I don’t know what’s happening here but it scares me.

On September 13, 1985 Super Mario Bros was released for Nintendo’s Famicom. 35 years later, in a much different world than the one the blue (or red, depending on the era) overall-clad plumber debuted in, we’ve been celebrating the game’s 35th anniversary. We’ve been celebrating so hard in fact that the event has rolled over into 2021 which is actually Super Mario Bros’ 36th year on this planet. We get it Miyamoto, you came up with Mario. What do you want, a fucking medal?

Throughout the anniversary players have been able to check in on the official Mario website to complete “missions” to make them eligible for various giveaways and prizes, notably an 11-piece set of commemorative pins that are currently selling on eBay for “holy shit” levels of cash. Because this is Nintendo we’re talking about however of course they had to go and fuck it all up by splitting the pins into two sets and demand was so high for the first one that the website kept crashing upon merely trying to view the page. Still, ya boy Draco got all 11 pins and someday when I’m hurting for cash even more than I am right now I can flip them on eBay for a small paycheck.

26 missions were rolled out in total, each of them varying in how “fun” they were to complete. With the Super Mario Bros 35th Anniversary event officially over I thought I’d go back and rank each and every one of the missions based upon nothing more than my own personal opinions of them… because not only did I get all the collectible pins I actually went above and beyond and completed EVERY. SINGLE. MISSION. I received absolutely nothing for my troubles either, not even so much as a “wow good job you must have no life” message from Nintendo. (I really thought there would be a surprise, screw me okay?)

The list is in order from worst to best and in some instances I’ve grouped similar missions together. When thinking of a rank I considered how easy the missions were, how fun they were, and whether or not I felt I got something of value from them. I eagerly await to hear your disagreement with this list. Or actually, I don’t because we don’t have comments enabled on this website because like hell I’m going to moderate a WordPress.

#26: Redeem a Code from Cold Stone Creamery

“Things White People Like”, summed in one image.

Starting this list off at the very bottom is redeeming a code from a Cold Stone Creamery. I used to really enjoy ice cream once upon a time; I am absolutely no stranger to those lonely nights where you just say “fuck the world” and manage to eat a whole tub of gelato while watching a comfort movie. But once I started making an effort to be a little more health-conscious I stopped enjoying it as much as I used to and now ice cream is almost too sweet for me, and you know what’s really too sweet? The shit they sell at upper-middle class establishments like Cold Stone Creamery. I don’t know what kind of legal fuckery they had to pull in order to be able to call high fructose corn syrup “cream” but Jesus fuck is their product a one way ticket to diabetes.

Cold Stone Creamery isn’t at the bottom of this because I’m trying to flex on them as someone who’s “better than ice cream” because I’m watching my weight. It’s down here because their ice cream is expensive as fuck for what you get and there isn’t a Cold Stone within at least 200 miles of where I live. I had to make a special 30 minute detour on my way back from a trip to Houston, TX just to go to the only Cold Stone in a near 300 mile radius and be let down by chocolate ice cream that I could’ve bought a gallon of for the same price at the Target in the same fucking shopping center. It wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t worth five dollars to get what amounted to half a Solo cup full of slightly melted ice cream because Cold Stone’s whole gimmick is treating your dessert like a depressed hibachi.

Also the code on the receipt didn’t work and I had to contact Cold Stone customer support to have a new one generated for me. Fuck this overpriced whitebread ice cream.


#25: Visit Nintendo Island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

That’s the sound of everyone closing this article.

I’m not really in the target demographic for Animal Crossing. Up to this point in my life I’ve managed to avoid every single mainline Animal Crossing game and the spin-offs, including that “Amiibo Festival” one everyone seems to hate. The amiibos were nice, but never in my life had I seen a Toys R’ Us mark something down from $14 to $2 just to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Good lord. Anyways, point is I don’t consider micromanaging vegetables and debt in a weird chibi-fied furry version of The Sims to be anywhere close to the definition of “fun”, so I don’t play Animal Crossing. It’s literally just that simple.

