Super Mario 3D Land is on the verge of release, and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto can finally sit down and talk about his role in the Mario dynasty. He has a recurring history of trying to pull away from projects, but finding himself sucked in because the essential “Mario-ness” doesn’t shine through without his involvement. Miyamoto is all about the details: the available enemies, the particular tone of the music, the acceleration of Mario as he falls, etc. He considers the fine-tuning of these elements an enjoyable but pivotal endeavor.
His meddling is not always immediately accepted. Miyamoto has met with his fair share of dissidents:
When Super Mario 64 came out, a lot of people dropped out because it was too hard to play — you could go in any direction now, not just in a 2D plane, so it got harder in that respect, to say nothing of motion sickness. Some people liked that evolution, while others couldn’t keep up with it. The New Mario series was an effort to get back to the core of it, and this game (referring to Super Mario 3D Land) is kind of an in-between — it’s 3D, but it’s a Mario that lots of people can play.
While New Super Mario Bros. Wii paralleled the stylings of Super Mario World, 3D Land is considered an evolution of Super Mario 3 – and not just for the rampant raccoon tails. 3D Land will feature a player-assist mode similar to the New Super Mario Bros Wii, which many players discovered could actually be a double-edged sword. The game will be easy enough to finish, but if you want to take up the challenge of collecting all the star medals and exploiting the other features, prepare for a satisfyingly difficult experience.
Super Mario 3D Land will be available for the 3DS on November 13th in North America and November 18th in Europe.