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Target internal systems list the LEGO Super Mario starter set as launching in August 2020, priced at $70

Here we LEGO!

The LEGO Super Mario collaboration was officially revealed just a few weeks back, but there's still so much more to learn. We know there are multiple sets, but what's included with them, and when will it all launch? Thanks to a Target insider, we have a tiny sliver of info to share.

According to Target's internal systems, we can expect LEGO Super Mario to make its debut in August 2020. The listing right now says Aug. 1st, 2020, but we're not sure if that's placeholder. Along with that, the listing is for the starter set in particular, which is priced at $70. No details on what's included in that, or if other sets will launch the same day.

Nintendo will most likely have a lot more to share on LEGO Super Mario sometime in June. E3 may not be going on, but it's likely the Big N will continue on with some sort of digital showcase.

Thanks to our anonymous tipster for the heads up!

Musicians spend their time in self quarantine collaborating on a fantastic cover of the 'Fever' theme from Dr. Mario

Playing feverishly

The Dr. Mario series may not have a ton of music, but what's there is really great stuff. The 'Fever' theme is probably the favorite of most fans already, but if it's not, the above cover will certainly change a few minds!

A bunch of musicians gathered together virtually to work on one hell of a cover for the Fever theme while they're stuck in self quarantine at home. Seems like a really great way to keep busy, and the end result is definitely a toe-tapper!

Thanks to Lorenz for the heads up!

Dr. Mario World - content update for April 2nd, 2020

[Stage Mode] A new World has been added to Stage Mode: World 14. It features 20 new levels (Stages 521 to 540). Clearing those allows you to get the following as reward: Stingby (no end date)

[Doctors] One new Doctor is now available: Dr. Nabbit. A new Assistants has also been added: Stingby. (featured until April 9th)

[Store] A new Diamond Sale is now live, with the following pack now available in the Store: Diamond x150 (100 + 50 Bonus) (available until April 9th)

[Events] A new Event is now live: Collect Clear Stars! While it’s running, you can receive various rewards by collecting clear stars (available until April 9th, with rewards available until April 12th)

GoNintendo Thought: Should Nintendo tweak Super Mario 64 for a Switch release?

Messing with nostalgia

We're keeping the Mario theme going strong this week with a third feature on the mustached mascot. Today we dive into a touchy subject about porting one of Mario's greatest adventures. As always, thanks for reading.

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Word on the street is that Nintendo is cooking up a Switch package they've dubbed internally as Super Mario All-Stars 2. This collection will include Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy, and the 3D one that started it all, Super Mario 64. Without the groundwork laid by Super Mario 64, who knows what the rest of the 3D Mario series would be like. Hell, Super Mario 64 was hugely influential to 3D game design in the industry as a whole! The game is an absolute icon, and remains a shining achievement of development.

If Nintendo does indeed bring Super Mario 64 to the Switch, there are no doubt long-time fans who'll happily dive into the game for a stroll down memory lane. Along with those players, there will be newcomers who've never had the chance to check out Mario's 3D debut. An interesting conundrum comes when you think of those two audiences as a singular group. With Super Mario 64, how do you make sure you don't strip the nostalgia old players have while still appealing to the sensibilities and expectations of modern gamers?

Nintendo has actually taken both approaches in the past. Super Mario 64 was brought over to the DS all the way back in 2004, and they decided to include some tweaks and new content. A few of the changes were pretty superfluous, with a bunch of mini-games thrown in, and a local multiplayer experience that let you take control of Luigi, Wario, and Yoshi. There were also some changes to how the in-game camera worked, allowing you to manipulate your view with virtual buttons, and control your character with the stylus or the DS wrist strap. All in all, a number of changes that were sometimes necessary, and other times throwaway.

Then you have the release of Super Mario 64 on the Virtual Console, which hit both the Wii and Wii U. That was pretty much a straightforward port of the original game, providing you with the purest Super Mario 64 experience you could get without firing up an actual N64. Yes, the game did run and look better on those platforms, but outside of that, you were getting the same game people got in 1996.

Again, if rumors are true, we'll have yet another way to play Super Mario 64 very soon. Seeing the game release as part of a package on Switch would be welcome indeed, but it begs the questions of what should be fixed, what should be left alone, and if new content should be added. There's no rule book for this kind of thing, and Nintendo will have to approach the situation very carefully. Diving back into players' formative gaming moments is a dangerous thing, and tampering with those memories can rile people up in an instant.

