And no, I’m not talking about another Galaxy clone.
Don’t let the name fool you. Despite the fact that I liked the Galaxy games a lot, I don’t really want a Super Mario Galaxy 3. Then why the name, you ask? Well first, it’s going to be on Wii U, so a name with the letter “U” in it would fit well, won’t it? But other than that is the concept of a “universe,” a place of interlocking worlds and lands. Note that I didn’t issue the term “planet.” That’s because all of it all fits on one planet, the ultimate universe: the Marioverse.
Perhaps it’s best that I explain in deeper detail. My idea for a Mario Universe comes from my fascination for one of the last great 3D platformers that graced the Nintendo 64: Banjo-Tooie. That game to me was the ultimate video game, combining two of my favorite genres together: platforming and adventure. While many will brush off Banjo-Tooie as gaming’s most notorious Easter egg hunt, but I took a different view on the game. You see, Banjo-Tooie takes place in one giant world, with sub-worlds that seamlessly intertwine with each other. For example, enter a cave in the desert world, and you’ll find yourself in the middle of space world! It was this sense of exploration and discovery that cast a spell on me; Banjo-Tooie is still one of my favorite games of all time.
I want the next Super Mario will take this idea to a whole new level. No, I take that back. I BELIEVE that the next Mario will take this to a whole new level. With the rumored Super Mario 4 to be announced soon, I believe that Nintendo can do it. Here’s how:
1) Super Mario 4 will be a 3D platformer that will spark new life in the genre.
Rarely do we get a great 3D platformer nowadays, to the point where many don’t even know the genre exists (you’d be surprised by how many people think Little Big Planet and New Super Mario Bros. are 3D platformers). To refresh your memory, a 3D platformer is a game that is played in a three-dimensional space, in which jumping is the main mechanic. It seems that Mario is the only true traditional platformer left, as many other franchises have chosen the hybrid the genre with others, including shooter and puzzle. Though I’m sure Nintendo will release a new 3D Mario some time in the future, I feel that it’s important to keep the genre alive and well, at least for now. Who knows? Maybe introducing the genre early will make the Wii U the ultimate place for more 3D platforming action in the future!
2) Super Mario 4 will take place in an area that spans the entirety of the Marioverse.
The entire Marioverse? Of course, this is an exaggeration, but it does manage to bring my point across. I want the next Mario to place an emphasis on exploration. More importantly, I want Nintendo to ditch the level-to-level structure of all the previous 3D Mario games and instead make one GIANT world for us players to explore. Nintendo has made a ton of Mario games in the past, but none of them truly expose the full potential of the world of Mario. Can you imagine exploring vast deserts and dark forests with Mario? It’s like combining Ocarina of Time with Super Mario 64 into one massive platform-adventure game!
3) Super Mario 4 will show off what the Wii U is capable of.
Of course, when there’s a Mario game, there’s got to be a Nintendo platform to put it on. Here’s why I chose the Wii U as my platform of choice. First off, it will debunk the rumors that “the Wii U is not truly next-gen” (which I think are ridiculous rumors to begin with). If Super Mario 4 really does sport the massive landscapes I mentioned in point 2, then no one can doubt the power of the Wii U anymore! Secondly, it will attract the core gamer, and from what I understand, that’s what Nintendo is trying to do with the Wii U.
In many ways, my idea of Super Mario 4 harks back to Super Mario 64; both games are similar in that they place an emphasis of actually “finding” power stars, unlike in the Mario Galaxy games where the path practically just “leads” to them. In many ways, Super Mario 4 reflects the attitudes of the Legend of Zelda series; both place emphasis on exploration, as if YOU’RE the one who’s discovering new things. But one hidden game that’s inspired me to write this blog is Xenoblade; both take place in a massive world that you can explore, meaning every mountain, and every valley. If Super Mario 4 is a hybrid of these three things – Mario 64, Zelda, and Xenoblade – then I can die happy. Because THAT is my dream game. And I want it now.
Nintendo, please make it happen!