Nintendo Articles

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

My Top Five Most Wanted 3DS Games for 2012/2013

Not that there’s currently a vast choice in regards to the games that could plausibly be on this list, but here are my five most wanted 3DS games of 2012/2013.
Usual rules apply here; the games must be confirmed to exist/be in development and the list only covers 3DS games, hence no Mario Party 9 or Wii U games.  That said and without further adue, here’s my list of most wanted 3DS games for the coming year.

1. New 2D Mario Game

Should have seen this coming right?  If there’s anything I really like, it’s a traditional Mario platformer.  3D, 2D, who cares.  If there’s a good old Mario platformer I will buy the game on day one.

Is it the series?  Maybe.  But perhaps it’s just that I really tend to like platformers.  It’s not just Mario either, I tend to buy Wario Land games day one, and now Donkey Kong Country games day one as well.

However, the fact it’s a 2D Mario platformer is the interesting part, since every recent 2D game has brought back a significant amount of stuff from the classics.  New Super Mario Bros brought back everything from the flag pole to the Bowser bridge, then New Super Mario Bros Wii introduced Yoshi, the Koopalings and new power up suits for the first time in who knows how many years!

I still remember people’s reactions when this boss was revealed.

This raises one easy question; What’s the big thing Nintendo is bringing back this time?

The Hammer Suit?  Reznor?  Chargin’ Chucks? Either way, I want them all.  I want this to be New Super Mario World.  To have an overworld like the SNES classic and bring back most of its enemies and items (at least those that haven’t already made an appearance in either the New Super Mario Bros games or Super Mario 3D Land).

There’s no better way to say it.  If you’re not excited for a new 2D Mario platformer on the 3DS, you’re not a Nintendo fan.  This is that one game that will sell the most copies of any game to be released on the system (the last two of its kind sold about 20 million copies back in the DS and Wii days) and in all practicality, the number one game of the year.

2. Paper Mario

Second on the list because while it’s not quite as exciting to me as a new main series Mario platformer is, Paper Mario is exactly the kind of game I need on 3DS right now.  This is because it’s probably going to have an absolutely enormous amount of content and hence keep me playing for at least a few weeks.

Is that a Chain Chomp as a partner?

Look back at the last two Paper Mario games and you have to admit they certainly didn’t skimp out in regards to how much stuff there was to do.  Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door had not only a lengthy eight chapter main quest with a new theme in every single one, but also the pit of 100 trials and enough side quests they had to set up a bulletin board system to document them all (the trouble centre in the right side of Rogueport).

Meanwhile, Super Paper Mario had a similar length main adventure plus TWO pits of 100 trials, more side quests and another random 100 opponent gauntlet to fight your way through.  Oh wait, and that capture card system thing…

That’s what I’m hoping for in Paper Mario 3DS and why I really want the game.  Mario 3D Land only took me about two days and Mario Kart 7 even less than that, so I really need a long adventure game just about now to keep my interest going.

Besides, the story’s probably going to be pretty funny (the writing in the series has always been fantastic and the characters entertaining), while the music and graphics are likely to be amazing (we’ve already seen a few pretty nifty screenshots already).

The areas in Paper Mario 3DS look great.

My only concern is that the sticker system and general Paper theme has gone a little too far and that Intelligent Systems have neglected some of the stuff that made the first two games so entertaining (we’ve not seen any unique partner characters yet).  But all in all, Paper Mario for 3DS seems like it’ll be one of the better games that’ll be hopefully out this year.

On the bright side, the sticker system let them bring back the Frog Suit!

3. Super Smash Bros*

Wait, Smash Bros is only third?  What kind of heresy is this? But seriously, as much as I like the Super Smash Bros series, this is a most wanted 3DS games listed.  Hence this entry only refers to the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros 4.

That’s the issue.  Super Smash Bros 4 Wii U is probably going to be one of the greatest games ever made due to its multiplayer. This is because four people sat round a TV playing local multiplayer has always been one of the best experiences in video gaming for me, and I think the Wii U version is only going to continue that trend.