When it came to the first Super Mario All-Stars, every game in the package got a complete visual overhaul. The were given the Super Nintendo treatment, so everything had a lot more color, looked smoother, was more detailed overall, and certainly ran better. With that said, there was no option to play those classics with the visuals they originally had. You either had to deal with the revamped graphics, or stick to the NES and original cartridges.

Seeing as how Nintendo reworked the visuals and smoothed out gameplay in Super Mario All-Stars, it stands to reason they'd do the same with Super Mario All-Stars 2. I think everyone is on-board with the idea of making sure the game runs as smooth as silk. While it might be shocking for some to see the game play without framerate stutters or slowdown, I don't think anyone would say the change was for the worse. Having the game play smoothly from start to finish would make for a better experience overall.

Now when it comes to visuals, what in the world do you do? Do you just run with the original style of the game and show it off in high def? Super Mario 64 looked better on the Wii than N64 by a mile, and it looked better still on the Wii U than Wii. Making the jump to Switch could certainly dial things up a bit again, but we have to keep in mind the law of diminishing returns. If you're just going with a straightforward visual port, by and large, things will look pretty comparable between the Wii U and Switch versions.

Does Nintendo head in the direction of the original Super Mario All-Stars and give the game a complete visual overhaul? What visual style do you go in with that? Do you make something that looks closer to the style of Mario in Super Mario Sunshine or Super Mario Galaxy? Do you completely rework textures for an wholly unique appearance? Do you give players a bunch of different filters to apply that will certainly be noticeable, but aren't as ambitious as a reskin? It's a tough question, and whatever Nintendo decides to go with will certainly draw the ire of some fans.

The considerations continue when you move into the game's camera. The camera system was absolutely revolutionary for the time, but by today's standards it seems barbaric. The camera will seem too limited for newcomers who will compare the game to titles of the last 15 years. A revamped camera system could work wonders for some portions of the game, but it could end up causing major headaches in others. Super Mario 64 was built around its landmark camera system, and opening things up to a more free-moving camera could end up breaking the experience in ways that are hard to consider.

Should music get a bump up in quality as well? Could we have higher-quality versions of the original tunes, or is it time to completely rework the soundtrack? Should we have the same compositions with new instruments, or remixes of those classic tracks? Just as the game itself is revered for its gameplay, the soundtrack is held in equal regard. It may have used a rather limited set of samples, but the tunes we got are absolutely timeless. Would going all-out on a soundtrack revamp feel too out-of-place for the rest of the game?

There are even people out there who'll be upset if Nintendo goes in to squash some bugs from the classic title. If particular tricks don't work as they used to, and glitches can't be exploited as they've been all these years, a smaller subset of players might not get the same enjoyment out of the game. I think most would agree that the game's bug/glitch collection should be addressed to make for a better experience, but you never know what you'll miss until it's gone!

I can tell you one thing for sure. I wouldn't want to be in Nintendo's position when addressing a potential port. Walking that fine line between paying tribute to the original while bringing it up-to-speed for today's players is a dangerous, dangerous journey to take. That said, I'm not just going to drone on about Nintendo's woes and leave it at that. It's only fair that I offer up my own opinions on what I think should happen. I'll break each section down with quick bulletpoints.

Graphics: Leave the visuals as-is, but obviously take the high-res route. Throw in filters that change the style/mood of the game, but don't give me something that looks like Sunshine or beyond. The retro visuals are part of the game's charm.

Audio: While I would be curious to hear remixes, I think a higher quality audio experience with the original tracks is what I'd most enjoy. Those songs are forever ingrained in my memory, and hearing them in higher quality interests me more than remixes that could change the vibe.

Controls: While I know it could cause some major troubles, I think it's worth the effort to go in and tweak the camera. It doesn't have to be up to snuff with today's games, but it can certainly be a more modern approach overall. I think there's a good middle ground to find.

Bugs: To tell you the truth, I wouldn't mind one bit if the game retained all of its original issues. Some of those made the game more enjoyable!

Tech specs: I'm all for having the game running at 60fps in 1080p. That said, I don't think a true widescreen mode would work, and could actually end up ruining some of the game. Just throw in a healthy selection of borders and I'm good to go.

Again, those are just my suggestions for what I would like. Those picks may be completely off-base for other players, and that's totally fine. This is exactly why I wouldn't want to be Nintendo! If they really are bringing the game to Switch, these are all things they have to consider and then make a final call on. That's a big deal for any classic title, but when it's a historic, monumental game-changer like Super Mario 64, the stakes are that much higher.

