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This trailer for the new Mario game is better than most new Mario games

By Matt Gerardi • October 1, 2013

The undeniable star of this morning’s Nintendo Direct, the awkward monthly-ish internet show from the Big N, was the new trailer for the upcoming Super Mario 3D World. Only time will tell if this promise makes it to the actual game, which will come to the Wii U in November, but this clip has all the energy, imagination, and quirk that has been missing from recent Mario games—with the exception of 3D World’s predecessor, Super Mario 3D Land.

Let’s start from the top. In what feels like bald-faced mockery of those recent lackluster Mario adventures, the trailer opens with a scene drenched in their saccharine sheen. The sugary staccato music underscores Mario and friends’ discovery of a fairy who probably belongs to a forgotten race of beings who somehow hold the fate of the world in their tiny, shimmering hands—because this is a Mario game. Then, with a cymbal crash and classic big band drums backing him up, Bowser shows up and kidnaps the thing. That drum beat, and the fantastic big band tune that follows, never lets up and propels us through scene after scene of weird, new Mario ideas.

A few stray observations: Mario can turn into a cat and stalk rabbits. Mario can inhabit the hollowed-out corpse of a goomba and chill with other goombas. Mario can pick up cherries that cause him to split into multiple simultaneously-controlled Marios. Mario can bobsled around in a giant ice skate (which Derrick Sanskrit has already dubbed “Kuribo’s Ice Skate”). Mario can harness the power of piranha plants for his own use. Bowser has a really sweet car. And the craziest revelation of all: In this bold new 3D world, traditional mushroom-looking goombas co-exist with the weird chestnut-looking goombas from Super Mario World. Now that’s just not natural.

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67 Responses to “This trailer for the new Mario game is better than most new Mario games”

  1. DrFlimFlam says:

    I was going to say, HEY! TAKE THAT BACK!, but then you said except for Super Mario 3D Land, which I thought was a pleasant but slight offering.

    Until my son beat the game and an entire second world of howling agony and laughing koopas was unveiled.


    • That second quest is the real game, everything before it is just a very pretty tutorial.

    • Matt Gerardi says:

      Yeah, I really love 3D Land. That second world is some rough stuff. Not only is it way harder and more interesting than the entire first half of the game, but it even has new power-ups and design ideas that weren’t in the first half. Good stuff. 

      • Chalkdust says:

        The thing I loved about 3D Land is the kind of ‘bite-sized’ nature of each stage, wherein they would take two or three of a dozen different design elements and combine them, and explore all the variations and beats you’d get out of it.  Each level can be described along the lines of, “donut blocks + timed”, “flip panels + bullets”, “verticality + spring rope”, “ghosts + rotating floors”, “pendulums + climbing fence”, etc.

        And early impressions I’ve heard for 3D World suggests they continue this focused stage design philosophy.

        • Matt Gerardi says:

          Yep. I played a bit of it at E3. It’s very similar. My only concern is trying to play it with a Wii Remote felt a little weird because you’re navigating 3D space with a d-pad. Not a great feeling.

          But Cat Mario is awesome. He can dive-kick.

  2. Chalkdust says:

    Oh man, that music!  Give me now!

  3. Mike Mariano says:

    In the beginning, Mario and Luigi are literally hitting the clear pipe.  It’s not just mushrooms getting them big anymore.

    Also, this was a real joy to watch and reminded me how much fun I had with Super Mario 3D Land.

  4. Aurora Boreanaz says:

    HEY!  I haven’t been that excited to see a new Mario game since Galaxy!  Looks like a lot of fun.

    • Girard says:

      This actually looks genuinely imaginative, fun, and strange. My “buy a Wii-U-o meter” just experienced a tiny uptick from slightly-below-zero to -slightly-above-zero!

  5. Cloks says:

    This looks very similar to the time my friend let me know that he had just given me hashish and I played Mario.

  6. Spacemonkey Mafia says:

    That does look pretty great. Though I have to say there’s something about a meowing, cat Mario that gives me the same feeling of existential queasiness as if I were to accidentally see my grandma naked.