Super Smash Bros 3DS on the other hand… yeah.  I don’t know a single person other than myself who owns a 3DS in real life.  That’s kind of a problem for a game series which takes about 90% of its entertainment value from the multiplayer vs modes, is it not?  Because you likely need at least one 3DS for every single person wanting to play at once.  But unless by some miracle I happen to meet about three people in real life who not only happen to own 3DS consoles but also decided to buy Super Smash Bros at about the same time, then brought both of these things with them at the same time, I’m unlikely to be able to play this game against anyone other than random strangers on the internet.

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Nintendo Needs No More Franchises; Why the Misconception of Nintendo as not Innovating is wrong

Apologies for the lengthy title there, but the point it makes is clear.  Despite many an internet article ranting about how Nintendo never tries anything new and always relies on its old franchises, you can clearly see the opposite in action all through their history.  Nintendo hasn’t been getting stale or not trying to create the next Mario or Zelda, it’s just not what people are looking for.

For one thing, they’ve been trying all sorts of new things on the 3DS.  Seen Pushmo or Dillon’s Rolling Western yet?  Both may only be download games, but they’re both possible new franchises for Nintendo and star new characters that could possibly end up in the next Super Smash Bros game.  That’s not all. Remember a certain submarine based game that came out at the 3DS launch, Steel Diver? That was a new ‘series’ for Nintendo. More to the point, it acts as a great illustration for why video game companies don’t ‘innovate’ more; the game bombed and failed miserably.  A sequel is at least guaranteed decent sales

To say Nintendo has no new franchises right when this game comes out is plain stupid.

But it’s not just with the 3DS that Nintendo has tried new series.  What series do you think Nintendo owns? Many people would probably remember these:

  • Mario
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Metroid
  • Pokemon
  • Kirby
  • Super Smash Bros
  • F-Zero
  • Star Fox
  • Donkey Kong
  • Pikmin (which is very new I may add)
  • Earthbound/Mother
  • Fire Emblem
  • Advance Wars
  • Animal Crossing
  • Wii series (new as well)

But that’s a tiny fraction of the many different franchises Nintendo has.  You’ve also got Golden Sun, two Wario based series, Kid Icarus and Nintendogs.

Oh wait, that’s not it either.  You’ve also got Endless Ocean.  Adventures of Lolo (funny how no one remembers that one), Pilotwings and various others.

Endless Ocean is a fairly new Nintendo series and had two games on the Wii only a few years ago.

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Donkey Kong 3D; What I’d Hope to See

Yes I know the game isn’t likely to exist at the moment and that GameStop have mentioned that them having the box art/display up was a mistake on their part, but if there is a Donkey Kong Country 3DS game being revealed at E3, this is what I’d hope would be in it.

1. Kremlings and K Rool as villains

As decent as the tikis were as villains, they’re just nothing compared to good old King K Rool and the Kremlings.  Not one spot of personality to the tikis, nor much in the way of interesting character design.

Hence in the inevitable 3DS game, Retro Studios should just accept the tikis weren’t that well received and move on. Bring back the Kremlings, stop trying to introduce characters based purely on ‘gameplay’ and just have it so people’s favourite Donkey Kong Country enemies are back.

This bunch are better than the tikis any day of the week

Not that they should be the only returning bad guys, I think those Zingers (bees/wasps) would be a good choice to bring back as well. Especially as that with the exception of Jungle Beat, they had a perfect attendance record before Donkey Kong Country Returns came out.  Besides, killer wasps make spiky tikis look average in comparison, don’t you think?

Everything’s definitely worse with bees.  Well, if you’re a Kong.

2. Not a port/Donkey Kong Land version of Donkey Kong Country Returns

Not that anything was wrong with either the Donkey Kong Land series or Donkey Kong Country Returns, it’s just I don’t want another Donkey Kong game with the exact same themes, level concepts, enemies and characters.  Because as we all know, the chances are that if they just made a Donkey Kong Land Returns, we’d end up with more freaking tikis instead of Kremlings and the same massive TWO animal buddies Returns has for a second game running.

Not what we want.

