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Super Mario 3D Land: 'We've gone back to basics'

Part one of our interview with Yoshiaki Koizumi

Back to basics. It's a phrase that Yoshiaki Koizumi uses to describe Nintendo's approach to Super Mario 3D Land. It's strange, then, that director Koizumi and his team have created a Mario game that's unlike any other. Sure, fans of 2D Mario platformers will be familiar with the Tanooki Suit, coin collection and end-of-level flagpoles but these 2D levels are interspersed with new 3D levels to make a different kind of Mario game. In this exclusive interview with ONM, Koizumi reveals more about the forthcoming Mario platformer.

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ONM: Miyamoto-san called Super Mario 3D Land a cross between Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy. Is that the best way to describe it?

Yoshiaki Koizumi: I'm not sure that mix is the right term, but what I can say for sure is that with Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy, the development staff worked on all of these games with me as the lead. They carried forward that same know-how on how to create 3D Mario environments and 3D Mario gameplay.

On the surface there might be some visual similarities to some of the worlds you've seen, for example in Super Mario 64, but I would say that the technology draws more from Super Mario Galaxy in terms of how we present 3D worlds visually.

So maybe that's why Mr Miyamoto called it a mix but I guess I have a slightly different perspective having come through the entire progression of the game.

ONM: Has 3D changed the design process?

YK: It certainly is an exciting new hardware platform! This being the first Mario 3D world designed exclusively for the system means that we haven't been able to draw as much from experience on previous portable Mario games.

I guess you'll remember Super Mario 64 on the DS. Mario's movements were controlled by the D-Pad in a 3D world so we couldn't take any direct comparisons there in terms of how it controlled, but I think the Circle Pad movement in Super Mario 3D Land feels much better and we are very proud of it.

As for my thoughts on design that has changed because of the hardware update - I would say that Mario at its core has a very simple, very pop aesthetic and a very functional notion informing it and we may have started to drift from that in some of the Mario console games which are very large and occasionally very complex.

The portable Mario gives us the chance to get back to the very simple basics of the Mario universe.

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ONM: So would you say this new 3DS title takes a 'back to basics' approach?

YK: Well I guess we didn't set out to create less storyline, less power-ups and fewer stages but some of those may well be the end result of this idea of going back to basics.

The story of Mario games is, of course, very simple. At its core, the princess has been kidnapped and you have to rescue her. What we strive to do is to find a good balance of presenting a certain amount of narrative in the game without hindering the gameplay experiences.

As for the number of levels and things like that, our main goal is to create levels that you can enjoy playing many times, and that may have an influence on the perception of how many levels there actually are in the game.

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  1. Zelda Maniac Thursday 11th Aug 2011 at 06:05

    FIRST

    I'm so excited for this game!

  2. Hylian_Grouch Thursday 11th Aug 2011 at 07:13

    isnt this quite an old interview? i get the feeling ive already read it. cant wait for the game anyway!

  3. BJSnowflake Thursday 11th Aug 2011 at 07:38

    Already pre-orded mine from my local game store. This game looks amazing with its graphics. Spectactular for a handheld. I never grew up with 'Old School' style games like 'Super Mario Bros. 3'. But I do hope they bring the old suits back from the older games. I downloaded 'Super Mario Bros. 3' on my Wii and I hope that the 'Hammer' or 'Frog' suit comes back. I'm waiting for another piece of juicy infomation. :D

  4. eternalmidnight Thursday 11th Aug 2011 at 08:58

    I'm so excited for this :D I can't get enough of 3D Mario platformers.

    As a side note my iPhone auto corrects 'platformer' to 'playboy era' so A Mario Playboy shoot has been leaked by apple? (There won't be a playboy shoot)

  5. GuitarHero Thursday 11th Aug 2011 at 09:22

    It's looking good at the moment, I'll probably preorder it soon.

    Also why does everyone always say

    FIRST!

    ?