  7. indy2003 says:

    I can’t wait for this one. Fortunately I have Rayman Legends scratching my “ridiculously colorful and inventive platforming” itch at the moment, but this will be a Day 1 purchase for me.

  8. patagonianhorsesnake says:

    you know, i’ve always had the feeling that, his many defeats aside, bowser just loves doing his job. he’s always having a good time.

    • DrFlimFlam says:

      It’s true. He even returns after death to shoot white/purple plasma at Mario because he loves his job that much.

  9. KingGunblader says:

    When Bowser appeared and Peach was still on screen after he left, I knew this game was going to be something special.

    • boardgameguy says:

      and yet, a damsel in distress was still created with that little weird fairy thing. but i’m happy to see it looks like there is an option of variable character powers and choice, similar to NES SMB2

      EDIT: Chalkdust beat me by an hour to this comment. See below.

  10. rvb1023 says:

    Oh how I wish for a proper 3D Mario game again, with exploration and the like. While this game looks miles better than the New series it kind of irks me seeing intricate 3D environments that I assume most of them could be pushed flat and played as a sidescroller.

    Still, good to see Peach back in the action and Bowser yukking it up like he does best. Loving the stylish new car.

    • SamPlays says:

      A lot of the levels look like they’re 3D but the camera often looks like it’s fixed in a quasi-isometric view. Not sure how I feel about that. I hated Q-Bert. I hated Marble Madness. I hated Sonic 3D. Isometric is not my video game forte.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      To be honest I vastly prefer the Galaxy games “obstacle course” design to the “open world” design of previous 3D Marios. The 2D ones were always bites of perfect platforming, and while the exploration type stuff is pretty fun, I think the crazy platforming sections and variety in the later 3D Marios is a lot more satisfying than wondering what to do next or fiddling around trying to find the right fruit for Yoshi or whatever.

      Also did you see him running around the level select screen? I’m hoping that means there will be little secret nooks and multiple exits and stuff. This game looks fantastic. I’m reeeeally excited about it now. Maybe even enough to buy a WiiU eventually!

  11. aklab says:

    Playable Peach! 

    • Chalkdust says:

       All characters with unique properties!  They all mirror the Super Mario Brothers 2 mechanics, where Luigi jumps higher, Toad is fast but has shorter jumps, and Peach can float.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      Yeah, they had to leverage the full might of an HD console processor to handle those intensely complicated “skirt physics”.

  12. Boonehams says:

    I also liked the trailer for Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.  It’s just a shame that Birdo’s not in it.  She was warned, but she still showed up at the games wearing a rainbow pin and is now in a Russian prison.

  13. Sa3ad says:

    A small aside: Did you know that Napoleon had a younger brother named Luigi (French name Louis, Dutch name Lodewijk)? He was King of Holland for about four years until Napoleon forced him to abdicate. See, even in the 19th century, Luigi had to play second fiddle to his more prominent older sibling! Whether they ever experimented with mushrooms and went parkouring on the rooftops of Paris together is sadly not mentioned in the annals of history.

  14. GaryX says:

    I’m still so confused by the “3D” game being not on the system with the 3D in the title, which is further confused by their now being a 2D version of that 3D system. Please take some time to think about your naming conventions, Nintendo.

    • Girard says:

      Taking your concerns into consideration, we have elected to rename the upcoming title thusly:

      New Super 3-Duper Mario 2-D-Frooty Bros. Brawl

      We hope your confusion is alleviated!

      • SamPlays says:

        But it’ll only get confusing again once you start putting out the follow-up editions like New Super 3-Duper Mario 2-D-Frooty Bros. Brawl: Championship Edition; Super New Super 3-Duper Mario 2-D-Frooty Bros. Brawl; Super New Super 3-Duper Mario 2-D-Frooty Bros. Brawl Turbo; Hyper New Super 3-Duper Mario 2-D-Frooty Bros. Brawl: Anniversary Edition; and Super New Super 3-Duper Mario 2-D-Frooty Bros. Brawl Turbo HD Remix.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      Well, it’s like the series was always called “Super Mario” and then Nintendo put out the Super NES but still had Super Mario games on Gameboy and… my head hurts. 

