It's release day of Super Mario Galaxy, I'm almost completely better from being sick (which turned out to be acute tonsillitis), and I'm now just waiting to meet up with my fiancee who pre-ordered the game to pick it up and celebrate Veteran's day with my favorite plumber.
I've played a bit of Galaxy at my local EBGamestop and it was by far the most fun I have had playing a video game in years. I had forgotten how much I love Mario games! The levels truly are ingenious and live up to everything all the reviewers say. However, now that Mario has gone into space it makes me wonder what Nintendo is going to do next. Does the next Mario game have to be groundbreaking? Mario Sunshine was more like Mario 64 (but with better controls from my point of view) and many people have turned it into the whipping boy of the Mario series. Could the next Mario game suffer the same fate?
I think the next Mario game doesn't have to be particularly groundbreaking to be fun. If anything I think it would be fun to go back, explore previous elements and add new finish to them, a la New Super Mario Brothers. I enjoyed the game immensely but felt it was a bit simplified. A 3D Mario game set in the Mushroom Kingdom would be fun, and the physics we see in Galaxy could add a whole new level to old-school exploration.
I know this may sound like I'm moving backwards instead of forwards, but I think at this point, I wonder if excessive innovation is the answer for the next Mario game. Innovation, for innovations sake doesn't do anybody any good. I'm very glad the suits are back in Galaxy. I've made my point before as to how much I love the powerups in Mario games.
It would be even more fun to me if they brought the suits back in a 3D space in the Mushroom Kingdom. I also missed the ability to store power-ups as was done in Super Mario 3. It was great to start a stage with a P-wing, or star. I'm surprised this hasn't been explored further. It would have made things much more convenient in New Super Mario Brothers when I was running around looking for a mini-mushroom just to clear certain stages to open up secret passages.
I'm starting to think I just want a 3D remake of Mario 3, but at the same time I feel there are so many things Nintendo explored and quickly abandoned from previous Mario games (ie item storage) and feel that they could be explored more. Mario games seem to be coming out only once every five or six years now, so I don't think Nintendo has to worry about overusing any concepts.
Finally, what happened to the Koopa Kids? They have appeared in three games and since Bowser Jr came along have been grossly ignored. I was excited to see the in Mario and Luigi SSS, but where have they been? Did Bowser ground them? Wouldn't it been fun to see what they could do in a 3D space? It would make boss fights interesting.
These are a few ideas floating around in my head as I anticipate this latest Mario game. What are your hopes for future Mario games? Now that he's conquered the Galaxy what lies for him next?