The Super Mario Bros. Wonder Direct Excited, Surprised, and Terrified

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| September 7, 2023

Since the June 2023 Nintendo Direct, I and many others have anxiously awaited more news about Super Mario Bros. Wonder. The return to 2D, a shift in art style, and some new power-ups left us in anticipation of the game’s release. Well, we shall wonder no more because Nintendo dropped a whole Direct dedicated to the game! We got 15 minutes of gameplay and reveals that have made me even more excited for the release. They even threw in a few more character reveals, but we’ll get to that in a second.

Return to Basics

I live for the simpler times. (Nintendo)

It’s been a while since we got a proper 2D Mario game, 13 years, in fact. Since New Super Mario Bros. U was released for the Wii U in 2012, Mario has remained squarely in the 3D realm (not including Mario Maker). Super Mario Bros. Wonder returns the series to its roots with tight, imaginative, and fun 2D platforming. Mario’s traditional moves, like his triple jump, ground pound, and long jump, seem to be back. But Mario Wonder isn’t just limiting you to playing as the titular plumber; seven other characters will also be playable.

Aside from Mario, you can play as Luigi, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Blue and Yellow Toad, Yoshi (of various colours), and that little shit Nabbit. Yoshi and Nabbit don’t take any damage, but they also can’t use power-ups, so they’re great for new players. The other characters play the same this time (no higher jump for Luigi), so you can play as your favourite. All these characters will help you not get confused when you jump into the online multiplayer, where you can run through levels with other players (you can’t interact with them, but you can see them). There’s also a four-player co-op, so you can still throw your friends into the void.

A New Story

Classic Bowser being an ass. (Nintendo)

If you’ve ever played a Mario game, you know how most of their plots go. Mario and the gang are hanging out with Princess Peach. Bowser shows up and kidnaps the Princess, and Mario has to save her. This has been the new Super Mario Bros. series formula for a while, but Wonder is changing that. For starters, we’re in a new kingdom called the Flower Kingdom. The main schtick of this kingdom is, you guessed it, flowers, with the most special one being the Wonder Flower. After Mario and the crew meet the ruler of this kingdom, Bowser shows up and steals a Wonder Flower. This turns Bowser into a giant flying fortress and starts to take over the land. It’s up to Mario and his friends to stop Bowser and save the Flower Kingdom.

It’s nice to have a Mario story that isn’t about saving a Princess. It’s also nice to be outside the Mushroom Kingdom (even if the Flower Kingdom still has similar-level themes). This new take on Bowser being a fortress may seem a little out of left field, but I’m intrigued by how things play out. But let us have a moment of silence for the Koopalings, who look like they won’t be appearing in this game (mostly Lemmy). Either way, this story is shaping up to be one of Mario’s more wonderful adventures, in no little part to some new power-ups.

Wonderful Power-Ups

Unlimited POWER! (Nintendo)

Being a new Mario game, we were expected to get new power-ups, and this Direct gave us plenty. The main three they showed off were the Bubble power-up, which lets you trap enemies inside bubbles. The drill power-up destroys enemies from above and below. And finally, the elephant in the room, the elephant power-up. I don’t know what it is, but I get creeped out whenever I see this new power. It’s most definitely a me thing, but it just doesn’t sit right with me.

Putting my bias aside, the gameplay for the elephant looks fun. You’re able to crush blocks by swinging your trunk, you can run over small gaps, and you can shoot water from your trunk. The water can help revive flowers throughout levels, and they’ll give you rewards. Each character has their own elephant form, so be prepared for elephant Toad (Yoshi and Nabbit don’t have one for obvious reasons). I’ll probably only use it when necessary when I get my hands on the game because I don’t need Elephant Toad to haunt my dreams.

This will haunt my dreams for months to come. (Nintendo)

The Super Mario Bros. Wonder Direct has got me even more excited to play this game. I love the return to 2D, the art style, the new story, and most of the new power-ups (the elephant is gonna haunt me). If you want even more, Nintendo showed uninterrupted gameplay on their Treehouse livestream, so be sure to check it out. I’m keen to get my hands on New Super Mario Bros. Wonder when it releases on October 20th. Stay locked to Couch Soup for the latest Super Mario Bros. Wonder news and updates.

You can check out the full Direct below.

Are you excited for Super Mario Bros. Wonder? What character will you play? Are you also creeped out by the elephant? Let us know in the comments where we can talk about our favourite (or least favourite) power-ups.

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