Is There Anything Better Than One Day Giving Us Mario Wonder And Marvel’s Spider-Man 2?

Last Friday, I got up at 5am, and I liked it. Even though I’d been out until midnight watching Killers of the Flower Moon on the nearest IMAX screen, I was still excited to start slugging coffee an hour-and-a-half before my normal wake up time. The reason? Because Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and Super Mario Bros. Wonder both came out and I wanted time with both before work.


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When you’re tip-toeing up to your thirties, there are very few events that can manage to capture the excitement of Christmas morning — not even Christmas morning most years. But the launch of two games in two series that I adore came close to approximating that magic, even if I did end up taking a two hour nap to make up for it. Come to think of it, post-turkey dinner naps are a cherished part of the holidays for me at this age, too.

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And, it was worth it — especially for Mario. Super Mario Bros. Wonder is a ton of fun so far, and its controls are so ingrained in my muscle memory at this point that, as many additions as Wonder has made, it feels like home. Home with some new rooms, furniture, and a fresh coat of paint. Spider-Man was more of a challenge. I remember there being a slight learning curve with the original game, as I got used to all the combinations of buttons I needed to hold down in order to swing webs and throw fists.

Super Mario Wonder showing Mario in Elephant form

Miles Morales came more easily given how close it launched to the original, and that had me thinking that I had these controls down. But it’s been three years, and the learning curve is back. Throw in two hard crashes in the span of an hour and the game made a bad impression that I don’t think will end up being characteristic of my time with it.

Launch day hiccups aside, this has been a fun and exciting experience that has me thinking back to other days that have seen multiple exciting releases. The last that felt this exciting was October 27, 2017 when Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and Super Mario Odyssey all launched in a single day. I observed two of those games from afar; I wouldn’t go hands-on with Origins or Wolfenstein until the next year. But knowing the reviews for both games were good had me extra excited as I played through Odyssey on my roommates’ new Switch. It was my first experience with the console, and knowing there were two new games out the same day that were also beloved further enriched the experience as I powered through the early levels in the early morning.

There have been plenty of other big dates for multiple releases in gaming history. Two of my favorite games of all time, Half-Life 2 and Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, both hit store shelves on November 16, 2004, though I was too young to appreciate it. XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Dishonored launched on the same day back in October 2012, and Resident Evil 2 and Kingdom Hearts 3 both launched on January 25, 2019. The one that looms largest in recent memory is Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which were both unleashed on the world a few days after the novel coronavirus shut down the United States.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2, Miles Morales

After spending a bunch of time on games that require a ton of thought, like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Cocoon, it’s refreshing to get a Barbenheimer of kinetic fun in Spider-Man 2 and Super Mario Bros. Wonder. These games ask me to run, jump, punch, swing, glide, and other activities I can do while lazily reclining on the couch. They don’t ask me to think too hard, and at this point in the year, that’s what I need in a game. Getting two at once is even better.

NEXT: The Super Mario Maker We Get After Wonder Is Gonna Be Wild

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