News Article

Super Mario 3D Land Made for Snacking, Not Gorging

Posted by James Newton

Handheld finger food

3DS might be as powerful as Wii, but it's in a very different setting, as Super Mario 3D Land director Koichi Hayashida explains in a recent Iwata Asks.

According to Hayashida, if Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a grand imperial banquet, Super Mario 3D Land is fast food, designed to be consumed quickly in short bites:

[Super Mario Galaxy 2 is] the kind of game that says, "There's all this laid out before you, so eat whatever you want!" To eat it all takes hours, so when you finish eating, your stomach is full. We put in everything that had built up since Super Mario Sunshine and made Super Mario Galaxy 2 to be a game that has everything.

So this time, I wanted to make a compact game that, rather than the Manchu Han Imperial Feast, was lighter, like a hamburger you could just gobble down. I decided to start thinking from there.

The interview also reveals the presence of a large number of special stages unlocked after completing the game, something that should temper disappointment of those worried the game will lack content.

Best of all, however, is the revelation that the game's item-exchanging StreetPass mode works even when communicating with players who haven't got the game:

And this time, you can even pass by people who don't have the game! If you pass by someone's Mii character someplace like the StreetPass Mii Plaza12 application, you can receive an item from that Mii character at Toad's house. If you pass by the same Mii character again, you get something better.

There's all sorts of other interesting revelations in there too but we'll leave those up to you to discover.

[via iwataasks.nintendo.com]

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User Comments (54)

Highwinter

#2

Highwinter said:

In my opinion, the best Mario games have been 64 and Galaxy, the ones with big open levels, with a lot of exploration to find the many objectives.

I'm not sure why Nintendo now seem to think they were bad games or that people didn't want gameplay like that. Sorry, but we've moved on from super linear games that take four hours to complete..

DestinyMan

#3

DestinyMan said:

All of you that are sick of Tanooki tails can blame Tesuki Tezuka. After he said to the designer, "Give them a tail! Give them a tail!" he started putting tails on Bullet Bills, Thomps, and Boos. Of course, before that people were saying, "Give him a tail! Give him a tail!" when they were designing False Bowser.

All in all, this was an interesting read. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a buffet of a game with all those yellow and green stars to collect, but even if Super Mario 3D Land is McDonald's, there must apparently be plenty of content that would be worth much more than a happy meal.

Samholy

#4

Samholy said:

ah!
this is the doomed faith of the 3DS so far. hamburger games.
i thought mario would be different...lets see about it in a couple of weeks, after reviews ans users appreciation. i wont buy it day one.
i just hope they wont do this in super smash bros 3ds :-p

Dodger

#5

Dodger said:

That really sounds like something that somebody who was forced to make a small amout of levels to get their game out by Christmas would say. If it was just this then I would overlook it but about everything seems to point to that. The fact that the levels are "easy until world 8" and "A good place for new fans of the series to enter", the small number of levels, a level map that is just a straight line, Etc.

Who is really going to buy this game and not play it all day on the first few days they have it? If 7 of 8 worlds are easier then a lot of Mario games and the levels are linear then you probably could make a lot of progress in a couple days. If the special stages are actually stages (like world 9) then that might make this game a lot longer but I imagine something more like prankster comets or green stars.

I don't know. It probably won't wind up being a bad choice because its a first party Mario but I'm tired of being asked to pay $40 for subpar games because it is all that is available for the 3DS. Seriously, don't get me started on Pilotwings Resort. I'm sure this will be better then Pilotwings but will it be better then most options or will it be the best option? What I've seen has me worried.

I don't like $40 dollar hamburgers. There is a reason a hamburger combo at McDonalds is about $5. I use the Eshop for my hamburgers.

GuarinoMatt

#6

GuarinoMatt said:

I guess most people hardly prefer something more similar to the original formula: Super Mario Bros. And this is it.

