News Article

Super Mario 3DS Has More Thrills, Less Exploration

Posted by James Newton

Koizumi talks roots

You can tell from our Super Mario 3D First Impressions that Mario's first outing in 3D will be something special, and series veteran Yoshiaki Koizumi has spoken to GameSpot the game will play differently to its home console forebears.

Despite some similarities to Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy, Koizumi believes the plumber's portable performance is more in line with the series' 2D roots in Super Mario Bros. and its ilk:

I feel like the core experience is something that we may have started to get away from a little bit when we first started presenting games in 3D like in Super Mario 64. The idea in those games is that you walk around in those environments and give the players a lot of opportunity to explore.

While Koizumi obviously appreciates some players prefer the exploratory elements — he directed both Galaxy games, after all — he wants a quicker pace for the handheld game:

The real basics of the Super Mario series is that players have to get to the goal of a level without dying. You have short levels with a very quick tempo, and it should be a very thrilling experience.

We'll see if Super Mario — still a tentative name — lands on the thrilling or the exploratory side of Mario platforming when it's released later this year. In the meantime, watch this E3 trailer. It's good.

[via e3.gamespot.com]

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User Comments (80)

madgear

#2

madgear said:

"I feel like the core experience is something that we may have started to get away from a little bit when we first started presenting games in 3D like in Super Mario 64."

Erm Nintendo want to move away from a formulae that has produced some of the finest games of all time? Who would even class the Mario Galaxy games any less than a masterpiece? Guess the people who made them it seems ...

XD375

#3

XD375 said:

Super Mario Sunshine did it right. The worlds all had their own stories and it felt really immersive, but then they also had those bonus levels that played like this new game does.

Highwinter

#4

Highwinter said:

I'm very disappointed about this.. I'll probably still buy the game, but I wasn't too fond of the New Super Mario Bros. games. N64 and Galaxy were the best of the series and it was because of the exploration.

Einherjar

#5

Einherjar said:

@masgear They dont move away from that formula forever. Like the Article said, Koizumi made the Galaxy games. These Games were also more straight forward than SM64 was. in SM64 the Level was almost always the same for each objective and you had to search the Star for yourself. Galaxy on the other hand had more or less a straight path from start to finish. I like the Idea of a quicker paced handheld Mario game. Im absolutly sure that we will get an epic like galaxy on 3DS but this more classic SMB aproach where you just have to finish level after level is much apriciated. Its more like the first three Crash Bandicoot games.

J-Forest-Esq

#6

J-Forest-Esq said:

I like the idea of the game having "thrills" and a "quicker pace" but part of the reason I preferred Galaxy over G2, for example, was because of the exploration.

theblackdragonAdmin

#7

theblackdragon said:

as long as there's none of those stupid flying race levels like in Galaxy 2 (gawd those were the bane of my existance D: )

HanuKwanzMasBif

#8

HanuKwanzMasBif said:

I loved Mario 64 (only played DS version, sadly, although I assume they are essentially the same, with the addition of Luigi, Yoshi, etc.) for the exploration elements. The huge hub was great, and messing around there was easily one of the best things about the game. I like both methods of Mario, but when I want to buy a 3D Mario platformer, I want to buy a 3D Mario platformer, not some expanded Super Mario Bros. 3. (although the SMB3 elements are looking good)

Kirk

#9

Kirk said:

I'm so happy they went back to the things that make Mario great fun.

Also, since this game feels very much like a 2.5D/3D version of Super Mario Bros 3, I'm really hoping the make another game in the same vain that feels like a 2.5D/3D version of Super Mario Wold.

Seeing a version of Super Mario World in 2.5D/3D like this is basically a dream of mine.

TheAmazingRaccoon

#10

TheAmazingRaccoon said:

I love that nintendo is still trying something different with Mario. If they kept doing the same thing, it would get stale. It looks like there is no timer so you can still take your time if you want, just like the other 3D marios

Teh-Ray

#11

Teh-Ray said:

It makes sense, given the fact that it's supposed to be more along the lines of a 2D Mario game with 3D elements.

Sort of reminds me of Zelda, with that top-down camera.

moosa

#12

moosa said:

@2 They can't just keep releasing Mario Galaxy over and over and expect people to keep calling it a masterpiece over and over again.
There's more than one way to make a Mario game. I'm glad to see they're continuing to evolve the formula and tread brand new ground, as they always have.
Interesting how there's no stars or etc. to collect this time.

