Nintendo Articles

Our exclusive editorials about the 3DS and its games, as well as Nintendo as a whole.

Should Nintendo make a direct sequel to Mario Kart 7 soon?

As in like how there was a Super Mario Galaxy 2 after the first Super Mario Galaxy and Pokemon Black and White 2 after Pokemon Black and White? Part of me wonders whether this would be a really good move for Nintendo to make at this point in time, and whether it could revive the steadily dropping interest in the game in general.

On paper, it seems like this could fix quite a few problems Mario Kart 7 has due to being quickly rushed out the door for Christmas 2011 and maybe even help Nintendo make up some more 3DS sales in 2012/2013.

For a start, this opportunity could be used to fix all the hated glitches that have been ruining Mario Kart 7’s online play and that presumably put a fair few people off the game.  Wuhu Mountain Loop would be edited to remove the uber shortcut, and Wuhu Island Loop and Bowser Castle 1 would undertake much the same process. This would bypass the problems with patching Mario Kart 7 because no one could deliberately/accidentally avoid patching the game, and hence these glitches would be completely eliminated.

Wuhu Mountain Loop’s glitches could be fixed (image from Mario Wiki)

The character roster could then be expanded to fix the complaints arising from the lack of Waluigi and other fan favourites.  No this isn’t too implausible for a direct sequel, if Pokemon Black and White 2 can add a few hundred Pokemon from past generations to the Unova regional Pokedex, then Mario Kart 7.5/8 could theoretically bring the Mario Kart Wii cast list over to Mario Kart 7’s game. Imagine how many issues would be fixed if a sequel added Waluigi, Birdo, Dry Bones, Bowser Jr, Diddy Kong, Baby Mario and Luigi, Toadette and maybe King Boo to the already fairly decent Mario Kart 7 roster.

Waluigi could return in a direct Mario Kart 7 sequel.

Other features could be added to improve it, mainly basic features like online leaderboards for time trials, single player vs mode and some sort of tournament/mission mode thing as well.

Not to mention they can then go full out like in Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Pokemon Black and White 2 and maybe add an extra cup full of new tracks or two.  One of these cups could be a few more retro tracks/favourites people liked from past Mario Kart games, the other could be some new tracks that people were expecting to get (like the standard city track with traffic to dodge or a new haunted house or a new desert themed level)

A traffic based level like Moonview Highway would be a pretty good addition if new tracks were planned.

Then they could balance the items a bit, fix up communities to have better/more options and move the unlockables around so you don’t just get new stuff for beating 150cc.  The new characters could therefore be unlocked in 50 and 100cc as well as Mirror Mode to reward completionists with more than a changed ending and different title screen.

But if that’s why such a game could be really good as far as gameplay and content go, then what of the business side of things?  Surely Nintendo needs a good reason to make such a game when they could try making something else, right?

Of course.  The thing is, Mario is a known franchise and the Mario Kart series has always sold really well.  It’d be safer than taking a risk on a new series or untested game, and Nintendo would be able to get a good five or so million sales out the title, and presumably rocket the 3DS right to the top of the hardware sales charts.

Super Mario Galaxy 2; Easy enough to make, sold great too.

This might well be needed in 2012, since the games planned to be released for the 3DS at the end of the year are probably not going to do as well as those released last year, bar the 2D Mario platformer.  Luigi’s Mansion 2 is probably going to be a fantastic game, but the original didn’t exactly do as well as a Mario Kart game could have done.  And Paper Mario, while also fantastic hasn’t generally sold that well in the greater scheme of things.

But this is only if such a game would come out in the holiday season, where Nintendo already has a full line up of great 3DS (and probably Wii U) games planned.  But what about the time in between?

Kid Icarus Uprising came out in March

New 2D Mario game will come out at the end of the year

Paper Mario/Luigi’s Mansion 2 will probably come out near the end of the year

What’s between them as far as major Nintendo titles goes?  Middle of the year is roughly when other direct sequels come out, Mario Galaxy 2 came out in May 2011 and Pokemon Black and White 2 will come out on the 23rd June 2012.  Around May-July could be a good time to market another direct sequel to a well known 3DS game, right?

Not to mention that it’d revive the hype that Mario Kart 7 received on its release date, hype which has since pretty much died off near completely.  That’s not good news for Nintendo seeing as the last two games stuck around in at least a generally popular state for two or three years before online died off completely, while their latest one has basically ‘failed’ after about four months on the market.  And while Kid Icarus Uprising is currently the big ‘online multiplayer’ game of the moment, having two successful ones on the market wouldn’t be a bad thing, would it?

Of course, people are going to say Nintendo is greedy/evil/[insert negative term here] for releasing such a game if it was ever made, the same crowd seems to think everything and anything should be downloadable content in this day and age.  But hey, we didn’t originally expect two 3D Mario games on a console or two… three main series Pokemon games on a console either, right?

So with all that said, would it be a good idea to make/release a direct sequel to Mario Kart 7 in the foreseeable future to make up for the rushed state the first one was released in and to get people playing the Mario Kart series again?  What do you think?

Lets Rate Super Smash Bros Character Chances!

Want to know which characters seem most likely for Super Smash Bros 4?  Well look no further since this article is intended to sort of factually figure out whether fan favourites are likely to be playable characters in said games.  So let us begin with the first character…

1. King K Rool

Yes I know the picture is of Kaptain K Rool.  But even those in Japan know its the same guy, right?

And a pretty likely choice this guy is too, given that he’s supposedly topping the opinion polls in both the US and Japan, and that oh so many people have suggested him for Brawl.

