NintenRants IV: Why Nintendo Should NOT Make A Mario Galaxy 3
Considering all of my negativity recently, I can almost HEAR the groans at the title of this particular article, but please stick with me. This is not so much a call against a Galaxy 3, but more of a call for a return to the originality that Nintendo are known for. To explain myself adequately though will require a brief history lesson in 3D Mario games.
Take your thoughts back to 1996 (well, 1997 for Europe) and Mario’s first breath-taking steps into a brand new 3D interpretation of the Mushroom Kingdom, a world that we had been exploring for years. It was a wonderfully simple game; just Mario running and jumping through perfectly created platforming levels. The game was brilliant, a breath of fresh air into the franchise and a clear sign from Nintendo that they meant business. Also, this arguable Nintendo masterpiece has aged considerably well, which is a further testament to its creators.
This was followed by Super Mario Sunshine on Gamecube in 2002 which, anyone who knows me well will already know this, I personally found to be a huge disappointment. Every time I say that I have the same responses, but it really changes nothing. I just honestly find the game to be far too gimmick-heavy in comparison to the wonderful Super Mario 64 and, although I love the return (in name only) of E.Gadd and the introduction of Bowser Jr., the story did nothing for me personally. What I will give Sunshine though, is that it most definitely felt like a step forwards after Super Mario 64 both thematically and in presentation.
However, in 2007, that step was surpassed in a giant leap with Super Mario Galaxy 2007 on Nintendo Wii. If Sunshine was the Super Mario Bros. 3 to 64’s original Super Mario Bros., Galaxy was the Super Mario World. It seemed that with Galaxy, Nintendo took absolutely everything that they had learned with the previous two 3D Mario games, refined it, polished it, and then sent it soaring into the stratosphere. A great story (an excellent one even for a Mario title), some fantastic platforming that was enhanced by the new gravity dynamic, a beautiful art style and some incredibly creative power-ups (a medal needs to go to the mind behind Bee Mario).
Super Mario Galaxy, once again felt like a revitalisation, a new era for Mario platformers. It turned out that the amount of ideas that went into it was not enough to use up the team’s creativity, so we were all treated to another helping with Super Mario Galaxy 2 in 2010. Using the leftover ideas was a masterstroke and ended up with another sterling game, if one that felt a little derivative compared to the shock that was Super Mario Galaxy. However, do we honestly need the third instalment that fanboys worldwide are whining for?
I would argue a resounding no. As you have already read, I am a big fan of the Galaxy games, but I entirely disagree that a third one would be the right move for the Big N. All you need to do is look at Super Mario 3D World for an example of why they shouldn’t make Galaxy 3. The latest Wii U title is practically bulging with creativity with almost every level introducing something new, and then almost frivolously discarding the idea in the next level for a new one. This game convinced me, after the arguably derivative (although still good) Galaxy 2, that Nintendo were still the creative powerhouse that I thought they were. In this way, for them to step backwards now would be a definite misstep.
What I would like to make the call for is a return to basics, or rather a stripping back of the gimmicks that surround Mario (and arguably Nintendo in general). Bring Mario back to simple, but creative and (at times) devilishly difficult platform challenges. Leave the copious power-ups to the ‘New’ Super Mario Bros. series and strip 3D Mario back to the core of what Mario is; a platformer. We don’t need a Galaxy 3, and for god’s sake, we shouldn’t want it either.
What do you think (prepares flame shield)? Should we get a Galaxy 3 or are you with me in wanting something a little simpler? As usual drop a comment on this or tweet me @reuthegamer.