The games industry is abuzz with excitement as Nintendo prepares to redefine the classic side-scrolling Mario experience with Super Mario Bros. Wonder. In an exclusive interview with Nintendo veterans Takashi Tezuka and Shiro Mouri, Eurogamer.net delves into the game’s development and Nintendo’s commitment to keeping the iconic formula fresh. It’s been 11 long years since the last traditional Mario side-scroller, a fact that astounds Takashi Tezuka, a veteran executive at Nintendo. Tezuka, known for his work on various Nintendo projects, including Super Mario Maker, acknowledges the significance of this hiatus. The question arises: Why the prolonged absence? According to Nintendo, the desire to innovate and maintain the freshness of the classic side-scrolling formula has been paramount.
In the interview, Tezuka shares his insights, stating that the company wanted to present something genuinely new to players. After a series of 2D Mario titles, some bearing the New Super Mario moniker, the challenge was to create a Mario experience that felt innovative and fresh. Enter Super Mario Bros. Wonder, a game that pushes the boundaries of the classic Mario formula. Players can now embody Mario as he shoots bubbles, capturing enemies and objects in floating soap suds, and even transform into a sentient goomba while retaining his iconic hat. These gameplay elements represent a bold departure from the traditional Mario mechanics and provide a delightful surprise for players.
Speaking of which, Mouri notes the positive response online to Nintendo’s announcement that Daisy is playable. It’s a character he was pleased to include as well, he says. “This is a personal family anecdote but I have two daughters myself and when they played previous Mario titles, they would always fight over who gets to play Peach. Including Daisy will help resolve fights within my own household, and also I thought that having Daisy would be something that a lot of Mario fans would be happy with!”
Director Shiro Mouri sheds light on the game’s core concept: “mystery and secrets.” He highlights how the original Super Mario game was filled with secrets and surprises, such as power-ups and warp pipes, which were once novel to players. However, as more side-scrolling Mario games were developed, these secrets became commonplace. Mouri’s challenge was to reintroduce that sense of wonder and discovery to a modern audience.