We already know that this holiday’s amazing looking Super Mario for the 3DS is a mixture of elements, combining the best from Mario Galaxy and Mario 64, but why? Speaking during E3 to GameSpot, game director Yoshiaki Koizumi (Mario Sunshine; Galaxy) said the recent entries of the iconic franchise have gotten away from what made Mario fun, before he jumped into 3D on the N64.
“I feel like the core experience is something that we may have started to get away from a little bit when we first started presenting games in 3D like in Super Mario 64. The idea in those games is that you walk around in those environments and give the players a lot of opportunity to explore.”
“But the real basics of the Super Mario series is that players have to get to the goal of a level without dying,” he says. “You have short levels with a very quick tempo, and it should be a very thrilling experience. So some of that was actually missing from Galaxy. The gameplay was a bit slower, and it was so much easier to die, so the core experience of getting to the goal without dying was harder to achieve.”
This is aiming to be fixed with Super Mario 3D, the first original, from-the-ground-up installment for a handheld. Says Koizumi: “This time around, you’ll find that we have something closer to the three-minute levels you see in Super Mario Bros, so for me, overall this feels closer to the core of the Super Mario Bros. experience traditionally.”
“I think it’s important to note that our staff are all fans of the series as well, having grown up with Mario. And, as such, they’re very familiar about what the traditional Super Mario game elements are and what makes it a fun experience. So we decided to focus on those few elements and culled the rest, to really get down to the essence. And of course, on that list the tanooki suit was very high. So I would say in that sense, yes, we do listen to fans when we design the game.“
From the new game’s debut at E3, it sure looks like the pieces have already fallen into place quite nicely.