But again, that’s not why I’ve slung Animal Crossing all the way down here with the shitty ice cream; this mission is down at the bottom because the “Official Nintendo Island” is just some map with a bunch of crap haphazardly placed around everywhere. Sure there’s some “order” to it all but ultimately the place looks like the aftermath of a plane carrying a shipment of garbage destined for Goodwill being mistaken for invading forces and getting shot down over an abandoned island. It’s just one big rummage sale of bullshit and even the “Super Mario” part of the island sucked dick, it was just a barely navigable section of land with what I assume were craftable in-game items just sitting around on display. This was all confined to a little corner of the map too, the other 95% of the island was the unrelated mess of a tornado destroying whatever flea market used to be there.

There was nothing “Super Mario” about it. Hell there wasn’t even anything markedly “Nintendo” about it either. The only reason this isn’t at the very bottom of the list is because I didn’t have to physically drive triple digit miles to be let down.


#24: Purchase Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Phoned in so hard Alexander Bell tried to sue Nintendo.

It’s officially okay to hate on this game now. For a brief period anyone criticizing this game was hounded by idiot Nintendo fanboys online and probably sent death and doxing threats because this is the internet and that’s all these morons know how to do. But, as 3D All-Stars gradually unraveled at its seams and showed us all just what a bullshit hack job it truly was people eventually came around and went turncoat on The Big N.

Whereas the original Super Mario All-Stars game for the Super NES took the 8-bit classics and revamped them into contemporary 16-bit works with upgraded visuals and music (and officially introduced us to “The Lost Levels”), 3D All-Stars was little more than some emulated game images running on your Switch. A glorified Virtual Console, if you will. Super Mario 64 received some upscaled graphics but none of its buttons were remapped “properly” and instead the game is running inside an environment that uses a LUA script to hot-swap the button mappings on the fly. Why? And then there’s that whole mess with “THE BUTTON” and the narration for Super Mario Sunshine due to the differences in controller layout and content between the GameCube and Switch. Finally, motion controls had to be patched into Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Mario Galaxy 2 is nowhere to be found. I guess that would’ve made the purchase too good of a deal so Nintendo axed it.

You got one less game and the three games you did get all have (or had) something embarrassingly wrong with them. Nice move, Nintendo. This was one of only two required missions necessary to get one of the pin sets. I dumped my copy of 3D All-Stars as soon as I activated its code and was lucky enough that I also got some controller skins from GameStop which I sold for what amounted to a net profit on my $60 investment. 3D All-Stars wasn’t worth my time and it’s not worth yours; yeah, it’ll probably hold its value “because it’s a Mario game” but that doesn’t mean it’s any good. If you have sixty bucks burning a hole in your pocket and it has to be spent on a Mario game you’ll have more fun buying one of those weird sports games they made for the Gamecube.


#23: Read the Monthly Nintendo Newsletter

This was Nintendo’s official mission picture. Really.

To give you an idea of how low the bar was set by the previous three missions here’s the one for just reading Nintendo’s fucking email newsletter. Opting into Nintendo’s monthly-ish newsletters is something that’ll earn you a few one-time MyNintendo points so it’s worth turning on even if you immediately double back and turn it off again, but in this case you had to keep the setting on long enough for Nintendo to include a code inside one of the newsletters that, when activated on the website, would specifically complete this mission.

Supposedly multiple codes were sent out in different newsletters but I can’t verify that as I may or may not have turned this feature off as soon as I got my code because I don’t care about Splatoon and Animal Crossing or that Mario Kart “game” with the radio controlled karts that you drive around your living room. Yeah I’ve got carpet flooring and maybe 200 square feet of walkable space, the only Mario Kart stage you can make in my home is “Depression NASCAR Track Around The Coffee Table”. That one’s not making it into an update for Mario Kart 8 anytime soon.


#22: Read the Anniversary Article on the Switch News Feed

These “read X” visuals aren’t very interesting, are they?

This mission is similar to the newsletter one except you didn’t need to input a code or anything of the sort, once you checked out the article while logged in with the Switch account you’ve linked to your Nintendo account this one automatically popped. The main reason this mission’s ranked above the newsletter one is its convenience and the fact that ostensibly reading about Super Mario’s 35th anniversary is more interesting than “HEY DO YOU GUYS REMEMBER PIKMIN ANYWAYS COPY THIS CODE ONTO THE WEBSITE YA FUCKWADS”. I also didn’t have to wait for Nintendo to send me an email and hope that my inbox didn’t filter it out as spam and then pore over said email looking for where they put the mission code.


