When introduced at E3, Nintendo fulfilled a wish which many Mario fans held close to their heart, for a Mario course-creator to exist in a Super Mario game. Actually, I’d go as far to say that Nintendo rose from the course-creator expectations by developing Mario Maker as a standalone game which allowed a mixture of items, objects, platforms and graphical styles to exist in the one creator game; had there been a course-creator been created as just an extra feature in New Super Mario Bros U for example, there would have been several limitations causing creations just to be similar to the NSMBU design and not various Mario designs. So now that Mario Maker exists and with the expectations of future updates/DLCs which will expand the creation tools for our fan-made Mario courses, is there any need for any future 2D side-scroller Mario games such as New Super Mario Bros?
If you’re among one of the many gamers who often complain about the overuse of Mario in practically every Nintendo title, then the idea of the New Super Mario franchise (which revitalised 2D Mario back in 2006) having the possibility of ending should provide quite a pleasantly feel. Takashi Tezuka explained in an EDGE interview that he personally feels that ‘Mario Maker’ and a future Mario game won’t “ever be in competition”:
“I think part of the fun of Mario is how you play and experience a series of courses, with boss battles, too, all of which get progressively harder. Mario developers build up the whole world, making sure the different courses all fit well together. I don’t think the overall fun you can have with an entire Mario game is the same as playing a single course made in Mario Maker, and of course future Mario games will include lots of new features… so I don’t think the two will ever be in competition.”
What isn’t clarified in this interview is whether Tezuka is talking about a 2D Mario game specifically, or whether it’s in reference to the Mario IP as a whole (of course we can assume this is about 2D Mario games). So other than the “lots of new features” which are promised, what else would differentiate ‘Mario Maker’ and a ‘New Super Mario Bros’ game?
One key aspect which I find the most enjoyable in the Wii & Wii U ‘New Super Mario Bros’ games would be the multiplayer. As chaotic as it is, the stressful co-operative play which can easily evolve into competitive feuds is the main source of my enjoyment of the games. I’ve valued the home-console platform versions of the game more than the DS and 3DS versions only due to how enthralling the game can be when there’s multiple characters running around the screen together. Unfortunately, Tezuka confirmed in an earlier interview that ‘Mario Maker’ would “probably not” feature the frenetic gameplay feature which I deeply adore. So a future ‘New Super Mario Bros’ game which includes the usual multiplayer AND the supposed ‘new features’ could entitle the rights for a brand new Mario game.
Despite being credible of a new game, should it? Nintendo has worn the series out slightly even though there were only four ‘New Super Mario Bros’ games and the ‘New Super Luigi’ DLC (which classes as a fifth game) which has been released since 2006 – there doesn’t seem to be a variety of new ideas for the series which can really justify another purchase for the series. Instead we’re given the alternative to create levels and play others wondrous creations which would suffice our needs for new 2D Mario games.
Additionally, it may only be me, but if I’m to play another Mario game, I’d much rather it be a 3D platforming game such as Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario 3D Land/World! The ability to explore levels in a greater depth is generally more exciting to play compared to the rather linear 2D games. Or we could even take it a step further, forget the game focusing on just Mario, let’s play a ‘Super Koopa’ game!
So what’s your opinion on the whole situation? Do you think that Mario Maker should mark the end of the ‘New Super Mario Bros’ series?