News Article

Feature: Super Mario on Wii U - Crowd Pleaser or Game Changer?

Posted by James Newton

The plumber's conundrum

The news that Shigeru Miyamoto will show off Super Mario Bros. on Wii U at E3 is more or less confirmation of what we all expected. When 3DS faltered many said Nintendo needed to show the way with a Mario game, and Super Mario 3D Land's Christmas appearance gave the console a big shot in the arm, becoming its first five-million-seller in the process.

But unlike 3DS, Mario was there alongside Wii U when it was first revealed at E3 2011, New Super Mario Bros. Mii one of the few playable 'experiences' on show. A Mii-powered revisit of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, it was a sharper, shinier version of a game that's sold over 25 million copies worldwide, but is it the direction Mario's upcoming HD debut will take?

While 3D Land blended 2D and 3D adventures into a new hybrid form, home console Mario titles have been staunchly one or the other, with a dimension-sized gap in sales. Super Mario Galaxy — a full ten points above NSMBWii on Metacritic — scraped past 10 million sales in twice the time it took the 2D game to rack up 25 million. One pushed platforming to a new level; the other banked on Wii's multiplayer allure.

Whether Nintendo goes for surprising or safe with its first Mario will define its strategy for Wii U. Innovation or iteration, game changer or crowd pleaser?

The big question is this: will Nintendo stick to the tried and true template that moved 25m copies or go for something unseen to prove Wii U's innovation?

It's not an easy one to answer. Wii U is following on from a near-100-million-selling console, and to discount those consumers would be a big mistake. If 25m people enjoyed 2D Mario in 480p, who's to say a similar number wouldn't enjoy it in 1080p? Having such a sales weapon to call on is no small advantage, and you can be sure Nintendo knows it: it recently announced a 2D Super Mario game for 3DS after all.

On the other hand, Nintendo needs to convince the gaming world at large that Wii U is as inventive and revolutionary as its predecessor. What better way to do that than with a new style of play for its mascot, showcasing Wii U's unique controller and dual screen possibilities?

Nintendo will want to drive Wii U's install base as quickly as possible to prevent comparisons with the 3DS's rocky start and quick price drop, but will it target Wii families ready for an HD upgrade or craft something only possible on Wii U that risks putting off those 25m 2D fans? Of course, Nintendo being Nintendo there's always the possibility of a third option, a game that combines both styles of gameplay, and you can be certain that Wii U will welcome 2D and 3D Super Mario games in its lifespan.

But as Nintendo prepares to loose the first shot across the bows of its HD competitors, all eyes are on how Mario will step into the high definition era. He led the charge into three dimensions with the launch of Nintendo 64 — can his first HD outing pioneer in the same way?

Whether Nintendo goes for surprising or safe with its first Mario will define its strategy for Wii U. Innovation or iteration, game changer or crowd pleaser — we'll find out on 5th June.

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User Comments (68)



Qeuix said:

The teaser title for this what ever Mario game is going to be on the Wii U should be called "Super Mario Bros. HD".



Whopper744 said:

Can I steal that pic for my avatar?
I think we have had plenty of crowd pleasers. I'm looking for a game changer we won't forget!



CowLaunch said:

If the Wii U isn't as cheap as the Wii, then It think focusing on crowd pleasers would be a mistake.

Myself, I want a huge exploration type Mario game this time.



19Robb92 said:

I'm guessing crowd-pleaser since they're probably making games that allow for a solid launch of the system. Could turn out to be both though, that'd be awesome.



Nin-freak said:

I wish for an HD Super Mario Galaxy 3 to make it a trilogy, but I don't see that happening



CanisWolfred said:

I'm betting none of the above, personally. It'll probably just be NSMB Mii or another Galaxy game. I do hope I'm wrong, though.



SkywardLink98 said:

They should launch Super Mario Galaxy 3 for the Wii U (And 3DS), and launch a bundle of the first two remade in HD.



shingi_70 said:

its going to be a marrio X sonic 3D crossover game developed in collabrating with ead tokyo 1 and. Sonic colors sonic team. Full 3d with a hub world like super mario 64 and sonic adventure 1. Also its a launch title. Microsoft and sony am cry.

God I love E3.



HaNks said:

no more NSMB style games please...even if its online and all that jazz. they don't have the charm of the true 2d mario games or sense of adventure in the 3d titles. a spiritual successor to mario 64 would be my top choice. a 3d mario title with plenty of level variety, would be lovely in HD.



Bigdog said:

I say it depends on what kind of Mario game it is.