#21: Explore the Anniversary Page on Amazon

Window shopping is fun, and that’s about all I’m going to do on Amazon. Beff Jezos doesn’t need my money and I’m perfectly fine not buying a single thing from Amazon ever. “But Draco, don’t you stream on Twitch? Aren’t they owned by Amazon?” I can already hear you whining. Yeah well they can’t all be winners. Not my fault Amazon is trying to “me too” Google and buy up all sorts of companies for no practical reason. Anyways my point is it’s cool to at least see what kinds of Mario merchandise is on offer, even if you’re just going to search it up on another website and buy it there instead.


#20: Participate in the NintendoVS Challenge Cup


Let me get this out of the way right now: I do not “like” Super Smash Bros. I never have. It’s a game I am competent at, and it can be fun, but it’s not something I play when I am bored; I generally don’t even like playing it at parties and I am quite content with my retirement as a former professional Smash player (1-2-0). You think I’m kidding about that last part, but I’m not.

The problem is there are a lot of people out there who are diehard fans of Smash and they take this shit so seriously that it sucks all the potential fun out of it. These are the sad motherfuckers who know how to do cheap ledge grab deaths with Ridley and Donkey Kong. The ones who know what “wave dashing” is and have special notched GameCube controllers to do it more easily. The same petulant children who, no matter who is announced as a new DLC character, will get up in arms over the announcement and say it’s going to ruin Smash while being completely oblivious to the fact that their disgusting toxicity is hurting the game a lot more than Steve from fucking Minecraft.

Thankfully all I had to do for this mission was log in and play a few online rounds, which I pretty much threw intentionally, and that was it.


#19: Participate in the Splatfest Challenge

Two great tastes that taste great together. Mushrooms and stars cereal.

I could copy and paste the previous entry and just swap out the game and character names and be done with it… but that would be a cop out with little comedic value so instead I guess I’ll discuss why Splatoon also isn’t my thing. I’m not a fan of most shooters and I’m really not a fan of anything revolving around online multiplayer. I realize there are entire game franchises built around just the online angle, and as you might imagine I give zero fucks about any of them. Splatoon has a fun singleplayer experience though (I even bought the amiibo set for the original game to unlock the other game modes, as cheap of a move as that was on Nintendo’s part), and that’s really the determining factor as to why I ranked Splatoon 2 above Super Smash Bros.

Well, that and the fact that you can see all sorts of neat artwork floating around the heads of other players in the waiting lobbies. There are some talented people who’ve made Splatoon their number one. I’m not one of them, and I know I’ll get in trouble if I draw a big dick with Super Stars for balls and post that to my Miiverse profile or whatever.


#18, 17, & 16: Sign Up for the Game Challenges

At least the coin is nice. Bet it’s worth a fortune on eBay!

Buckle up, we’re about to hit several entries that are comprised of multiple missions. In this case I grouped the “sign up for X challenge” missions for Super Smash Bros, Splatoon 2, and Super Mario Maker 2. Signing up for them was as simple as clicking one link on the 35th Anniversary website. Yeah, I’m definitely throwing entire games under the bus with this one by saying “I’d rather click a button on a website than play these games” but who gives a shit? Smash tournaments are objectively bad and attract tryhards and the same can be said for Splatoon too. Super Mario Maker 2’s challenge hasn’t made the list yet because it wasn’t a competitive online experience guaranteed to be mired with bullshit.

If you finished in the top 35 in any of these challenges you’d win a special commemorative coin for the anniversary, which is cool, but let’s face it none of these coins went to anyone who deserved them. There isn’t some little kid out there who’s going to be surprised when he randomly wins a special Mario coin, they’re all going to people who’ll gloat about it and get a big dick over being too good at video games. Most of them will probably make an unboxing video for their YouTube channel. I guarantee it.


#15 & 14: Explore the Nintendo & BoxLunch Stores

No, they don’t serve food here.

If you’re going to do some serious browsing for Mario merch you can’t go wrong with the official Nintendo store and BoxLunch, both of which often have exclusive merchandise. Nintendo’s storefront is self-explanatory, but BoxLunch is a new-ish company formed under Hot Topic where all of their decent merchandise goes. If you’ve ever walked into a Hot Topic and been like “man I feel like I’m at least 15 years too old to be in this fucking store” then BoxLunch is where you need to be, I guarantee they’ll have all the nerdy shit from the only era of your life that you give a fuck about. No, I’m not being paid by BoxLunch to say this but if they want to pay me to say positive things about them then hey my inbox is open guys. Hit me up, I’m broke.