Other than that, here’s why he seems plausible:

He’s got a great potential moveset with his different forms and attacks.  This puts him above the other DK related favourite (Dixie Kong) simply because he’s not a Kong and can actually have a great number of original attacks that don’t make him play like a Diddy Kong clone.

He would fit perfectly into any adventure mode as an adversary.  Heck, this scene showing DK’s banana hoard being stolen seems almost written for K Rool and the Kremlings:

Above: Why was Bowser in this when K Rool would have fitted perfectly?

His costumes in past games would work great with the alternate costume options in any Smash Bros game.

Finally, he could easily have a stage based on any one of his arenas.  The Flying Krock seems like a good choice:

Above: Imagine how great this’d look with HD graphics for the airship and orchestrated music.

All in all, I’m betting K Rool is practically a sure fire bet for the fourth Super Smash Bros game.

2. Ghirahim

Ghirahim, the not so final villain of Skyward Sword.

Unlikely to be in Smash Bros 4 to be perfectly honest due to the fact he’s only been in one game.  Not to mention the fact said game wasn’t even on the same console as Super Smash Bros 4 will be, meaning that there’s a high chance the Wii U Zelda game will be out prior to Smash Bros.

This is possibly the killer blow for the guy’s chances when you think about it, the only reason people initially wanted either Midna or Zant in Brawl was because Twilight Princess just happened to come a year or so before and there was no Wii exclusive Zelda game on the horizon.

Talking of Twilight Princess and Smash Bros, one only needs to look back a few years to see that not every major series game of the moment gets a character in that generation’s Smash Bros.  Keep in mind that both Midna and Zant were extremely well liked and requested as Smash Bros characters to the point of having whole websites dedicated to them and still neither got into Brawl as playable despite it referencing Twilight Princess in every other way.

So even if by some miracle no 3DS or Wii U Zelda is upcoming between now and when Smash Bros 4 is out and the Skyward Sword style ends up applied for all Zelda elements in the two games, there’s still a very high chance Ghirahim won’t be in as playable.  Sorry Zelda fans.

3. Mega Man

The Blue Bomber in Smash Bros 4?  Eh why not.

Pretty much guaranteed this one, since Capcom themselves said they’d have let him be a character in Brawl if Nintendo/Sakurai had bothered to ask them.

So if Nintendo ask for him as a third party character to represent Capcom, chances are Capcom will say yes and he’ll end up playable.

As far as other factors towards whether he should be included go, Mega Man fulfils all of them.  He has a near infinite amount of potential movesets that could be used (how many weapons has he had in the past again?  Likely well over a hundred if the total number of Robot Masters fought is any indication), he’s been in many, many video games on Nintendo platforms and hence has a long history with the company, he’s got many good stage/item/boss ideas based on things from the original series alone and well, there’s a metric ton of awesome music they could remix to boot.

Above: It’s blatantly obvious this theme could end up remixed and orchestrated for a Smash Bros game

Of all the third party characters ever mentioned, he seems most likely.

4. Krystal

Loved by the furry fandom everywhere!

Hard one to judge here, seeing as the Star Fox fan base is pretty split over whether she’s a good character and would deserve to be in a Super Smash Bros game.

On one hand, she’s got a few interesting attacks due to her staff from Star Fox Adventures/Dinosaur Planet, and hence wouldn’t be another Fox clone like Falco and Wolf was. Not to mention it gives Nintendo a good reason to reference Adventures and put a Dinosaur Planet style stage in to boot.

Unfortunately, she’s not that popular in Japan, and very much a polarising character in the US and Europe.  This along the fact Star Fox hasn’t had a very good run on the Wii, DS or 3DS makes me wonder if they’ll even bother adding a new Star Fox character for Super Smash Bros 4.

Oh, and she’s not actually in Star Fox 64 3D, which means her recent appearances are few and far between.  Not the most likely character then, even if she would be an interesting one to play as.

 5. Ridley

Yes that’s Meta Ridley, but his meta form always looks so much cooler…

We get it, people say he’s too big.  They do have a point, but…

Nintendo is a business.  If the money makers think Ridley as playable will sell copies of Smash Bros 4 and make the most money, then he’ll be playable.  ‘Geek’ opinions don’t factor in at all.

Would he work?  Not sure, he’d look weird at a small scale.  But he would definitely have moveset potential and be a notable enough character.

But I rate his chances at pretty good just because Nintendo wants money and hey, Ridley being playable equals more money.

6. Vaati

Vaati, still plausible?

Plausibly a bit more likely than Ghirahim given he appeared more than once, but he’s unfortunately been absent long enough from the series (minus the Four Swords anniversary edition thing) that I wouldn’t be too surprised either way.

He would have an interesting moveset based on his magic spells though, and his demon/winged eye form would be good for a final smash.

7. Black Shadow/F-Zero Character

Unlikely to get given Ganondorf’s moveset.

Probable if Sakurai wants to add another F-Zero character, but the series has kind of died ever since F-Zero GX back on the Gamecube (not one new game from the DS onwards), and with Ganondorf’s moveset not changed in Brawl and unlikely to change in the next game, I don’t think Nintendo are going to give this guy the same abilities.

But hey, if a new F-Zero game comes out in the near future, maybe that’ll help his chances.

8. Any Wario character

One of the Wario characters some want playable in Smash Bros 4.

Chances are non existant if you ask me, and this is coming from someone who actually likes and plays both Wario Land and WarioWare!

Okay, I do see more Wario elements in Smash Bros 4, with maybe a few Wario Land inspired songs and perhaps a stage, and some more trophies based on both Wario Land and WarioWare. But a character?  Unlikely.  Here’s why:

It’s not a major Nintendo series any more.  Really, it’s only doing a bit better than F-Zero at the moment, and that’d had terrible luck getting any new player characters.  Not to mention the pool of ‘potential playable characters people will actually care about’ is practically non existant (more on that in a second).

