I think many of us had the same reaction when we heard Chris Pratt’s voice in the first trailer for The Super Mario Bros. Movie: “Mama mia!” His interpretation has been about as popular as a Killer Koopa wandering through Peach’s Castle. But look, it’s just one teaser. And it was only a few lines. By the time we actually see the animated film we might love everything about it, including his performance. Even if we don’t, though, the movie has already given us something to appreciate. Someone remade the classic Nintendo game in Unreal Engine with Pratt as the iconic plumber. And you don’t need to hear his Mario to enjoy it.
The YouTube channel Re-Imagined Games shared a trailer for their own take on the original Super Mario Bros game. This version (which we first learned about at Kotaku) took months to make in Unreal Engine. (Which they made while learning Unreal Engine “from scratch!”) And while there are still some kinks to work out—like how to render Jack Black’s Bowser—the results are already incredible.
It places Chris Pratt into the game as Mario, all set against photorealistic backdrops. There are also all of the elements you know and love from the game. It features warp pipes, enemies, power-ups (and their accompanying clothing), gold coins, mystery boxes, and even a flag to nab at the end of the three playable levels. But just because it looks good doesn’t mean it’s easy. Especially not when you’re used to playing it as a two-dimensional side-scrolling game.
While Re-Imagined Games says they have plans to make the game even better, all of the known bugs only make us appreciate it more. Or, at least that’s what we’re telling ourselves in case we can’t get past the voice we hear in the actual animated Mario movie. But mama mia! No matter how that turns out, at least we’ll always have this version to enjoy.