It is just as you remember it, there in lies the issue
Super Mario All-Stars was first released back in 1993 for the Super Nintendo, it consisted of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. Nintendo compiled these classics together and updated the graphics, added save features and fixed some of the glitches. To put it simply it was a great game, they made everybody's favourite Mario games worth playing again, and they were better. If you wanted to play these games this was the way to play them. They then released a simmilar game called Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World, which was all the games featured on All-Stars and Super Mario World, making that the better game. Jump forward to 2010 and it's Mario's 25th Birthday, and to celebrate Nintendo released Super Mario All-Stars again for the Wii at a "Bargain" price of £25 ($30).
The game is essentially just an emulation of the SNES game, it features no changes what so ever. It IS the exact same game you played back in 1993, even down to the on-screen Super Nintendo Controller. Some may call this being faithfull to the original game, but there is such a thing of being too faithfull. I feel Nintendo were worried that if they changed to much the "Hardcore" Mario fans would be angry at Nintendo for tainting a classic. So they stuck to being safe and released somthing to please that crowd. What is more odd though is why Nintendo did not include Super Mario World in this collection, it would have been just as easy to add that game and it is considered by many to be one of the best 2D Mario games peroid! Or why did they not go the extra effort and include Super Mario 64 or Super Mario RPG, it just seems to me that Nintendo are being lazy and they knew it would sell without them anyway.
As the games remain intact however it also means these are still one of the best ways to play these games, and this game shows that Mario games are alot of fun! These games still hold up to today and you will have alot of fun going back and reliving those memories. Each game is well repesented and plays perfectly fine, for those who did not pick up the original All-Stars will be-able to play the deviously challenging Lost Levels and discover what the true meaning of rage quit. If you have never played any of these games before though and you jumped in on the series at say Gamecube era then this package is a nice and simple way to play the classics withotu having to track down a SNES.
They did include a soundtrack that features music from each major Mario game, the song selection is good but they only chose one song from each game. And with game's like Super Mario Galaxy where there is a huge selection of musical masterpieces that they could have chosen it just seems odd they would only include one. There are 10 songs in total which as I mentioned span the Mario timeline, but then they decided to put on 3 second sound bites from Super Mario Bros. These include the coin noise and the game over music, my mind can not comprehend what made some Nintendo designer feel the need to instead of include 10 more musical pieces from Mario games they decided that we would much rather have the 1-Up sound bite.
Also included with the package is a booklet called Super Mario History, it is full to the brim with artwork of all of Mario's major games. The inside cover is covered with artwork of Mario from his different adventures and the back cover is full of artwork or Mario's varoius enemys and villians. The rest of the booklet is about each of Mario's staple games, which seems odd to me. The booklet and soundtrack both only seem to cover Mario's Major games, his varoius spin off's are not mentioned anywhere. But it does however include quotes from Shigeru Miyamoto, Takashi Tezuka and Koji Kondo about Mario's games and just some bits of infomation about the games. For example Tezuka reveals that Yoshi was supposed to be a Koopa originally, the saddle on his back was actully his shell. So some cool bit's of infomation, but for the hardcore Mario fan they would know all of this already.
The game as I prevoiusly mentioned is £25 ($30), however on the Wii's Virtual Console SNES games are considerably cheaper, about 1/3 of the price that this game is priced at. So essentially your paying the extra £15 or so for the soundtrack and the booklet, which when you add it up is not worth the extra money. Despite all of this the game will still sell, and Nintendo knows it, the games comes in a fancy red box with Mario's 25th Anniversary coloured in shiny gold on the front cover. 30 year olds will buy it for the nostalgia and 10 year olds will buy it be cause it has Mario in the name and think "Well Galaxy and Mario Kart were fun so this should be to!".
This is a hard game to reccomend, even though the soundtrack and booklet are things you will listen to and look at once and never again, you should play these games. The games are alot of fun and if you have never played these games before and you call yourself a Nintendo fan you really should play these. Even if you have played these games before you will enjoy it for both the quality of the games and the nostalgia. But you can't help thinking that this game could have been so much more.