Well, it’s finally here! Thanks to the latest Nintendo Direct, we now have all kinds of brand new footage and information about Super Mario Bros Wonder, including details relating to new characters, powerups, story details and more.
What’s more, it’s an interesting selection too. Indeed, with numerous mechanics seemingly inspired by the RPGs and all kinds of quirky additions that fit the Mario style just perfectly, Super Mario Bros Wonder is clearly trying to be more than just another bog standard Mario sidescroller, and it’s succeeding pretty well too.
So let’s go over these features shall we? Starting with the characters you’re able to play as in the game…
Which are as follows:
- Yellow Toad
- Blue Toad
- Red Yoshi
- Yellow Yoshi
- Light Blue Yoshi
It’s an interesting selection, and one that clearly includes everyone from the New Super Mario Bros games, 3D World and Super Mario Maker 2. However, they’re then split into two types.
The first (consisting of the bros, princesses and Toads) play identically to each other, and are the ‘regular’ characters in Wonder. They jump on enemies and collect powerups, die after being hit while small and act as the normal mode difficulty for the game.
Meanwhile the Yoshis and Nabbit are the easy mode ones. These ones are impervous to all forms of damage that doesn’t kill them instantly (aka anything that’s not lava, a bottomless pit, being crushed, etc) and have some unique abilities of their own, like the Yoshis ability to eat enemies and flutter jump.
It’s a fine setup, and one which basically follows the New Super Luigi U or New Super Mario Bros Deluxe format of ‘pick a certain character if you want to make the game much easier’.
That said, there is one small difference. That being, it seems like no one is forced to pick an ‘easy’ character this time around. So, if you were annoyed by Toadette’s presence in New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe and want to avoid the same thing occurring again here, well it seems you’re in luck. You can just all pick other characters and play the game at the expected difficulty level.
As for the powerups, the Direct showed three new ones. The elephant powerup, the bubble one and the drill one.
With the former not being restricted to Mario. No, now every character has an elephant form, with the same basic look and abilities. These include the option to suck up water and use it elsewhere and attack with your trunk. Hence if you wondered what Luigi or Peach’s equivalents would be here, well they’re elephants like Mario. Just… green or princess themed ones instead of Mario ones.
The other two powerups are new to the Direct, and have some of their own unique abilities. The bubble ability lets Mario and co shoot bubbles like fireballs, which can trap enemies and turn them into coins, and the drill one lets them drill into the ground to break blocks and go under barriers. The latter is especially interesting here, since it seems to be inspired by the Mario & Luigi series, which let you do the same with the dunk hammer ability:
In fact, quite a few things in this game seem to inspired by the RPGs there. From the intro with Bowser touching the mcguffin to become a more powerful form to elephant Mario using water to put out puzzles after drinking it to the badge system in general, it seems like the game is like what you’d get if an RPG and a platformer ended up in a blender.
And speaking of badges…
They’re a new mechanic in Super Mario Bros Wonder too. These give players new abilities when equipped, and can be changed before a level or on the world map. Some of the badge abilities we’ve seen are…
- Parachute Cap
- Lets you glide gently down after jumping using your cap as a parachute
- Wall Climb Jump
- Allows you to climb walls you’d wall jump off on
- Dolphin Kick
- Enables you to swim more quickly in water by using the dolphin kick move
- Crouching Jump
- The Super Jump from Super Mario Bros 2 (aka duck for a bit and jump to jump much higher)
- Grappling Vine
- A hookshot like grappling hook that can be used to climb through levels
- Safety Bounce
- Provides a way to bounce out of lava and bottomless pits to save yourself from an untimely death
- Coin Magnet
- Draws coins towards you, like Baby Wario’s magnet in Yoshi’s Island DS
There are plenty of others based on the glimpse we’ve got of the menu screen, but we’ll have to find out more when previews come out or the game is released.
These badges can be obtained either from shops on the world map, or by completing specific Badge Challenges (which are ability specific challenge levels in game).
