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Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Direct: How Nintendo Is Celebrating Its Mascot
Noelle Corbett
2021-07-05T23:02:46
After months of rumors, speculation and concerns over delays, Nintendo has finally announced how it plans to celebrate its beloved mascot's 35th anniversary. Mario turns 35 this month, and Nintendo is going all out with new games, remasters, crossovers and other promotions.
The 16-minute Mario-centric Direct, which ended with a fun retrospective of the franchise over the years, was packed with content, so let's look at what we learned

Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros.

The retro handheld (which also celebrated a big anniversary this year) is getting a new limited edition release just in time for the holidays. Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. Will feature the original game as well as Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels (which released as Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan) and a version of the classic Game & Watch: Ball that replaces Mr. Game & Watch with Mario.
Since it's a Game & Watch, it also works as a digital clock, though this 2020 version comes with a full-color display. Additionally, Nintendo teased "35 little touches to discover." Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. will release in limited quanities on November 13.

Super Mario Bros. 3D World + Bowser's Fury

As rumored, Mario's 3D adventure for the Wii U is making its way over to the Nintendo Switch. However, in addition to the game itself, 3D World will also be receiving new content in the form of Bowser's Fury. While not much was revealed about it, it takes place in a dark and stormy world, a clear contrast to the colorful levels featured in the rest of the trailer.
Since the Direct, Nintendo has also announced two new amiibo figures that will launch alongside the game: Cat Mario and Cat Peach. It's not clear what they will do, but the amiibo and the game will launch February 12, 2021.

Super Mario 35

The original Super Mario Bros. is being reinterpreted as a battle royale in the most Nintendo way possible. Super Mario 35 has 35 players simultaneously competing to be the last one standing in the classic game. The ability to sabotage one another by sending over defeated enemies and using different strategies will be familiar to Tetris 99 players. The game will be exclusive to Nintendo Switch Online members from October 1 through the end of March 2021.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

The hit racing game is receiving a mixed-reality experience on October 16. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit will combine "a camera-enabled physical kart and course gate markers" to bring Mario Kart into any real-world space, blending the physical and digital worlds. The game will allow players to use their Switch console to control an actual Kart, which comes in a Mario or Luigi set.

Game Updates and Crossovers

Some existing games are receiving new content to celebrate Mario's 35th anniversary. Super Mario All-Stars, the compilation of the NES games Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3 that launched with enhanced graphics and audio are joining Nintendo Switch Online's SNES library today.
Starting September 8, Mario Kart Tour will hold a Super Mario Kart-themed event that adds versions of Mario and Donkey Kong Jr. from the SNES game as playable drivers. There's also a 35th anniversary-themed course coming to Super Mario Maker 2 in November.
Non-Mario games are also joining in on the celebration. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will hold an online tournament that features Mario franchise fighters, stages and items later this year. Splatoon 2 will hold a new Splatfest in January, with teams based on the question "Which power-up would you prefer -- Super Size from a Super Mushroom, or Invincibility from a Super Star?" This will be the first Splatfest with a new theme since monthly events ended in July 2019, and there will be keychains and t-shirts available based on the event.
Finally, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will receive Super Mario-themed furniture in March 2021. No specifics have been announced, but it's likely some of these items will be ones returning from past games.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars

The big announcement fans had long been hoping for, Super Mario 3D All-Stars will combine Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy into one collection for the Nintendo Switch. Longtime fans will finally be able to revisit these classic Mario titles, while newcomers can experience these incredible achievements in 3D platforming for the first time. Notably, this collection will mark the first time Sunshine is playable somewhere other than the GameCube, as Mario 64 has been rereleased several times, and Galaxy was available on the Wii U's eShop.
The games themselves are receiving some improvements from the originals including a higher resolution and Switch optimization. Additionally, there will be a music player mode where you can listen to songs from each game whenever you want.
Fans don't have to wait long for this collection, as it launches physically and digitally on September 18. However, Super Mario 3D All-Stars will only be available for a limited time until the end of March 2021.

Other Promotions

Finally, there are other, smaller promotions celebrating Mario, some of which have already been released. My Nintendo users will be able to complete missions, such as visiting the official Super Mario website or taking a Super Mario quiz, for rewards like a 35th Anniversary pin set that depicts Mario in each of his major games. The Nintendo New York store and Nintendo's online store will receive "historical Super Mario items" and 35th anniversary merchandise in October.
There are also a variety of other Super Mario-themed products releasing between now and March 2021. Puma is releasing RS-Dreamer Super Mario 64 sneakers on September 4. Australia-based clothing company BlackMilk (which has done other collaborations with Harry Potter and Pokémon) is launching a Mario-themed line on October 5. The lookbook will be available on September 29. The Direct also featured Mario editions of board games like Monopoly and Jenga, other toys and the LEGO Mario and NES sets that launched in August.
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