More Marios than you can shake a fireflower at [E3 2009]

One of the best surprises at this year’s E3 was the announcement of two new Mario games. All three platform makers had great showings, and there were certainly some interesting surprises (a Team Ninja Metroid!?), but for me none of that compares to the revelation that I’ll be getting a double dose of that pure, return-to-my-childhood fun that only an Italian plumber can provide. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a Mario fanboy, per se — I geek out over certain other franchises far more than this one — but there’s something about a full-fledged Mario game that makes my brain shut off save for the part shooting endorphins all over the place.

The only dilemma now is trying to figure out which one I’m more excited about. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the first time we’ve seen two true Mario entries on a single console since, what, the NES? (Yoshi’s Island, while probably the best platformer ever, doesn’t really count, despite being billed as Super Mario World 2.) And speaking of Yoshi, he’s back in a big way — and if the trailer was any indication, he’ll be far more useful than he was in Super Mario Sunshine. Galaxy put a big dopey grin on my face the whole way through, and the prospect of getting that again is incredibly tempting.

[[image: ar_060409_mario_01.jpg:Personally, I wish they’d announce THIS many Marios.:center:0]]
On the other hand, New Super Mario Bros. Wii was particularly surprising, since I — along with most of the free world — was expecting New Super Mario Bros. 2 on DS. Instead, we get a four-player console game. I’m equally excited about yet another high-profile 2D (ish) side scrolling console release and at having another multiplayer platformer besides LittleBigPlanet to play with friends (and, let’s be honest, we’ll have more fun with Mario’s more elegant physics). Heck, even the Vs. Mode in the first NSMB was pretty good, if a bit limited, so to see an expansion of that concept would be great. The game even has 80 or so levels, so it looks to be quite a full package. Of course, the real reason I’m excited is the apparent return of the Koopa Kids. Can’t say I’ll miss you, Bowser Jr.

Thankfully (or is that “unfortunately”?), I won’t have to choose: the absence of a release date almost certainly pushes Galaxy 2 to next year. [Miyamoto said as much at his Q&A, actually; it’s nearly ready to go, but they’ll be polishing it into next year. — JP] I considered making a bigger point about the significance of so many Marios on one system, of how this is Nintendo essentially patting itself on the back at this point for the Wii’s success, but I’m too busy smiling to get serious. I won’t ruin a happy moment with dour thoughts, nor will I turn this into Serious Video Gaming Business. As I said, there’s something special about the kind of smile Mario brings to my face, and that’s enough for me.

Maybe (well, almost certainly) somewhere out on the vast Internet someone isn’t happy about this. [Just check the comments to the preview you linked! — JP] I’ve been told there are people who don’t love Mario, who don’t have the same reaction I do, but I refuse to believe it. It would make me sad to think someone out there can’t be as happy as I am right now. No, I’d much rather cling to this child-like sense of awe and turn a blind eye to any evidence to the contrary. I know games aren’t for kids anymore, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still indulge in a little unabashed excitement from time to time. In theory, fun is what this medium is all about.

18 thoughts on “More Marios than you can shake a fireflower at [E3 2009]

  1. I’m just as excited as you are. Mario Galaxy was one of those rare games where I went back to collect every star – and then did it all over again as Luigi. I was initially a whole lot less excited about NSMB, but hearing what Miyamoto had to say about it has convinced me that it will be a lovingly crafted adventure rather than a cheap cash-in. I just hope that they have an option for the fourth person to play as someone other than a Toad clone.

  2. I’m honestly stupid-excited by these announcements. Does New2 have a release date set? Because that would be awesome. Sure I’d have to do some quick math factoring the inevitable push-backs, but still.

  3. The fact that there’re so many Mario games on one system encourages me to pick up a Wii. Sadly they’re still a bit out of my immediate price range, and since I only bought my first Gamecube game earlier this week (despite owning the system since the start of this year), I guess I’ve got stuff to catch up on first.

    Also I love how Parish ends his notes “–JP” instead of “-Ed” since his name is clearly not Edward, Edwin or any variation on that theme.

