News Article

Preview: Super Mario (3DS)

Posted by James Newton

Piping hot

Nintendo could have gone in any number of directions with its first Mario outing on 3DS: an enhanced remake of a previous game a la Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, an extension of the Super Mario Galaxy series or a sequel to the mega-selling New Super Mario Bros.. It's done none of these, or possibly all of them at once.

For a start, it's out with the coin-powered health system favoured in the 3D games: we started each level as Super Mario, with contact from an enemy taking us down to regular Mario (with no hat). Mario's missing a few of the moves he mastered to get through his 3D adventures too: you can't backflip from a crouch, for example, and the running long jump is gone too, replaced by Mario's new forward roll.

Tapping R while walking sends Mario into a short forward roll, while rolling on the run covers more ground. You can even perform a jump from a long roll, though it's got nowhere near the type of coverage the old running crouch jump introduced in Super Mario 64.

Such changes might seem subtle, but Mario's leaps are your tools and even the smallest changes can make a big difference. The levels available didn't seem to require mastery of Mario's new roll, but we're sure later levels will show it as a vital new ability.

Each of the four preview levels available put us in mind of a classic Mario stage of the past. The opening stage (as seen in this Super Mario trailer) is certainly reminiscent of Mario's first steps into 3D, whereas a later level played on elements of Super Mario Galaxy 2's devilish Flip-Swap Galaxy and the original Galaxy's Flipswitch, and seeing platforms unfold in 3D is quite a sight to behold.

Other stages play less on their 3D construction and just allow the screen's depth to take centre stage, with a fixed 2D-style viewpoint showing Mario going in and out of the foreground with pleasing effects. These stages, in which Tanooki Mario tail-whips Goombas, kicks Koopa shells and floats across gaps, feel like a traditional 2D Mario game with added depth, rather than the outright 3D revolution brought about by Mario 64 and the Galaxy series.

What we've played so far is a polished mixture of influences from previous plumber outings, all delivered with the usual panache you'd expect from Nintendo EAD. It feels at once instantly familiar and yet noticeably different, and shows Nintendo is taking the plumber in the same direction as always: forward.

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User Comments (84)

Zach

#1

Zach said:

Nice write-up, can't wait til this comes out. Oh how the world would be different if it were a launch title. For one, I would own it.

pixelman

#2

pixelman said:

The new roll move sounds really neat. It's about time Mario got a new move! Whatever day this comes out can't come soon enough, haha.

DazzaAdmin

#3

Dazza said:

This really does look like it's going to be amazing, kudos to Nintendo for going all out on this one and not just taking the easy way out and rereleasing Mario 64 on 3DS (which they totally should do of course!)

DavynD

#6

DavynD said:

Nice to know I'll have something new to play in the not-so-distant future. Can't wait!

Slapshot

#8

Slapshot said:

Great read James! This truly should have been a launch title, but nonetheless, it will be an instant purchase. :)

Kingbuilder

#9

Kingbuilder said:

Definitely getting this. Been hyped for it since it was announced. Sad to hear they took out the long jump, though. :( I loved messing around with that in SM64.

DestinyMan

#19

DestinyMan said:

Definitely my second most anticipated game right here. A 2D/3D hybrid sounds so obvious and yet no one thought about doing it until now. I imagine the 3D is a lot better in person than watching the E3 trailer. Also, as I've said before, using the traditional two-hit health mechanic than coins would make this game pretty challenging, but it's a challenge that I accept!

FonistofCruxis

#20

FonistofCruxis said:

I'm disappointed about it being like a merge of the 2D and 3D Mario platformers as I would rather they were kept seperate and Mario being less acrobatic than in other 3D Mario platformers is also disappointing but the level design looks awesome and the suits that they're bringing back sound awesome too but I wonder if they will make up for the parts of the game that I'm disappointed about.

