Back in 2009 when I reviewed Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection I said that it would be a cold day in hell when Nintendo releases a collection of 16-bit hits. I still can’t see Nintendo sharing their back catalogue in full any time soon, and after reading NGamer Magazine’s review of Super Mario All-Stars: 25th Anniversary Collection – which they awarding a mediocre 55% review score – I’m so angered by how Nintendo refuse to put proper retro collections together that I’ve had to have this little rant.
The problem NGamer had was not with the games themselves but rather the lack of effort put into it. It is, literally, just Super Mario All-Stars slapped on a Wii disk. The menus, and even the copyright screens showing the year as 1993, are identical. Amazingly, it isn’t even the later version of Super Mario All-Stars that also featured Super Mario World. The music CD that comes with it also sounds like a missed opportunity – it apparently contains one music track from each game (yes, one) and a bunch of sound effects thrown on for shits and giggles. What? Exactly.
It’s Mario’s 25th Anniversary, for fuck’s sake. I’m not expecting stuff like Mario 64 to make it onto the collection seeing it probably sells well on Virtual Console still, but they could have at least put the NES originals and maybe Donkey Kong on there too in order to show everybody Mario’s roots.
Now Sega on the other hand know how to celebrate their history. Sonic Jam on the Sega Saturn only featured four Sonic games but it had a 3D front end that had a number of challenges to beat plus footage of old TV commercials and the like. Then there was Sonic Adventure 2 10th Anniversary Birthday Pack on Dreamcast which had a music CD overflowing with tunes, plus a snazzy case containing a booklet and a gold coin. Lest we forget the aforementioned Mega Drive collection either which had a staggering 40 games on it. A lot of its contents are available on Xbox Live Arcade, PSN and Virtual Console so Nintendo can’t really say that they’re going to loose out on cash from downloads by putting together a Mario collection worth having.
I was thinking of pre-ordering a copy, but after reading that review I think I’ll save my money for Donkey Kong Country.