Although I have my qualms with this collection—strange inconsistencies in the Super Mario Sunshine port chief among them—it does what it set out to do: chart Mario’s evolution from a bushwhacking pioneer to the inimitable mascot of 3D platforming.
Even with all its changes, THPS1+2 perfectly captures a moment in time. It’s a damaged Polaroid photo scanned, digitized, and lovingly retouched. It’s gravel picked out of a scraped knee. It’s a night of sleep untouched by nightmares and insomnia. It is, as it always was, just what I need in this moment.