Shigeru Miyamoto has told Famitsu that just as Super Mario Bros Wii had SNES classic Super Mario World at its core, Super Mario 3D Land for Nintendo 3DS harks back to the classic NES title Super Mario Bros. 3.
“Part of that is because a lot of the staff is from the Mario 3 generation, but there’s also the fact that Mario’s falling speed is cut down a fair bit in the 3D titles.”
“It’s more fun to have him zoom down in the side-scrolling titles, and it’s more fun to make it a lighter sort of thing in 3D. That’s why implementing the Tanooki stuff made more sense here.”
“For this game, I worked as general producer,” he said.
“I’ve made the Mario series alongside Takashi Tezuka, and especially I tend to be the main person in the 3D games. With those titles, I’ve been working alongside the producer Yoshiaki Koizumi for a pretty long time, so 3D Land is being made with him overseeing a group of younger directors.
“I kept my distance from the project at first, but became more deeply involved midway – I don’t think it’d be satisfying as a Mario game to everyone unless I made myself known on the little details.”
“Like how the enemies in Mario should be, or what the music should sound like,” he said.
“It’s hard to put into simple terms, but it’s something that I really have to be looking at or else it won’t happen. Having a new control scheme can really erase that Mario-ness from the game, and you’d be surprised at how long that can go unnoticed during development.
“Still, the main points of it became clear as we discussed it – for example, how much acceleration Mario should have in order for his jumping to feel really good and Mario-like. I helped fine-tune the numbers behind all of that; it was a really fun part of development.”
“If you just want to finish the game, that’s relatively easy. Try to collect all the Star Medals, though, and you’ll find it pretty tough. There are other features in the game, too, for players confident enough in their skills.”