So what about characters?  Well face it, who’s really a ‘regular’ in the Wario series anyway? For Wario Land, that’s pretty much solely Captain Syrup, and even that’s stretching it a bit (three appearances in video game history).  For WarioWare, it’s pretty much Mona, Jimmy T, Dr Crygor, Orbulon and Nine Volt.  You can possibly add Ashley, and if you count duos Kat and Ana and Dribble and Spitz, but they’re either fairly irregular (Ashley, with only three appearances) or nearly never shown as solo characters (the duos), and only the Ice Climbers have ever since been playable as a team.

You then have to consider that practically, no one mentioned here ever fights anyone hand to hand, so they’d have to make up a whole moveset from wholecloth.  Sure it worked for Captain Falcon and I think Fox, but it’s a little tricky to do so for a fairly obscure character many people have probably never heard of, especially when they have basically no combat experience.

Finally, it’s been about three years since a Wario game of any kind came out, so it’s not really high on Nintendo’s radar at the moment.

So yeah, seems a bit unlikely.  Not saying it’s 100% impossible (heck, maybe Nintendo will actually decide to give some Wario character fighting abilities and let them enter the fray), but the series isn’t doing too well at the moment and plausible characters are thin on the ground.

9. Zoroark

Because people apparently forget he has an Illusion ability.

Seems like an obvious replacement for Lucario/Mewtwo, doesn’t he?  Unfortunately, I have to say I’m not convinced of this character’s chances for multiple reasons.

For one thing, he’s really not much like the characters mentioned and doesn’t seem like he’d work well having similar abilities.

And the biggest issue is the signature ability of the Pokemon in question.  Think back a bit, what exactly was the biggest draw for him when Black and White were new? The ‘Illusion’ ability.  This changes Zoroark’s appearance so he looks like a different species, or like the Pokemon in the last slot in the party.

But this ability is near impossible to replicate in a fighting game.  Everyone in the same room can see you select him which takes away any surprise element to begin with, the AI… well the AI already cheats like crazy and has the uncanny ability to bypass any tricks that change the view of the screen/invisibility/illusions, so would probably see right through it and for anyone who for some reason didn’t clock it immediately, it’d fall apart the minute he starts fighting.

For the first thing, in Pokemon, he doesn’t copy the abilities or stats of the character being impersonated. He still just uses his own attacks/own typings/own stats and you have to plan carefully to make people think he’s someone else.  Now imagine this in Brawl. Will people really be fooled if Zoroark (presumably a somewhat agile character with no outstanding physical abilities) is pretending to be say, Ganondorf?  Or Kirby?  Or Sonic?  Ganondorf going at full sprint would cause many people to get suspicious pretty quickly, as would a Kirby with only two jumps and a Sonic with no super speed.  Then add the fact no character has the exact same attacks as Zoroark would, and that he can’t copy their attacks if it’s based on the ability as in game, and it falls apart extremely quickly.

Also, he has different attacks to Lucario/Mewtwo, and it’s doubtful you could make him plausibly act like either of them.

So unless they make him a Mewtwo/Lucario clone despite being nothing like either and somehow not even have the ability people care for, it’s rather doubtable he’ll be used to replace them.

10. Mii

[Add image of your own Mii here]

Seems fairly likely to be included to be perfectly honest, as much as people don’t think they’re proper Nintendo characters.  This is because recently games like Wii Sports, Wii Fit and Wii Play have been massively successful and Mario spinoffs with them (like Mario Kart Wii and 7) have had them turn out to be popular characters as well.

Let us choose a Mii from our collection, give them a bunch of sports related special attacks and make Wuhu Island a stage, and that seems like a pretty excellent (and rather likely) way to represent the Wii era of Nintendo in Super Smash Bros 4.

Also, look on the bright side longtime gamers, being able to use custom Miis mean you can theoretically remake all the non included human characters you like from obscure Nintendo games.  Everyone wins!

11. Little Mac

Having conquered the boxing ring, will he join Smash Bros?

The boxing champ from the Punch Out games (assuming you win of course) seems like another fairly likely new Super Smash Bros star, and here’s why:

He comes from a series that’s all about fighting and hence has plenty of potential attacks to use.  Presumably that all involve punching his enemies in the face.

A recent Wii Punch Out game was released just after Brawl, meaning that he’s still sort of relevant and has also had a series revival.

The boxing arena seems like a fairly plausible battle stage to represent the series.

He has his own final smash in Giga Mac.

With all that factoring into the equation, it seems very much like he’ll be in the next Super Smash Bros game as a playable character, as well as one that’d be easy to make into a capable fighter.

12. Mewtwo (return from Melee)

THE original legendary

He’s extremely likely to be in the next Super Smash Bros game. Heck, he was once meant to be in Brawl but presumably cut for time constraints (his files are labelled on the disc and he has various animations, victory theme, etc).

So it seems quite likely Nintendo might just include him in the next game like they did in Melee.  When you then keep in mind he’s a fairly popular Pokemon among many types of gamers.  Is he most popular?  Nope, but he’s close:

In a recent Japanese poll he came fifth after Arceus, Darkrai, Deoxys and something else, and in US polls he usually comes second after Charizard (who’s already playable in Brawl)

Either way it’s likely he’ll return in the next Super Smash Bros game.

13. Deoxys

Cannot take a hit to save its life.  Would that carry over into Smash Bros?

See above and Mewtwo’s popularity?  Well in some regions, he’s nearly/even more popular and a well known Pokemon too.

