One of the best mainline Mario games ever was nowhere to be found during today’s Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Direct.
Nintendo celebrated 35 years of Super Mario Bros. today by announcing that a number of the most beloved games in the series would finally make their way onto Switch, including Super Mario All-Stars, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Mario 3D World. Somehow Super Mario Galaxy 2 wasn’t among them though. The 2010 Wii game, which was equal to and in many ways improved on the original, isn’t part of the new Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection, and wasn’t mentioned anywhere else during the presentation.
Nintendo even went out of its way to retcon the game’s existence out of its own Super Mario Bros. 35th anniversary sizzle reel. The mini-retrospective that wrapped up the Direct made time for Super Mario Land for the Game Boy and New Super Mario Bros. for the DS, and then unceremoniously skipped from 2009’s New Super Mario Bros. Wii to 2011’s Super Mario 3D Land. 2013 was the year of Luigi. 2010 is apparently the year that didn’t happen.
Nintendo did not immediately respond to a request for comment about why Super Mario Galaxy 2 was excluded from today’s 16-minute Mario news dump.
Since that aired, the game has spent the better part of the day trending on Twitter. “Looking forward to 5 years of Nintendo fans replying to every video with ‘Where’s Mario Galaxy 2??’” wrote Tristan Cooper, former managing director of the website Dorkly. As someone else on Twitter pointed out, even Sonic got a cameo in today’s Direct courtesy of a brief shoutout to Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. Nintendo seems to have a knack for trolling fans, especially when it’s not even trying to.
Of course, today’s presentation was also weird for another reason. While Nintendo is re-releasing Super Mario 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy as one collection later this month, it’s only going to be on sale until the end of March 2021. The Switch isn’t backward compatible at all, so Nintendo has spent a lot of time porting games to it instead, especially ones originally doomed to the Wii U. Then the company replaced the Virtual Consoles of past systems with a limited catalogue of on-demand retro games through Switch Online. Now, it seems, instead of porting some games permanently to the current console, Nintendo is going to vault them, Disney-style, for a certain period of time, thereby creating a sense of artificial scarcity around great but otherwise old games.
Could this mean Super Mario Galaxy 2 and some other older Mario games could filter into rotation when the current ones leave? Perhaps the company agrees that Galaxy 2 is such a standout 3D Mario platformer it deserves its own deluxe edition. Or maybe someone there hates it so much they want the rest of us to forget it ever existed. When it comes to Nintendo, your guess is as good as mine.