Back when Super Mario 64 was in development, nobody was thinking about Nintendo’s classic side scrollers. In 1996, 3D was the future and it was all we could see. But in the decades that followed, things balanced out again, with the indie boom highlighting the intrinsic value and untapped potential of 2D platformers, and Nintendo establishing two distinct streams of Mario releases. With Sunshine, Galaxy and more, Mario continued to push the boundaries of three dimensions – while New Super Mario Bros. introduced subsequent generations to the simple pleasures of sending a flat Italian in an arc across the TV screen as if drawing a picture. red and blue rainbow.

However, now it feels like 1996 again. Each new 3D Mario game remains a real event, a source of surprise, wonder and endless playfulness, but 2D games have become stagnant and stagnant. Indeed, sometimes it seems that the river has stopped moving at all – as if because of that Super Mario Maker 2, Nintendo ditched the 2D design and gave the tools to fans to use. It’s a shame, because this year’s Prime Day sales highlighted exactly the wrong end of the spectrum.

New Super Mario Bros. is heavily discounted in the UK. U Deluxe, a rare creative update for Nintendo EAD. However, the revealing Super Mario Odyssey, in which you play not only for the best in the Mushroom Kingdom, but also for a frog, a t-rex, binoculars and a hatch cover, is 7% off in the UK. Boxed copy Super Mario 3D All-Stars (opens in a new tab), meanwhile, will set UK buyers back a full £69.99. So, not many kids will be playing Mario 64 for the first time this summer.

(Image: Nintendo)

If there’s any consolation, it’s that you can get a good deal in the UK Super Mario 3D world and its acclaimed Switch expansion, Bowser’s Fury. A strong argument can be made that this is where the innovation of old-school 2D Mario – a game that combines Mario 64’s moveset with the tightly structured level grammar of early side-scrollers – disappeared. A 26% savings is nothing, especially when Nintendo’s flagship games almost never come cheap. Especially not Mario, who is often seen picking up full MSRP half a decade after a particular record’s release. I guess these designer overalls don’t buy themselves.

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