While the Super Mario series found its roots in the second dimension, ever since it made the jump to 3D, fans have clamored for their next taste of Nintendo’s iconic franchise. Whether it’s the dramatic shift in gameplay from Super Mario 64 to Super Mario Galaxy or the tonal change of Super Mario Sunshine, each of Mario’s 3D outings holds a sense of significance in the world of platform games.
With both the Wii U and 3DS receiving their own 3D iterations of Nintendo’s plumber in recent years, fans have been left wondering what will come next. The answer that they have been craving may be coming sooner than they might have expected, as the design team behind Super Mario 3D World has spoken up – albeit briefly – about Mario’s three-dimensional future. While details are sparse, work on the next 3D Mario game has, in fact, already begun.
This news comes following Edge‘s recent talk with Nintendo’s design team about their last console installment, with producer Yoshiaki Koizumi opting to keep quiet about the project for the most part, stating that they have “already started approaching [their] next challenge.” Even regarding which platform it would eventually call its home, Koizumi would only call it “a secret.”
Sparse information or not, this is still exciting news as 3D Mario titles are regularly applauded for being some of the most imaginative and enjoyable experiences in the gaming industry, taking home award nominations and standing out as some of the best release in a given year (particularly among our Best of 2013). According to Koizumi, this patented imagination is just as important in the new game’s development:
“There’s still a lot more room for discovery and invention, and we’ll continue to propose new and exciting game mechanics going into the future.”
According to Kenta Motokura, there is also a chance that the new game could silence critics of the Wii U’s unique futures, since they state that the experience “might need to make even more use of the GamePad.” There is certainly untapped potential in the GamePad, with its off-screen gameplay alone drastically changing the living room gaming experience. But Nintendo has proven that when it comes to bringing new spins on established franchises, they’ve had far more successes than failures.
It will still be quite a while before more details regarding this title are made public, but it’s hard to deny that the remainder of 2014 is looking to be a strong time for Nintendo. Whether or not that means their disappointing sales forecasts can be left in the past, there’s nowhere for Nintendo to go but up.
Which platform do you think Mario’s next 3D outing will take place on? Do you think it will finally support online play? Should it mimic the mechanics of past entries, or try something entirely new?
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