After more than two decades of starless slumber, Mario’s first-ever foray into the RPG genre, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, is coming to modern hardware via a Nintendo Switch remake. Revealed as part of today’s bumper Nintendo Direct, which also showcased a new 2D Mario game and a Detective Pikachu sequel, the remake is set to release on November 17 this year.
The Seven Stars will shine again!
While it likely wasn’t on anyone’s Nintendo Direct bingo card for today’s presentation, it’s inarguable that a new visit to the world of this seminal SNES classic was long overdue. Originally released in 1996, and serving as a sort of swansong for the console, Super Mario RPG was developed by Square and published by Nintendo, with the former bringing their RPG expertise and the latter providing their iconic cast of characters to work with. The result was an incredibly tactile take on the turn-based RPG genre, incorporating platforming and puzzle solving in between battles to great effect.
And while those iconic characters, such as Mario and Peach, were given lead roles in the game’s story, it was the new characters that really stole the show here, specifically Mallow and Geno. Any fans of Super Smash Bros. will be familiar with the latter, due to a long-running campaign to have him added to the series, but the former is widely beloved too, for his excellent character arc in this game.
This new remake looks to preserve everything that made the original game great, albeit with a fresh coat of paint. Everything is incredibly vibrant in the reveal trailer, from the characters to the backdrops, and while it does sacrifice some of the unique atmosphere of the original’s pseudo-claymation art style, the trade-off is a clearer, more defined game that should be much easier to navigate.
While this does appear to be a straightforward remake based on what we’ve seen so far, Nintendo could very well have some tricks up its sleeve, and throw in additional content that really takes advantage of the new engine. Time will tell, but in any case, the Super Mario RPG remake was one of the highlights of today’s Nintendo Direct, and should be one of the highlights of the 2023 game release calendar as well.