com
Super Mario is back to capturing the gaming world.

Two demensional (2D) Mario is simple. Go through usually 8 worlds, find bonus items in each level, finish before the time runs out and defeat Bowser. The formula has been perfected ever since Mario’s debut in 1985. With the last 2D installment releasing in 2012, developers have had time to experiment with a new formula while still keeping the original in mind. Wonder is Mario’s leap into the modern day. Wonder has all the cores of classic 2D Mario, but with its own unique spin.  

The small details of Wonder are nothing like any 2D Mario game before it. Mario himself has received a huge upgrade in terms of animations. There are minor details such as Mario reaching back for his hat upon entering a pipe, enemies looking afraid as you approach them, hiding under your hat when crouching and many more! Those minor details make all the difference in this new installment and give the game a fresh look that will charm many for years to come.  

The story of the game is quite forgettable and typical for a 2D Mario game. Mario pays a visit to the flower kingdom, when it is suddenly invaded by Bowser who aims to use wonder power to take over the world by fusing himself with the main castle and causing havoc for the residents. Surprisingly, there is no kidnapped princess in this installment. 

 Most levels contain items known as wonder seeds,; each level typically has two. You get one for simply completing the level and you can get another one by looking for and finding a wonder flower. Wonder flowers can make anything happen and are totally unpredictable. Mario can turn into a spiky ball, enemies can burst into a musical, the camera can shift to a top down view or the whole world will turn into a black silhouette. You just never know what to expect when encountering a wonder flower and it makes the activity of looking for the second seed that much more enjoyable. Along with wonder flowers, there are three new power ups: The drill mushroom, bubble flower and the elephant fruit.  

A new addition to the 2D Mario formula is the badge system. There are roughly about two dozen badges that grant active or passive effects that you can take into each level. Floating high jump allows you to jump higher and momentarily float. Boosting spin jump allows you to do a double jump by pressing on the right shoulder button after your first jump. There are also many others that add a personalized style to how you tackle a level and some replayability factor. There are also no more time limits within levels for the first time which encourages exploration for purple coins and wonder flowers. 

Overall, “Super Mario Wonder” is the new standard for what 2D Mario games should look and play like. It charms with its graphics and animations, unique power ups and impressive level design. The badge system is a great addition, and the removal of the time limit encourages replayability. It is also a great game to play solo or with up to four players locally or online. Other players have a choice of 11 characters, excluding Mario, including Yoshi and Nabbit, who are immune to enemy damage. This game is a must play for Nintendo enthusiasts, Mario fans or really anyone who owns a switch. “Super Mario Wonder” is available now for Nintendo Switch digitally or physically for $59.99. 

 

 

 

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