Technically these missions are no different from the Amazon one, but fuck Amazon. I broke that mission off into its own entry and kicked it down toward the bottom of the list on purpose.


#13 & 12: Participate in the Tetris 99 18th & 20th Maximus Cups

No matter who wins, we all lose.

Tetris 99 is fun if not a little chaotic. It’s basically just a really refined and approachable version of the classic action puzzle game whose offline features are locked behind a $10 paywall. That’s how those Russians get you, man. They lure you in with the free online multiplayer – which kind of sucks because you tend to just get bad luck or hustled by people obsessed with Tetris (or both) – and then charge you $10 to play the game in a manner that isn’t infuriating after the first two or so minutes of gameplay.

There were only missions for the 18th and 20th “Maximus Cups” in Tetris 99. I assume there was a 19th cup but Nintendo didn’t make a mission out of it so who cares. I considered splitting these into two separate entries since the 20th cup was specifically Mario-centric with its theme but then I realized I’d just be writing two identical entries about Tetris with the only difference being “but on this one the game’s table background is a picture Giga Bowser or whatever the fuck happens in Bowser’s Fury I don’t know I haven’t played that game yet”.


#11: Participate in the Ninji Speedrun Challenge

Your Challenge SUCKS, anyone?

The last of the three challenges, this one focused on logging a fast time in a special 35th Anniversary-themed course under Super Mario Maker 2’s “Ninji Speeduns” collection of challenge stages. It was an automatic level, the bane of my goddamned existence, but you could choose to move around and beat it a lot faster if you wanted to and this was the strategy if you wanted one of those 35 commemorative coins.

I tried on this one, I really did. This stupid challenge really took the wind out of my fucking sails. I streamed my attempts, for hours, and the best I could muster was breaching the top 1,000 times. Granted this put me in a percentile higher than the top 1% of players but I was still hundreds of ranks away from the mythical 35th place. Mere hundredths of seconds is what separated me from those spots and after a while I just became too frustrated to give a shit. It would’ve been amusing if the washed up unfunny fuck from Your Level SUCKS was able to nab a prize but it was too discouraging seeing people posting YouTube and Twitch clips bragging about their level times. I’m not cut from that cloth.

Despite making me hate video games for a not-insignificant period of time, I still ranked this one higher than Tetris.


#10 & 9: Visit the Official SM35 & Bowser’s Fury Websites

It’s like playing Who’s That Pokemon!

Okay, this is the baseline entry right here. Number 10. This is where the list actually starts. Checking out the official website for the Super Mario Bros 35th Anniversary was the first mission on the list. All you have to do is look at the website while being logged into your Nintendo account and boom you got it, and while most people might just stop there I clicked around and legitimately enjoyed the content Nintendo had put together for the occasion.

There’s all sorts of neat stuff to see and do on the website, some of which actually complete other missions, and being able to see the plumber’s whole history laid out before you in an accessible and interactive way was just interesting to me in a way I can’t really put into words. “It was cool” is about the best I can do. It was cool being able to listen to music tracks from every era of the game series, it was cool taking quizzes, reading trivia, and getting some neat pictures that you’re supposed to use as computer wallpapers but I’ll probably wind up chopping up into future Your Level SUCKS video thumbnails or something.

I grouped the mission for hunting out the “stickers” on the official Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury page in with this mission because they both kind of amounted to the same thing: click around, look at stuff, be entertained. In the case of Super Mario 3D World however there were some character stamps hidden on the pages that you had to click on. Things like seeing a tree except poking out from behind it was Cat Mario’s tail which when clicked added it to the roster of found stickers. There were five such stickers to find in total and it was pretty obvious that Nintendo put one of them on each of the game’s official info pages. (They’ve done the same thing for Pikmin and… Daemon Ex Machina of all things. Yeah, remember that game? Me either.)


#8: Download Your “This is my Mario!” Image

Please, only take ONE Mario. -Management

SuperMario35.com was the main hub world for everything Mario 35th. Eagle-eyed fans probably noticed this URL was just a glorified way of going to mario.nintendo.com, a website which has already existed for years now, but let’s not ruin the fucking magic okay? There was a section of the website where a small handful of missions were kept, this being the first of many. Under “Mario History” you could watch a narrated highlight reel of Mario’s greatest hits or scroll down a little further and read about them instead.

