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New Super Mario Bros. 2 3DS Interview With Iwata Asks. Development Team Discusses Upcoming Game

27 Jul

New Super Mario Bros. 2 Iwata Asks Interview

… Nintendo President Iwata sits down with the developers behind NSMB2 for 3DS. Releasing on August 19 2012.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 for 3DS releases on August 19, 2012 and seeks to give the 3DS a big push leading into the all-important holiday buying season. Get a much better idea of the game in this NSMB2 Iwata Asks interview.

Table of Contents

New Super Mario Bros. 2 is one of the most highly anticipated for Nintendo’s stereoscopic 3D portable, and, for the first time ever, takes Mario on an adventure that is entirely focused on collections Coins!

Every Mario game has involved Coin collecting, however this is the first Mario game where collecting Coins takes on a whole new meaning and the game was built from the ground up with uber-Coin Collection in mind! Everything Mario does is related to Coins, including new Power-Ups like the Gold Flower, which turns Mario into Gold Mario where he shoots Golden Fireballs. What do these do? You guessed it!

Each Gold Fireball turns enemies and objects into COINS! Basically, speed-running with the highest amount of Coins collected will be the name of the game in NSMB2, and the game even challenges players to collect a mind-boggling ONE MILLION COINS!

You’ll get a greater insight into the game by reading the New Super Mario Bros. 2 3DS Iwata Asks interview.

Super Mario Cram School

* The interview starts out with the developers who worked on the project discuss a new company-wide “school” that trained new level designers on how to create courses for Super Mario Bros. games. As a result, several new developers got their hands dirty in actually creating courses, pumping new blood into the development of a new Mario game and allowing for some new ideas from new people.

“I heard Tezuka-san believes that the course design plays a key role in determining the fundamental elements of 2D Mario games, so he opened the cram school in hopes to spread that knowledge across others within the company. Alongside Tezuka-san, (Toshihiko) Nakago-san was also deeply involved with this project….
Some knew a lot about games and some didn’t, but the Mario Cram School we mentioned earlier came in incredibly useful. Participants got a firm grasp of the basic ingredients of what makes 2D Super Mario enjoyable and experienced actually making stages, so we were able to begin this project with a solid foundation.” – New Super Mario Bros. 2 Director Amano.

Stereoscopic 3D Elements

* They discuss how the experience of the developers who worked on Super Mario 3D Land were able to help turn their “flat” environments into stereoscopic 3D ones and add polish to the game.

“I believe so. For the first prototype, we had only made the character models in 3D, so it looked three-dimensional, but the landforms were flat and just slapped on. However, the staff from Tokyo Software Development Department improved that nicely. To be exact, the background landforms are a flat image, but it came to look a little three-dimensional, and if you turn on the 3D Depth Slider, it doesn’t just gain depth, but gradually blurs.” – Ishikawa

Night Levels

* They discuss how new night scenes have been added, something that hasn’t been seen in Mario since the original Super Mario Bros. for NES and perhaps Super Mario Bros. 3 for NES.

“Super Mario games in 2D have always had a traditional graphics style, but in addition to extending and developing the gameworld from games past, did you try anything new?” – Iwata

“This time, we added some night and evening scenes. It feels very different than before.” – Ishikawa

“It was always a blue sky.” – Iwata

“Yes. But this time, the designers had a desire to change that a bit. Design-wise, it’s an extension of what has come before, but the night scenes make a slightly different impression.” – Ishikawa

Dash Mario Levels

* They discuss some of the new features that will make this Super Mario game feel fresh. Such as the new “Dash Mario” levels!

“But I get the impression from when I actually played it that if you think it’s the same and don’t take it seriously you’ll run into trouble.” – Iwata

“That’s right. The staff had a strong desire this time to think of tough things that people might even get angry about. And we’ve changed some things with regard to the setup to make a fresh impression. For example, this time you can play special stages called Dash Mario. You go into a cannon and get fired out. Then Mario’s dashing from the start and you press the A Button at the right times.” – Amano

One Million Coins

* They then switch gears and go into an indepth discussion on how the theme of this game, COIN COLLECTION AND GOLD, came to being!

“All right. It started early on in development when we were determining the structure little by little in order to make the stages fun, and for some reason Nakago-san and Tezuka-san kept talking about coins. They were both going on about how good it felt to get coins. It was just about the time that Super Mario 3D Land was finishing up, and in that game Mario can put a Question Block over his head… Only a few coins came out at first, and I thought, “That isn’t very satisfying,” so we made it so that if you dash, coins come out like crazy. I had Tezuka-san try it out and he was thrilled, saying, “This is great!” and “You can make all kinds of stages like this! (laughs) But that was something adopted from Super Mario 3D Land, and I didn’t like just copying it, so I made a golden Koopa Troopa. If you stomp on and toss one, coins scatter around… Around that time, when Tezuka-san and Nakago-san had one of their usual lunches. He came back from one of those lunches absolutely brimming with joy and said, “How about one million coins?!” – Amano

Coin Rush Mode

* Next they discuss the “Coin Rush Mode”. This mode came about in order to make it much easier to hit the One Million Coins threshold. They also discuss how Mr. Miyamoto was not a fan of the Coin Block that gets stuck on Mario’s head and shoots out Coins (see the actual interview).

