The fated day of March 31 has come to pass. Mario hasn't exactly 'died', as all the memes said he would, but it was certainly a sad and important day for the Mario franchise. Nintendo has taken Super Mario Bros 35 offline, and it's no longer producing copies of Super Mario 3D All-Stars. This collection was a truly delightful thing to see assembled for the Switch, bringing some of Mario's best adventures together under one roof. Many fans are surely still upset with Nintendo for making Super Mario 3D All-Stars a highly limited time event. All three games on it were more than worthy of a longer run on the Switch.
What's really interesting about 3D All-Stars' limited availability, though, is what it's done for Nintendo's future Super Mario plans. Nobody particularly expected Nintendo to port any one of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, or Super Mario Galaxy to the Switch, but then it bundled the three of them together. 3D All-Stars may have been designed to celebrate Super Mario's 35th anniversary, but it's still set a crucial precedent for Mario ports. It'll be hard for Nintendo to get away with ports of a single classic game at a time from now on. Fans will demand similar collections down the line, and Nintendo might feel enough pressure to meet those demands.
The star power of 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy all in one game was undeniable. Nintendo knew it had gold on its hands when it decided to put these games together for the anniversary. Fans would've been happy to get a port of one of these games, so all three was really something special. Super Mario 3D All-Stars has therefore built a new kind of connection between these three Mario titles. They were already a series of important games in the Super Mario mythos before, but coming to the Switch together has made them closer family than ever. Nintendo surely knows that it could delight its fans by regularly porting games like these again in groups rather than one at a time.
It'd feel strange to see Super Mario Sunshine ported to the Switch Pro alone, too. Nintendo just showed that it isn't much trouble to bring three games to a new platform at once, so why go back to one? It's hard to scale something like that down, now that Nintendo has set a new standard for its fans. The Mario community clearly wanted more access to Super Mario 3D All-Stars, seeing how upset they were when they learned about its short-term production. Any permanent port or remaster of any of its three games that Nintendo could do will be perceived as half-hearted by some fans, so Nintendo might be motivated to release ports in groups like 3D All-Stars more often.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars doesn't just set a precedent for Super Mario either. After that collection was revealed, fans were already hoping that The Legend of Zelda's 2021 anniversary would be celebrated by another collection of classic Zelda games. Instead, fans are just getting an HD remaster of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. While Skyward Sword's return is still exciting, some fans can't help wondering why Nintendo didn't treat Zelda the same way it treated Mario. Fans saw Super Mario 3D All-Stars as a bold venture by Nintendo that eagerly fulfilled many fan wishes, so naturally, Nintendo fans were optimistic that it was the start of a pattern of generous revivals of games.
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