Learn more about the new Mario platformer from the game's producer.
In an interview with Takashi Tezuka, an influential figure in the Mario franchise and the producer of the New Super Mario Bros. for DS, we learned some interesting new details on his newest game. Although the E3 demo is set up for two-player competitive play, Tezuka-san said the game is primarily a one-player adventure, in the style of the original Super Mario Bros. games. Two-player mode is just optional, and in a big change from two-player modes in past Mario games, this one is competitive. It's like a race to the flagpole (or boss), and Mario and Luigi can use attacks and teleportation boxes to hinder the other's progress.
As for new transformations, the giant mushroom that makes Mario grow to screen-filling size is a taste of things to come. Tezuka-san said the team would like to include more new items, possibly some specific to the two-player mode. (In fact, there is already such an item: the lightning bolt, which shrinks your opponent just like in the Mario Kart series.) Because the multiplayer is competitive, Mario and Luigi will have the same abilities in order to make the game fair for both players. The development team is also working on a "bonus mode" that Nintendo is not revealing at this time.
The story for this new SMB is familiar enough: rescue Princess Peach. Tezuka-san would not tell us whether King Bowser is involved, though. One interesting feature in the E3 demo is that taking a pipe into an underground area moves the gameplay from the top screen to the lower screen. Tezuka-san confirmed that although this effect is just meant to look cool (it doesn't change the way the game is played), there will be entire levels played underground, just as in the original games.
There's still much we don't know about this game, but it's set to be a pretty big deal when it is finally complete: the first real, 2D Super Mario game in a decade.
Last updated: 05/11/2004
A short gameplay clip showed what's listed as a new Super Mario Bros. game for the DS in glorious 2.5D. The footage included several of the classic elements which helped make Mario the game industry's leading man. The clip opens on old-school Fireball Mario, looking better than ever, as he takes out goombas with the greatest of ease. Mario returns to breaking blocks, collecting coins and hopping down suspicious pipes in what one can only assume is an attmept to save the princess. In addition to the standard jump everyone loves, he also has a nifty backflip jump. In one section, Mario grows to gigantic proportions allowing him to simply run over enemies including his arch-nemesis Bowser. Of course, Bowser isn't without a new trick or two, as the clip shows him running through a level Mario-style and even jumping on top of the flag pole at the end. Rest assured, we'll be watching this one very closely.