I appreciated a lot the 3D Marios, but I grew up with Super Mario Bros. 3, and this is exactly what I've been waiting for all these years.

warioswoods

#7

warioswoods said:

@2

I'm also a little wary of the linearity, but the Iwata Asks article appeased me a bit when the director said that this game approaches a more traditional 3D Mario formula as you get into the later content; it sounds like it becomes multiple goals per level and exploration to find the star coins in place of stars.

We'll see. The director also described this game as a gateway from 2D to 3D Mario games, so that it takes the 2D formula and slowly opens up the player to gameplay from the 3D formula, so that they those who don't play 3D Mario games can finally make the leap.

Jono97

#8

Jono97 said:

My friend said he got confused when he saw a classic level in this game(screenshot) and thought this would be like super mario bros. I went seriously, are you that stupid???

Unca_LzStaff

#9

Unca_Lz said:

So you're telling me that Mario 3D Land is unhealthy and full of cholesterol? That means it will be AWESOME!! :D (Just compare it to fried chicken next time) :)

Dyl_73

#11

Dyl_73 said:

That sounds OK to me. The "majority" of handheld users want games that can be played in short bursts. You can't really play a game like SM:Galaxy like that. The 3DS Mario games are to be sold across the whole spectrum of 3DS users types, so a big exploration game is not going to be as well accepted in social circles outside of the more serious gamers circles.
Hopefully that makes sense.

bezerker99

#13

bezerker99 said:

Nintendo has stated previously that SM3DL would be more along the lines of 2D Mario games (just in 3D). I am very excited about this game - such a throwback to the oldschool!

RoyalBlur

#14

RoyalBlur said:

I'm definitely looking forward to Super Mario 3D Land but I really hope this game won't be SHORT. I'm hoping that this game will be a lot longer then the article implies! Still, I'm buying this game nonetheless.

brandonbwii

#15

brandonbwii said:

Handheld games aren't supposed to be epic in scope. Sure you should definitely get value for your hard earned cash, yet handheld games were always about bite-sized fun. Typically when games were too huge they would get hit with terms like "This isn't very portable friendly" or "It needs a better save system". Nintendo is doing exactly what needs to be done for the 3DS, a fast-paced, pick-up-and-play games that even "noobs" can enjoy.

sketchturner

#16

sketchturner said:

This seemed quite obvious just from the preview videos that have been released. Not sure why anyone would be surprised after seeing what some of the levels look like...

JettiBlue

#17

JettiBlue said:

I think some people are misunderstanding what Iwata is saying here. It is more about the structure of the layout of the game rather than its content.

And it does make sense to me to go this route on a handheld console. It fits for a portable machine (not saying that the other structure doesnt fit necessarily). Remember how short Super Mario Land was on Gameboy?

Remember, it doesnt necessarily mean the game will be short. In fact, in the same Iwata Asks session it is said that 3D Land has about the same amount of content than the Galaxy games (this is including the unlockable levels after the main game).

Monsti

#19

Monsti said:

I really do hope it's just about the structure. It sure dosen't sound like it anymore. I feel that with every interview I read the pre-excuse more and more for the lack of content in the game.

Zach

#20

Zach said:

I'm fine with that, it sounds like a good fit for a handheld.

OrdonianLink

#21

OrdonianLink said:

I was expecting it to be short for beating, I beat New Super Mario bros. in 3 Days and can beat it in one, even if I get the warp cannons I wont use them until after I beat it to get the fullest experience, thens there the star coins as well. NSMBWii was a pain in the butt to get all the star coins, and hopefully Luigi will have a role in different levels.

bro2dragons

#22

bro2dragons said:

@Highwinter: Nintendo isn't saying that these are bad games, and players aren't saying they don't want shorter, more bite-sized experiences. Super Mario Galaxy and New Super Mario Bros. Wii are two COMPLETELY different games that are played in completely different ways and exist to please gamers in completely different manners. Both have sold boatloads, and I adore them both. But they have vastly divergent purposes and I'm not always in the mood for grandeur and would prefer a more intense, fast-paced, short-burst platformer. On the other hand, sometimes I just want to explore things. Super Mario 3D Land is going to be a DIFFERENT game from Galaxy and Galaxy 2... it's not going to be an inherently worse game.

