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Super Nintendo World Is Opening Next Month At Universal Studios And It Sounds Rushed And Lame

SOURCE - Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood officially opens February 17, roughly coinciding with the April 7, 2023 release of Universal and Illumination’s Super Mario Bros movie. A larger Super Nintendo World opened last year at the Japan park with its own Mario Kart attraction and one is also planned for Orlando. For those familiar with Universal Studios Hollywood, the experience is carved out of the site once occupied by the Phantom of the Opera soundstage.

I love this idea but the execution has me less than thrilled. It's never good when the things highlighted in a short video include Character Meet & Greets and the Toadstool Cafe. It feels like there are so many options in the Nintendo universe that they could do their own theme park. Instead, this seems like it's just shoehorned into Universal Studios. It doesn't seem like the old Phantom of the Opera soundstage is particularly huge.

In defense of Universal Studios, this will be included in the regular ticket price. Although the regular ticket price is $109 so I don't know if that's much of a defense. It's also another $40 to buy the Power Up Wristband needed to keep score in the interactive elements like collecting coins and keys.

Giphy Images.

With so many options, you'd think Super Nintendo World could be it's own standalone park. Between Zelda, Donkey Kong Country, Super Punch-Out and MegaMan, there are so many characters and worlds to work with beyond Mario. Even lesser-known games like F-Zero, StarFox and Castlevania could lend itself to awesome rides. In full disclosure, I've had more fun playing the Super Nintendo than any other gaming system. The PlayStation is obviously superior but the SNES came out when I was 11. I'm not even counting games that you couldn't get licensed for a theme park like Madden, Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball and Street Fighter 2. But once again, I'm probably biased.

I know a big reason they are hustling to get this ready is the new Super Mario Bros. movie that is coming out in early April. Hopefully,  this can be really successful and they can expand this or give Universal confidence to build a stand alone park. If they have parks for Hershey chocolate and Legos, they should have something substantial for Super Nintendo. At least improve the Mario Kart ride so you are you are actually racing go-karts on an actual track instead of doing it virtually. That seems like the most obvious ride idea ever. The more I think of it, this is less like Super Nintendo and more like that shabby E.T. game for Atari.