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Has NEW Super Mario Bros. Wii damned Mario from ever flying in 2D again?
Editorial by 
Editor
July 14, 2010, 19:05:41
 
So, a thought came to me the other day. I'm not sure what brought it on, but here it is. Let me me know what you think.

I was reminiscing to myself about the various power-ups and suits in the Super Mario series. For me, I don't think anything has topped Super Mario Bros. 3. The amount of power-ups in that game have yet to be matched, and some of the elusive ones (like that super-slick Hammer Bros. suit!) are just so much fun to use. I was a little disappointed by the lack of decent power-ups in the DS version of NEW Super Mario Bros., but was pleasantly surprised at the variety in NEW Super Mario Bros. Wii. It at first appeared to be a return to form from the 8-bit glory days.

But then I noticed something. There was no real equivalent to the Racoon Suit. Or Tanooki Suit. Or the Magic Cape. Heck, Yoshi can't even sprout wings in this game like he was able to in Super Mario World - his debut game. Mario and the gang were permanently stuck on the ground, for the most part. There was no power-up or suit that let you bound into the air, leaving solid earth below you to explore the skies for cloud platforms with coins, hidden pipes with bonus areas, or secret exits. In both Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, I felt this great feeling of exhilaration as Mario leapt into the air and took off into the sky. The sensation was thrilling. The mystery of what might be "up there" and the urge to go exploring piqued my curiosity as a child. I loved it.

You might be able to imagine my disappointment when NEW Super Mario Bros. debuted on the DS and I found there was no flight power-up. Just the standard-issue Fire Flower, and the (as it turned out) mostly useless Blue Shell Suit. (I don't really count the Mega Mushroom or Mini-Mushroom as real power-ups) Yeah, it was kind of a let-down... but I let it slide because for one, this was the first new 2D Super Mario in like, FOREVER, and two; this seemed more like an homage/throwback to the ORIGINAL game, not the sequels. Not being able to fly kinda "made sense" in this case. So I let it go.

But then the Wii sequel came out, and I was thrilled to see the return of stuff like Airships, the Koopalings, a map screen with shortcuts and various paths, and a fairly wide variety of suits and power-ups. Including... what was this?!? The Propellor Suit?!? OMG YES! Mario can fly again! Oh happy day!

...... and then the day comes when I realize that Propellor Suit only makes Mario and the gang spring meagerly up into the air to the top of the screen (at best) and then slowly float back down. Yeah, this was more of a powered-up jump ability. Not true flight. I was bummed. I was wondering the other day why, why was there no flight power-up when Nintendo was clearly aiming to cater to the fans of Super Mario Bros. 3?

Then it hit me. It was because of multiplayer. Of COURSE there couldn't be a flight suit. How could there be? How could Nintendo (or any developer) deliver a satisfying local multiplayer experience when one player could bound up into the sky, leaving the others down below to wallow in the dust he/she inevitably just kicked up? The game's camera would have to either follow the player into the sky (leaving the grounded players in the dark) or keep still on the ground and have the skyward bound player lost over the top of the screen. Being able to fly in that situation wouldn't work.

I thought that maybe in the NEXT "NEW" Super Mario game, Nintendo might give Mario the ability to fly again... but could they? Not on a console, and definitely not in local multiplayer. It wouldn't work again, for the same reasons mentioned above. And could Nintendo deliver another Super Mario game on a console *without* simultaneous multiplayer? I mean, yeah. I guess they could. But wouldn't that feel like a step back?

Now I wonder if Mario will ever fly again in 2D. It's certainly possible he will in a 3D game, since those are still predominately single-player-only, thus negating any camera issues with other players. But will it ever happen again for him in traditional 2D? It saddens me to think Super Mario World would be the last 2D Mario game that let our red-capped-hero fly. What a shame, y'know?

Perhaps a 3DS game in the same vein would work. At least then in multiplayer (local or online) everyone would have their own screen. But how likely is that to happen? Will Nintendo even bother with a new flying power-up? I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Thanks for reading... thoughts?

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Posted: 07/14/10, 19:05:41  - Edited by 
 on: 07/14/10, 19:10:03    
 
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@Zero

Huh? You lost me.

I was talking about awesome Ogre Battle!


Posted by 
 on: 07/16/10, 01:03:17
GameDadGrant said:
Speaking of flying power-ups, when are we going to have one in a 3D Mario game again? The last true one we had was the Wing Cap in Super Mario 64. And no, hovering in the Bee Suit doesn't count, nor does floating around as Boo Mario. Again, I'm talking about wanting to go soaring through the skies!
Damn, you were right: you really should get on finishing Galaxy one day.


Posted by 
 on: 07/16/10, 05:13:58
Pandareus said:
GameDadGrant said:
Speaking of flying power-ups, when are we going to have one in a 3D Mario game again? The last true one we had was the Wing Cap in Super Mario 64. And no, hovering in the Bee Suit doesn't count, nor does floating around as Boo Mario. Again, I'm talking about wanting to go soaring through the skies!
Damn, you were right: you really should get on finishing Galaxy one day.
Quoting Pandareus, for he speaks the truth.


Posted by 
 on: 07/16/10, 07:29:45
I don't get the same pleasure of pure exploration that others do, so I didn't really miss the ability to fly. Honestly, I'm not really a fan of the Raccoon Tail or Tanooki Suit because the rewards for exploring the sky in SMB3 are never beyond a wallet-full of coins (and whatever quirky level designs they throw up there...what's up with all the floating pools?), though I loved the cape in World because it helped you reach secret areas that unlocked new levels.

I never thought of the multiplayer limiting flight though, good insight there. I don't think that could work with multiple players on one screen. A 3DS multiplayer game could be the solution, though I wouldn't expect unbridled flight to return.


Posted by 
 on: 07/16/10, 08:00:30
@Pandareus

Wait, what? I finished Super Mario Galaxy and the sequel. (and by 'finish' I mean beating Bowser and rescuing the princess) Was there some kind of flying item that I missed out on somehow...?


Posted by 
 on: 07/16/10, 19:08:21
@GameDadGrantYeah, in the first Galaxy(Game) there was item that enabled you to fly. It was after the Bowser fight, and was only used once.Once you beat the mission, you could use it to fly around the observatory


Posted by 
 on: 07/16/10, 23:16:15  - Edited by 
 on: 07/16/10, 23:18:37
DSLeet said:
@GameDadGrantYeah, in the first Galaxy(Game) there was item that enabled you to fly. It was after the Bowser fight, and was only used once.Once you beat the mission, you could use it to fly around the observatory

That was a really cool powerup. And now that I think about it there were the Fluffy Puff or whatever Galaxies in Galaxy 2.


Posted by 
 on: 07/17/10, 05:05:45
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