This gives him an excellent chance of being a new playable character in the fourth Super Smash Bros game. Maybe not as high a chance as Mewtwo due to the fact he’s less popular in the US and possibly Europe, and Smash Bros has to take into account what fans all over the world want as far as who gets included goes, but a good chance regardless.

14. Rosalina

Anyone who thinks Rosalina is important to Nintendo is living in denial.

No chance in hell.  Sorry Rosalina fans, but her chances to be in Smash Bros as anything more than an assist trophy are about the same as an ice cubes chance of survival in the sahara desert.

You see, she’s just not a very important character in the Mario series.  Not only has she only appeared twice in mainstream Mario games (aka not spinoffs), but one of these was basically a cameo shoved in at the end of the Perfect Run.  Oh, and she doesn’t even appear in two of the recent main Mario platformers (New Super Mario Bros Wii and Super Mario 3D Land), and is unlikely to appear in the new 2D Mario game for 3DS or the inevitable Wii U game.

So with that said, ask yourself this question:

Is Rosalina anywhere near as important to Nintendo as anyone else mentioned on this list?

Probably not.

Is she more important than Mewtwo, who was actually cut from Brawl?

Probably not.

Is she more important than Princess Peach, Bowser, Meta Knight, King Dedede and well, Mewtwo who were cut from the original?

Also likely not.

To put it all in perspective, she’s pretty much a complete nobody/D List Nintendo character to non overly obsessed Mario fans.  You’d be much more likely to see characters like Waluigi and Paper Mario (also mentioned in this article) than you would see Rosalina become a playable character.

15. Paper Mario

Perhaps too much like normal Mario, even with different attacks?

A character who’s chances of an appearance are arguably about 50/50 if you ask me.  On the one hand, he’s well known and has starred in four well liked RPGs, and would have all kinds of interesting attacks and abilities based on either badges, partners, pixls or Crystal Star/Star Spirit moves.

There are also a lot of potential places that could be used as battle arenas in the Paper Mario series (Bowser’s Castle, Shy Guy’s Toy Box, X-Naut Fortress, Rogueport, Castle Bleck, The Bitlands or wherever the hell Paper Mario 3DS has the chapters set in) as well as an almost ridiculously high amount of music that could be used (every single boss has their own leitmotif and battle song for instance).

However, some things kind of take away from his chances.  For one thing, and this will probably sound like heresy to the internet:

Paper Mario isn’t that popular

That isn’t to say it’s not a great series because it is.  But it’s nowhere near as influential as the internet would have you believe, and could be ranked alongside Firefly, Snakes on a Plane and Buffy the Vampire Slayer as series which appealed greatly to college age kids but didn’t catch on as well with the mainstream.  It’s not quite as obscure as Psychonauts or Okami, but generally it’s not a multi million selling series that can sell games by name alone.

This theoretically means Nintendo has an awful lot of other characters that would be more popular in Smash Bros than any Paper Mario one.

The other problem and one more specific to Paper Mario himself is that he’s basically just Mario.  New abilities and moves yes.  But he’s still Mario, and some people are likely to be a bit annoyed if the roster has two different Marios on it. If it was say, Dimentio or the Koopa Bros or Count Bleck or Lord Crump or whoever else, then people wouldn’t find it much of a problem, but with people generally cynical about ‘clones’ and overly similar characters, another Mario is probably not the best choice.

So his chances seem to be okay, but not fantastic.

16. Bowser Jr

If Bowser Jr gets in Smash Bros 4, we know Nintendo has no taste.

He has a better chance, although I’m going to be honest and say that he has enough of a hatedom towards him that any polls used for character inclusions are going to be very much against him.

Don’t know to be honest.  If Sakurai is going with the ‘most used Mario characters for playable’ rules, he might end up as a character in the games, but if he’s going on general popularity among players, then it seems pretty hopeless for him.

17. Waluigi

Everyone’s cheating but me by getting into Smash Bros 4!

The wildcard of the Mario series, Waluigi seems like a plausible enough character let down by one important thing.

He has no identity yet.  Despite being in who knows how many fantastic games and his general presence in most of the Mario series, he has very few defining attributes, little in the way of unique moves/abilities and zero presence in the Wario series itself.

They could make him fight with sports equipment, but that seems like something that’ll likely get given to Miis if they turn out to be playable due to the influence of Wii Sports.

How would they classify him?  A Mario character or a Wario one?  What would his stage if any be based on given how the biggest role he ever had was in DDR Mario Mix?  He has some decent music in the form of the Waluigi Pinball:

and Waluigi’s Island:

Themes, but… he seems like a difficult character to use well.  And when it comes to choosing between someone for whom a whole new moveset would have to be designed for and someone who’s already got a plausible set of attacks (any other major Mario character), who’s Nintendo likely to choose?

Still, he’s well used enough in the Mario series that he seems to have a chance.

18. Geno

People still care about Geno?

Rather unlikely now, since he’s near enough third party due to being owned by Square Enix and hasn’t had an important appearance in about 16 years.

Is he even worth trying to get as a playable character any more?  Because practically he’s in the same situation as Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was prior to Epic Mickey, and I don’t think Nintendo are going to sell of an employee to buy him back like Disney did for Oswald.

On the other hand… Metroid Other M didn’t do so great and people really like Geno, so part of me cynically thinks ‘sell Sakamoto and his career off to Square in return for Geno becoming a Nintendo character’. Just kidding, honest!

But seriously, it seems like Nintendo aren’t going to go to any amount of effort to get the rights back for a character who fell into irrelevancy about 16 years ago and appeared in just one fairly obscure Mario game. His Super Smash Bros chances are pretty much non existant.