To be honest, I think the best solution in the end is to make almost every new feature an option, instead of a default. Let players mix and match what they want. Old songs and new visuals, or new songs, old visuals. Classic 4:3 or widescreen with borders. Whatever additions and changes are made should be up to the player, which leaves the most wiggle room to make a majority of people happy. Now making sure the mix-and-match approach doesn't break the game in new ways would most likely be a programming nightmare, but I believe the end result would make for a better public reception overall.

Lots of things to consider, lots of fires to put out. Nintendo has their work cut out for them if they're taking on this port. The thing is, if any game in Nintendo's history is worth the trouble, it's Super Mario 64. It was, and still is an unbelievable achievement for gaming as whole, and the impact it made ripples through the industry to this day. I'd say that makes it more than worth the extra effort. Mario certainly deserves the royal treatment for his 35th anniversary, and I have a feeling Nintendo agrees.

Sabotage Studio talks about the influence of Super Mario RPG and Chrono Trigger on Sea of Stars

Pulling from the greats

Sabotage Studio, the team behind The Messenger, recently launched a Kickstarter for Sea of Stars, an RPG that takes place in the same universe as The Messenger. Those who checked out the Kickstarter (and helped it hit the funding goal) were quick to notice some influences on the game, and Sabotage Studio is more than willing to confirm suspicions. In an interview with Gamasutra, Sabotage's Thierry Boulanger opened up about the influence from both Chrono Trigger and Super Mario RPG.

"Chrono Trigger is great because there wasn't a transition when you got into combat, you just started fighting. In Super Mario RPG, you need to press the attack button and not just watch an animation when you attack. We wanted to have active input. When I was a kid playing any turn-based RPG I would always press the attack button hoping it would do something. I wanted our game to have that too."

Dr. Mario World - content update for April 1st, 2020

[Events] A new Event is now live: Battle Box Boost!. While it’s running, you can open battle boxes with fewer keys than normal (available until April 2nd)

Mario Tennis Aces April 2020 content update now available

Take a swing at things

The April Participation Bonus in the Mario Tennis Aces "April Online Tournament" is now available. The bonus includes colored Chain Chomp caps (250 Participation Points for a White & Yellow cap, 500 for White & Red, and 1,000 for White & Green). Along with that, the Co-op Challenge: Shy Guy Train Tussle has returned, and the Goal-Clear Bonus is different colored Shy Guys (2,500 Points for Blue Shy Guy, 10,000 for Green Shy Guy, and 20,000 for Yellow Shy Guy).

Super Mario X Levi's collab now available in Japan

Denim denim denim...

The Super Mario X Levi's collaboration was revealed back in early March, and it includes jeans, jackets, overalls, hoodies, shirts, and more. That entire lineup is now available in Japan, with items ranging from $55 to $148. If you'd like a recap on the specific items this collaboration includes, you can check out our previous rundown here.

Dr. Nabbit joining Dr. Mario World on April 2nd, 2020

Dag Nabbit!

Nintendo mentioned the other day that new characters are coming to Dr. Mario World soon, and we've just learned the identity of one of them. Dr. Nabbit is making his way to the game on April 2nd, 2020, along with some new stages. There's sure to be at least one more character reveled before the update goes live, and we'll be sure to bring you info on that character when it becomes available.

Viz Media releasing "Super Mario Bros. Manga Mania" in the West on Dec. 8th, 2020

A surprise localization without a doubt

Well here's a localization I never saw coming. Viz Media has announced that they're releasing Super Mario Bros. Manga Mania, which is an English version of the Super Mario-Kun series in Japan. Super Mario-Kun is a Mario manga series written by Yukio Sawada that appears in CoroCoro Comic. The series is full of crude humor, puns, moments that break the 4th wall, and more.

We're not sure which entries in the Super Mario-Kun series have been grabbed for this collection, it's just a smattering, rather than a complete set. Super Mario Bros. Manga Mania launches on Dec. 8th, 2020 and is priced at $10. Check out the release's official blurb below.

Experience the zany world of Super Mario Bros. through manga! Join Mario and pals in crazy adventures inspired by the hit video games! This collection of short stories showcases the fan-favorite characters of the Super Mario Bros. world in new, unconventional and hilarious ways. Handpicked from years of Mario comics in Japan, this compilation has never been available in English—until now!

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