Super Mario RPG, Mario’s first role-playing adventure from 1996, is being remade for Nintendo Switch. The new version, which has updated graphics but otherwise looks faithful to the original, will be released on Nov. 17, 2023, Nintendo announced during its June Nintendo Direct.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, to give it its full title, was a heralded collaboration between Nintendo and RPG specialists Square (now Square Enix) that launched on the Super Nintendo. It had turn-based combat, an isometric camera, and 3D-rendered graphics that really stood out from other Mario games at the time.
Super Mario RPG has its devotees, but it never got a follow-up; its legacy was instead to serve as inspiration for two long-running Mario RPG series, Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi, both of which borrowed some of its mechanics and its humorous approach to storytelling in Mario’s world. Despite its reputation, Super Mario RPG hasn’t been that easy to play over the years, wither. Virtual console releases for Wii and Wii U weren’t followed by a release on the Switch Online subscription service — and now we know why.
Super Mario RPG for Switch’s visual makeover looks cute, but beneath the surface level, how well will this early experiment in expanding the Mario universe have aged? We’ll find out in November.