If Nintendo wants a Mario to help sales (Crowd Pleaser), all they have to do is release a Super Mario Bro Mii game expanded from the demos for Wii U. That will sell like cupcakes and could release near launch.

Or, they can expand the Galaxy games with a third one. That will also sell like cupcakes and could release near launch.

But if this new Mario is indeed a new 3D Mario, that means Nintendo wanting to "drop the bomb" ( when it comes to Mario in their new shiny system. It would be "ready when it's ready, and it would be all about showing off what that system can do. Game Changer.



Luffymcduck said:


Yeah, it´s about time we´d get to explore in Mario game. Linear Mario´s have been good too but I want open worlds like last seen in Sunshine 10 years ago. Man, I feel old already.



grumblebuzzz said:

I'm going to assume it's gonna be a crowd pleaser if it's a launch title, simply because they'll want to drum up big sales; however, I do hope that they come up with something a little more original than NSMBMii because that demo did absolutely nothing to psych me up for buying a WiiU. I don't really care to see NSMBWii in HD with Miis.



MitchVogel said:

I hope it's not NSMBMii. That game honestly looks like it belongs on the wii. I want to see a game that does what Super Mario Galaxy did and really show off the console's power.



Henmii said:

Quite simply, if they only show yet another New super mario bros instead of a new, innovative free-roaming Mario I would be very dissapointed!



WhiteTrashGuy said:

Give me SUPER MARIO BROS. 4 that is a TRUE sequel to SM64. Let me traverse worlds, give me DLC . . . Hell, maybe this will finally be the MARIO 128 Miyamoto was talking about years ago for GCN. With everyone playing Mario's together around the world helping eachother out DARK SOULS style! (You never know . . .) ; )



Yosher said:

I don't care what kind of game it'll be (in the platforming department of course), I'll get and enjoy it either way! I'm just hoping Yoshi will be in it since he doesn't seem to be getting his own titles anymore, being the only Mario spin-off platforming hero not to get a Wii title.

Either way, I'm sure Nintendo/Miyamoto will cook up something awesome, no official Mario platforming title has ever been a bad game.



Rapadash6 said:

Truth is I wouldn't mind NSMB Mii, but I just can see Nintendo releasing yet another one of those games soley on the ability to play as your Mii alone. It's just not enough to warrant it's existance. Assuming this is a launch game, Nintendo will want to do something that shows off what the system can do; not just in terms of graphics, but also it's much touted second screen capability. My guess is that if the NSMB team is working on a 3DS game, as has already been confirmed, it's more likely the Galaxy team is working on this one. The fact that many notable names were missing from the SM3DL credits lends credence to this theory. My bet is it won't be Galaxy 3 though, as the team has already expressed that they wouldn't be able to do much more with that concept. It should be an interesting E3 this year.



HappyHappy said:

Definitely crowd pleaser. As far as I know I’m one of the few people who actually hated NSMBW mainly because it wasn’t anything new from NSMB. If Nintendo really wants to make Mario a success on the Wii U, they should come up with something original to do with Mario like what they did with SMG and SMB3DL.



Boofonater001 said:

I think it would be great if New Super Mario Bros. MIi went on the wii u that way you could have your own person in a mario game.



BenAV said:

It'll most likely be a crowd pleaser.
In saying that, I hope they're still being a bit risky and creating something different that they think will get a lot of people interested in the Wii U, and not just another New Super Mario Bros. title.
They're definitely going to want to show off what we can do with the new controller, but what is there to be done with it in a Mario game (besides some awesome 2-player co-op/vs mode)?
I'm pretty interested to see what Nintendo has come up with.
They rarely let me down.



Alienfish said:

You know, if this question was being brought up five months ago, I would have said that Super Mario Bros. Mii was going to be the only Mario game for awhile on WiiU, but my thoughts about what Nintendo might do have been changing. Nintendo said it themselves that they will be targeting hardcore gamers this time around and the linup on the 3DS has surely proven that so far. I really think that Nintendo is going to blow everyone's mind this time around. Nintendo is known for doing surprising things, and what's funny is that, at this point in time, releasing mature and challenging titles would be about as surprising as they could get since they have been releasing fluff for the past six years in all but a few cases.



