SM3DW – Nintendo’s Trump Card, or a Missed Opportunity?

No E3 Press Conference, Nintendo Direct broadcast instead!

Nintendo decided to go with something completely different this time around. Instead of the usual E3 Press Conference, this year they decided to air a 41-minute E3 2013 Nintendo Direct Broadcast featuring Wii U titles for the near future. One of the few titles announced among that relatively short period of time, was Super Mario 3D World, a 3D Mario “action” game whose origins can obviously be found in the Nintendo 3DS title Super Mario 3D Land. It’s the first time up to four players can play together at once in a 3D Mario game.

4-players, in a 3D Mario game? O.M.G!

So, what’s up with that exactly? Another 3D Mario title revealed, Mario’s first 3D adventure in HD, how could there possibly be a problem? While a good amount of people obviously cannot wait to play it, I can’t help but feel rather bummed out and disappointed. It could simply be because I was one of the people who expected something big, something that “innovates” and changes the Mario series for the better. I literally felt absolutely no excitement coming out of me when I watched that trailer shown in the Nintendo Direct, no excitement or anticipation whatsoever. Almost nothing about that game shouted “wow” to me.

Super Mario 3D World looks (at a technical level) nicer than Mario has ever been, but that’s nothing to be excited about, especially not with the circumstances at hand. Why? Because the game basically looks like an increased resolution version of Super Mario 3D Land from the Nintendo 3DS with some higher polygon count, higher IQ and larger areas! That’s it, it’s literally not amazing-looking at all! I can recall the excitement of seeing Super Mario Sunshine for the first time, it looked amazing, fresh, new, I wanted to play it then and there when I saw the trailer. Super Mario Galaxy looked literally and figuratively out of this world, the art style combined with Nintendo magic made the game look absolutely stunning.

This art-style was brand new, never-before-seen on a Mario platformer. The visuals themselves (despite Wii’s technical limitations) were awesome.

What Nintendo showed for their 2nd and 3rd 3D Mario titles to show off what their hardware could do made one believe that they actually cared about creating a game that looks visually stunning. That’s not to say that SM3DW doesn’t look nice, it most certainly does, but the art style present isn’t something that makes the series feel new like with every console debut. The art style is just too similar to SM3DL, albeit a modernized version of it. The controls appear to be the same as well, one can move in only 8 directions, just like SM3DL. The courses are linear, you will start in one end, and end up reaching the flag goal or defeating a monster, just like SM3DL. The main differences will include the Cat suit and the simultaneous multiplayer for up to 4 human people. But also the ability to play as characters other than Mario and Luigi (Toad!!!, and Peach looks great too). And no, I don’t need anymore of constant excuses from defenders stating “well, we haven’t seen the rest of the game”, because the art-style, the music, and format obviously traces its routes, no way out of that one.

The art-style, the music, all was obviously inspired by Super Mario 3D Land….nothing amazing….

Could this be a missed opportunity for Nintendo? I believe it is, they obviously could have put much more effort in making this game a lot “grander”. But on the flip-side, it could also be something that Nintendo wanted to play it safe with. They admit it, developing for Wii U has been very difficult from the start; hence the major delays from the games we wanted for over half a year. All of those at Nintendo should have understood that developing for an HD console would be much more difficult than how they were working with Wii. And yet, they thought the developers would be fine with what they had. They weren’t, they were arrogant, and payed for it with negative response from fans and response from sales. This game could very well be nothing more than a quick game in order to get something out to increase sales for the console, because it’s obviously not looking too hot. The fact that Miyamoto previously stated that they “still have the Galaxy series” makes me believe that they likely are planning something else. Whether they will continue with the Galaxy series or not remains to be seen.

Mr. Miyamoto himself, although having a hard time with Wii U development, is still going strong.