Token_Girl

#13

Token_Girl said:

On the one hand I like thrills, bit on the other hand I also like exploration. Aw, who am I kidding? I'll buy it!

eviLaTtenDant

#14

eviLaTtenDant said:

I'm with 10. TheAmazingRaccoon and 12. moosa here. Another Mario Galaxy would have felt a bit stale i guess. So what not try something different with 3D ? If they're really going to have the 2D's small Mario mechanics in the game it seems logical to have a bit more linearity, typical "2D platforming parts" and "2D challenge" in there too.
I mean i absolutely loved the Green Star searches in Mario Galaxy 2. Hearing a star and then finally seeing where it is felt GREAT. That doesn't mean that i'll like it as much in a sequel though.

Mandoble

#15

Mandoble said:

In other words, better to create small levels: much less dev effort, same income. The "hardcore" excuse is really cheap.

ville10

#16

ville10 said:

I do like the fact that they include less exploration, after all that's the reason I prefer the Galaxy games over Super Mario 64 and Sunshine. However, they also seem to include more 2D gameplay, which I'm not sure I think is a good idea. I want my 2D Mario and 3D Mario separate.

In the end though, I don't think these people even are able to make anything but another awesome Mario game.

warioswoods

#17

warioswoods said:

I picked up on this more linear emphasis immediately upon watching the E3 trailer; it's basically NSMBWii + 3d + more throwbacks to Mario 3.

That's fine, we need those sorts of Mario games, but we also need the more open-ended games. I was hoping for more of a Mario64-style game now that they can do 3D properly, as Miyamoto often talks about how Mario64 would have worked better with stereoscopic 3D.... but I can live with a Mario 3 revival, which is what we'll be getting more or less.

I do miss Sunshine, and Mario 64. I hope they return to that style of gameplay again, as it's very original and just as important to the franchise as the linear play. I probably had more fun just playing around freely in Sunshine's hub world than in the majority of Galaxy 2's guided levels, to be honest.

madgear

#18

madgear said:

A lot of you are misinterpreting what I said. Mario Galaxy is different to Mario 64 - it has evolved and I hope it continues to. I've not said I'm after a Mario Galaxy 3. What I am questioning is why the developer is saying these games are getting away from the core experience when these are some of the finest Mario games ever made.

By all means innovate, change the formulae and make different Mario games - just don't label true classics like they're some sort of failure or experiment gone wrong as they're anything but.

Einherjar

#19

Einherjar said:

@Mandoble Who said such a thing ? Keeping Levels small has nothing to do with development effort. Would you likes Super Mario World levels that are half an hour long ? I dont mean half an hour of "fun" but literally half an hour of walking left because of "less dev. effort" Having huge levels (or in this case almost "worlds") in a game where you just have to finish the stage is pointless. Small stages in a game that focuses on exploration is also pointless. So: Huge levels for exploration games, small levels for pure platformers. I dont know why everybody complains all the time, today they want a more classic mario game in 2D, tommorow they get it and complain that they wanted a more modern 3D exploration mario game.

Adam

#21

Adam said:

The original Super Mario series were some of the finest games ever, too. SMB3, SMG... tomayto, tomahto. Both are well-loved classics that deserve to live on. I like that they're mixing it up, taking the original series' tradition and mixing it with 3D gameplay. Maybe next they'll make a side scroller more like SM64, with a hub world and open-ended levels.

pntjr

#22

pntjr said:

A little disapointed, but satisfied. SMB3 is my favorite one in the series, but i wanted it to be more like SM64. Oh well, that's life.

FantasiaWHT

#23

FantasiaWHT said:

The 3D games bore the crap out of me. Maybe if they got rid of hit points and changed them so that power ups actually stay with you between levels I would enjoy them more. The power ups in the 3D games are designed for use in specific levels only, which frankly kills the idea of freedom in gameplay. See a fireflower in Galaxy? You have to use it to beat the level, period.

FonistofCruxis

#25

FonistofCruxis said:

@UNC5052 Thats an invincibility star (starman) not a power star.
Instead or merging the 2D and 3D Mario platformers I would rather they kept them seperate. I was looking forward to playing a new 3D mario platformer on the 3DS, not a 2D Mario platformer with 3D levels. This will still be a great game though but I hope we still get a proper 3D Mario platformer on 3DS but not SMG3 as that would be too unoriginal.

