Super Mario Bros. Wonder Trailer Proves One Vital Truth About Nintendo
The Prince of Nightmares.
Nintendo has made a name for itself with innovation, proving time and again over the decades that it’s not afraid to reimagine and redefine its biggest series. That sentiment seems to have been proven once again with the reveal of Super Mario Bros. Wonder, a new 2D entry that already seems wildly ambitious. Between mind-bending perspective shifts and an already fan-favorite Elephant Mario, Wonder looks like it retains the spirit of what makes the series so special to this very day.
The influence of the Mario series is something talked about exhaustively, from the way the original game practically saved the industry in the mid-'80s, to the way Super Mario 64 helped push forward 3D games in general.
Over the years Mario has been so successful because one of its core tenets is reinvention. Every game in the mainline series wants to be something different, wants to do something different. Sometimes this results in interesting gimmicks like the FLUDD from Super Mario Sunshine, and other times it results in truly innovative designs like the platforming of Super Mario 64 or the co-op of Super Mario 3D World. Each game takes a hard look at what the series is all about, and what kind of unique experience it can provide within that context.
Even with just one trailer it looks like Super Mario Bros. Wonder is playing into that idea perfectly. The Elephant Mario tease is obviously a lot of fun, but it’s even more fun to imagine how that transformation might play into the game’s mechanics. He can launch enemies and stomp through blocks, but could Elephant Mario also shoot water from his trunk, how would that work? Past power-ups have brought wild new gameplay styles to Mario, like the Cat and double power-ups, so it’s easy to see Elephant doing the same thing.
Past that, however, there are some other wild details in the trailer. There’s some kind of flower that, when collected, seems to shift the very nature of the world around Mario and make inanimate objects come to life. There’s a green pipe that inches forward like a worm, a shadowy world where Mario gets bigger and shorter with the background, and a rampaging herd of sheep-like creatures to ride.
Past all this, the visual style of Wonder emulates classic Mario concept art with character animations, blending that with 3D assets to create a distinct visual identity. It’s a wonderful cacophony of baffling sights.
A lot of what was in the trailer for Wonder is hard to wrap your mind around, like how things will work mechanically. This is the first original 2D Mario built from the ground up for Switch, not counting Super Mario Maker 2. It’ll be interesting to see what that allows Nintendo to do here. At the very least, it’s abundantly clear that the series’ spirit of innovation is alive and well, and that’s enough reason to look forward to this new entry.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder launches on October 20 for Nintendo Switch.