Super Mario Bros. Wonder - Release Date, Elephant Mario, And Everything We Know
Mario is returning to his 2D roots in October, for what looks like his most colorful and unpredictable game yet.
We're now tantalizingly close to the launch of a new Super Mario Bros. 2D game, as a jam-packed October month will see Super Mario Bros. Wonder arrive on the Switch later this week. A colorful throwback to classic Mario games and the first 2D game in the franchise in over a decade, Super Mario Bros. Wonder isn't a rehash of what has come before it but a complete rethink of what Mario can be in the modern era. An imaginative evolution of the series, the game combines the classic design of older games with new gameplay mechanics that'll shake you right out of your comfort zone. You can read all about it in our Super Mario Wonder review.
Announced during the June 2023 Nintendo Direct, Super Mario Bros. Wonder joins a number of other highly anticipated games coming to Switch over the next couple of months. As you'd expect, this new Super Mario Bros. entry is colorful, features plenty of power-ups, and it'll be out soon. Here's everything that we know about Super Mario Bros. Wonder so far, from its release date to its pachyderm power-up that took the internet by storm.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder release date and platform
Super Mario Bros. Wonder will arrive on October 20 for the Nintendo Switch, and preorders are already available for both physical and digital editions of the game. October is already a busy month on the gaming calendar, as Super Mario Bros. Wonder faces competition from Alan Wake 2, Marvel's Spider-Man 2, and Just Dance 2024.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder story and setting
The game is set in the Flower Kingdom, a region described as being just beyond the borders of the Mushroom Kingdom. Ruled by Prince Florian, who also serves as guardian of the Wonder Flower, it's not long before Bowser gets his hands on the powerful flora and starts to get up to some mischief. Bowser actually merges with Florian's castle and becomes a living battleship, with his face serving s the masthead of this titanic vehicle.
Once again it's up to Mario and his crew--Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, and Toad--to stop Bowser and his flunkies.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder gameplay
At first glance, Super Mario Bros. Wonder looks like a Mario game that isn't venturing too far from its tried-and-trusted 2D gameplay, but there's a new creative layer here that stems from a key new feature in this game. Wonder Flowers are a new collectible that you'll pick up in Mario's journey, and these flowers can rewrite the reality of the Flower Kingdom around you. Warp pipes come alive, Mario gains a noodle body, and characters transform in weird ways to add a new level of chaos to each run in a level.
Transforming the world with a Wonder Flower also starts a hunt for a special Wonder Seed, which will then turn off the Wonder effect. There are several unique Wonder Flower effects, each one remixing the elements of your typical Mario stage with game-changing ideas like living warp pipes and showers of Mario's iconic Super Stars that'll make you invincible as long as you keep grabbing them.
Graphically, the game also looks like it's pushing the Switch to its limits, as this colorful jaunt has some of the most detailed environments and character designs ever seen in a Mario game. At its core, Super Mario Bros. Wonder is still all about that perfect run across a level, but with a more unpredictable design thanks to the Wonder Flowers, this could be one of the most surprising Mario games in recent memory. And right now, the Internet can't handle the idea of Elephant Mario without getting hot under the fan art collar.
Elephant Mario is also extra-strong and can easily smash through blocks, push pipes out of his way, and can gather water in his trunk that can be squirted at enemies or water flowers. Interestingly, any character (besides Yoshi and Nabbit) can use the elephant power-up. Other power-ups revealed so far include the Drill Hat which can pulverize certain environmental obstacles and a bubble that can be used to capture enemies.
For more, you can check out the video below that contains almost 15 minutes of new gameplay.
Mario voice actor
When Wonder was first revealed, some fans noticed an apparent change in Mario's voice. Sure enough, that's because longtime voice actor Charles Martinet will no longer play Mario. Nintendo announced Martinet's retirement from the role and his shift into a new role as "Mario Ambassador." Nintendo didn't formally announce a replacement, leaving us to find out just ahead of Wonder's release that Mario and Luigi's new voice actor is Kevin Afghani.
Mario and Luigi once again headline their new game, and as seen in the reveal trailer, Toad, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, and Yoshi will all be playable as the gang unites to take on Bowser once again. So far, the full roster includes:
- Blue Toad
- Yellow Toad
Yoshi and Nabbit will work well for less experienced players, as these characters don't take damage. As a trade-off, they can't use power-ups.
As seen in the reveal trailer, up to four players can team up in Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and it looks like you can use any combo of characters to explore the Mushroom Kingdom. If you want to have a quartet of Marios or a tag team of Daisies in your session, the game will allow for those team combinations. Couch co-op and online co-op will be supported, with the option to mix up these formats being possible. You'll be able to have two players in person and two players online in a single game if you want, or if you have more than four players in a party, you can form larger group lobbies of up to 12 people who can chill out while courses are played by smaller groups.
Nintendo also mentioned that it's looking to create an "entirely positive" multiplayer experience, one that has chill vibes and a more casual approach when compared to the single-player design of the game. Players can leave behind a Standee to help other players, and you get Heart Points as a player positivity rating in exchange for your assistance.
"The concept behind the online play this time is really this idea of casual connection, being able to experience multiplayer game sessions as if you were playing a single-player game," game director Shiro Mouri said in an interview. "What I really wanted to do is create an online play experience that's entirely positive."
For example, online players can show up as shadows in courses that you can choose to race against or learn from to see if you missed any secrets of that level. Overall, Nintendo is aiming to create a multiplayer system that focuses on helping other players by sharing power-ups or rescuing others from dangerous situations.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder preorder deals
If you're just looking to buy the game and nothing else, a physical or digital copy of Super Mario Bros. Wonder will cost you $60. There are some great deals on right now, with one of the best being Best Buy's buy two, get one free Switch games promotion for My Best Buy Plus/Total members. This is a very solid deal considering how good 2023 has been for video games, and getting the latest Mario adventure for free once you purchase a Switch game like Fire Emblem Engage, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, or Detective Pikachu Returns is hard to beat.
Physical copies of Super Mario Bros. Wonder are also available to preorder at Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and GameStop, and if you're looking to go all in, you can even grab a limited-edition Nintendo Switch. This version, the Mario Red Switch OLED, is available as of October 6, and includes a silhouette of Mario and rows of coins beneath the cable cover on the vibrant red console.
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