19Robb92

#24

19Robb92 said:

I'm not a big fan of the timer.. I don't like having a special amount of time to beat a level. I always feel stressed, also makes me feel as all the levels in the game are gonna be smaller than they have to be.

They should have kept the time in the 2D games IMO.

CanisWolfred

#28

CanisWolfred said:

I'm still massively disappointed with what I'm seeing with this game. It's like they're taking all the things I hated from the series and putting it in one game.

Radbot42

#29

Radbot42 said:

I didnt even think that the roll was a new move in mario when i watched the trailer for this game, but now that I think about it, it is new but feels like it should have been there from the start

warioswoods

#30

warioswoods said:

"You can even perform a jump from a long roll"

Can you roll off an edge and then jump from midair? If so (and I hope so), it would be taking its influence more from the Donkey Kong Country series than from Zelda.

Capt_N

#31

Capt_N said:

Loss of backward jump, & a timer in the 3d isn't something I'm looking toward. But the game, as a whole will probably be good.

Supremeist

#33

Supremeist said:

I hope we get this as soon as possible, I'm super stoked. I'm gonna go check out the eShop trailer for it.

DestinyMan

#34

DestinyMan said:

@armoredghor: I was referring to the 3D E3 trailer, but even at that I imagine seeing the real game in person is much better. Ocarina of Time 3D's trailer didn't look as good compared to the actual game. It's also worth mentioning that they worked on the game a bit since E3 to remove the subtle 3D and blurry graphics seen in the 3D trailer.

jdkipfer

#36

jdkipfer said:

Not too thrilled at losing the long jump and the backflip, but I am still ridiculously excited about this. They really should bring back every suit that exists, like the frog suit, bee Mario, Spring Mario, to name a few little used suits that I liked. And wing Mario.

WaveBoy

#37

WaveBoy said:

Tiny Mario plus NO Health Meter will make this the most Retro 3D mario title yet. It's no wonder why this is my most anticipated 3DS release. :D

LordTendoboy

#38

LordTendoboy said:

Based on video footage I've seen, the game looks very slow-paced. :(

And it's EAD Tokyo, the studio that made DK Jungle Beat, as well as the Mario Galaxy series.

PSICOffee

#39

PSICOffee said:

This will probably be fun, and I'll play it some day, but it doesn't appear/feel like a regular 3D Mario or a 2D Mario. It's something else, and I don't know whether I love or hate it until I play a demo somewhere.

FonistofCruxis

#41

FonistofCruxis said:

@tendoboy1984 I know thats why I was saying its like they merged the 2D Mario platformers and the 3D ones as it plays out in 3D but instead of having multiple objectives, every level is one where you just have to get to the flagpole at the end like in the 2D ones as well with the health system and timer being borrowed from the 2D Mario platformers as well as the linearity and Mario being less acrobatic. I would rather they kept the two seperate and was disappointed when I found out how this played out as I was hoping for a new proper 3D Mario platformer on a handheld.

Pj1

#44

Pj1 said:

It does look good this game! instant day one purchase for me. As this game reminds me of 2D and3D game play all at once. Like Paper Mario on Wii?

HipsterDashie

#45

HipsterDashie said:

Played this today at Hyper Japan, really good solid mario platforming, felt like a cross between Galaxy and (New) Super Mario Bros. Awesome stuff, loved it!

Pj1

#46

Pj1 said:

@ SoulSilverIV

Sounds good, I wanted to go to Hyper Japan but couldn't get into gear for it. Dunno why, I've heard this might be out in time for Christmas.... (play.com) it also lists Liugi's Mansion release the same day, that I doubt will happen.

JohnshiBRPG

#48

JohnshiBRPG said:

@warioswoods

This and the fact that Mario starts out regular size also reminded me of another game Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 where Wario also starts as regular size

Deviant_Mugen

#49

Deviant_Mugen said:

It sounds like it's coming along great. I am saddened by the removal of the backflip and long jump, though, but I'm sure the roll move will work out well...