19. Nightmare (from Kirby)

Nightmare, the secondary antagonist in the Kirby series.

No, you didn’t read that title wrong, a few people have really suggested this guy:

He’s probably not the most likely new character for Super Smash Bros.  Maybe a bit more likely than Rosalina considering he’s had more ‘important’ appearances in the Kirby series than said other character had in the Mario one, but that’s still a long way from ‘has a chance in hell at being a playable character in Super Smash Bros 4’

He has potential in regards to having a moveset, a custom stage and a theme tune though, if that helps anything.

20. Dillon (Dillon’s Rolling Western)

A potential Smash Bros character?

Doubtful unless Sonic leaves to be perfectly honest, since his moveset would probably share a few similarities and his newness leaves it up for debate whether he’d even be considered.

Good character, but seems unlikely just because he’s a new Nintendo one, and it seems likely he’ll need a few more playable appearances to be considered for a Smash Bros game.

21. Earthworm Jim

The cult favourite few have heard of!

Not a very likely character for Super Smash Bros.  Maybe if he was a Nintendo character then they’d be willing to bring him back and use his Smash Bros appearance to restart his franchise again like they did for Punch Out and Kid Icarus, but he’s a third party character and hence Nintendo would have to get permission to use him.

Unfortunately they won’t.  This is because he’s not had a new game in a few years and wasn’t ever particularly popular when he did.  Given that Mega Man, Tails and Simon Belmont are all not characters in Super Smash Bros, then it seems unlikely Nintendo is going to be to choose him.

On the bright side, if he did appear, we’d get a really nice new stage from the deal, the graphics and ideas in the games are fantastic.

22. Tails

Sonic’s sidekick seems a plausible enough character choice

Sonic’s sidekick seems like a pretty likely character for the next Super Smash Bros game, heck he was even rumoured to be in the last two (remember that ‘beat 20 opponents at Cruel Melee’ thing that EGM used for April Fools Day some years ago?)

All in all, he fits all the criteria for a plausible new third party character perfectly.  He’s well known, has his own unique moveset and would work well alongside Sonic in a fourth Super Smash Bros game.  Not to mention he’s the most likely Sonic character not already included in a past Smash Bros game.

All in all, a likely new third party Super Smash Bros character.

23. A Golden Sun character

Isaac, the main character from Golden Sun (first game)

Another pretty likely choice, although it does make me wonder who exactly would be choosen to represent the series (don’t all three Golden Sun games technically have a different protagonist at first?)

Still, there’s a fairly good chance that we might get a character from the series as a new playable character, there’s no shortage of possible ‘candidates’ or special attacks/abilities to choose from.

24. Shulk (Xenoblade)

Will Xenoblade get character representation already?

A possible new character, although perhaps an unlikely one due to how Xenoblade Chronicles has been treated by Nintendo recently.

It was a good game and I guess the main character might work, but it’s still just one game, and for Nintendo to take a chance on a character from just one game seems rather optimistic on their part.

Not to mention ability wise he’s yet another sword user, which is getting to be the most common type of character in the Smash Bros series as of now.  Do we really need another?

25. Fawful

Our favourite Engrish speaking evil lunatic as a Smash Bros character?

More possible than Rosalina and a few others on the list, but I’m not putting money on his inclusion.

On the bright side, he does have a lot of popularity among people who actually know who he is (like most Mario fans), as well as his own Wikipedia page (any character with one is at least notable enough the mainstream know about them) Not to mention that there’s no denying he’d have some kickass theme music to act as his theme tune:

Plus, a great track to go with his stage:

He’s also got a lot of abilities that could work as special attacks, like his ray gun from Inside Story, his magic attacks from the original and the black holes/portals from Inside Story, along with Dark Fawful as a costume option.

However, a few problems:

For one thing, Mario & Luigi has never been the worlds most popular/well known Nintendo series (just like Paper Mario), and Fawful has only ever appeared in said series.  This puts his chances as less than those of Waluigi and possibly Bowser Jr since those characters are generally a bit more well known.

The other issue is that he’s nowhere near as well known as the current Mario characters from Melee and Brawl (excluding Dr Mario), and might be a difficult choice to justify.  Heck, pretty much ANY Mario character might be a difficult choice to justify now, the ones currently included are pretty much the characters everyone knows by default while the many requested ones are nearly unknown outside the Mario fandom.

But he’s got a chance, if Nintendo is willing to take a risk on an RPG series only antagonist. Heck, a Super Smash Bros appearance could even salvage his chances of reappearing in the Mario series as a major character, since there’d probably be quite some demand for him as an enemy in the Mario platformers if he turns up as playable in Super Smash Bros 4.

26. Kamek

Kamek as playable character?  Whoa…

As a Yoshi series rep of course, since he’s the nearest thing to a unique antagonist the Yoshi’s Island games actually have.

Seems plausible enough, although I still can’t imagine what his attacks would be (presumably using magic would be his neutral B attack and using his broomstick would be his up B attack), and I’m not at all sure what he’d bring as far as stages/story mode stuff/anything else goes.

There are some issues with his inclusion though, namely that he’s also a Mario character making the line between the Yoshi and Mario series rather blurred indeed.

Does the Yoshi series even need another rep?  Not sure.  But I rate his chances as at least okay.

In conclusion, that’s what I think as far as which characters suggested for Super Smash Bros 4 are most and least likely.  But I admit I don’t know too much about some of them, and hey maybe some I criticised have more of a chance than I give them credit for.  Do you agree with the thoughts presented?  Either way, post your thoughts in the comments or forum topic below!

P.S. All character ideas are based on real suggestions by internet users. Each and every single one was suggested by at least one pseudonymous commentator. Some are hence a bit unlikely.

