Super Mario Bros.

With Super Mario Odyssey due to come out in just a matter of hours, fans are quite eager to see what Nintendo’s modern interpretation of the old 3D Mario formula will look like. The 2D Mario games, on the other hand, are a bit of a mystery. It seems like Nintendo is done with the divisive “New” sub-series, so what’s next for the plumber’s sidescrolling escapades.

Game Informer interview Miyamoto back at E3 and only just now published a portion of the interview where the developer discusses the 1980’s era art for Mario. Here’s what he said:

We’re at almost like a turning point. When you look at Mickey Mouse there is the classic Mickey Mouse, and then there is the modern Mickey Mouse and the classic one has a lot of flavor to it and the modern Mickey Mouse looks really great, but it is losing a little bit of the flavor, and that’s something we discuss to make sure we keep that intact as we’re creating characters. And of course the development team for any Mario game may want to use Kotabe’s art, but there is also a character-development team that’s really working hard to create new styles and new work. Once they get more work done, I think more and more of that will be reflected into games.

We did a collaboration recently with Uniqlo where it was a contest for people to send in drawings, and like that we want to continue create and evolve new art styles.

… I do believe that Mr Kotabe’s art has become kind of a standard within Nintendo, but we definitely want to continue to see if we can evolve that as time goes by.

Miyamoto was then asked if a Rayman Legends-like Mario game could ever exist; here’s what he said:

I think there’s many different ways we could do it. But at the same time, if you ask some elementary school kids, a lot of them don’t recognize or don’t know the Mario from Mr. Kotabe. All they’ve seen is stuff from 3D Mario or 3D Mario World. So, I think our challenge is going to be trying to bring awareness to that side of Mario moving forward.

Finally, Miyamoto was asked about remaking Super Mario 64 (again) and he expressed interest in ports of classic games, possibly alluding to the Virtual Console. Here’s what was said:

We have a version of Mario 64 on the DS, and as you mentioned there are Zelda ports on the 3DS, but rather than focus on trying to remake them, I would rather if we were to think about porting them, focus on more recent titles, but using the unique gameplay elements of the Switch. When you think about the playstyle of the Switch it would be great if I could play all classic games on it.

What do you think? Would you like to see a Mario game with visuals like that old 2D art? What would you like the next 2D Mario game to be like? Share your thoughts in the comments below.