DestinyMan

#26

DestinyMan said:

He also said that the levels will be the classic three-minute levels from Super Mario Bros. and that can be plainly seen from the time limit on the upper right corner of the screen. All in all, I actually like the idea of a 3D Mario acting like a 2D Mario because it is more faithful to the traditional Mario experience. It's a wonder this article didn't mention it, but he also said that they might not add a Super Guide in this game because the classic two or three hit mechanic might make the game challenging enough. He also hinted that no Super Guide would make a more satisfactory play experience.

JayArr

#27

JayArr said:

Its taking the best of all mario games and making a super-hybrid. I honestly believe this could turn out to be the best Mario game of all time......of all time.

pikku

#28

pikku said:

Sheesh guys, stop complaining. I mean really. all we have thus far is a trailer (plus Corbie's word that this may be the best Mario game of all time: http://3ds.nintendolife.com/news/2011/06/first_impressions_super_mario_3d_3ds) Honestly, besides Sunshine (which arguably is a better game than critics make it out to be) when was the last time a Super Mario game let you down? I think we should be giving this one the benefit of the doubt. I personally think it's gonna be awesome, Christmas can't come soon enough.

Gavin_Rozee

#29

Gavin_Rozee said:

This is perfectly fine by me, as long as the Super Mario Wii U game has huge open worlds with exploration.

TKOWL

#30

TKOWL said:

I think that portable Marios should be linear, while the console titles should be more open-world.

pikku

#31

pikku said:

I'm probably the only one who doesn't want an open world Mario game. Galaxy was perfect imo.D:

pixelman

#32

pixelman said:

I agree with JayArr; this is exactly how I've wanted the 3D Super Mario games to play all along. I can't wait to get my hands on it. :D

CowLaunch

#33

CowLaunch said:

It's good to change it up. SMB3 and SMW both had exploration elements; the main objective was to get to the end of the level, but there were secrets fro those who who wanted to explore. Yoshi's Island was mainly an exploration game, with huge 2D levels. What I'd like to see are levels where you have to get to the end (like the FLUDD-less bits in Sunshine) based in the mushroom kingdom, with secret coins or something for those who want to explore and complete the game. I liked SM64, and it made sense to capitalise on the novelty of 3D by making it exploration based, but I think it's time for a different experience.

Aviator

#34

Aviator said:

Do open-worlds and linear, similar to Galaxy, in the same way SM64 did it, you may have my money.

NGpenguin

#35

NGpenguin said:

@XD375 i agree with you. :)

Aww that sucks. :( wow.. thats one of the reasons Super Mario Sunshine is one of my favorites of mario games... beacuse you can just explore around.

Nintendaholic

#36

Nintendaholic said:

i just downloaded the bit trip runner demo and at the end of the demo it says"One of the shining stars of nintendo's wiiware service"
-Nintendo Life.
I didnt know this website was so well known

Supremeist

#37

Supremeist said:

I do like the exploration.. but thrills are always good. It's not like we get no exploration in the game at all...Still looking forward to it :)

yoyogamer

#38

yoyogamer said:

I think galaxy 2 gave us the best of both worlds, the main quest featured more linear levels with some exploration, the green stars that you had to collect later required more exploration than Mario 64 sometimes.

Xiao_Pai

#40

Xiao_Pai said:

I saw this coming...kinda, its gonna be a mix between 3D and 2D games...also, shorter levels hopefully means that there will be more of them. :p

Doma

#41

Doma said:

Didn't they originally say there'd be both 3D and 2D games coming?
This game just better count as their 2D effort (meaning there won't be another 'New Super Mario Bros' type game on the system) and hopefully the real 3D game will be coming afterwards.

JamieLeeArzola

#43

JamieLeeArzola said:

IMO Galaxy 1 & 2 were horrible..

The best has always bin "Super Mario 64" and then comes Super Mario Sunshine I wish they would go back to those styles I love having to get stars I love how I needed to explore a large world like SS and 64 I miss that I'll still get it though :$

AlbertoC

#44

AlbertoC said:

I didn't like the flyless tanooki suit. I never liked the time counter in the corner of the screen. That said, i feel this game is just not my style (Mario Galaxy, or Mario 64)

It's not that i hated new super mario bros, or even the 1985 classic, it's just a 3D game must be about exploration, IMHO.

JayceJa

#45

JayceJa said:

this will be amazing

shorter levels makes sense for a handheld game, i feel the next console mario(be it a late wii release or early wii u) will be more exploration based to offset it

its like all the people who are complaining never played the originals...

