Nintendo's September 18 release of Super Mario 3D All-Stars put three of the mushroom-munching plumber's greatest adventures together in one bundle.
Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy were all ported to the Nintendo Switch together. Each title is a near replica of the original versions, but Nintendo made one change to Super Mario Sunshine that has been aggravating gamers and Inverse's staff for weeks now.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars removed Sunshine's inverted camera controls, and this new version doesn't give you the option of toggling them back. In an era where most modern games allow you a wide array of control options, this feels particularly egregious. This may seem like an improvement at first, but in reality, it forces gamers who spent countless hours adjusting to Sunshine controls on the GameCube to relearn the game from scratch.
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Sunshine's unchangeable inverted controls was one of the game's most controversial design choices when it was released in 2002. Gamers were vexed by the awkward control scheme that made piloting Mario's water-spouting backpack F.L.U.D.D. to complete puzzles and traverse Isle Delfino painfully difficult.
Regardless of the hassle, OG Nintendo fans powered through until they sent Bowser tumbling into the abyss, but now, veteran gamers' grind was for naught. Dealing with that was part of the challenge — and part of the fun. Super Mario 3D All-Stars has flipped it all upside down.
The Switch release essentially fixed Sunshine's biggest problem 18 years too late. At this point, Sunshine's janky controls are a nostalgia-inducing relic of the early 2000s era of gaming that many fans wanted to revisit in Sunshine's Switch port.
But Nintendo is forcing players to adopt Sunshine's new control scheme instead of giving them the option to play how they choose, like in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild where players can switch to an inverted control scheme at will.
Venture Beat journalist Jeff Grubb is among one of the many Sunshine players that wholeheartedly embraced inverted controls after the Mario title forced him to adopt the layout so many years ago.
"Mario Sunshine is probably the single biggest reason I play inverted," he tweeted on September 17. "Nintendo is going to change it without an option? This is criminal!"
A change that would have been welcomed in 2002 is now a testament to Nintendo's odd reluctance to let gamers play certain franchises how they want. The company recently began allowing Switch users to customize the button mapping of the console's Joy-Cons and Pro controllers to allow for more gaming freedom. But that won't be enough to address Sunshine's lack of inverted controls.
Players have been begging for a patch to add an invert controls option to Sunshine's menu since 3D All-Stars' release but Nintendo hasn't budged yet. Despite this controller snafu, the Mario bundle is already Amazon's second best-selling game in the U.S. ithis year. But there's still hope Nintendo might deliver a fix to Sunshine.
The company could easily add this tweak to the Switch port in patch further down the line, unlike the original 2002 release of Mario's tropical adventure. So Sunshine might return to its original, inverted self eventually.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars is available on the Nintendo Switch.