  6. pokemaster123 Thursday 11th Aug 2011 at 10:39

    what does he mean by saying that we can look forward to discovering more playable mushroom kingdom characters??? does that mean we might get to play as Toaads,luigi,bowser and peach???? :shock: :D

  7. Waldy565 Thursday 11th Aug 2011 at 10:46

    Already pre-orded mine from my local game store. This game looks amazing with its graphics. Spectactular for a handheld. I never grew up with 'Old School' style games like 'Super Mario Bros. 3'. But I do hope they bring the old suits back from the older games. I downloaded 'Super Mario Bros. 3' on my Wii and I hope that the 'Hammer' or 'Frog' suit comes back. I'm waiting for another piece of juicy infomation. :D

    Litreally, this! cant wait for the streetpass/spotpass features, if they are included! also, whos excited bout the new prof Layton! woop! layton in 3D! :D

  8. GloverMist Thursday 11th Aug 2011 at 10:47

    Everyone keeps going on about the return of old power-ups, but don't you feel there's a distinct lack of Yoshi in this game so far? :?

  9. Tailzy Thursday 11th Aug 2011 at 11:07

    Look like they're focusing the game more around Super Mario 3, so I feel like I wont be seeing Yoshi which is a shame; I really want a Super Mario World 3D reboot in future.

    Also why does everyone always say

    FIRST!

    ?

    Because they think they've accomplished something by being the first to post and everyone else really gives a toss.

  10. Zelda Maniac Thursday 11th Aug 2011 at 11:16

    It's looking good at the moment, I'll probably preorder it soon.

    Also why does everyone always say

    FIRST!

    ?


    Cos I'm new to the forums and I've always wanted to say that.

  11. sageofthe6paths Thursday 11th Aug 2011 at 11:26

    10th I LOVED SUPER MARIO BROS 3!!!

  12. BOWIEtheHERO Thursday 11th Aug 2011 at 15:31

    Good article, enjoyed the embedding of video content as well. Nice structure, and content was great to read.

  13. tomutwit Thursday 11th Aug 2011 at 19:20

    How does the back to basics approach effect the plot?

    AHEM

    How does the back to basics approach affect the plot?

    That's more like it.

    Sometimes i can deal with little typos but this is just... It's changing the whole meaning of the sentence. It's disgusting.

  14. concernedcamel Thursday 11th Aug 2011 at 23:27

    I love how we learn nothing from these interviews it's just a bunch of questions with them trying to avoid awnsering any of them.

  15. 08boatfg Friday 12th Aug 2011 at 09:02

    isnt this quite an old interview? i get the feeling ive already read it. cant wait for the game anyway!

    Yeah, I know what you mean. Maybe he just repeated some stuff that Miyamoto said.

  16. CelticFC98 Friday 12th Aug 2011 at 12:57
  17. CelticFC98 Friday 12th Aug 2011 at 12:58
  18. liberal Friday 12th Aug 2011 at 14:55

    'Back to basics' is an appropriate term because this game hardly seems novel so far.

  19. fitzy1999 Saturday 13th Aug 2011 at 15:19

    Just in case anyone cares, this is Super Mario 3D Land's logo http://nintendo3dsblog.com/the-official ... io-3d-land

  20. Zelda Maniac Saturday 13th Aug 2011 at 17:04

    Just in case anyone cares, this is Super Mario 3D Land's logo http://nintendo3dsblog.com/the-official ... io-3d-land


    That logo looks a little like super mario island!

  21. 06harrisj Saturday 13th Aug 2011 at 18:59

    @Tomutwit Damn, you beat me to it.

  22. BJSnowflake Sunday 14th Aug 2011 at 07:12

    Hence the name 'Super Mario 3' in the title for this new game, and seeing Boom Boom. I suggest we'll see the Koopalings. Larry, Morton, Wendy, Iggy, Roy, Lemmy, Ludwig and defenatly Bowser Junior.

    Also the tannoki suit is back as well, which was in 'Super Mario Bros. 3'.

    The games title 'Super Mario 3....' is close to 'Super Mario Bros 3'

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