      At least they’re consistently slightly confusing?

    • stepped_pyramids says:

      Yeah, I’m not clear on whether this is a “mainline” Mario game in the vein of 64, Sunshine, Galaxy, etc. or whether this is to be considered the second entry in a new subseries started by Super Mario 3D Land.

      And where the New Super Mario games come in I don’t begin to understand anymore.

      Don’t get me wrong, I still really want to play it.

      • ghettojourno says:

        This can be considered a “mainline” super mario game, but has the potential to be a subgroup like the New Super series became.

  15. Sa3ad says:

    So let me get this straight Mr. Miyamoto. I’m supposed to boil Bowser’s hide in lava for the horrible crime of putting a fairy in a bottle, but when I play the Zelda games, I’m greatly rewarded for doing much the same. All I’m asking for is some moral consistency here.

  16. Godots17thCup says:

    If only every Mario platformer could be handled by this team, the New series might actually be something more than just a competent, soulless time-killer.

  17. Citric says:

    Good a place to ask as any, I might ask again later in the week: Is 3D Land an essential 3DS purchase? Any other things a recent 3DS owner should get, other than Layton, Luigi’s Mansion and OoT (since I already have those)? I’m going to get the most out of this hardware, dammit!

    The trailer kind of makes me want to get this, but then I’d have to buy a Wii U…

    • Sa3ad says:

      It’s one of the best games on the console in my opinion, despite the less than optimal control stick making it harder than it needs to be at times. Is there no demo for it?

      • Citric says:

        No demo. There IS a demo for the new Phoenix Wright, and while I’m a bit pumped for that, I’d be more pumped for that if I was caught up on the series.

        • Sa3ad says:

          That’s a shame, it would’ve been great if you had the opportunity to try it out before deciding whether to purchase it or no… Wait, what did you say about there being a demo available for the Phoenix Wright game? 
          *Scuttles off to find his 3DS*

        • Unexpected Dave says:


          Apollo Justice is a very good game overall, but not without problems.

    • Chalkdust says:

      If not essential, then very highly recommended.  The 3DS is also home to some excellent niche RPG titles (the Shin Megami Tensei and Etrian Odyssey franchises, and though I can’t personally vouch for them, Harvest Moon/Rune Factory), some delightful download-only games (Mighty Switch Force, Attack of the Friday Monsters, Pushmo/Crashmo, Picross), and of course the slate of first-party releases.  Donkey Kong Country, a just-announced new Kirby game, the new Zelda, and so on.

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

        Is there a place for gameologicians to exchange friend codes anywhere? I’m currently hyping myself up to buy myself a 3DS for my birthday later this month and am kinda wondering if people play games together and stuff.

        • Citric says:

          Get the XL! The bigger screens are beautiful.

        • DrFlimFlam says:

          The big sell on the XL for me is battery life.

          I really should put my Friend Code somewhere that isn’t the back alley that is What Are You Playing This Weekend?

      • I do so hereby fully endorse Attack of the Friday Monsters. I cannot wholeheartedly stand behind the Picross e titles as neither of the NA releases so far have lasted me a whole week. Come on, Jupiter, just give me a full cart of nonogram goodness.

  18. Andy Tuttle says:

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!! That’s how excited I am.

  19. axel foliage says:

    This trailer is enough to make me consider buying a Wii U next Christmas on black Friday if it is conveniently cheaper online!  All jokes aside, Mario as a Cat?!  Sign me up!

  20. Matt Koester says:

    It’s too bad Nintendo made Super Mario Galaxy six years ago, because after that everything graphically and thematically feels like a huge step down. Can you imagine how beautiful an HD Mario Galaxy would be? Criminally. 

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      you should check out the Dolphin, the Wii emulator. Some of those games look fantastic pumped up to high resolutions.