Gemslime

#23

Gemslime said:

sounds to me that nintendo is just trying to justify their own lazieness and poor exicution with the game. Seriously though, if nntendo could make a game as grand as links awakining on an 8-bit gameboy, then i think they can make an all you can eat buffet out of this game.

StarDust4Ever

#24

StarDust4Ever said:

Only the original Super Mario Brothers NES (and possibly Dr Mario) is a light snack to me.

Apparently, Iwata and Myamoto don't know me very well: If Super Mario 3D Land is Cheezy-Poofs, then I am a fat Eric Cartman who will gorge myself until my newly sprouted Tanooki Tail rips a large hole in my trousers! :D

Geonjaha

#25

Geonjaha said:

Well it does seem like a really bad excuse for a lack of content. I expected little content in this game from the beggining seeing as its the first good game coming to the system that isnt a port. Nintendo also deciding to stop at 6 3D classics due to how apparently difficult it was also shows a lack of effort in making such 3D games.

Ramses

#26

Ramses said:

Yeah, I thought this game sounded cool until I realized that each world only had 5 levels, and everything had a Tanooki tail. That's why I'm saving my money to pre-order Mario Kart instead of this game.

WreckItRyan

#28

WreckItRyan said:

@2
I whole-heartedly agree. I think even the systematics of Sunshine held true to the 3D tour-and-explore formula.

Bacon_Gal_Blaze

#32

Bacon_Gal_Blaze said:

I doubt many people are going to slowly finish it since we've had no good 3DS games since OOT. Although, I suppose Skyward Sword is out the same day. The 18th is going to be great! :-)

DM666

#33

DM666 said:

Nintendo need to make use of DLC ( I'm sick of saying this), retro levels reimagined, new worlds, support the game after launch. I would happily pay for more worlds.

OptometristLime

#34

OptometristLime said:

Doubting the capacity of Mario himself to shine in a handheld game? When you have no faith, any dribble of adverse news can throw you off balance. Let Nintendo do its thing.

I-U

#35

I-U said:

The same Iwata Asks says that the game features content levels comparable to both Galaxy games. Rather than taking this article seriously, people should enjoy the Iwata Asks interview. I have no doubts at all that I will enjoy this game for short and long bursts, and I am really excited for the Mystery Box concept along with the special worlds to be unlocked late in the game. By the way, these special worlds are suppose to equal the amount of normal worlds, and be more in line to traditional 3D Mario experiences. It's a bit crazy to be doubting a major Mario platformer.

BulbasaurusRex

#36

BulbasaurusRex said:

Better items with repeated Streetpass hits with the same person? My (at least) daily Streetpass hits with my brother are really going to pay off with this game.

TooManyToasters

#37

TooManyToasters said:

@Highwinter

sigh He didn't say 64 and Galaxy were bad games, they're just not suited for handhelds. He's only saying Mario 3D Land was made be suited more for a handheld, that's pretty much it. ._.

PoTher

#38

PoTher said:

I wonder if "short bites" doesn't have anything to do with the 3DS's limited battery life between charges. I know when I saw the demo for Luigi's Mansion 2, I noticed a lot of angular edges instead of rounded ones. Knowing they could do better, I can only presume its because of battery limitations and that LM2 has larger gameplay chunks. Regardless of whether or not a 'Suspend Data' function is included, I'm really worried about other titles like RE Revelations, MGS Snake Eater, etc. I'm horrified of having to fully charge my 3DS just to play an hour session, which would be less time than I normally put into those types of games. I love deep experiences on my handhelds (especially since the DS family offers more than just portability and exclusive games).