What should have they done? Return to 3D Mario’s roots, exploration. The Galaxy series was great, but that really shouldn’t be what they need to be looking at. What Nintendo needs, is a game that allows the player to fully explore the Mushroom Kingdom, sort of an open-world type of game where you, Mario, travels around the Mushroom Kingdom for adventure. Of course, there needs to be a reason for this adventure, he won’t go around the entire nation just because he feels like it. It doesn’t need to be an RPG-styled game, but that would have definitely gained interest to those striving for something more to 3D Mario. Aonuma recently stated that he is growing tired of the same Zelda formula, and that his next game will change Zelda for the better. So, why not do the same for 3D Mario? Open world Nintendo, Mario’s done everything else except open-world.

In your opinions, do you believe Super Mario 3D World is truly the next evolution in 3D Mario games? Does it seem like a wasted effort? Or should Nintendo have simply tried harder in innovating 3D Mario? Is this what you expected from Nintendo’s first HD 3D Mario title? Don’t hesitate, get angry if you’d like, and tell everyone what you think!

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edward pierre
edward pierre
July 17, 2013 5:23 PM

I actually really like the new power-up

piranhapete
piranhapete
July 17, 2013 5:46 PM

I agree with this post 100%! It’s like you were reading my thoughts. And articulating them better than I could have : P
My guess is that with the struggling of the Wii U, Nintendo is trying to appeal to the casual gamer who is more into using Mario as a way to pass the time rather than as a character in a deep gaming experience. My only hope is that Wii U sales will pick up and that Nintendo will feel comfortable trying something completely new! Because let’s face it–this console is simply based off of the last one.

Ben
Ben
July 17, 2013 6:42 PM

Yeah I was half expected a more open-world adventure a la Super Mario 64 but include multiple playable characters and maybe a new main antagonist. I hope it’s inevitable that one like what I have described will become a reality at some point.

Brookelas
Brookelas
July 17, 2013 7:24 PM

There is a HUGE chunk of people in this world who have played Nintendo, get the odd Mario game if it is highly advertised in stores, and don’t really care to follow Nintendo news. Both the 3DS and Wii U made that mistake. Had I not be a huge Nintendo, more specifically, Mario fan, I probably would have thought that the Wii U was an upgraded version of the Wii, and that you could not get exclusive games. Really, the Wii U is a BRAND NEW CONSOLE WITH SO MUCH NEW STUFF! I seriously thought that if Nintendo named the… Read more »

Kiiroo
Kiiroo
July 18, 2013 7:03 AM

NOOOOOO!!! Yellow Toad is not here, its my favorite characters1

Mareep
Mareep
July 18, 2013 4:36 PM
Reply to  Kiiroo

Other Toad colours are purchasable dlc for £5 each, not including tax.

Marioman01
Marioman01
July 18, 2013 7:20 AM

Super Mario 3D World is bounded to become a big hit. 1. 4-players at the same time, that wouldn’t have worked in a galaxy game 2. Kitty Cat Mario is so cute 3. Peach isn’t kidnapped this time, so the story will actually be different this time 4. I really liked 3D Land, so it is bounded to be flawless.

Aquayoshi
Aquayoshi
July 18, 2013 3:51 PM

I have to say I disagree with this 100% we saw at least 5 levels if I remember of the game. You can’t decide a lot on 5 levels that’s like reviewing a game just based of it’s trailer especially a mario game. It also seems that you only think just a few power ups will be there but I doubt it I’m guessing they might be bringing back all types of retro power-ups such as hammersuit or the frogsuit. Also this game is a lot like SMB2 even down to the subcon creatures so I bet we’ll see more… Read more »

Jacob Nesci
Jacob Nesci
July 18, 2013 5:46 PM

Okay I wouldn’t mind this if this was for the 3ds but knowing that this is THE 3d Mario game for the Wii U is very disappointing…

Aquayoshi
Aquayoshi
July 19, 2013 11:42 AM
Reply to  Jacob Nesci

I highly doubt this will be the only 3D mario game on the Wii U. We all know we will most likely see SMG 3 or SMS 2 in the future for Wii U

guest777
guest777
July 27, 2013 5:27 PM

i hate and disagree with this post totally i mean we have only seen 4-5 levels of the game the graphics dont look completely stunning but they still look awesome and we will be seeing an incredible mario galaxy type game very soon (mario galaxy is my favirote game of all time) anyway dont be saying bad things about this game until you play it