“It was before we decided that the theme this time would be collecting coins. I wanted to make a Super Mario game that you could play over and over again. Rather than making large-volume stages, I thought about how I could make something fun for customers to play a little in their free time. It started by wondering if we could pull together something a little light, like playing three stages in a row and if you mess up once, it’s over. But the ones we made in the beginning didn’t look like players would proactively approach play it.” – Amano

Co-Op

* Next up the developers discuss the all-new co-op mode. This is the first handheld Mario game that you can play through the whole single-player campaign with two players in cooperative play. However they had a dilemma, the game’s were not just right-scrolling, but went in different directions with the level design more convoluted than previous games. This made implementing two-player hard. To overcome this, they came up with the idea of “Bubbling”. The camera follows the “Leader”, the player who is out in front, and if the second player falls behind, they get sucked into a Bubble and magically teleported to the point where the leader is. This adds extra incentive to have players competing to be the leader. Or to hamper the leader. Additionally, the levels are designed in a way that you can’t get every Coin by playing single-player in all the levels. Thus playing with two-players can give you twice the Coins, which the developers hope will encourage players to try the two-player mode.

“With the previous game, New Super Mario Bros.12 for the Nintendo DS system, they were special stages, but with the Wii game, you could play all the stages of the main game, and we wanted to do the same thing on the Nintendo 3DS as on the Wii. We decided that if we couldn’t do that, then we would abandon it.” – Tezuka

“Competing to be leader is fun.” – Ishikawa

“For example, Mario could ground pound Luigi to become the leader, or he could get into a pipe leading to the next area sooner to become the leader.” – Amano

“So you can compete to become leader, get in your opponent’s way, or be mischievous with each other. On the other hand, you can enjoy purely cooperative play, such as a good player becoming leader and helping out someone who isn’t so good.” – Iwata

“And this time, an impossible amount of coins appear, so if a single player can’t get certain coins, two players playing cooperatively can get them all.” – Amano

“What’s more, we made it so that when two people play, you can get twice the number of coins, so I think people will want to play with a partner.” – Ishikawa

StreetPass and SpotPass

* Next up, the developers discuss the use of the 3DS special features, like the StreetPass mode, where you can swap times with someone you’ve passed who is also playing the game. You will then be encouraged to try and beat their time. If you do, you will earn a special Crown Coin worth tons of Coins. By passing someone who is an expert, you can earn tons of Coins this way. They also explain how SpotPass allows players to see how many Coins different regions have collected, so different states or even countries can compete against each other! Last but not least, they discuss how New Super Mario Bros. 2 will be the first Super Mario game to include additional downloadable DLC! They are still figuring out if it will be paid downloadable content, or free. One of the developers talks about how he worked on Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, which used the eReader and eCards to add extra difficult stages you could play by scanning the Game Boy Advance cards. However few people bought an eReader or took advantage of the peripheral to play the extra stages. He has been wanting to do something similar ever since, and finally gets to with NSMB2!

“Using the StreetPass feature, you can exchange Coin Rush mode data. You can play Coin Rush mode repeatedly within a short time and collect more coins the better you know the stage. In some ways, it’s like a concentration of typical Super Mario elements. You can try to beat the best time of someone you passed in the street, and if you beat them, not only do you get the coins you snagged, but you also get a bonus Crown Coin. ” – Amano

“And via the SpotPass feature, you can learn how many coins others have collected.” – Amano

“Different regions and countries can compete with each other.” – Tezuka

“Like, “Look at how many America has! Japan better not lose!” – Iwata

NSMB 2 DLC

“Actually, this isn’t the first time for a Super Mario game to have additional stages. I was on the staff for Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 315, and it had a way to add extra stages. By using the Nintendo e-Reader, you could play additional stages. So for Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3, we made really sharp—really difficult—stages to add later. I played them myself and had a ball. I thought, ‘I wish more people could enjoy this.’ At that time, it was necessary to buy the Nintendo e-Reader separately. For that reason, not as many people as I had hoped enjoyed the additional stages, but personally, I loved them! That was about nine years ago, and ever since then, I’ve been thinking I want to do that again sometime.” – Amano

“In the case of 2D Mario games, the play contents can be significantly changed by adding new courses. Luckily, because we had opened the Mario Cram School, this time we had about twice the number of staff who were able to design courses. In that sense too, I thought Mario games and the idea of additional courses worked well together. I started by telling the staff early on that this has meaning since it was for Super Mario, so we should come up with something.” – Tezuka

Classic Super Mario Bros. Elements

* Finally, they discuss how New Super Mario Bros. 2 recalls classic Super Mario elements and yet reinvigorates the franchise with fun new ideas.

“We wanted to make a solid, classic Super Mario game, so first we reconstructed the Super Mario stage elements, and then made 80 stages—no, more than that—and added in a bunch of the coin elements mentioned by Tezuka-san, and reconstructed the stages yet again…and I think it turned out to be a game that is fun to play.” – Amano

“It feels rewarding because multiple ideas came together, bringing the game to a place that each idea on its own never could have reached.” – Iwata

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