Nintendo put a strange amount of work into this project. Most of Mario’s mainline games are here, but not all of them. For example, Super Mario World is represented in the timeline… but not Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. Okay, I get it, that was technically a spin-off game that served as a soft launch for the “Yoshi” lineage of games. But if that’s the case how come the beleaguered Super Mario 3D All-Stars is considered part of Mario history but the original Super NES Super Mario All-Stars is absent? I’ve already argued that the SNES release did more to celebrate Mario’s history than the Switch one did, and Mario only had four fucking games back then.

I’m deviating from the point, though. Most of these Mario games had a button underneath their plot summaries and screenshots that said “This is my Mario!” and clicking it would bring up a wallpaper size selector where you could download some very high-resolution vintage Mario art. Or contemporary Mario art if your taste in video games hovers somewhere around “I play Fortnite when the bus drops me off from elementary school”. No matter which Mario is your Mario this mission would unlock. Even if you picked the wrong Mario.


#7: Try the Super Mario Music Player

One of the very few things not hosted on the main SuperMario35.com website, the Music Player was an applet over on the official site for 3D All-Stars. Mercifully, Nintendo also nuked that website when they were taking down the anniversary party decorations last month. But for as crappy and underwhelming of a release as 3D All-Stars was the Music Player was a fun little interactive thing to play around with. It featured only music from the games showcased in 3D All-Stars of course, but it’s not very often Nintendo themselves go out of their way to make high quality versions of their compositions available to listen to. Usually you have to buy the latest Super Smash Bros game for that.


#6: Create a Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Racer ID

Sir, do you know how fast you were BING BING WAHOO’ing back there?

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is the true omega of what was believed to be the long dead “toys to life” genre of video games. Now it’s dead, because Home Circuit has taken the idea as far as it can go and set the pike on the goddamned moon. You think scanning in a meth-addled Spyro the Dragon on a crappy little portal for a Skylanders game can trump racing RC Mario karts equipped with cameras around in your living room? Hell no, you can take that fugly “limited edition” Dark Spyro and shove it firmly up your ass.

On the official Nintendo website for Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit you could make your own “racer ID”, which is really just a glorified fictional driver’s license. It doesn’t interface with the cameras on the karts or anything, it’s just a bit of fun for you and your friends or siblings. In a move that’s quite dangerous as far as Nintendo standards are concerned you can upload a photo of yourself to the racer ID creator. You can also continue without a photo and use the default Mario but hey if Nintendo’s going to let me upload Bowser Rule 34 to their website then I’m going for it. Who knows when the next time I’ll be able to do that will be?

The customization options are sadly lacking, namely the fact that you cannot select whatever the Mercedes-Benz kart was called under the “Favorite Kart” section on the back of the ID. Yeah, don’t think I forgot about that, Nintendo. Seeing Link, who already doesn’t belong in a Mario Kart game, cruise around in a fucking Mercedes has ruined me in a way that few have managed to achieve. Anyways once you’re satisfied with your monstrosity the website lets you download it so you can print it out, presumably on something like cardstock. For 800 MyNintendo reward points there was also a Mario Kart badge lanyard that you could put your racer ID in.


#5: Take the Super Mario Quiz

Pop quiz, does Mario is gay?

Ever wanted to put your Mario trivia skills to the test? Well hang on because that might pop up more than once on this list, but in the meantime here’s the official five question DMV assessment from Nintendo. You can pick from “Easy” or “Hard” with the main difference being the Easy quiz will straight up ask you if a “Magic Hot Dog” is one of the power-ups in Mario’s arsenal. In actuality the difficulty between the two is pretty significant, the Hard quiz will ask you what “FLUDD” from Super Mario Sunshine. We all know the correct answer is “FLUhhhh-piss-off-I-didn’t-even-play-this-game”.

The incorrect answers, for the most part, make the answers to even the hard questions stick out like a sore thumb. No matter which quiz you take, or if you even get all the questions correct for that matter, this mission will have unlocked on your Nintendo account. Of all the website-based missions I chose to put this one at the top because it was the most interactive one and by that logic it was also the most fun. It would’ve been neat if you were given a special desktop for getting all five questions correct but instead the website pulls a “whoa hey are you sure YOU don’t work for Nintendo”. I’m serious.