StarDust4Ever

#53

StarDust4Ever said:

I've been hitting up Zelda OOT on my 3DS and playing Sunshine on my Game Cube. I really miss the free-roaming worlds as featured in Mario 64 and Sunshine. Both Galaxies had a couple of free-roaming areas, but it's still mostly warping from one area to the next. They've got some quite elaborate jungle-gym action going on in several of the Sunshine stages. I would love to see Nintendo create a Mario Game that takes place across the vast expanse of the Mushroom Kingdom, where I can ride Yoshi across the plains L.O.Z.O.O.T. style, but of course having the luxury of using warp pipes as shortcuts. It's a shame they cut out the long jump. Hopefully, the ground-pound and the wall-jump moves will still be available, though.

James

#54

James said:

You've still got the tilt/reverse jump which you can execute by running in one direction then snapping back and hitting jump. Not as high as the crouching backflip, but still useful.

Ground pound and wall-jumping both in too :)

19Robb92

#56

19Robb92 said:

@Pj1
From what I've heard this, Mario Kart & Kid Icarus is supposed to come out by the end of this year. (Though Kid Icarus got delayed in EU so only two big titles for us).

Luigi's Mansion 2 is set for early 2012 along with Kid Icarus (in EU).

FantasiaWHT

#59

FantasiaWHT said:

I don't think brief side-scrolling portions make it more like NSMB than SMG. Both SMG games have occasional side-scrolling portions.

Gamer83

#60

Gamer83 said:

This game can't get here soon enough for me. I'd like something to make me feel like the $250 I spent on a 3DS was worth it.

pikku

#63

pikku said:

Was the music in the game any different from the E3 trailer music? If so, how good was it?

LordTendoboy

#66

LordTendoboy said:

@James Newton

You should change the developer info to EAD Tokyo. They're the ones that made this game (along with Mario Galaxy and DK Jungle Beat).

SamuraiShyGuy

#67

SamuraiShyGuy said:

The crouching backflip isn't a big deal if they left in the side flip. They left in the side flip, right?

castor

#71

castor said:

It should've been a Super Mario 64 alike... not talking about a remake, but it could have all the complexity of SM64, the freedom to explore... I really don't like the one-way courses... but, seems great anyway

James

#74

James said:

@SamuraiShyGuy Side flip is in!

@pikmaniac Yep different music, and very good — I had my big Sennheiser headphones on to hear everything I could. Music sounded sweet and clear.

@tendoboy1984 From what I can gather this is EAD Tokyo #2, so consider that information updated :)

cheetahs

#76

cheetahs said:

Token_Girl, whoa, your right!
They should make those goombas suddenly jump at the screen, scaring the living daylight out of anyone who is playing it in 3d. :)

JimLad

#78

JimLad said:

When are they going to learn that Mario alone sells their systems, and the new hardware releases should always wait for his next game as a launch title.
Super Mario Bros, Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Land.
Imagine how well 3DS would have sold with this at the helm. I really hope Wii U has a Mario launch.

SuperMinusWorld

#79

SuperMinusWorld said:

Guys, the long jump and backflip are both still in this game. The only thing they removed is the triple jump to give it a more classic feel. The long jump is done when walking I believe and the forward somersault jump is done when running (yes, btw, X and Y are the run buttons, hallelujah! and he runs as fast or faster than in Galaxy) I've seen it in videos and played a demo post E3. It feels amazing and polished. The backflip is tweaked as well, and is done by charging power in your legs and THEN jumping. You won't move backwards, he'll just do a backflip in place so you can move Mario wherever you want. It's been made to feel like the power squat jump in Super Mario Bros. 2. Yes, I'm a huge effing Mario nerd. Hope this cleared things up.

pikku

#81

pikku said:

Oh, sweet. Extremely pleased to hear about the music.

Now all that's left to do is wait until Christmas. :'(

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