FluttershyGuy said:

I'd have no problem with (and actually prefer) the NSMBMii game they demoed last E3. Yeah, it wasn't incredibly impressive, but its purpose was merely a preliminary showing off of Mario in HD. I have no doubt the actual game would be light years beyond last year's demo in terms of graphics and gameplay, and be worthy of the title Super Mario Bros. 4 (if that is indeed what this is)! Whether 2D or 3D, you can bet Nintendo is going to want it to be a groundbreaking showcase of Wii U's power. So, those of you worried that a side scrolling Mario wouldn't be that great, I'd rest easy. I for one wouldn't be surprised to see it take some pages out of LittleBigPlanet's book in terms of creativity (and improve on it). Imagine ENDLESS GAMER-CREATED MARIO LEVELS!!! FLUTTERSHY SQUEE



misswliu81 said:

i guess i was one of the few that enjoyed new super mario bros wii- it reminded me a lot of super mario 1-3, which is why i enjoyed it a great deal.

i don't mind if it is a galaxy or NSMB type game- hell, even combine a mixture of both would be good to see. either way, whatever miyamoto cooks up will be really special.



NintyMan said:

If it's going to be like the NSMB Mii experience from last year, I just hope that they do more than just make it NSMBW with Miis and HD graphics. There should be some shaking of the formula to make it a refreshing time and not just a crowd pleaser. However, whether it really changes the game or not, I'll still get it as soon as I can and hope it releases on the new console's launch or very near to it.



lanabanana said:

I would like it if the game was like Super Mario 3D Land! It would be cool if you could play as your Mii. Just imagine your Mii running around and stuff just like Mario in Super Mario 3D Land...



misswliu81 said:

if this game is going to be that tech demo and will look exactly as it is, i hope nintendo makes some improvements to it. i like it but to others, it sounds like they are playing it safe with this one. seeing as the wii U won't launch until november, they have now up until that time to chop and change and add a few things to make sure it becomes an amazing mario game.



sinalefa said:

I would love to see a game changer. A 3D Mario ( I do believe that would show off the HD graphics a lot better than a 2D where polygons are small and not that interesting) hopefully coming back to the SM64 gameplay. That touch screen could even act like a map, enabling huge open world levels.

If they want to do the crowd pleaser, they can make it a downloadable title, but the meat and potatoes should be a polished, innovative Mario. And if they will make a 2D Mario, please make it a sprite based game that takes advantage of the HD like Rayman Origins.

If all they can come up with is New Super Mario Bros MIi, then I will pass.

Has anyone thought that Super Mario 4 could mean just a 4 player game, like the Wii game? Still a better name than NSMBM



DraculaX said:

A 2D Super Mario Bros. Game on the Wii U? I can't see how this could take advantage of all the Wii U's features. I guess we will find out in June...



Emaan said:

I'm hoping for something that surprises us all, Mario needs the wow-factor that hasn't been around since 2007's Super Mario Galaxy.



SuperMinusWorld said:

I honestly believe a game changer will please the crowds more than a game that tries to please the crowds and doesn't innovate. A expansive, deep, huge HD Super Mario 3D experience will do the trick. It needs to be as epic as Galaxy was when we first laid our trembling little hands on it, and it needs to have one important thing that will ensure the Wii U is used to its fullest capacity and see sales that rival NSMBWii: Mario & Luigi co-op. IT. WILL. WORK. Nintendo NEEDS to do this. People love HD games, people love co-op games, and people love Mario & Luigi. THIS WILL ENSURE THE WII U HAD A SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH THAT WILL SPAN AT LEAST 4 MONTHS OF GREAT SALES.



mamp said:

Does that mean that this new mario game may be launched alongside pikmin 3 and if so wouldn't it hurt pikmin 3's sales I mean if they're released close to each other I think most people would save up for Mario, and has anyone thought about the games moving up to 60$ just like the rest of the consoles. I mean if 3DS games went up 10$ shy wouldn't the WiiU games?



FluttershyGuy said:

Now it's confirmed that it's the NSMB Mii tech demo? AWWWW YEAH! This + announced 3DS Mario= Side scroller Heaven! To have this (hopefully) around launch time will make Wii U's launch like that of my two favorite Nintendo systems, NES & Super NES. It's gonna be SO AWESOME /)^3^(|



FonistofCruxis said:

They confirmed that its going to be based on the tech demo they showed last year?
If this really is just New super Mario bros. Wii with Miis and in HD, I will be severely disappointed as that would be way too unoriginal. It feels like the Mario series is becoming Nintendo's way of easily securing a load of sales for a certain platform each year rather than a way to show off their creativity like it used to be.



Knuckles said:

I hope Nintendo knows what they are doing releasing all of these Mario games. I would HATE for Mario to lose his King of Gaming crown to Link...
Also I think Nintendo is soon going to lay it a little easier on Mario, just let 2012 finish. We will probably be in a minor Mario drought while its raining millions upon millions of dollars for nintendo...