3. More playable Kongs (perhaps four player multiplayer)

True, Donkey Kong Country Returns worked well enough with just two characters, but with Rare gone and modern Nintendo seemingly unlikely to make a Donkey Kong game where Donkey Kong himself isn’t playable, this seems like the only plausible way to get Dixie Kong in another game.

Dixie Kong would be a neat third playable character.

As well as literally the only method possible of ever seeing Kiddy Kong again.

Besides, New Super Mario Bros Wii, Kirby’s Return to Dreamland and Rayman Origins is proof a four player platformer can work well, so why not make Donkey Kong 3D another successful example?

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Why Mario & Luigi is a better RPG series than Paper Mario

Paper Mario is an extremely popular Mario spinoff on the internet, so this probably won’t be a popular opinion to hold, but the title says it all.  I prefer the Mario & Luigi series to the Paper Mario series and honestly think the former are closer to a good Mario RPG than the latter.  Here’s why.

1. Mario & Luigi battle system is actually like a Mario game

This is why I adore the battle system in those games so much, because they actually feel completely different from the battle systems in every other Japanese RPG.  Instead of the all so common quick time event like button presses that games such as Paper Mario and Mario RPG fall back on so often (these have no real connection to what’s going on in the battle itself and exist purely to add interactivity to what would otherwise be a purely ‘strategic’ affair), you actually feel like you’re making Mario and Luigi jump out of the way or attacks or hammer away projectiles and line up their special moves properly.

Above: Blocking the Shadow Queen’s attacks or timing your own isn’t too logical.

While battling Dark Bowser here feels more like playing a Mario game, and is easier to learn

Skill plays much more of a role than intellect because of this, and I like it that way.  If you’d be able to logically dodge an attack then you can, and you’re not limited to any strict timing window (you can repeatedly jump or hammer away attacks at will until either you deflect the shot or get hit).  It means it’s much easier to beat enemies through skill despite a massive level difference due to how easy it is to time dodging their attacks.

It’s hard to explain, but the battle system just seems more logical in Mario & Luigi than in Paper Mario, and is most intuitive to learn as well.

2. The style of the Mario & Luigi series is much more like the platformers than that of Paper Mario

Both have fantastic art styles, but the later Mario & Luigi games are far less offputting to your standard New Super Mario Bros player than the later Paper Mario ones due to how much more similar to the generic ‘Mario’ style they look.  Compare below:

Both styles are well designed and look really nice, but I think the Mario & Luigi look is just closer to what a Mario game should look like.

It’s not that any one style here is bad, just that the Mario & Luigi series art style works best for the franchise in general, and is more ‘accessible’ to the casual gamer brought up on the 2D/3D platformers and sports spinoff games. The Paper Mario one is arguably what will forever keep it a bit of a niche series.

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Mario won’t become a yearly franchise like Call of Duty says Nintendo

Along with various other interesting bits of information confirmed by an interview of Koichi Hayashida by the website Modojo.  Indeed, there’s a lot of interesting things said here which should interest people who want more Super Mario 3D Land, as well as about the Mario series in general, so read on!

They first ask:

Do you see this as a possible series? Could there be a Super Mario 3D Land 2?

To which Koichi replies:

Well I guess I have to turn around and ask, is that something you’d like to see?

Immediately this is getting interesting.  They’re not counting out direct sequels to Mario games!  Then again, is that really a surprise? First we had Super Mario Galaxy 2, then recently we had Pokémon Black and White version 2, I think a Super Mario 3D Land 2 seems like a fairly plausible choice of sequel for Nintendo to make.  I also love how naive the guy is when he asks ‘is that something you’d like to see?’  Because apparently, there are some people on the planet who would say they don’t want a sequel and would be disappointed if one was made.

Would you consider adding downloadable content to the game? How easy is it to create new levels?

This question seems pretty interesting too.  Good thing they asked how difficult it is to make new levels, my experience in the past indicates that making a new level in any video game is much a more difficult challenge than it looks.  But hey, Super Mario 3D Land has a fairly simple graphics style which relies almost on 3D tiles for making up the levels, so it can’t be that difficult, right?

