Super Mario Bros 35 was first announced during the Super Mario Bros 35th Anniversary Direct that aired on September 3rd, and today is the day that it has finally released for the public to try. While obviously a rip off of the fan made Mario Royale that came out last year, Nintendo is continuing off of the Tetris 99 formula and seeing how it works with their flagship brand.
Well, I spent a couple hours playing the game and seeing how it actually works, and I have some impressions. But before you read that, check out my first win! I will explain what is happening here in a moment.
Right off the bat, you are not introduced to much. A random daily challenge is thrown in your face with little-to-no tutorial in sight. I found it strange in the current climate of video games, but it was also refreshing, as it reminded me of the days of old when games did not coddle and threw you directly into the fire.
Super Mario Bros 35 does just that.
From the main menu, you are given the options to 35-Player Battle, which is the go-to, Special Battle, which are special limited time events, and Course Practice, which lets you go to whichever stage you wish and smooth out your gameplay.
That last option is especially great for players who did not grow up during the NES days, as it allows them to get a feel for the platforming mechanics and damage boosting that the original Super Mario Bros is famous for. It is also, basically, a free play of the original game, although that can be played in Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online as well in its more native state.
Oddly, I decided to dive right into the Special Battle, which is currently active until 10/5/2020 at 2:59am. This mode throws you and 34 others into a wild assortment of Super Mario Bros levels with no rhyme or reason. It is hectic fun and a real challenge for those looking for an abstract competition.
35-Player Battle allows you and the other players to decide which stage you want to start in (And include in the potential series of levels), and this makes the rounds in this mode feel a bit more relaxed and safer. Most of the time I spent here, players chose earlier stages to make things easier in the long run. I circled to 1-1 five different times in a single playthrough, and it honestly lacked that challenge you get from Special Battle because of this.
The way the game plays is fairly simple… play Super Mario Bros. However, there are two important things happening in Super Mario Bros 35 that change things up. First is the item randomizer you can access after collecting 20 or more coins during your run, and it is something I constantly forgot to use during my time, despite its incredibly helpful nature. This randomizer is accessed by the X button during gameplay, and it will randomly give you a mushroom, a fire flower, star power, or a POW block that kills everything on screen.
And speaking of killing things on screen, every time you kill an enemy, that exact enemy will spawn as an extra baddie in another player’s game. This is the other major thing that changes the game up. Killing Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Bloopers, and even Bowser will spawn them over to another player, even if they are playing a level that those enemies do not belong in. This allows for some hilarious moments and some panic in a Mario game unlike any other.
The game is part race, part battle, and it is hard to find exactly where it lies on that line. It is not so clear how far or fast you have to go in the game, but it is clear that you need to survive. That is absolute. Doing these other things along the way just helps your chance of lasting longer than everyone else, but it does not seem like they are as absolute of a necessity as surviving.
Playing the game will net you experience and coins, which will reward you with different Super Mario-themed avatars to show off and higher placement on the leaderboards. It makes for a nice brag if you play with friends online, but it does not serve a whole lot more purpose than that.
Overall, the game is a ton of fun, albeit a bit shallow and not offering a whole lot more than what is present. If you enjoy the original Super Mario Bros, chances are you will enjoy Super Mario Bros 35. The battle royale aspect is a nice touch, but I personally do not think it has quite the appeal of Tetris 99, despite me being a huge platforming fan.
The game is free for Nintendo Switch Online users, and it is only available to download and play until March 31, 2021 for some idiotic reason. Despite these unfortunate things, it is still worth a play, even if it is for a few rounds. It may not be the best battle royale game (Not by a long shot), but it is fun and currently available.
Super Mario Bros 35 Review provided by NintendoLink
Review also available on OpenCritic
Release Date: October 1, 2020
Price: Free for Nintendo Switch Online Subscribers
Game Size: 400 MB
Super Mario Bros goodness!
Fun battle royale mechanics
Special Battle has good assortment of stages
Too much 1-1 in normal mode
Hard for players not used to old Mario mechanics and platforming. A bit unforgiving.
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.