So Super Mario 3D Land was even stranger than before (Game Developer’s Conference)

Remember how we mentioned how things like Kuribo’s Shoe and the Cape from Super Mario World were meant to be in Super Mario 3D Land?  Well those were just the sane ideas.  No, in your standard quirky Japanese game developer sense, some of Nintendo’s scrapped ideas for the game were flat out insane.

First though, the craziest ‘customisation feature on the planet?  Here’s what ONM says could have ended up being a feature in Super Mario 3D Land:

A mooted feature that would enable you to replace Princess Peach’s face with your own.

Read that again and weep.  I’m not sure whats worse, the fact this was even considered or the disturbing things fans would probably do with it.  You just know that either Chuck Norris, Hitler or someone the player had a crush on would end up in this situation.  Probably Captain Falcon too.

I really have to say it’d kind of ruin the game to have a male face on Peach, don’t you think?  And it’d make Youtube playthroughs of the game oh so much more disturbing…

There were also to be bug (supposedly cockroach like) enemies you could only kill by slamming down the top screen.  Hooray.  People who don’t like insects, it’ll be just like real life!

Another bunch of ideas were cancelled power ups. Like some new Mega Mario equivalent where he’s so big you can only see his feet on the screen at any one time. I have to admit this sounds like a neat idea for the two minutes it’d be interesting, especially the experience of smashing Bowser to a pulp by having a giant Mario foot come down on his head.  This was pretty neat remember?

Above: I’ve always kind of liked fighting bosses with an equal sized character. That’s what made Mario and Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story so awesome:

Another interesting (although incredibly disturbing) canned power up idea was a sort of tall/gangly Mario.  Called Long Mario, it’d make him sort of spider like.  Oh jeez, seems like a clear way to charge head first into the uncanny valley if you ask me.

Finally, you had ‘Pro Skater Mario’.  This would let you ride a Koopa Shell about like in Super Mario 64.  Damn that was awesome:

Above: Actually, it was much like that.  Read on.

You see, you’d be doing tricks on it in a halfpipe like some kind of skateboarding game.  Think Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Mario edition.  And if you think this sounds bizarre, I’m not making any of this up.

Heck, Eurogamer wrote about it recently too:

So yeah, Super Mario 3D Land was plain crazy in beta.  But you should probably figure out exactly why most of these ideas were rejected, right?

Note: If it seems a bit late, keep in mind ONM is written a month in advance and the issue with this information only came out today and quite a few sites didn’t really cover absolutely everything that was revealed in the conference. Also, Mario Wiki doesn’t list any of them under beta elements.

Koichi Hayashida GameInformer Interview; Super Mario 64 Remake Planned?

But don’t get too excited everyone, planned meant that they decided to scrap the idea after it’d play havoc with the stereoscopic 3D the 3DS uses.  There’s a lot of interesting information coming from this interview though, so I’ll give my thoughts on each point:

On the topic of a Super Mario 3D Land sequel

I already mentioned that he said Mario 3D Land would be a difficult and unlikely game to make a sequel too, but the point is repeated in this interview. Not going to repeat what Mr Hayashida said, since it’s both exactly the same as what he said the last time and only tangently related to the question.  Still, best not to expect a Super Mario Galaxy 2 style sequel to the game on 3DS since it’s probably not coming.

As for the Super Mario 64 remake…

Nope.  They used a Mario 64 level to test out the 3D effect, but…

we figured out very quickly was that that way the levels were all designed was going to create so many stereo window violations – where an object would come in between Mario and the camera – that we knew we were going to need a different approach.

Mario 64 wouldn’t work in true 3D then.  Best not to think about it any more.  If you need an even shorter and arguably best explanation:

we did rule out a remake of Super Mario 64 in stereoscopic view on the Nintendo 3DS.

No Super Mario 64 remake on the 3DS for you then.  Not that anyone should need one, we did have Super Mario 64 DS on the last Nintendo handheld console, right?  Is that not enough for some people?  I’d think remaking the same game multiple times is overkill.

As for his favourite Super Mario 3D Land level, it is…

The final boss battle apparently.  In his own words:

but my favorite stage is probably the very last Bowser fight. So not the one that you get the regular ending from, but rather after you clear all the special worlds you have this special fight with Bowser and the fireballs he shoots become much faster. It’s a good challenge.

Hang on, what?  I don’t recall any change in the speed of the fireballs in either the final boss battle or any of the Dry Bowser battles.  How can it be a good challenge if it’s practically impossible to notice?

Apparently he likes the 3D effect when Bowser shoots fireballs towards the screen.

Do you have a favorite song from the Mario games?

This one isn’t exactly surprisingly, he says his favourite song is the first Super Mario Bros theme because it ‘uses the rhythm of gameplay to create that sound’.  Or is timed to go well with the sound effects. Listen to it yourself and see if you agree with him:

This song started it all…

There’s a pretty interesting question they ask him next, namely why people love Kuribo’s Shoe so much. Should be interesting, right?  Well, the answer is…

Because it’s fun to get into a vehicle that you’ve taken away from an enemy. Or perhaps because it’s cute to look at.

Have to admit that’s a kind of disappointing answer since that’s not exactly why anyone I know likes the shoe as a power up.  I’d personally argue it’s because it makes Mario feel powerful and somewhat cool, and because it lets him jump on otherwise dangerous enemies.  Otherwise wouldn’t more people like the Lakitu Cloud as an item?

However, one great point is raised after asking why the Japanese game industry’s struggles aren’t affecting Nintendo:

but Mario games are probably not as easy to create as most people must think. I feel like every day at work we’re really wracking our brains and working hard.