#4: Play Super Mario Bros 35

I got 35 problems and a bad game is about 27 of them.

This was a free game as long as you had Nintendo Online. Keyword there: WAS. Released back in September 2020 to kick off the 35th anniversary celebrations Super Mario 35 is essentially Tetris 99’s formula applied to the original Super Mario Bros NES video game. Everybody starts out on World 1-1 and as you kill enemies these baddies are sent to the games being played by one of the other 34 players. The intent is to send so many enemies to an opponent that you cause them to die resulting in a “KO” point.

It’s a great idea on paper, however in execution good god was this game an absolute chore to play. When you beat 1-1 most of the time you’ll go to either 1-2 or 1-3. Once you complete that stage… you’ll probably wind back up at 1-1. The game doesn’t progress in a linear fashion as you might assume. No, levels are put into rotation by the 35 players during the waiting lobby and 1-1 is the stage everyone has unlocked by default. It’s also the stage picked automatically if you idle or just button mash through the menus. What could have been an absolute blast to play instead turned into this mired mess of repeating World 1-1 until you just cannot fucking stand it anymore. I wanted to like this game, I really did. As a lifelong fan of the literal concept of video games every fiber of my being was trying to find something to latch onto in Super Mario 35 that made me like it. Instead the game just kept throwing me back in 1-1 like fucking Groundhog Day.

Super Mario 35 was killed by Nintendo on March 31, 2021 in conjunction with the official ending of the 35th anniversary celebrations.


#3: Get Mario’s Hat in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Either the hat is huge or the cat is tiny.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a free to play mobile game published by Nintendo. It’s the first of two such games on this list. You might notice however that this is an Animal Crossing game – something I just said wasn’t my thing – yet it’s ranked fairly high compared to the other Animal Crossing entry on the list. This has to do with the fact that the game is completely free, you can spend real money on it if you want to, and obtaining the in-game item was as simple as downloading the game, connecting it to my Nintendo account, and then taking the Mario Hat beanbag chair out of my in-game mailbox. How did they fit a whole beanbag chair into a mailbox I hear you ask? Because it’s a fucking video game, that’s how.

Pocket Camp is a lot of the same Animal Crossing fare, just scaled way down. It still doesn’t interest me that much but the big distinction here is Pocket Camp is one of the very few opportunities for recurring MyNintendo rewards points. Fire Emblem Heroes is choked with points for completing story chapters but once you’ve done that the game has been bled dry; Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has something like 160 points you can snap up on a weekly basis and you bet your ass I’m all about riding this gravy train straight into the ground. Do you know how much free Nintendo shit I’m now hoarding just so I can sell it on eBay in a few years for a ridiculous amount? Is this the same logic Beanie Baby hoarders used in the 1990’s? Does it look like I give a fuck?


#2: Race in the Super Mario Kart Tour Event

More Mario Kart gimmicks for the gimmick gods!

The other mobile game, Super Mario Kart Tour, edges out Animal Crossing just barely. In order to complete this mission all you had to do was, again, download the game, link your Nintendo account, and participate in at least one race. I tried the game out and actually enjoyed it. It’s the first time I’ve played a mobile game and didn’t just absolutely hate the experience. Super Mario Kart Tour is also free to play but Nintendo is a little more pushy with the micro-transactions in this one. It’s hard to “get ahead” in the game and level up your drivers unless you fork out money in one way or another but if you’re looking for a simplified kart racer you can’t really go wrong here.

The downside to Super Mario Kart Tour is that it does not feature opportunities to earn MyNintendo points like Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp does. This put me in a weird bind because I wasn’t sure which game ranks higher: the one with reward points that I don’t really like, or the one I like but doesn’t have reward points? Then I remembered I’m writing this article based upon the missions and not whether the mobile games will let me buy intentionally under-stocked guff to later sell to collectors with a poor grasp on their ability to resist impulse purchases.

So of course Mario Kart wins. By a Yoshi’s Circuit mile. (Meanwhile I actually am still checking that Animal Crossing game every week though.)


#1: Purchase Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

Just hear me out on this one.

