Back in 1993, nobody thought that Nintendo would remake some of its older NES games for the Super Nintendo. Despite the new era for the SNES, Nintendo decided to port a few of its older Mario games for the 16-bit powerhouse. One such result was a game that wrapped Mario's three main adventures and added a Japan-only game to the mix. On top of that, the four games were dolled up to fit the SNES's sound and palette scheme. The result? Super Mario All-Stars, also known as Super Mario Collection to our buddies from the Land of the Rising Sun.
As mentioned before, there are four games wrapped into one: Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2), all redesigned for the Super Nintendo. Super Mario 1 makes you traverse through levels by jumping on platforms, busting blocks, getting mushrooms and fire flowers, and jumping on enemies and smashing Bowser. The Lost Levels is a remixed, harder version of the first game, except it lets you play as either Mario or Luigi, with different strengths and weaknesses. Super Mario 2 makes you travel through levels with an entirely different setting; making you pick up and toss enemies and veggies, dig through sand, and defeat bosses; all with a quartet featuring Mario and friends, each with his own different strengths. Super Mario 3 makes you stomp on enemies and pick up mushrooms, raccoon leaves, frog suits, and Tanooki suits, with 8 different worlds and different baddies to conquer. All in a day's work for Mario, and the levels are almost exactly the way you remember it!
Nintendo took the graphics of the originals and took two steps high with it. The graphics are cleaner, more crisp, and more detailed then the original counterparts, and there's scrolling backgrounds to boot! On top of that, Luigi got himself different sets of sprites, making him more like his popular self instead of just another palette-swap version of Mario. There may be subtle differences with the positioning of certain sprites in Super Mario 3 (due to combining the differences between the Japanese and American versions), but that shouldn't mess up the gameplay. Also, the kings have different sprites as well!
You can tell that a lot of time and consideration has been taken into making this game collection. Considering that the graphics are better, the music is cooler, and the gameplay is the same as we know it, there is no reason why this game shouldn't be part of a retro gamer's collection. Many a purist would much prefer the originals, but that fact hasn't stopped Super Mario All-Stars from becoming a Player's Choice title. If there ever was a game that defined the term Super Nintendo, this game is one of them. This smash hit will continue to become one of the greatest SNES games ever made.