Super Mario All Stars is a compilation game that celebrates the original NES Super Mario Bros. games by sticking them all on one cartridge.
At the time, it was a big deal because not only did it feature enhanced versions of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario Bros. 3, it also included Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, the Japanese sequel to Super Mario Bros. that hadn't been released in the UK at that point.
Each of the games were given improved graphics and sound so they seem more like 16-bit SNES games (like Super Mario World), and each now has save files so you don't have to play through them on one sitting any more. So not only are you getting four of the greatest platform games ever created on one disc - they look and sound better too.
These remakes aren't perfect, but how important this is depends on how obsessive you are over tiny details. The physics in this version of Super Mario Bros. are different to those in the original game, and feel more like the floatier Super Mario Bros. 3 physics. Other little glitches and quirks have been removed, too (the infamous Minus World can no longer be found).
Regardless of this, there's still no denying the quality of these four fantastic games. You've got the incredible level design and charm of the original game, the nail-bitingly difficult gameplay of The Lost Levels, the quirky veggie-chucking action of Super Mario Bros. 2 and the epic scale of Super Mario Bros 3.
.There's one big issue, however, and that's the price. This is a SNES game costing around £20 after all, and nowadays, of course, you can get all four games (even The Lost Levels) on Virtual Console, so what's the point in getting this? Firstly, it seems that this is the only way you'll ever be able to get your hands on Super Mario All-Stars on your Wii. This disc-only release suggests to us it'll never be on Virtual Console: after all, SNES games cost 800 Points (about £7) on there so why would Nintendo risk annoying people who go out and spend three times that on this version?
It's also worth noting that as well as the game you're also getting an exclusive soundtrack CD with music spanning the entire Mario series from the original Super Mario Bros. all the way up to Super Mario Galaxy, as well as a nifty booklet covering 25 years of Mario gaming.
Let's face it, there's probably many Wii owners who don't actually use their Wii online and probably don't even know about the Virtual Console service. For these people, this is their first chance to play the Mario games they knew and loved 20 years ago. They're still as good as we remember them...
This is an edited version of a review from the Christmas issue of Official Nintendo Magazine. For more in-depth analysis, screenshots and boxouts, buy the magazine here.