E3 2011: Super Mario 3DS

E3 2011: Super Mario 3DS

If it isn’t broken, you don’t fix it. You make improvements to it instead. At least that seems to be the concept behind the newly revealed Super Mario for the 3DS. Slated for release some time around the holiday season of this year, Super Mario for the 3DS seeks to incorporate the depth provided by the 3DS as well as power-ups both old and new to bring the world-famous plumber into the 3D era in style.

Details are a bit limited, but we do know a few things that will be in store for us when the title hits shelves later in the year. To help flesh out what little we know coming out of E3 we have Lindsey, who had the good fortune of testing out one level in Super Mario on the floor at E3.

For one thing, according to what Nintendo disclosed at E3, the depth provided by the 3DS’ stereoscopic 3D will be helpful in successfully performing certain in-game functions such as jumping between platforms and the like. Lindsey tested out the game using both the 3D setting and 2D setting to see how it played. She remarked that it may be slightly difficult to judge the depth of things while playing the game using the 3D setting as opposed to using the 2D setting. Regardless of what setting it was played in, Lindsey remarked “the game looked great so it really doesn’t matter how the gamer chooses to play.” Indeed it does look good, the graphics are clean, sharp and very colorful, as should be expected from a modern Mario title.

The level design also seems to be rather expansive in Super Mario, making full use of the Circle Pad’s freedom of movement and the 3DS’ stereoscopic 3D. In the level Lindsey played through, she remarked picking up one of the power-ups (The Takooni Suit, which we’ll get back to a bit later) and how it was used to navigate Mario all sorts of different ways through the stage. “I also had platforms to go on, since the level really used all directions – left, right, up, down, front, back – so it gives an immersive experience and allows the player to get more into it,” Lindsey said on how the power-ups interact with the stage and its design.

The controls–from what we can gather from the press info and Lindsey’s hands-on time–seem to be pretty intuitive, with the Circle Pad handling the directing of Mario through the stage and the jump button being “where it should be.”

There are various power-ups both old and new that make an appearance through Super Mario to provide our hero with the skills he’ll surely need to thwart Bowser. The aforementioned Tanooki Suit–famous for its ability to turn Mario into a statue–makes an encore appearance since its debut in Super Mario Bros 3 as one of the older power-ups, giving Mario the ability to glide through the air. Lindsey described the process of Mario trying to stay aloft as “[Mario’s] legs moving below him quickly to help carry him,” a very similar animation to what Yoshi does to catch air in  most Mario games. Mario also can pick up a dashing attack and a somersault attack.

Another tidbit of new info that was disclosed at E3 was a couple of old foes that received a bit of an overhaul. First up are Mario’s favorite stepping stool, the…what? Toads? No, Goombas. The Goombas must have undergone all sorts of genetic experimentation or some other crazy shenanigans, because they now sport raccoon tails. Piranha Plants also stand against Mario, and instead of making jumping hazardous for our favorite plumber, they spit ink the obstruct the player’s vision.

Remember what I said earlier about not fixing things if they aren’t broken? Well Lindsey’s hands-on time with Super Mario seem to reinforce that claim. She recalled climbing up a very familiar staircase and seeing a nostalgic flagpole she had to climb down to finish the level. Lindsey also remarked on the length of the level only lasting a couple of minutes. “It keeps with the way Mario games are rather than the relaxed feel Galaxy and Sunshine were.”  The mixing of the old with the new is what Lindsey called “a good blend of classic and modern that will appeal to both types of gamers.”

Look for Super Mario around the holiday season this year.

Below is a gallery of 2D images from Super Mario on the 3DS. Please note that the 3D effect can only be seen on the 3DS system itself and these images cannot yield a 3D effect (even if you really want them too).


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