Thank you.  It’s nice that someone is willing to say that designing a Mario game isn’t an easy task, and that they’re really not ‘easy’ to make in comparison to whatever game genre is supposedly popular at the moment.  Indeed, I’d say this difficulty is something most indie game, fan game and ROM hack makers discover very, very quickly after trying to build a Mario style platformer.  There’s a lot of things Nintendo do right in terms of gameplay design and general entertainment factor that are only noticeable when they’re missing (aka from most amateur works).

If you need more proof, look at this game:

It looks like Super Mario Galaxy, but by no means does it play like it.  I guess the Chinese makers thought ripping it off would be enough to make a good game, but they totally forgot about how important the basic game mechanics were to get right and ended up with a shoddy product that played nothing like a Mario game.

But you don’t even need to go into fake games to realise this.  Indeed, go back to the SNES and Nintendo 64 days, where Super Mario World and Super Mario 64 rip offs and copycats were a dime a dozen.  Only a very small few did as well as the ‘originals’ (namely Rare’s games and a few others).  Most just failed due to bad gameplay and being bad games in general.  See, any game starring Bubsy the Bobcat.

There’s also a really good point about why Super Mario Galaxy 2 may not have worked as well as the original. You see, they did brainstorming sessions and stuff to come up with things to include in the games, and based the second game off the stuff they couldn’t fit in the first one.  But there’s a problem with making a game based on intially cast off ideas:

But now as a director when I look back on those brainstorming thought processes I realize that you come out with a huge amount of ideas, but what you decide to use are the ones that floated to the very top. The ones that seem like they’re going to be especially effective and are going to implement well.

In other words, the first game’s reject pile.  That’s why Galaxy 2 was so inconsistent, because it was made up of these kinds of ideas:

  1. Those that weren’t too good in the first place but were arguably good enough to be in a Mario game (presumably much of world S)
  2. Those that were difficult to implement/use the first time around.
  3. Ideas which are just hard to put to good use

Presumably it’d be like a book publisher deciding to take all the ideas from the slush pile and compile into an anthology to sell, most of the ideas just wouldn’t be particularly good ones (hence why they weren’t ‘accepted’ in the first place).

That’s also a reason so many video games scrap a lot of things that were in the beta versions; they looked cool but either couldn’t find a way to fit them in, couldn’t make them work or they just weren’t fun to play.

This ties into the question about why there’s no sequel.  Because there’s very few if any Mario 3D Land ideas they left on the cutting room floor so to speak, so there wouldn’t be enough content for such a game.

Also, an amusing point about why ‘girls might identify with Princess Peach’.  Oh boy, probably not a great thing to say (either for Hayashida or Game Informer).  Never the less:

I would have to say that maybe it’s that Peach has been a playable character in quite a few games recently, when you look at the Mario Kart series, Mario Party, or even the Super Smash Bros. games. Maybe that has given people opportunities to identify with the character. But that does seem to be the case that a lot of young girls do want to play as Princess Peach. Of course, I can’t relate to their position exactly, being a middle-aged man. But that does seem to be the case.

Finally, as for why Mario is so lighthearted and how the world is so cheery and fun in a world filled with somewhat dull ‘realistic’ first person shooters:

I have to say that the fun that comes from Mario games comes from the expression that you see in that world. What we try to do is try to make the most absolutely suitable environment for these really fun expressions

From what I can understand, this means they make the Mushroom Kingdom a place where fun ideas can be implemented and where players can enjoy themselves rather than focusing on storyline or such like.  Fun/gameplay first, ‘art’ side second.  That’s the way it should be.

It’s a nice interview with a lot of interesting information, and you can read the full thing here:

But what do you think of this interview about Super Mario 3D Land and the Mario series as a whole?

Is It Now Time for a Super Mario 64/Super Mario Sunshine style 3D Platformer?

Ever since the Nintendo 64, the 3D platformer seems to have been neglected a tad in favour of other genres.  Indeed, last gen the once unthinkable pretty much happened and 2D platformers seem to have made a comeback with games like New Super Mario Bros Wii, Donkey Kong Country Returns and Rayman Origins flying off the shelves and games like Mega Man 9 and 10 being sold on digital distribution platforms.  But now with Super Mario 3D Land fading away and the Galaxy series likely history, is it time for a more traditional 3D Mario platformer?  The type of game that helped the Nintendo 64, like Super Mario 64 or Banjo Kazooie?

I think so, and here’s why:

1. Nintendo has learned from the collectathon mistake

Which means they can now avoid making the exact same mistakes they and Rare made at the end of the Nintendo 64/start of the Gamecube’s lifespan; focusing their games on collecting random junk rather than platforming.  That’s not to say a collectathon can’t be a good game, and titles like Super Mario 64 and both Banjo Kazooie games were excellent, it’s just that later games took it too far.

Look at Donkey Kong 64 for example, it had so much collecting of colour coded objects that some say it singlehandedly killed the genre by turning people away from the game style. It sold well I’ll give it that, but did they really need things like the five colours of banana, the blueprints and the fairies?

Or Super Mario Sunshine too, which ended up having so much money lying around to collect it got to the point of utter tedium sometimes.  Not just the Blue Coins either, look at how it seemed every other level was about collecting red coins for some purpose or another (levels like Bianco Hills actually had four shines dedicated to this type of activity!)

Going through the secret levels with FLUDD to get red coins was just filler.

But that’s all in the past now.  Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 3D Land showed us that a 3D Mario game which doesn’t rely on collecting things is entirely plausible, all we now need is for Nintendo to make the worlds larger and still keep the same traditional gameplay that made these games so popular. Is there a real reason we can’t now have large open ‘sandbox’ style levels to explore where all the stars are obtained through either exploring the environment or navigating tricky jumps rather than doing pointless fetch quests?  Not really.