  4. I watched the trailer for the new Metroid recently and, well, it’s certainly looking different than the other games. That’s one I’ll almost definitely buy, but I think it’ll be a departure from the kind of Metroids gushed about on this site.

    But two new Mario games within a year or so, and on the Wii? Whoo!

  5. The most exciting thing for me right now is the fact that it seems like some of my favorite companies are coming around to the idea that 2d iterations of their franchises don’t necessarily have to be confined to the handheld-ghetto. Konami with first megaman 8 and now that new Contra, and now Nintendo with both a new Metroid sidescroller and a brand new 2d Mario platformer on a console… I still can’t quite wrap my head around that one. It’s been too long since Mario World!

  6. “I know games aren’t for kids anymore”

    Says who? 34 year old jaded man-children? Videogames are for everyone (men, women, boys, girls, young and old).

  7. I know people are going to say that my comment doesn’t make any sense, because I used the term, “Man-Children” in my sentence. Maybe I should have just said this instead, “34 year old jaded wannabe journalist”. Yeah, but, I still think that anybody can play videogames. It’s not just for 34 year old men.

  8. I’m glad to see a positive look at Mario Galaxy 2, the reception the sequel is getting on the rest of the intertubes is lukewarm at best. Which just baffles me, since people have been clamoring for a sequel since the original Galaxy came out.

  9. Lain, your passive-aggressive snark attack would have had more impact if I’d been the one who wrote that about games not being for kids.

  10. I think of all the games shown, the two Mario games are my most anticipated. I think when it’s all said and done, the Wii will have more great Nintendo games than any other Nintendo console. It’s just that we demand too much all at the same time. It seems like we’ll be getting at least two games in the big three (Mario, Metroid, Zelda.

  11. There is definitely a segment of the gamer population that is post-Mario. It is hard to argue with the sales of Mario games , especially New Super Mario Bros and Mario Kart. Mario games have particular relevance as “starter” games for a system. It will be interesting to see how Nintendo’s greatly modified sequels, Wii Sports Resort and the two new Mario titles, will fare compared to their predecessors.

  12. Pretty much every other developer out there sells full price map packs these days (oh hello Gears 2, CoD:WaW, endless list of sequels) and most of them are received well, so I can’t see why anyone should dismiss Galaxy 2, unless they happen to be hypocritical cynics. I guess you could also have not enjoyed the first Galaxy, but then you’d be a heartless, evil, hate filled bastard and I don’t want to know you.

  13. Hey, this is what happens when Nintendo has a console as successful as the NES/Famicom for so long without comparably successful competition: sequels on the same console since they aren’t too busy trying to keep up with the Joneses with the next big technology. The last time they did that, they made SUPER MARIO BROS. 3, ONE OF THE GREATEST GAMES OF ALL TIME.

    I’ve been reading all of these cynical blog comments about these, about how Nintendo isn’t putting as much effort into Galaxy 2, or that NSMB is just an upscaled DS game with no online multiplayer. Nintendo seriously just can’t please these people, no matter what they do. Have these people PLAYED a 2D Mario game? Have these people SEEN how hugely and consistently NSMB has sold ever since it was released? I don’t know what Nintendo needs to do in terms of game announcements to appease these people, but these games are going to be great and sell like crazy.

  14. Super Mario Galaxy 2? Ok… though I never finished part 1… Multiplayer 2d Mario? No thanks.

  15. Getting the announcements of four new Mario games on shelves soon (well, one is digital, technically) definitely made Nintendo’s E3 for me. Metroid just made it even better. So much joy, so much love, and so much to look forward to.

    And it will be nice to finally have a Mario game the wife and I can play together. Sure, Galaxy’s pointer was a nice concession, but really. This has me excited.

  16. Galaxy is what convinced me to buy a launch Wii so many years ago already(foolish me thought I’d get in that six month launch window). I got the game and loved it. And I was amazed to see the sequel announced after they showed NSMB:Wii. I’m right there with Anthony when it comes to real Mario games, I just get slack-jawed. I’m really pumped to play NSMB:Wii with three pals this winter, and whenever I get Galaxy 2 I know I’ll devote more time to it than I should.

    And there’s that new Metroid too. . .

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