It’s not something we had initially thought about. Thinking about it now, there would be some challenges, but if there was a really good opportunity to use the stereoscopic effect to create some interesting new elements to introduce to the game, I suppose it’s a possibility.

However, the response worries me.  I think Nintendo are putting far too much stock in ‘gimmicks’ with their recent titles.  Why not just make it so you make fun levels?  No one cares if you come up with ‘interesting’ new elements using the stereoscopic effect other than elitist ‘critics’ who think that games should be all art like.  The rest of us just want fun levels regardless of how technically fancy they are.

I guess if you look at the staff credits for the game, including the localization teams at NOA and NOE, it would come out to about 100 total?

When asked how many people worked on the game.  I won’t quote the full interview for legal reasons, but it comes out as about 100 people and two years of development.

What do you think of Mario becoming a yearly franchise like Call of Duty?

Yikes, talk about a difficult question to ask someone on the internet!  Have you seen how much hate Activision gets for releasing games every year with minor changes?

Well, the way we approach the Mario series is through evolving hardware. Every time we have a new piece of hardware, we look at it and say, what can we do with this? What sort of gameplay experiences can we create? Then we take that and try and match it to the world of Mario, the kind of expressions you would find in Mario games.

Unfortunately, the answer given worries me even more.  In fact, some will say that its Nintendo’s biggest problem with their recent titles, they seem to be designing them based on the hardware rather than just letting the games dictate the console.  Putting the cart before the horse or something.

Really, as much as his ideas are rather disliked, Sean Malstrom said it best with this quote:

A video games console is just a box people buy to play video games.

Paraphrased of course, but you know what he means there.  People don’t enjoy buying games consoles for their own sake, they’re just there as a means to play the games  It’s best if Nintendo realised this and just made their games just as good games first and foremost and the console ‘gimmicks’ thrown in where appropriate to the series and game design.

If we were going to come out with a Mario game every single year, the only way we could really do this is if we also came out with new hardware every single year, which starts to get a little difficult to imagine.

Well no, you could also just make some new Mario games that aren’t designed around the hardware, or just make more use of the existing hardware.  Like Super Mario Galaxy 2 was.  Or Super Mario Land 2 on Game Boy was.  Or heck, like Super Mario Bros 2 and the Lost Levels were back on NES.  The whole one Mario game a system stuff was a fairly recent invention if you look back at Mario history, it only held true of the SNES (assuming you don’t count Yoshi’s Island), Nintendo 64 and Gamecube.  Hell, if you were bored enough and wanted a change, you could even have a successful Nintendo system with no mainstream/new Mario games at all like the Game Boy Advance.

What about the possibility of a Super Mario Bros. level editor? Would it do more harm than good to the franchise to give users that sort of power?

I’d love to see some sort of level editor.  Because it’s not that hard to make one given how every Mario game to date has had an unofficial one built by fans.  Is it really that difficult a concept to release an official equivalent to Lunar Magic or Toad’s Tool?

so we’re certainly not opposed to the concept of introducing a level editor

So it’s not entirely hopeless.

but in my mind, it’s not really about the users having power or hurting the way the franchise is viewed, but rather, whether we can see the possibility to create a really unique and fun experience with that level editor. It’s not something we’ve explored in any detail yet with the Mario universe, but as with everything, if we sense a good idea and a good possibility, it’s certainly something we’d pursue.

Yet while hope for an official level editor exists, it seems Nintendo’s staff seem to have missed one key point.  See the bolded.

No one finds a level editor fun in itself.  What is fun is playing the levels others have made and sharing your work with other people.  That’s not something that can support a whole game (hence why fairly few people bought WarioWare DIY), but it should still be an optional feature or tool you can either get for free or buy seperately.  No one who would use a level editor would give a toss whether it was fun to use in a conventional sense.

You can look at this as comparable to an art set or a writing/office program.  No one thinks paint in itself is ‘fun’ in the same way a video game is fun, but they enjoy the activity in a different way.  No one thinks using Microsoft Word in itself is an entertaining activity but they might like writing a novel  Any level editor for the Mario series would be enjoyed in the same way.

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