News Article

Nintendo Confirms Live Orchestration in Super Mario 3D World

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

So our ears have not deceived us

We've been fortunate enough to spend some time, recently, with Super Mario 3D World, which we've rather enjoyed so far. In our preview last week we also said the following to reassure those with a taste for orchestral music in their Mario games, a practice that hit its peak in the Super Mario Galaxy games.

There's also orchestrated music, much to our delight — whether this is performed by an orchestra or a skilfully executed 'synthetic' orchestra seems irrelevant when you can't always tell the difference. There are flashes of retro tracks, but the new themes are catchy, at times even jazzy, and perfectly suited to the action.

Some tracks do undoubtedly sound like a real orchestra, and the title's lead composer Mahito Yokota has now confirmed as much in an interview with Destructoid.

There are naturally a lot of tracks performed live. We're arranging the music with a big-band feel, taking advantage of a full horn section with trumpets and saxophones.

We've certainly enjoyed a lot of the music in the game to date. How important is a soundtrack to you in a Mario game, and is it a big deal to you that there are some pieces performed by a live orchestra? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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User Comments (40)



gurtifus said:

Yes, not only Mario games but I'd like more games with live orchestra tracks !



NintyMan said:

This is very nice to be confirmed. Some of the tracks I've heard from videos were undoubtedly from an orchestra or some sort of band. The castle theme from Super Mario 3D Land has an awesome, Super Mario Galaxy-like orchestrated remix in this game.



Mollutje said:

Music is a major part of the expererience. I've caught myself wanting to replay many a game based on hearing a catchy tune from it alone. If the music is dull, uninspired or downright unoriginal (NSMB series), it's very detrimental to the overall experience, for me at least.



rjejr said:

So it might be time to update my sound system after all. Been listening thru my tv to my sound system to some faux stereo remix b/c I haven't wanted to pay $200 to listen Tank Tank Tank in 5.1 but maybe it's time.

I really don't care too much about sound in any of Nintendo's games really b/c there isn't a whole lot of voice acting that I need to hear or emotions that need to be emoted but sometimes things are just better loud. This game is one of those things. Maybe Santa will bring me a new sound system, hmmm



JimLad said:

That's great to hear, orchestrated music and Mario go together like bread and jam.



cookiex said:

Ever since Koji Kondo and Mahito Yokota were confirmed to compose I knew there was going to be a live orchestra involved, and the music from the gameplay videos only strengthened that belief.

And from what I've heard so far it's great.



Damo said:

The music in this game is amazing. It's like something out of a '60s TV show, in the best way possible!



unrandomsam said:

It can be good regardless of whether it is an orchestra or not.

Final Fantasy VI the actual SNES music is brilliant.

Rondo of Blood dunno what that is but it is what all game music should be like.

The music for Megaman X4 is quite good as well.



unrandomsam said:

Adding an orchestra doesn't always make it better as well.

(I don't like the orchestral Final Fantasy VI CD that much I like the piano one though).

I think I prefer the London Philharmonic version of the Chrono Trigger main theme to the digital orchestra recent one as well.



AhabSpampurse said:

Music is key. Certain tracks will always take me back to a time in my life from when I first played. Bowsers theme from 64, the battle music in Dream Team is fantastic and really sets the scene, and the hub theme from Galaxy are all perfect examples.



erv said:

I graduated on researching the effects of audio design on gameplay and game quality. Turns out, audio is FAR more important than visuals; not even close.

So yeah, attention to quality audio is a big deal.

^by the way, everybody get a pair of better speakers than your tv has. It's worth more than your tv screen to some degree.



Kirk said:

I really don't give one sh*t if the tunes are performed by an orchestra or not.

All I care about is that they sound good, are catchy and enjoyable to listen to.

This obsession with people wanting the tracks to be orchestrated seems to me like it's just the easily manipulated masses saying what they think they're supposed to say.

"Not orchestrated! It sucks!"

"Orchestrated! It's awesome!"