As for the world map, the Direct shows a bit more of that too. This functions like a mix of New Super Mario Bros and Super Mario 3D World (aka some places are free roaming with levels you can unlock via Wonder Flowers, and others are linear path based setups), and has the following worlds:
- Pipe-Rock Plateau
- Fluff-Puff Peaks
- Shining Falls
- Petal Isles
Plus unnamed toxic forest, desert and volcano worlds. They’re not the most unique themes in the world, but they’re more interesting than those in other Mario games, and with every level having a unique name, show a level of personality found lacking in many of the New Super Mario Bros titles.
Especially given the Wonder Flower effects in each stage. In addition to the ones showcased in the first trailer (moving pipes, a chasing herd of cattle like enemies, Mario turning into a ball), we’ve also got:
- Mario turning into a Goomba
- A flurry of bubbles appearing from the bottom of the screen that players can bounce off of
- Mario turning into Balloon Mario
- Plus the characters flying through space
It’s an interesting setup, and one that gives a unique mechanic to every level.
As for the story, we’ve got a few more details here too. These include the identity of the caterpillar creature from the artwork (Prince Florian, the prince of the Flower Kingdom who invited the characters there), the Toad like creatures (Poplins, the Flower Kingdom’s Toad equivalents) and the name of the kingdom itself (see the rest of this sentence).
Put simply, after Prince Florian invites the characters to the kingdom for an event, Bowser and co invade and touch a Wonder Flower, merging with the castle to become a flying robot monstrosity in the process. This monstrosity then wrecks the kingdom, trapping the Poplins and causing chaos in various regions as a result.
So as you’d expect, it’s up to Mario and co to put a stop to this and save the day!
There are also a few new enemy types featured too. Some of these include:
- Rolling hippo like creatures that can be used as shell equivalents.
- Spiky creatures that leap into the air whenever Mario jumps, like Flower Kingdom Skipsqueaks
- Those charging bulls that break through rocks and chase after the players in vast herds
- Birds that dive towards Mario and co at high speed, getting stuck in walls and the floor in the process
- Thwomp like critters that slam down and break through slime. Can seemingly home in on the players.
- Dog/cat like things that can eat both players and enemies with their giant mouths
- Tall mummies that can be unravelled using the spin attack move
- Melon Piranha Plants
- Piranha Plants that shoot melon seeds machine gun style
It’s a pretty cool selection of newcomers, and one that ensures the game will feel very different to the titles set in places like the Mushroom Kingdom and Sprixie Kingdom.
And that brings us to the last major reveal. That being, the online multiplayer features. These come in two forms, the ones that players can use with randoms, and those they can use with friends.
For the former, players can see others running around the world and levels as shadows, which can be interacted with in limited ways. By doing this, they can get revived after dying (by touching another player’s shadow in ghost form), receive helpful items and provide standees for others to use as checkpoints. They’re neat enough systems, though definitely limited compared to traditional multiplayer, with a specific focus on player helpfulness.
Meanwhile for friends, a friend room can be created to allow them to race through levels together. There’s not much in the way of details here, but again interaction is limited, with players being intangible to each other rather than able to throw them around like they could in prior games.
Either way, a nice set of features, though perhaps not what fans of prior multiplayer modes might have wanted.
The (Missing) Elephant in the Room
That said, there was one thing that was surprisingly not present here. One obvious inclusion that went completely ignored in today’s Direct.
Namely, the replacement for Charles Martinet as Mario and Luigi’s main voice actor. Indeed, despite speculation, Nintendo didn’t provide any updates about that aspect of the series, instead seemingly saving the reveal for a separate announcement entirely.
So why is that? Well, it’s hard to be sure. Presumably they wanted to get people interested in other aspects of the game rather than just the voice acting, or thought it was a bit ‘big’ of a topic to cover in a 15 minute presentation like this. Regardless, we still don’t know anything about the new voice actor here.
Regardless, that’s everything included (and not included) in the Direct for Super Mario Bros Wonder. It’s a fine list of features and content, and one that makes us excited for the game’s release on October 20th this year.
But what do you think? Did Super Mario Bros Wonder look great for you? What additions were your favourites here?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or on our Discord server today!