The glut of tails seems like Nintendo was trying too hard to be cute and maybe catering to a younger, more mainstream demograph; rather than approaching SM3DL like they should any other entry in the Mario franchise. And the arrows pointing to the goal? Please be optional. Nintendo does have a knack for making cakes with 2 flavors: the light with the optional full-flavor. But yeah, lately Nintendo's been giving the serious gamers an empty plate (or watering things down like SM3DL's Tanooki "suit" just acting more like the raccoon tail from SMB3). Casual flavors seem prevalent, yet what about the connoisseurs? Nintendo won't even release Fatal Frame, the Last Story, Xenoblade, & Pandora's Tower on the Wii in the US market. As for 3DS titles published by Nintendo already in the US market? Graphic/touchscreen upgrades to classics (no new levels/enemies), and portable versions of casual games leaves my stomach rumbling and my mouth free to grumble.

And let me guess: They only tacked 'Land' in the title, loading it with SMB3 elements instead of expanding upon the actual Super Mario Land series. If none of the enemies, bosses, or a brand new main boss isn't in Super Mario Land 3D, then how else can they justify using 'Land' in the title?

Hamburger? Still sounds more like a 'slider' right now. A gloomy Gus? Moi? Maybe, but I will reserve a glimmer of hope that it's a full-fledged hamburger and the meat cooked long enough. Who knows, maybe they even toasted the bun a bit.

FluttershyGuy

#39

FluttershyGuy said:

That's fine with me. These days I only have time to do my gaming in little "snack" sessions. The comparison could be interpreted as meaning a lack of quality in 3D Land, however, which I'm sure isn't the case!
@LittleIrves
Yeah, that's me too! All of a sudden, I'm starving for some Mongolian Beef or Orange Chicken!

Joko450

#41

Joko450 said:

Are they saying the game is gonna be short?

Or do they mean it's fast food, but a lot of fast food? Or is it just one fast food meal? Or is it a banquet of fast food with appetizers mixed in?

I don't want a short game. :(

DestinyMan

#43

DestinyMan said:

How could it be short when that interview just showed that there will be extra levels equal in amount to the regular adventure? I don't think Hayashida meant to say that the game will be like fast food as far as content. I think he was referring to the time you spend playing a game in one sitting. There's so much to do in SMG2 that you would be playing for a long time in one sitting, while 3D Land is meant to be played in a comfortable timeframe for a handheld. It's best to read the actual interview than the article with bits and pieces from the interview.

Bubbab5

#44

Bubbab5 said:

This gam4 better have alot of content or its $40 down the toilet i want a Super Mario Sunshine 2 already for the 3DS

RYBlast

#47

RYBlast said:

@Dodger
Read the interview. It says that the game has 16 worlds. Besides, don't all 2D Mario games have 8 worlds anyway?

Henmii

#49

Henmii said:

Reminds me about the comment Nintendo made once in a interview about choosing something from a sushi bar! Nintendo (or Japanese people in general) loooove food!

gusmento01

#52

gusmento01 said:

@2. Highwinter Best comment I read today. I am still hopeful Nintendo will make a Mario game similar to Mario 64 or Galaxy

Nintonic

#53

Nintonic said:

This is Ninendo's way of saying:
"Super Mario Galaxy 2 is better than this!"
Not really, but this game does have less levels and I completely understand the message that they're trying to send, beat the game slowly...

Debageldond

#54

Debageldond said:

I'm not trying to be a jerk or pick on Nintendo here, because it does look like fun... but why do we need a diminished title? We often would get such titles on handhelds because they are by definition less powerful than consoles, but we're to the point with the 3DS that there's no need for games to be much less than console game.

Please excuse me if this smacks of a lack of imagination or just plan laziness on Nintendo's part. Considering how amazing both Galaxy games were (IMO, SMG2 is the gold standard for "snacking" without the game seeming vapid), many will inevitably be disappointed with this and likely the next major Mario console release. However, this just seems overwhelmingly unambitious. I hope I'm wrong, and I'm certainly going to buy the game, but I hope Nintendo realizes that the 3DS is more than powerful enough to handle a full-course meal.

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