Super Mario Bros. Wonder Review – Another Phenomenal Nintendo Exclusive

Your trusty old plumber is back with some backup.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder Review
Overall
4.5
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

While it’s not the most challenging Mario game, Super Mario Bros. Wonder brings a burst of creativity to the classic 2D platforming genre.

Pros

  • Creative Gameplay
  • Visual Delight
  • Online Features
  • Wonder Flowers

Cons

  • Lack of Signature Abilities
  • Badge Limitation in Co-op

Nintendo’s beloved plumber is back in action, and this time, he’s brought along a myriad of surprises, innovative gameplay elements, and a visual feast that will leave you spellbound.

Key Takeaways
  • Developer: Nintendo EPD
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Release Date: October 20, 2023
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch
  • Game Length: 10 Hours
  • Time Played: 18 Hours
Editors Note: Clocking in at barely around 10 hours for the campaign, it was relatively easy to do everything the game offers before preparing this review.

So as we dive into this pixelated odyssey, let’s uncover the magic that makes Super Mario Bros. Wonder a delightful addition to the iconic Mario franchise.

Story And Setting

Super Mario Bros. Wonder Review Story and Setting
Story and Setting. (Captured by eXputer)

The enchanting world of Super Mario Bros. Wonder offers a delightful escape into the Mushroom Kingdom, delivering a unique setting that breathes fresh life into this beloved franchise. Nintendo’s latest 2D platformer is not just about navigating familiar pipes and stomping on Goombas

These games have always followed a familiar premise: Princess Peach is in peril, and Mario, our heroic plumber, must embark on a quest to rescue her from the clutches of the nefarious Bowser. The latest entry starts on a similar note, with Mario and friends visiting the Flower Kingdom.

What initially appears to be a predictable plot quickly unfolds into something much more intriguing.

However, this seemingly ordinary setup takes a whimsical twist when the discovery of Wonder Seeds, a unique power source, becomes the central focus of the adventure.

Bowser, always the opportunist, swoops in to seize these magical seeds, plunging the Flower Kingdom into a bizarre and sinister transformation. What initially appears to be a predictable plot quickly unfolds into something much more intriguing. 

Bowser
Bowser. (Image Credits: eXputer)

This setup takes players on a journey through the fantastical landscapes of the Flower Kingdom. Each world is a meticulously crafted masterpiece that showcases the Nintendo team’s artistic prowess.

While the worlds are still themed in classic Mario fashion, they’re brought to life with stunning detail. From lush forests and underwater realms to haunted houses and icy tundras, the kingdom offers an array of environments that continuously enthrall the player. 

The game conveys a profound sense of rediscovery. While the Mario franchise has adhered to a formula for decades, the wonder and surprise that I felt during my first journey into the Mushroom Kingdom is revived. The constant injection of creativity kept me engaged and eager to explore each new world.

Gameplay

Super Mario Bros. Wonder Review Gameplay
Gameplay. (Image by eXputer)

I found the platforming elements to be as responsive, precise, and satisfying as ever. Running, jumping, and stomping on enemies feels intuitive, creating a seamless and enjoyable gaming experience.

What distinguishes this game from other Mario titles is its perfect balance between preserving the series’ classic elements and introducing fresh and imaginative gameplay mechanics. While the core gameplay remains true to its roots, the game takes a bold step forward by adding innovative elements that enhance the overall experience.

At the heart of the gameplay are the Wonder Flowers. These power-ups serve as catalysts for whimsical transformations and dynamic changes.

Whether it’s morphing Mario into a Goomba, a floating balloon, or changing perspectives from 2D to a top-down view, the effects add a delightful layer of unpredictability to the gameplay. The constant sense of discovery and excitement experienced when encountering a new Wonder Flower is a testament to the game’s creativity

The introduction of novel enemies and power-ups further elevates the gameplay. The Elephant Fruit, Drill Helmet, and Bubble Flower, among others, bring fresh mechanics to the table. Players will have to adapt to each new power-up, adding depth to their platforming strategies.

The also boasts a hefty selection of playable characters. In addition to the familiar faces of Mario and Luigi, the game introduces several other characters, including Peach, Daisy, Toad, and even Yoshi. Each character is handled similarly, ensuring that players can enjoy their preferred character’s unique flair.

Playable Characters
Playable Characters. (Image Captured by eXputer)

While I found the characters’ abilities are lacking from previous games and no different from each other, the vast array of character choices adds an element of personalization to the gameplay. It allows players to engage with the Mushroom Kingdom as their favorite characters and offers more variety during multiplayer sessions. 

The problem with shallow character abilities is alleviated by the new badges that offer a customizable equipment system to modify gameplay behaviors. Action Badges, Boost Badges, and Rare Expert Badges provide different gameplay effects, allowing players to tailor their experience to their liking. 