FluttershyGuy said:

I kind of think NSMB Mii (assuming that's its final name) will be themed like Super Mario World (or SMB 4 as it officially is in Japan). Remember how NSMB Wii (even though it was the second NEW SMB) was themed after SMB 3, with the Koopa Kids & airships? Well, this being the sequel, and the Super Mario 4 domain buy makes me wonder if it'll be heavily connected to World (fingers crossed!!!), even if only spiritually.

I'd love to go back to finding secret areas like you did in SMW. Also, MUCH, MUCH more Yoshi, a world map like SMW's, and PLEASE change the NSMB theme song (never was crazy about it... you know, with the "bop bop" in it?).

I don't see a chance of this missing a level editor/creator. With the popularity of LittleBigPlanet, and Nintendo now joining Sony in the world of HD, I'm sure Nintendo will take this opportunity for Mario to show Sackboy who the MAN is (Ric Flair: WOOOOOOOO)! Nintendo is really going to want this to shine side by side with comparable games like LBP.



jahasnell said:

I could see Nintendo bundling New Super Mario Bros. Mii with the Wii U as a strictly digital download. The basic framework for the game would already have been completed and just need a bump in resolution. It could essentially be seen for the Wii U what Face Raiders and the AR Games were for the 3DS. Probably just wishful thinking but, a new Nintendo console BUNDLED with a brand new (albeit rehashed) Mario game would go a long way.



Alienfish said:

@jahasnell #51 I agree that it would be a good title to make available for digital download and/or bundled with the system. That actually makes quite a lot of sense for them to include that game instead of trying to sell it separate from the console. I for one won't be buying it if it is separate, but I think if there was online coop available and I knew that everyone who had a WiiU also had this game, then I would play it and enjoy it quite a bit. Oh, and if they make it in the style of SMW with a full explorable map with a bunch of secrets it will become an insta-buy for me.



Alucard83 said:

BTW it looks very stupid by using your MII's while a mario game has already enough characters to use. Which pig would use MII's? stupid NINTENDO! Getting stupid by every year.



GTWarrior77 said:

We need something totally new when it comes to Mario games. Lately Mario games have lost their originality with a lot of them being a rehash of old games.

Mario Galaxy was a fresh new twist on the series but if they bring out a 3rd Galaxy game I am very tempted to say that I will not be interested. Even
releasing a second Galaxy was pushing it imo. Also, I hope NSMB Mii is
is more original than just being able to play as your Mii in HD.

I understand that Nintendo is a business but lately it seems that when their accountants were let loose, they had more influence than the game designers. They have been playing it way too safe.

Some exploration would also be welcome. Even in 2D Mario games.

I am a big Mario fan but imo Nintendo needs to give us something we haven't seen before. I vote for a game changer.



rjejr said:

I'm one of those hoping for a 3D adventure game like Sunshine - preferably mulitplayer - but if N made a NSMB game w/ online multiplayer I think that would be big for them. I'm guessing in their heads that will be there big announcement, online 2D Mii multiplayer. They really did miss the boat big time w/ online this generation, I still don't understand how Sports Resort doesn't at least have online leaderboards.
Not holding my breath for level editor, though I'm expecting a much more robust one in Smash Brothers, the Brawl one was way too limiting.



hailsanta said:

its gonna be nsmb. im hoping for a new starfox. pikmin 3 is also a plus. i bet this thing does as well as 3ds. it looks awesome, but watch it will not do well



NaturalGus said:

I sure hope this isn't the rumored "Super Mario 4" title. Honestly, one cannot showcase the power of a console with a side scrolling game, regardless of it having 3D graphics. The best thing to do with Mario for Wii U is along the lines of a Super Mario Galaxy game that does NOT involve rounded worlds like that. Maybe a blend between Mario World, Mario Galaxy, and a bit of Mario 64. Some Mario 3 power ups are more than welcome of course. But, I still believe "Super Mario 4" should be 2D title entirely, with brand new power ups but keeping in the same line as the first 3 mario's... Take a good look at what Capcom did with Megaman 9, or what Konami did with Contra Rebirth and Castlevania Rebirth.



James said:

@NaturalGus It'd be ace if they used sprites for this, all hand-drawn like Wario Land: Shake It or Rayman Origins. Though that would mean no Miis... I'd be fine with that, actually.



NaturalGus said:

while that means no Mii's for Mario 4, it doesn't mean no Mii's for "new super mario bros wii u" i strongly feel they should be two different games. or 3 different games if we consider an entirely new fully 3D adventure.. but i have to remind myself that i'm just wishing.



Lyndexer said:

This maybe a next leap for the Mario series. But, I there has been Mii's in different Mario games.
((Mario kart Wii and 7, Olympic series,Mario party))
I can say though Mario has been improving over the years.

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