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 What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)

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Balladeer
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PostSubject: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptyFri 7 May 2021 - 20:51

What's Next?


In this thread, every fortnight-ish, I (or whoever else) present a games franchise sort of thing.  It could be one that's tailed off a bit recently (Yoshi, Star Fox); it could be one that seems to be dead in the water (F-Zero, Dead Space); it could even be one that's gone really well, where its next location is a bit uncertain (Smash Bros., Mass Effect).  I will definitely be taking suggestions.  Then, hopefully we'll discuss: What's Next?  Or rather, what we think should be next for that series: what the next game, or games, should be like.  Should it go in the same style, or different?  Should it be given to somebody else?  Should it be allowed to die a graceful death?  Hopefully it'll be fun.  If not... well, it'll die on its arse, and that'll be that.


To start things off, therefore:

What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) ?u=https%3A%2F%2Fd1lss44hh2trtw.cloudfront.net%2Fassets%2Feditorial%2F2019%2F01%2Fnew-super-bario-bros-u-deluxe-review-one

2D Mario!  The general consensus seems to be that the New Super Mario Bros. style of games has more than had its day.  The question, though, is: what should flat Mario do next?  Should it change its art style?  Should it get new talent on board, or a different developer?  Should it focus on single-player or multiplayer?  Are you actually still a fan of the NSMB style, 'wah wah's and all?  Should Mario and friends get chainguns to run around with?  Or should 2D Mario just die, with the Super Mario 3D Locale and Maker sub-series filling that role?  Over to you!

Last 6 games:
 


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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptySat 8 May 2021 - 9:32

...and I guess I should start off by giving my thoughts so this doesn't die on its arse straight away.

I think 2D Mario needs to go down one of two routes. Route one is to die, and I'd be okay with that. I think the Mario 3D sub-series fills the niche well enough, being the true extensions of 2D Mario into 3D as opposed to Odyssey et al. I actually think that even they need to do something new, with maybe a new art style or something for the next game - or just not backloading all the creativity. (Yes Bowser's Fury was something new, well spotted; but it was loaded with something old.)

The other route is a complete revamp. Focus on developing a premium single-player experience that looks nothing like the NSMBs, and feels nothing like them either. (Replaying NSMBU I'm finding Mario/Toad oddly slow starters, with a sense of starting momentum I don't much care for.) I wouldn't mind seeing it go back to sprite-based visuals: something that looks like Octopath would be lovely.

As for the new power-up, how about a kitsune suit to go up against the tanuki suit? Every time you get a new one, you get more powers, up to nine: get hit once and you lose the whole thing.
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gjones
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptySat 8 May 2021 - 15:05

I've played the DS, Wii and Wii-U iterations and my main criticism is that they feel a bit loose compared to actual 2D Mario (ie. your Super Mario World, Super Mario Land...). Mario feels too much like N64 Mario shoehorned into a 2D plane. He's chunky and his interactions are suitably satisfying, but it still feels a bit clumsy. It's hard to convey it, but there's a reason I adore the recent Rayman games, but am not arsed about this series.

I like the idea of a complete revamp. Mario Maker has effectively mastered the 2D Mario formula - where else is there to go? Super Paper Mario was an excellent game and it would be good to see that puzzle platforming return. Like Donkey Kong 94 but on a console - that would be incredible. Move away from the "run to the end of the level" model and towards a Hitman-esque "find the end of the level" with various ways to make your way out.

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The Cappuccino Kid
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptySun 9 May 2021 - 9:19

I'd like to see a complete revamp too. New Super Mario Bros.'s issue is that while it's high on comfort, it's low on thrills, and the replay value of that type of game diminished each time they brought out yet another one. A total revamp that has the same level of playfulness, imagination and technical impressiveness as Super Mario Odyssey or Super Mario 3D World is what I'd like to see next. It's not like Nintendo can't do this - they write the best loveletters to videogames when they push themselves and when they let their creativity flow.

I think a new 2D Mario isn't far away. They'd reintroduced 2D Mario (2006's New Super Mario Bros.) sixteen years after the last one (Super Mario World), and now it's fifteen years past that. That's nearly a generation. They'll surely be wanting to reintroduce this type of accessible and all-round-fun game to new people? I'd hope so, but with new art, new ideas and new ambitions.
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptySun 9 May 2021 - 15:18

I've played all of those New Super Marioses, but I couldn't tell you which level was in which game - it really was over-saturation. But, without trying to just repeated what you learned people have just written, Super Mario Maker did a good job of breaking the rules and subverting things, and Nintendo have started going in weird new directions, so I think the next side-on Mario will be something completely different. I like Mr. Jones' "find the goal" idea (Wario Land 4, remember that?). How about we ditch the map screen and have a side-on continuous open world? Like a 2D Bowser's Fury?
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptySun 9 May 2021 - 17:19

@Jimbob wrote:
How about we ditch the map screen and have a side-on continuous open world? Like a 2D Bowser's Fury?

