So after months, if not years, of speculation regarding a collection of more modern Mario titles than we’re used to seeing, it was finally revealed in yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, which was also a celebration of the 35th Anniversary of seminal video game Super Mario Bros. Containing Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy, it’s coming very soon too – on the 18th of September.
Yet the announcement still annoyed quite a few fans. Though this has social media abuzz with some people claiming that these fans are nothing more than entitled, whiny crybabies, you can see their point. The Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection feels somewhat incomplete, given that it doesn’t include Super Mario Galaxy 2 (which is cited by some as an even better game than the incredibly popular Super Mario Galaxy). This isn’t the only issue, however; the collection is going to be available for a limited time only – if you don’t purchase either digitally or physically between September 18th 2020 and March 31st 2021, well – that’s too bad.
Though many are arguing that this is more than enough time for those fans who are interested in purchasing the collection to get hold of it, this in itself screams of an entitled take. We are living in uncertain, economically difficult times; a fact acknowledged by Nintendo themselves in the above video with references to the difficulties faced by the company due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not everyone who wanted – or wants – a Switch may have been able to buy one this year, given that job and financial security is far from certain. We can’t know whether or not things will get better by the end of March next year and for all we know, things may considerably worsen. Though it’s a very Disney Vault-esque step to create this artificial demand and scarcity for your products, during such trying times it feels completely unnecessary.
It’s also been pointed out that the time period given coincides with important stages of Nintendo’s 2021 financial periods, which adds a further layer of suspicion and cynicism to the situation.
Though another product announced in the Direct was also cited as limited – the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros mini-console – you can understand this as a more niche item aimed at collectors. Aside from the special version of Game & Watch classic Ball – and the nicely implemented clock feature – the games included are playable elsewhere, including on the Switch, so it’s not exactly the same situation as the games in the 3D All-Stars collection, which can fetch high prices in their older forms, if you can even find them at all.
There was also a bit of a facepalm moment when reading the small print of Super Mario 35, a Tetris 99-esque Battle Royale Super Mario Bros game, which looks fantastic. This was also cited as a product that would only be available to play until March 31st. There doesn’t seem to be any easy explanation as to why this would be, aside from Nintendo just being Nintendo.
It’s a shame that these limited release issues overshadowed the rest of the news in the Direct, as there were some genuinely exciting products and updates announced – though I highly doubt that many people in the UK will have enough room to make use of the wonderful looking Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, I can’t deny that it’s an absolutely fantastic idea. Super Mario 3D World being released for Switch – after being unfairly ignored due to releasing on Nintendo’s underrated and underappreciated Wii U console – was also fantastic news, particularly as it’s arriving with new content and online multiplayer.
It’s not all bad news then. In such trying times, however, Nintendo really didn’t need for there to be any bad news in this Direct; the issues surrounding the artificial scarcity of certain products were almost completely unnecessary.
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