Even Super Mario 64 had signs of this with missions like ‘to the top of the fortress’ or ‘into the volcano’ or ‘stand tall on the four pillars’.  Where the game then went wrong was by shoving a pointless red coin mission into every single course in the game then making you collect a hundred coins in each for the hell of it.

Did Rainbow Ride ever really need a maze with red coins in it?

But now Nintendo’s learned from their mistakes and knows how to design a 3D platformer without a fetch quest in every level, maybe it’s the time to bring back open plan 3D courses and the choice of tackling the missions in any order.

2. Nintendo themselves admit they’d find it hard to make a new Galaxy game or a 3D Land sequel

Read back to the recent comments they made at the recent Game Developer’s Conference:

In the case of Super Mario 3D Land, I felt we got so much of what we wanted to do into the game, that we would start from a difficult position in having to come up with something from the same process.

In simple terms, Mario 3D Land did near enough everything they wanted it to do, so a direct sequel like how Mario Galaxy 2 was one to the original Mario Galaxy would be difficult to design/make for them.  So let’s assume that’s ruled out for a bit.

From that perspective, to say we’d make another game using the ideas left over from Galaxy 2, it’s very difficult for me to imagine. I feel like we really did research the field very well for possible ideas and we used everything that was reasonably easy to implement.

It comes after a fairly long discussion of the design process used for Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 (read here), but it’s safe to assume that’s out the picture for a fair amount of time as well since all the good ideas were used in either the first or second game.  Heck, even the second game was difficult to make given how they didn’t have quite that many new ideas to keep it interesting at first and had to come up with new ones from scratch after a while.

Which makes me think now could be a good time to revisit the Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Sunshine gameplay style.  It’s been a long time since a new Mario game with the feel of those two, and if Super Mario Advance 3 is any indication, going back to an old game ‘style’ and making new levels for it leads one to come up with all kinds of interesting ideas:

Those are arguably some of the most creative levels in the Mario series to date, all made because the developers went back many years later with a fresh perspective and new ideas and added them to ported versions of the original.  I think if Nintendo went back and made new Mario 64 or Sunshine style levels, we’d get a lot of new ideas there as well.  Combining what they learnt from making Super Mario Galaxy and 3D Land with the gameplay style of 64 or Sunshine could work wonders for a new Mario game.

3. People have wanted such a game for many years

Fairly obvious point this, there’s always been a fair demand for a Mario 64 or Sunshine type sequel, hasn’t there?  Indeed, there was quite a lot of hype back when Super Mario 64 2 was still in development.

As well as plenty of ideas about what a proper 3D Mario game could be like.

So why haven’t we had one again?

4. The increased power of Nintendo hardware means better 3D worlds are possible now

You can especially see how much technology has moved on by how games nowadays can easily handle vast open worlds that earlier consoles would have choked on. In fact, many minor problems I recall about 3D platformers were only a problem because Nintendo 64/Playstation 1 era hardware wasn’t capable of the things the developers wanted the game to do.

For example, people say that many of Rare’s later games had quite a low frame rate for Nintendo 64 games simply because there was so much going on at one time that the Nintendo 64 itself was having trouble handling it.  The likes of Jungle Japes and Creepy Castle in Donkey Kong 64 or Grunty Industries in Banjo Tooie was arguably a little much for the poor machine to cope with at the time, even with the expansion pack in use.  But there’d be no problems with Wii or even Wii U level console hardware, would there?

It’s just that you could do so much more with a 3D platformer in this day and age than you could in the Nintendo 64 or early Gamecube era.  The graphics would be much better meaning the levels wouldn’t look so… well, non Mario like (see many Super Mario 64 levels that could probably pass off as real locations due to a lack of colour and an almost ‘industrial’ look to them).  The characters wouldn’t look so basic or blocky like they did in Nintendo 64 games, or as weird as they did in Sunshine.  If this is what people have achieved just by altering Super Mario 64:

Pity they used a terrible rip of a Yoshi’s Island background…

Then Nintendo could do so much better by making a new 3D Mario platformer with a similar gameplay style for a modern console.  Imagine what it’d be like if you had a Mario 64 game that looked like Galaxy did!

That version of Peach’s Castle just makes you want such a thing even more, right?

5. Nintendo could come up with so many interesting levels in this style now

Look at how varied and interesting your average Super Mario 3D Land level is, then imagine what it’d be like if that kind of stuff was included in a proper 3D platformer in the style of Super Mario 64 or Sunshine.  The levels look really nice already, I’d just prefer it if we could get a proper 3D platformer with this style of graphics and music and some of the clever ideas included.

Imagine doing things like running around open worlds with the Tanooki Suit or Fire Flower and only losing it once you get hit like the old days!  Imagine having enemies like Hammer Bros, Magikoopas and Chargin’ Chucks as standard in open world Mario 64 like courses! Or how cool it’d be if every time you came across a Bowser level it worked like the ones in Galaxy, minus the gravity:

Things sure have moved on since the like of Bowser in the Fire Sea, haven’t they?

It’s just with the constant move towards more linear levels and more gimmicky ‘themes’, we’ve never seen what an old school 3D Mario game with modern technology would actually be like.  Then again, is that really so weird?  We’ve never seen what an old school 2D one would be like with Mario Galaxy’s production values either.  Nintendo are missing a trick here in more ways than one!

So with all that said, I think the time may be right for an old style 3D Mario platformer in the same style as Super Mario 64 and Sunshine, and that such a game would work really well on the Wii U or possibly 3DS.

What do you think?


Image from and by Spritey