Super Mario 3DS: What We Want to See
We’re less than a week away from the game’s full reveal. What do we want to see in Mario’s next adventure?
E3 is just around the corner and with it will finally come a wealth of new information on some of our most anticipated titles for the year. Super Mario 3DS certainly ranks high among this list, in part because Nintendo has kept so quiet about it since it was unveiled. Aside from a small handful of screenshots, nothing about the game is known for certain, and fans the world over have been waiting patiently for the company to break its silence and draw back the curtain. With only a few days to go until we finally learn some more about the enigmatic game, we compile a list of things we hope to see during the plumber’s next adventure.
While Nintendo has to date only released four official screenshots and a tenative logo for the title, we can already glean from them quite a bit of information about it. Most intriguing is the apparent return of classic power-ups like the Super Mushroom and the Super Leaf (or Tanooki Suit). These in themselves would be wonderful additions to the 3D Mario sub-series, but there are still a number of other classic power-ups we’d like to see as well.
Among Galaxy‘s many nudges to the series’ roots was the inclusion of the Fire Flower, and while it was nice to see the power-up finally make its long-awaited transition into three-dimensions, its utility was noticeably hindered by the time limit imposed upon it. With early screenshots indicating the return of the traditional Super Mushroom, we’d like to see the Fire Flower also behave more like it does in classic Mario games, disappearing only when you are struck by an enemy.
Beyond these, Mario has a veritable closet of unused power-ups that can potentially make a return. The Hammer Bros. and Frog Suits are two of the more popular and missed examples, and the game could benefit from the inclusion of either. There is also the oft-forgotten Kuribo’s Shoe, one of the more obscure and unusual “outfits” (in the loosest sense of the word) the plumber has ever worn. This power-up appeared in only a single stage in Super Mario Bros. 3, but it quickly became one of the most memorable items in the entire series. Of all the power-ups mentioned here, Kuribo’s Shoe is the most deserving of a three-dimensional return, and we would be ecstatic to see Nintendo dust it off for the plumber to wear again.
Maybe some day…
The Mario renaissance of late has introduced a variety of new and creative power-ups to the series, and we would like to see this trend continue in the plumber’s first 3DS outing. New Super Mario Bros. Wii showed Nintendo was not averse to create new and ridiculous animal costumes for Mario to wear (most notorious among them being the scrapped chicken suit) and at the very least it would be nice to see some more new ones if the classic ones are not included.
Galaxy (and, to a greater extent, its sequel) distilled the mechanics of Super Mario 64 to their very essence, eschewing that game’s sandbox-like environments for more linear and focused levels. This brought the title closer to its two-dimensional predecessors in terms of gameplay and philosophy than the Nintendo 64 classic, but recent quotes from Miyamoto suggest EAD Tokyo is attempting to meld the two styles with Super Mario 3DS. How this will be accomplished is anyone’s guess, but it seems a given that open-ended landmasses will, to some degree, play a more prominent role in this title than in either of the Galaxy games. With them would come a greater sense of non-linearity, and as rewarding as it was to successfully navigate through either Galaxy’s myriad obstacle courses, we’d love the chance to once again explore some bigger environments.
While we would would welcome the return of more sandbox-like environments, it would be a shame if they came at the expense of the boundlessly creative level designs found in Mario’s 3D Wii adventures. Those two games featured some of the most abstract and unabashedly unusual stages the series has ever seen, and they helped imbue the titles with a whimsical charm absent in most modern games. We hope the return of larger landmasses does not stifle the team’s creativity much in the way each environment in Super Mario Sunshine was restricted by that game’s island motif. Given EAD Tokyo’s track record, however, this should not be a problem.
While the early screenshots suggest Mario’s faithful dinosaur companion/makeshift automobile will be sitting out the 3DS adventure, we are still hopeful he will make an appearance. He was brilliantly incorporated into Galaxy 2 but his implementation did admittedly rely too much upon the Wii Remote to be easily replicated on 3DS. A similar approach can be attempted utilizing the touch screen, but it is likely a much different method would be taken if he does indeed make a return. Regardless, Yoshi’s inclusion in Galaxy 2 opened up some wonderful opportunities in level design, and with the apparent return of lager landmasses, it seems like he would fit very easily into Mario’s 3DS adventure.
3DS’s biggest strength over Wii, at least with regards to the Mario franchise, is the fact it’s designed for use by only a single person. Because of this, it is much better suited for a full-fledged multiplayer option like Mario 64 DS’s battle mode than a home console ever could be. If multiplayer is indeed included in Super Mario 3DS, concessions will no longer have to be made to accommodate a single screen; rather, a second player would be free to explore the world as he or she sees fit because they will be playing on their own console. As fun as Galaxy 2’s multiplayer was, fans have been dreaming of a cooperative Mario adventure ever since the series jumped into three dimensions. 3DS would be the perfect opportunity to finally make this a reality, even if the option were limited to single-card use. As it stands, though, it looks as though Mario’s next outing will yet again be another solo adventure, but that does not mean Nintendo will not shock us at E3 when it finally sheds some more light on the game.
Luigi’s appearance in Super Mario Galaxy was a very pleasant surprise, and since then it seems Nintendo is no longer content to let him sit on the sidelines. His return in Galaxy 2 perhaps best exemplifies this: he was available as an alternative to his brother much earlier than in the game’s predecessor, and his unique attributes (particularly the added height to his jumps) helped in attaining some of its more tricky stars. There is no reason this should not be the case in Super Mario 3DS— it is, after all, developed by the very same team, and all of the apparent throwbacks to the franchise’s roots will be for naught if Luigi does not make a return as well. The two are inseparable in many a fan’s fondest memories of the series, and he is all but expected now after two high-profile, consecutive appearances. He would perfectly tie into the hypothetical multiplayer mode as well, allowing a second player teaming up as the green plumber to help scour the land for stars and other collectibles. Whatever the case, we want to see Luigi return in some capacity, even if it is only as an alternate character.
What do you want to see in the next Super Mario game? Let us know in the comments section!