PSICOffee

#46

PSICOffee said:

Damn it i had a feeling while watching the trailer that there wasn't going to be exploration stuff. Do we even get to fly with the tanooki suit or has that been reduced to the bunny ears like SML2?

grumblebuzzz

#47

grumblebuzzz said:

They're going back to the classic format again because it can REALLY move units; the Galaxy games and even Mario 64 didn't even sell in the ballpark of what the sidescrollers have. I think Nintendo also are fully aware that this particular Mario title really has to sell because it will likely be what sells the system right now due to all the (unjust) bad press and low sales the 3DS has gotten so far. Tanooki Mario's return in Super Mario 3DS is just as much a business move as it is a throwback to Mario's heyday, imo.

That said, of course I'll buy it. Of course I'll play it. And of course I'll love it.

SilverBaretta

#48

SilverBaretta said:

I think both styles are great. While I'd prefer more exploration for the 3D Marios, this game seems to be a combination of the 3D and 2D game styles, tilting slightly more towards the 2D side, so I don't see why this can't be more straightforward.

TeeJay

#49

TeeJay said:

I hate the timer. I'm really hoping it's not in the game like the trailer implies.

grumblebuzzz

#50

grumblebuzzz said:

I kind of don't like the timer either, but I think with the "fast-paced" gameplay style that they're going for, it will probably be in there.

Squid

#51

Squid said:

NOOO!! I like the 2D games, but I wasn't any good at them because I always died... Now if there won't be any HP gauge like in Galaxy and 64, then I may just not buy this. It would make it hard to play cause I would always die... idk.... Now I'd rather get MK3DS.

Luffymcduck

#53

Luffymcduck said:

So this game has elements from Mario 64 and Galaxy minus Mario 64. Just as I thought after seeing that trailer.

So please Nintendo, the next Mario shall be more like Mario 64, please. I´m still waiting for this though.

kkslider5552000

#54

kkslider5552000 said:

Kinda dissappointing as I've missed 3d platformers with exploration (that aren't huge dissappointments and possibly rushed like Epic Mickey) but considering people's opinions of Sunshine and most of the exploration levels in Galaxy vs. other Mario platformers and the rest of Galaxy, I can't blame them.

Noire

#56

Noire said:

The more I hear about this game the more I get genuinely excited for it. :D

MeloMan

#59

MeloMan said:

I never minded the exploration path that Mario took with SM64, but I always felt Mario could do both exploration and have a little more "get to the goal" orientation even in 3D, and this game looks to finally get that part right that I've always wanted. I do give a nod to SMS and both SMG's that had the stages with some linear progression, or, hazard courses if you will... those were great.

Retro_Gamer

#61

Retro_Gamer said:

I always felt Mario suited the more linear "get to the end" game play more than exploration, that's what I play Zelda for. Back when Sunshine was released most people enjoyed the bonus stages way more than the bigger exploring levels. This is also why I enjoy the Galaxy games more than any other 3D Mario, it's closest to the original Super Mario Brothers formula, especially the sequel.

Lan

#62

Lan said:

i haven't been excited for a non-paper mario mario game in, well, ever but this looks really good

NassaDane

#63

NassaDane said:

Ok since Nintendo is giving us a straight forward game this time the next one Has to be Sunshine2 or something very similar. Its only fair.

SunnySnivy

#64

SunnySnivy said:

I miss the exploration of Mario titles. I think that's why my favorite Mario is Sunshine. There's so many things to do in that game, so many secrets. But I loved the linear path of the galaxy games as well, so I'm sure either way, Super Mario will be great!

StarDust4Ever

#66

StarDust4Ever said:

I really loved M64 and Sunshine for their epic expansiveness. Galaxy 1&2 were perhaps the most epic mario games of all time, but Rosalina's story was one of my favorite parts of SMG1. The hub world was a letdown in SMG2, and I didn't like the linearity of the world maps either, but gameplay and the inclusion of Yoshi made up for that. My most favorite levels in both Galaxies were the few free-roaming levels.

I guess one of the things I loved best about M64 and Sunshine were finding alternative ways to nab stars. Sometimes in M64, I deliberately grabbed Stars out-of-sequence during repeat play-throughs. You could take different routes through a level to nab a star, instead of A-B-C-D...

Sunshine was all about diversions. Every level I played, I took time to explore and uncover hidden blue coins and the like. I loved the island theme.

