*Authors Note* A New 3D Platforming Mario for the Wii U has been announced, but we know nothing more than that. Nintendo have informed us that the game is due to be shown in detail in the lead up to E3 beginning June 10th.
In the field of 3D Platforming, Mario has never made a misstep, every outing right up until the most recent title (Super Mario Galaxy 2) has been greeted with glowing praise from fans and critics alike, with almost every entry being considered among the top four or five games on that particular system. We now know that there is another new 3D Mario Game on the way for Wii U, set for an announce in the next few weeks as E3 approaches. So what can a franchise, known for its unbelievable quality do to raise the bar even higher? Read on and see what we think.
1/ Introduce new PLAYABLE characters
Yep, we understand it is a Mario game, but it doesn’t mean you need to play only as the iconic plumber. What if certain higher ledges are only accessible via a larger leap that only Luigi can manage? What about long distance leaps that you can only reach if Yoshi hovers over there? And what about smaller areas that only the pint sized Toad can access. Combining all their skills may be necessary to so perhaps the ability to interchange between characters via swap stations scattered throughout the world. This addition adds what can only be much appreciate variety to your stock standard Mario experience.
2/ Co-operative Play
Nintendo has explored the idea in the Mario Galaxy games, but the second player was only a bit part role as a star bit collector. Why not take that co-op play concept and expand it into regular play where only certain stars are accessible with the assistance of a friend or online player. Nintendo have now developed an online infrastructure to cater to the needs of online play and it makes online co-op a definite possibility. Nintendo do need to make sure not to force the co-op features upon people and ensure that the game’s finale is still possible without the need for others, however this addition gives the game hours of extra life.
3/ Competitive Play + Online Leader boards
We’ve just spoken about Co-op play, but what about competitive multiplayer? Well, not in the typical sense, but it’s hard not to notice all the speed-runs on Youtube of Mario pros hurtling through levels. Nintendo should embrace this and allow (similar to Mario Kart) ghosts to be set up, allowing for the speed-running elite to stand atop all others in an internal ranking system. This gives everyone else a target to aim for, but also can also serve as something of a guide or players who struggle through certain levels.
4/ No abrupt finishes
It is certainly satisfying completing a level and collecting the star or Shine Sprite at the end, but why finish there? Why force the player to then replay from the beginning? Unless there are certain stars that are only possible with fundamental changes to the level design then Nintendo should allow the players to continue exploring the level they are in and hunt out more stars or red coins. It allows for the momentum of the game to continue fluidly and remain constantly engaging, but if they so choose players can then drop out of the level and retain the stars they’ve collected.
5/ Give us reasons to go back
Usually once you clear a world within Mario that’s it and you may never go back. Nintendo needs to give us a reason to return to these levels, perhaps a story based event that fundamentally changes the design of the world opening up new possibilities and new stars. It would be great to explore the levels we’ve already played through in a whole new light with new environments to move through.
6/ A Pirate Setting
Call us crazy but this could actually work. Collecting coins, a major component of any Mario game can be integrated into the narrative structure, that maybe Mario needs to collect a certain number of special Golden Coins to gain access to Bowser and rescue Peach. The gamepad can serve as something of a treasure map but also useful when firing bullet bills from ship to ship in particular levels. Perhaps Bowser can unleash a flood upon the world that you’re in, changing the layout of the level structure making even more possible.
7/ Give Us A Playground To Operate In
We might be getting more worlds to play in via latest iterations of the franchise, but at the same time they have become smaller and more linear. Give us a large expanse to play in, go back to the days of Mario 64 where you could essentially go anywhere and do anything, still guided by some object that needs collecting, but the way in which you can collect the items can be differing . Basically, we want a less linear pathway in larger worlds.
The new 3D Mario is set to be announced within the next fortnight, the franchise is flying and going from strength to strength, but there are always room to improve, we hope Nintendo does not rest on their laurels making the same old experience. All will be revealed in the lead up to E3 2013.
What do you want from the newest 3D Platforming Mario game? Leave your thoughts in the comments below