Super Mario 64. Super Mario Sunshine. Super Mario Advance 1-4. Did I miss something? Whatever happened to the “classic” Mario games? We haven’t had an original platformer since Super Mario World, back in the SNES days. And NO, that Yoshi’s Island crap doesn’t count.
Call me old-fashioned. I miss the good ol’ days of 2D Mario goodness. I think Nintendo missed a HUGE opportunity to really bring that back. C’mon…FOUR Mario ports to the GBA?! Totally unnecessary. Granted, the extra 30+ levels in Super Mario Advance 4 were a step in the right direction, along with all the other effects you could unlock via the e-Reader, but at its core, it’s still a port of Super Mario Bros. 3. With the power of the GBA, there’s absolutely NO reason why Nintendo couldn’t have given us a brand spankin’ new kickass Mario adventure.
In the 3D realm, we’ve had Super Mario 64, one of the better examples of a 3D platformer. But it’s not the same. With 3D, you’ve got camera problems. Even the best of programmers and designers still run into this debacle. This is a significant gameplay detraction; you should focus on playing the GAME, not worry about whether you’ll be able to see what’s coming at you from offscreen.
So what needs to be done? How about a TRUE sequel to Super Mario Bros. 3, arguably the best Mario title ever made? Bring back the suit system, and add a few more. Give us 8 monstrous worlds again, but with a few more sub-worlds. You could even harrass players with the return of the infamous poison mushrooms! Maybe throw in some enemies from Super Mario Bros. 2 for good measure? C’mon, you can never have enough Shyguys to throw around.
Nintendo claims to be working on “Mario 128,” but we’ll see how far that goes. Rumor currently has it that the game will be 2.5D, like the Klonoa games on PS and PS2, or Mega Man X7 (also on PS2). I suppose that could work, but it’s something I’d need to experience myself before passing an accurate judgment.
In the meantime, that fat plumber will just have to be content with numerous game cameos…
See you after the New Year!