Super Mario Bros Wonder shown during whimsical Nintendo Direct

Super Mario Bros Wonder Nintendo Direct June 2023 announcement

Within the space of 24 hours, Nintendo announced and then aired a presentation loaded with upcoming game announcements for the Nintendo Switch. Prime among them was Super Mario Bros Wonder, a new dreamlike 2D platformer with weird and wonderful power-ups.

It wasn’t the only game in the Mario universe to feature throughout the Nintendo Direct either. There’s also a remake of Super Mario RPG coming this year, reimagining a Super Nintendo classic that never officially reached Australia. Plus, Nintendo teased a new Princess Peach game for next year, a remaster of Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon, and more tracks coming to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. In short, there’s a lot of Mario-themed stuff to look forward to.

Even if you’re not into the moustachioed hero, many other delightful-looking games emerged from the presentation. From Pikmin 4 to Persona 5 Tactica, and more remaster than you can poke a stick at, there was something to suit most tastes. It also added to the massive list of games announced at Summer Game Fest 2023. Hooray for video games!

Super Mario Bros Wonder lets you play as… an elephant?

As Nintendo’s final reveal of the presentation, Super Mario Bros Wonder left a strong impression. It looks spectacular, taking the 2D gameplay of classic Mario games and leaving behind the New Super Mario Bros template. Perhaps the beloved Italian plumber has finally taken one too many mushrooms because the Wonder footage included some of the most surreal imagery the already-imaginative series has produced.

With psychedelic-looking visual effects, bizarre enemies, and talking flowers, there’s a lot to take in. Easily the strangest part of the trailer was seeing Mario transform into an anthropomorphised elephant, replete with his signature red-and-blue outfit. It’s abilities like this and warped level design that looks set to propel Mario’s zany adventures into the future. He’s been a Tanuki, a bee, and even taken direct control of a T-Rex, so why can’t Mario be an elephant as well?

More than that, Super Mario Bros Wonder lets you play four-player local multiplayer sessions. Which, if you’re familiar with other games in the series, promises for fun mayhem with friends. Other than Mario, you can play as Luigi, Peach, Toad, and Daisy in a race to the finish. We don’t have long to wait, as Super Mario Bros Wonder launches on Nintendo Switch on 20 October 2023.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder – Nintendo Switch
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder: The next evolution of 2D side-scrolling Super Mario Bros. games is headed to Nintendo Switch.
  • Jump into the next evolution of Mario side-scrolling fun
  • Classic Mario side-scrolling gameplay is turned on its head with the addition of Wonder Flowers! These game-changing items trigger spectacular moments you have to see to believe.
  • Witness pipes coming alive, wreak havoc as a giant spiky ball, and see even more unexpected events called Wonder Effects.
  • Choose from familiar characters including Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Yoshi and Toad. Transform into Elephant Mario to use your trunk to trounce enemies with a surprising new Power-Up!

Other June 2023 Nintendo Direct highlights

It would be easy to list nearly everything shown in the Nintendo Direct, especially if you’re into Mario games and Japanese-made RPGs. Other than Super Mario Bros Wonder, one of the other major games featured was Pikmin 4. This time around, we saw new footage about the gameplay, including a new Pikmin variant that can explore at night. It looks utterly delightful and isn’t far away either, dropping onto Nintendo Switch on 21 July 2023. As a treat, Nintendo also added Pikmin and Pikmin 2 to the eShop today, with a physical release set for 22 September.

Another highlight came in the form of a new look at the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet DLC: The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero. If you’ve finished the game, you’ll know that the story went to some wild places, particularly for a Pokemon game. This alone should whet appetites for the DLC that expands on the fascinating Paldea region, with even more critters to collect.

If you’re looking for your next party game, look no further than WarioWare: Move It! A continuation of the weird spin-off series packed with goofy micro-games, this latest entry uses the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con’s motion controls to get you out of your seat and mimic whacky on-screen action. It’s out on 3 November 2023, just in time to grab it as a silly way to break the ice during Christmas parties.

Sonic Superstars also featured after its original reveal at Summer Game Fest, plus several indie games impressed, including 3D platformer Penny’s Big Breakaway and a Nintendo Switch release of Vampire Survivors, one of 2022’s best games. The Super Mario RPG remake looks like a gorgeous retelling of a cult classic, while Persona 5 Tactica keeps the popular Phantom Thieves in action.

This only scratches the surface of what Nintendo showed, so it’s worth watching the full presentation to catch up on everything. If nothing else, Nintendo certainly made a lot of Mario fans happy.

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