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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1lVpbnl6OU

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:

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2012/03/22/koichi-hayashida-interview.aspx

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

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