I don't know who originally poured the Kool-Aid but clearly everyone started drinking it.



Genesaur said:

Chiptunes for the win. I'm sure that the tunes is this game are great in their own right, but orchestras better suit Zelda, when speaking broadly.



triforcepower73 said:

Yes thank you Nintendo! I hope this becomes a standard in most of Nintendo's franchises. Mainly for Zelda, Mario, Metroid, Kid Icarus(I know it already had one for Uprising), and Star Fox(if they ever do one again).



Goginho said:

As long as it varies and sounds good, doesn't really matter if orchestrated, especially in a pick-up and play game like this. Orchestrated music simply means more prestige in a game, and I guess more effort and thought put into the soundtrack and overall audio. Now, orchestrated music was shown to fit perfectly with the Galaxy games, as well as LoZ imo..



mookysam said:

The Galaxy games both have outstanding soundtracks and were definitely enriched by their live orchestrations. Looking forward to the music in this.



NintyMan said:

Orchestrated music doesn't have to be the end-all, be-all for a video game, but it is very nice because it adds a sort of oomph to the game that MIDI couldn't replicate as effectively.



Rafie said:

I love orchestrated music. Ever since Melee, I've been seeing Nintendo use that type of music as a standard. The tracks are beautiful and well orchestrated.



Pianist88 said:

I've found this "big-band" pop sound tiresome ever since NSMB DS introduced it. A more "classical" idiom, as seen in Mario Galaxy, seems more fantastic. This music is too cheesy - and it reached new heights of cheese in Paper Mario: Sticker Star. I wouldn't mind it if it were used for specifically appropriate levels. Personally, I think the Metroid series shows true achievement in its soundtracks, perhaps Zelda and Kirby to a lesser degree.



Yoshis_VGM said:

I knew it, I knew it! As a VGM uploader, I could tell that the music would be orchestrated. Also very pleased Mahito Yokota is head composer. He's a fantastic composer!



marck13 said:

Soundtrack is VERY important. It's either the heart or the soul of a Mario game. Just think of all the tunes U consciously or subconsciously picked up over the years and that won't ever be forgotten. I am very glad to hear there is more to come!



Dr_Corndog said:

As anyone who has heard "Battle Rocks" by remixer AmIEvil can attest, big band music suits Mario wonderfully.



SuperMinusWorld said:

Music in a Mario game has always been very important to me. It peaked in Galaxy, when the music was (is) literally some of the best I've ever heard in any medium. Glad to see 3D World carry that tradition of fantastic music.



Wolf_Link said:

I play mmx very frequently just for the music... (dat boomer kuwanger/spark mandrill/flame mammoth /storm eagle tracks) so, music is very important to the experience! In this case, being orchestrated just rises it!



GalacticMario28 said:

I loved the orchestrated music in the Galaxy games, so I'm very pleased at this news. One more month. . .



sinalefa said:

As I said in the other Mario article, once again EAD Tokyo trumps the NSMB team. I loved the Galaxy games' music, in particular the second game as it has more big band tunes and the more classical orchestral arrangements.



WreckItRyan said:

Technology has advanced so much that it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between a "live" orchestra and a "synthetic" orchestra. As a music major, I just get excited by the fact that an ensemble of musicians is being gathered together and can experience and create this soundtrack.



JebbyDeringer said:

Orchestrated Music is like Granite Counters it's a prestigious feature for those that have no clue about anything.



AdanVC said:

Amazing news! I'm super glad the master musicians Koji Kondo and Mahito Yokota are doing the soundtrack on this game. Probably my most favorite thing in 3D Mario Action Games is the music, I listen to the Galaxy series soundtrack on a monthly basis and knowing this game would also have orchestrated music makes me very happy!



Emaan said:

So glad to hear this.

I can't wait to see how this game's soundtrack turns out~!



CapeSmash said:

This soundtrack sounds absolutely incredible so far (from the trailers). I CAN'T WAIT TO GET THIS!

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