At this year’s GDC, just a few hours ago, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata took to the stage and spoke about the troubles gamers had with Mario platformers when the franchise moved from 2D to 3D in Super Mario 64. It’s been almost 15 years and now Iwata with his compadre Shigeru Miyamoto believe they have the answer thanks to the 3DS, officially announcing Super Mario 3D. The clever folk behind the highly celebrated Super Mario Galaxy are said to be currently working on the new Mario game with a temporary logo, seen above, including what appears to be a tail. Iwata referenced the tail in his talk but only to say they’ll be discussing it in greater detail at this year’s E3.
I’m not one to jump to conclusions, oh who am I kidding? Of course I am and can only think that the suggestion of a tail would point to the return of Mario’s Tanooki suit, the furry get-up which first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3 allowing the hairy-lipped Italian to fly. This would add up with Miyamoto’s statements at the start of February when the project was first revealed in an Iwata Asks feature. Mario’s metaphorical father excitedly said “I want to show everyone as soon as possible what the new Super Mario Bros. will be like on the Nintendo 3DS,” specifically using the name Super Mario Bros. whose third game is often argued as the best in the series. Because it is. Super Mario 3D‘s logo and presumably the name isn’t set in stone so could well become Super Mario Bros. 3D adding credence to the idea that the tail is indeed part of a Tanooki suit. The spanner in said theory is how the Super Mario Bros. name is incredibly popular so omitting it at any stage would seem a little odd. Roll on E3 to find out just what’s going on.
I am one of the people Iwata spoke of, those who find jumping in 3D Mario games to be a tad tricky. I can do it, I’m not a complete loss but have always favoured the jump mechanics of the 2D titles while appreciating the ever unfolding creativity found in the 3D games. If Nintendo have cracked it thanks to the optical 3D of their new handheld and have the brains behind some of the most imaginative Mario games working on it, Super Mario 3D could be reason enough to own a 3DS.