At the heart of the gameplay are the Wonder Flowers. These power-ups serve as catalysts for whimsical transformations and dynamic changes.

Since badges can significantly alter the gameplay experience, you can artificially customize the difficulty of the game. However, the majority of players will appreciate the balanced level of difficulty that makes the game accessible and enjoyable for a wide range of audiences.

Local co-op receives the middle child treatment as players are restricted to one badge, limiting customization options and significantly restricting the playstyle. However, in online multiplayer, this restriction does not apply, and the variety in character selection and customization options are generally well-designed.

The game introduces several new and exciting online features that enhance both the solo and multiplayer experiences. One of these features is the collection of standees, which serves as part of the in-game coin economy. You can strategically place standees anywhere within a stage.

Player Ghost
Player Ghost. (Image by eXputer)

The standees can appear in other people’s games and have various uses, such as hinting at hidden secrets or providing a helpful revival point for other players. If you die on a stage, you turn into a ghost, and touching a nearby standee allows you to revive, similar to how touching another player can revive you in multiplayer. 

Additionally, when playing online, you’ll notice the shadows of other players moving through the stage. These shadows can assist you in solving tricky platforming puzzles, which is especially prominent in the new Search Party stages.

In these, your objective is to find five hidden coins, and the presence of standees and player shadows can provide valuable hints and guidance. This creates an engaging asynchronous puzzle-solving experience. If you, like me, prefer to tackle the puzzles alone, you can always disconnect from the internet.

Player Shadows
Player Shadows. (Captured by eXputer)

Several new stage types are also introduced in this entry. These include Badge Challenge, where you earn badges by demonstrating your mastery of the levels, KO Arena, timed stages where you must defeat rooms of enemies to earn flower coins, and Break Time, a brief excursion featuring random minigames and tasks.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is a game that reminded me and surely many others why Mario has remained an iconic figure in the world of gaming. With its delightful and engaging gameplay, it invites players to embark on an adventure filled with wonder and joy, making it a must-play for fans of the franchise and newcomers alike.

Visuals And Performance

Super Mario Bros. Wonder Review Visuals
Visuals. (Image Captured by eXputer)

While Super Mario Bros. Wonder retains the series’  iconic aesthetic, it enhances it with a level of detail and vibrancy that is truly remarkable. The Mushroom Kingdom and its diverse environments come to life with a burst of color and imagination, creating a visual spectacle that is nothing short of enchanting.

Every character, including Mario and his friends, exhibits fluid and expressive animations.

A standout feature of Wonder’s visuals is the animation quality. Every character exhibits fluid and expressive animations. This attention to detail extends to enemies, with even the lowly Goombas having an extra spring in their step. It’s a subtle but significant touch that adds to the game’s world, making it feel dynamic and engaging.

Elephant Mario
Elephant Mario. (Image Credits: eXputer)

In addition to its stunning visuals, the game delivers a commendable performance. It runs smoothly on the Nintendo Switch, maintaining a consistent frame rate and minimal loading times. This technical stability is crucial for an enjoyable gaming experience, ensuring that players can immerse themselves without disruptions.

Whether playing in handheld mode or docked mode, the game performs admirably. The responsive controls, crisp graphics, and smooth transitions between gameplay and cutscenes showcase Nintendo’s commitment to optimizing their games for their hardware.

Verdict

Super Mario Bros. Wonder Review Verdict
Verdict. (Image by eXputer)

Super Mario Bros. Wonder brings a burst of creativity to the classic 2D platforming genre. The introduction of Wonder Flowers and innovative power-ups makes for an unpredictable and engaging experience.

While it’s not the most challenging Mario game, the badge system adds depth to customization. The game maintains Mario’s timeless quest to thwart Bowser, and it excels in its captivating visuals. It delivers a delightful and accessible gaming experience, appealing to players of all ages.

This has been our Super Mario Bros. Wonder Review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles. 

This is box title
Get This Game
Because Super Mario Bros. Wonder revitalizes the traditional 2D Mario experience with some interesting twists.
Dont Get This Game
If you don’t like Mario games or aren’t into platformers in general.
Do I Need To Get This Game
Yes, if you are a platformer fan and can’t find any game to scratch that itch, this game is for you.
Alternative Games
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Super Mario RPG
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  • Sonic Superstars
  • Pikmin 4
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Asad Ahmad is a Games Reviewer on eXputer who’s combined his passion for writing and gaming into a sweet blend of content for his audience to enjoy. He started off his gaming journey in the RTS genre but settled on RPGs like Skyrim as his go-to games. Asad has a substantial amount of writing experience in reviewing and writing for games, which is backed up by his extensive gaming library on Steam. Experience: 2+ Years || Mainly covers Game Reviews || Education: Bachelors in Electrical Engineering.

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