I also loved the Space theme in the Galaxy series. Nintendo should do more thematic Mario platformer games.

Though I am very excited about SM3DS, I also hope Nintendo considers doing more free-roaming exploration in Super Mario Wii-U.

tweet75

#67

tweet75 said:

i liked the exploration. But i understand what they are trying to do make it like the original super marios with 3d play. Just getting to the end of the level is the goal.

WWammy

#68

WWammy said:

To be honest I can see a lot of people here not really into the new changes but I'll be honest after having played Mario Galaxy I was near enough done with the series as good a game as it was I always preferred Mario 64 and the 2d Marios.
In fact I wasn't even interested in this game until I heard that it has become the game that I thought Super Mario 64 was going to be.
I'm personally in support of Nintendo's latest move =D and now I have one more reason to own a 3DS the other being Zelda

Hardy83

#69

Hardy83 said:

The only real games that had a lot of exploration were Mario 64, Sunshine and Galaxy 1. Every other major Mario game has been pretty much what he's talking about.

Bigrat

#70

Bigrat said:

@56 Me too. Though it's a shame it is coming out around Christmas. SO LONG! =(

Azikira

#71

Azikira said:

I honestly like that it wont be too much like SMG1 or 2. SMG1 was (In my mind) The shortest Console mario game ever made (Until I played SMG2, which is about half as long)
If they plan on making small levels, that means they can focus on making a lot of amazingly memorable levels, instead of just a handful.

Henmii

#72

Henmii said:

Less exploration is what I already got from the E3 footage. But still looking forward!

Vinsanity

#73

Vinsanity said:

It's good to cut back on the exploration in a handheld game. Get to the focused action, and back out. I mean, honestly, it hasn't been a big deal with this last generation of handhelds - both the PSP and DS introduced suspend features, after all - but it's still nice to know that the developer can make a distinction between "handheld experience" and "console experience".

To be fair, I'm probably a big hypocrite:) My favorite handheld game of all time - and one of my favorite games of all time, period - is Dragon Quest IX. I've pumped nearly 80 hours into that, so I'm very happy with the loads of exploration in that particular game ;)

Vinsanity

#74

Vinsanity said:

Although after both (fantastic) Galaxy games, I really hope the Wii U Super Mario goes back to a TAD more of exploration-focused areas. After playing Epic Mickey and Sly Collection last year, I really am starting to miss more open worlds in 3D platformers. It's really, really dumb when every developer shoots to create the same experience - just look at the globs of faceless military shooters on the market that all play like Call of Duty. So seeing 2D make such a strong comeback - New Super Mario, Littlebigplanet, Kirby, Donkey Kong, even Sonic Colors is AT LEAST half all sidescrolling levels - means there are less exploration based 3D platformers than ever. And games like Mario Galaxy and Ratchet & Clank All 4 One are clearly putting a premium on linear, focused action. They're all great. I just miss exploring a level and finding secrets and stuff. Epic Mickey made me realize that.

So I hope "Super Mario Universe" is a little more open ;) That's what it logically has to be called, right? They did Super Mario LAND, Super Mario WORLD, Super Mario GALAXY...the next one has to be Super Mario UNIVERSE, right?

Henmii

#76

Henmii said:

@Vinsanity,

I agree with you, though I am not a fan of Epic Mickey. I also want more free-roaming 3D platformers with big levels, like Banjo Kazooie. Therefore, I am a little pissed that The Kore gang doesn't come to Holland (so far it is only available in German speaking lands).

There really is a 2D renaissance going on, especially in the download area. But freeroaming 3D platformers are almost dead.

But Mario 3D having less exploration isn't surprising. For some reason, developers mostly don't want to do console experiences on a Nintendo handheld. One of the reasons is probably the relative small screens. Oot 3D could be called a exception, but then again it's a old game with a new lick of paint and some new features.

In fact, I was very surprised that Okamiden really is Okami. They had to cut some corners, but it's almost like the console experience. Very impressive.

Aylin2482

#77

Aylin2482 said:

This game is right up my alley. I look forward to it coming out and putting my 3DS to good use. This video is the one offered on the 3DS. I assume there are no updated videos. I was like a kid in a candy store when I first watched this video on my 3DS! It made me appreciate my purchase of the system.

K964

#79

K964 said:

Who cares? It's Mario! Mario for crying out loud! Why should we worry?

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