Out of the 26 missions cataloged in this article only two of them were mandatory for the commemorative pin sets. At the near-bottom of this list Super Mario 3D All-Stars is languishing with overpriced C+ ice cream, meanwhile as we approach the top of the list here’s the other one: Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury.

Now I know there’s an entire season of Your Level SUCKS that firmly establishes me as anything but a fan of Super Mario 3D World, but I’ll be damned if this isn’t a solid port to the Switch. I know Nintendo is making a lot of impatient fans roll their eyes with all these goddamned Wii U ports but you gotta realize one major thing here: Nintendo is BACK. The Wii U sold 13.5 million consoles. That might sound like a lot until I tell you the Xbox One sold 48 million and the PlayStation 4 sold 118 million. You read that right, Sony sold almost ten times as many consoles as Nintendo did. The Switch is hovering just under 80 million consoles as of April 2021; that’s nearly six times as many Wii U owners. The Switch’s best-selling game is Mario Kart 8 which has moved 33 million copies; Nintendo has sold more copies of that one game than they did Wii U’s. And here’s the fucking crazy thing, Mario Kart 8 was also the Wii U’s best-selling game.

So give it a rest with complaining about the rereleases, Nintendo is just ushering these decent games into a market that they’ve successfully reclaimed a part of. Just because you played 3D World on the Wii U doesn’t mean the other 66 million Switch owners who didn’t bother with the Wii U played it too. And in that regard this is a fantastic rerelease that even comes with bonus content in the form of Bowser’s Fury, an entirely brand new “side quest” where Bowser goes fucking mental and Mario has to join forces with Bowser Jr to stop the big man from devouring the whole galaxy with his ass or something.

It’s a solid investment for $60 and if you were like me and preordered it at GameStop you got kickass posters of Plessie and Bowser. Fucking Plessie!


#1 (FOR REAL): Participate in “A Very Mario Trivia” Event (Canada Only)

Whose Mario Is It, Anyway? (The points don’t matter.)

And capping this list at the very top is a mission that wasn’t even available to American audiences, the “A Very Mario Trivia” event hosted live online by two people whose names I did not commit to memory. This was a Zoom conference that you had to sign up for and the form for doing so was only available to you if Nintendo’s website detected that you were accessing it from somewhere in Canada. It just so happens that I subscribe to a VPN service so I pulled a fast one on Papa Miyamoto and snuck in. Yes, #1 on our list of the “top 26” Mario missions is actually the top secret 27th mission.

The trivia stream was separated into two categories: Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Super Mario 3D World. Because of course it fucking was. There were 15 questions in each section and in order to play along you had to bring up a website on your mobile phone, enter the livestream’s private join code, and follow along. If you’ve ever played a Jackbox game or old school bar trivia at a TGI Friday’s circa 2001 then you’re familiar with the process. I can’t remember if the winner of the event received anything but all I can say is that I didn’t win because I knew fuck all about 3D World and the stream delay ensured I wasn’t going to get any early answer bonus points. Also if Nintendo would’ve had to send a prize to an American address that definitely would’ve blown my cover.

But it was fun! Like, it was legitimately a good time and I’m glad I was able to participate in it and tell some jokes with you all. Nintendo’s trivia show was restreamed on Gatorbox as the special “Your Trivia SUCKS” under the Your Level SUCKS lineage of content. It also served as our announcement that we had a VPN partner so if you want to do underhanded shit like fooling Nintendo into thinking you’re a canuck when in reality you’re a filthy yank CLICK THIS LINK RIGHT NOW.

We’re at the end of the list and that’s all 26 27 Super Mario 35th Anniversary missions ranked. If this were a YouTube video this is the part where I’d ask you for your thoughts in the comments below because activity like that boosts a video’s performance in THE ALGORITHM but I’d hide that ulterior motive under the guise of sounding genuinely interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter and subsequently ignoring all the comments regardless. Since this is an article I can instead just say “wow did you really just read 6,379 words from some internet nobody ranting about stupid Nintendo stuff”. So… wow, did you really just read 6,379 words from some internet nobody ranting about stupid Nintendo stuff?

Thanks for checking out this feature. I’ll do my best to keep bonus content like this coming, I know it’s in short supply. I do a lot of work for a number of outlets so I’m spread pretty thin, but when I get a chance to write stuff I try not to pass it up.

– Draco