With the release of Super Mario 3D World this year, we are receiving yet another entry in the Mario series. We are getting Mario & Luigi: Dream Team this summer, and Mario Kart 8 next year. We had two New Super Mario Bros. games last year! Mario is everywhere, that cannot be denied. Many observers criticize the IP for being overproduced. Sure the gameplay varies between titles, such as kart racing and platforming. However, you can only see the same mustache and overalls so many times before you get fatigued. Is the Big N diluting the brand? Nintendo has addressed the criticism of the Italian plumber.
“We think we’re putting out the right number of Mario games based on what fans are asking for, based on what our own developers’ creative visions are. The key to that is as long as there’s innovation is occurring within the gameplay, as long as there’s new features, then marrying the characters and the IPs that people love is the right call from our standpoint.” –Charles Scibetta, Nintendo of America Senior Director of Corporate Communications
So what is the innovation in Super Mario 3D World? What’s different about the new title?
“If you look at something like Super Mario 3D World, the gameplay on that one that I find really cool is those transparent warp points. Usually you used to go into one and pop out the other, and that was the end of the gameplay experience. Now, there’s a whole dynamic there where you can navigate in there, try to avoid enemies, try to get a better advantage. You could theoretically make a whole new game with those kind of gameplay dynamics.
“If we didn’t put Mario on it, then it would just seem like a new IP. Because there’s those new gameplay dynamics like that, we think there’s the innovation there that will keep people interested and keep the Mario brand fresh. You could call all the games that we’re making here new IP in the sense that they’re new gameplay experiences. They just happen to also have the IP that people associate with.”
I somewhat agree with Scibetta’s stance. However, I’m feeling a bit of Mario fatigue myself. Super Mario 3D World isn’t the most fresh idea out there.