According to GameRankings.com, Super Mario Galaxy is the most critically acclaimed videogame of all time. Only the second game from Nintendo’s now-famous EAD Tokyo team upon its release in 2007, Galaxy serves as somewhat of a crown jewel in the Wii’s casual-centric catalog, as well as the ultimate ammunition for Nintendo fans looking to defend the Wii in arguments or in general conversation. Its 2010 sequel proved to be equally as charming and imaginative, further cementing the sub-series’ sterling reputation.
It should come as both a thrill and a sigh of relief to fans, then, to hear Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto himself hint that the Galaxy series does indeed have a future. In a recent interview with Game Informer, he had this to say when asked why the upcoming Super Mario 3D World is a good fit for Wii U.
What we tried to do with Super Mario 3D Land, was try to create a Mario game that was set in a 3D world that fell somewhere between the openness of the Galaxy games and the sidescrolling of the New Super Mario Bros. games to create a 3D Mario game that a wider array of people could play. And we felt that, with Super Mario 3D Land, we managed to achieve that. So, what we wanted to do was extend that broader appealing 3D Mario game to Wii U in a way that allow more people to experience it. That’s what we chose for Super Mario 3D World this time. But we still have, obviously, the Galaxy series, and there’s a possibility that in the future we may look to explore what else we can do with the Galaxy series. For us, it was really about trying to find the right 3D Mario space in which we’re going to allow the widest audience to play.
Aha! So there was some logic behind Super Mario 3D World‘s creation after all. Frankly, I’m more than thrilled with how that game is looking so far, and the idea of finally melding 3D Mario’s less-linear nature with the structure and mayhem of multiplayer 2D Mario sounds like a match made in heaven. That said, I do understand the the disappointment felt by fans when there wasn’t a shiny new Galaxy game waiting at E3. It’s almost reminiscent of when Nintendo decided to go with the DS instead of releasing a new Game Boy; how could they abandon such a strong brand in the prime of its existence?
Miyamoto further hinted at Galaxy‘s eventual return in a later response, stating that “there’s still a lot of possibilities that we can explore” in regard to single-player Mario games, and that Nintendo will “probably go back to that again at some point.”
As long as Super Mario Galaxy doesn’t go the way of the Game Boy, then I’m all for 3D World and whatever else EAD Tokyo dreams up in the meantime.