Like a Metroidvania? A Mariotroidvania.
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptySun 9 May 2021 - 19:01

I'd be up for a Marioidvania. Heck, make him have to unlock the Fire Flower permanently, to light torches to open doors (really duff use of a Mario item but you get the idea). I'd also be up for a remake of DK94, since I never played it and everybody raves about it! Nintendo seems to be dipping into its Game Boy catalogue now (see Link's Awakening), so it's not impossible.

@The Cappuccino Kid wrote:
I'd like to see a complete revamp too. New Super Mario Bros.'s issue is that while it's high on comfort, it's low on thrills, and the replay value of that type of game diminished each time they brought out yet another one. A total revamp that has the same level of playfulness, imagination and technical impressiveness as Super Mario Odyssey or Super Mario 3D World is what I'd like to see next. It's not like Nintendo can't do this - they write the best loveletters to videogames when they push themselves and when they let their creativity flow.

I think a new 2D Mario isn't far away. They'd reintroduced 2D Mario (2006's New Super Mario Bros.) sixteen years after the last one (Super Mario World), and now it's fifteen years past that. That's nearly a generation. They'll surely be wanting to reintroduce this type of accessible and all-round-fun game to new people? I'd hope so, but with new art, new ideas and new ambitions.

It feels like the idea of the original release of NSMB was to combine the nostalgia of 2D Mario with the more accessible and (if we're being cruel) slightly sterilised feel of a lot of games from the Wii era. That's where the 'high on comfort, low on thrills' thing you highlight comes from I reckon. The Switch feels like a move away from that feel, so hopefully you're right and they're about to bring out an all-new 2D Mario style to fit the all-new machine style.
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptySun 9 May 2021 - 19:54

I'm not sure if 2D Mario would ever venture into Metroidvania territory because that seems a bit too niche a genre (i.e. not as immediately accessible as its current iterations), though if they made traversal across a large map reasonably easy then maybe it wouldn't be a problem.

I would fucking love it though. There is a vast catalogue of power-ups in the Mario universe and I think they could use them to great effect in the Metroidvania style of gameplay, as you say. It's all about being able to reach new areas, so fire flower for lighting up dark areas, spring for bouncing up to high ledges, drill for creating new paths between areas, cape for drifting over updrafts... you could even have mushrooms that echo Samus's shinespark dash ability. It would be lush.
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptyTue 11 May 2021 - 12:13

I mostly agree with Cappa, GJones and Jim (though I don't agree with the idea of a Marioidvania).

I think Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is the best blueprint for what I want: bombastic action, inventive design and gorgeous graphics.

I think the main thing I want is just a new art style. With the best Mario games, one look at Mario tells you exactly what game you're looking at. SMB, SMB2, SMB3 and SMBW all had really distinctive sprite work, SM64 was that first 3D one, Sunshine has the short sleeves and that shiny look, Galaxy has that plasticine vibe and the lighting, Odyssey has costumes and that animated movement . . .

On the other hand, the Mario in one of the NSMB games looks like the Mario from a sports spin-off, or a children's birthday card, or a generic promotional image. It's default Mario. Give me a gorgeous 2D Mario like a Paper Mario, or a real denim look like a Smash. Give me a really recognisable Mario!
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptyThu 13 May 2021 - 14:37

This might sound mad as its Mario, but I'd kinda like to see what Ubisoft could do with the game with the Ubiart engine.

As my fav 2D Mario is Yoshi Island, and I'd kinda like an HD style one of those like we're seeing with Alex Kidd etc and I think what we've seen of the Ubiart engine that can do some lovely 2D.
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptyThu 13 May 2021 - 15:59

No.

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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptyThu 13 May 2021 - 16:10

Okay the engine Wayforward uses then.
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptyThu 13 May 2021 - 17:37

I mostly associated WayForward with Shantae's shiny mammaries.  I'm sure they could make Mario look nice, but is that the nice-looking art style we want?  Peach in a bikini?  (Don't answer that Buska.)  Also I've only played the one Shantae game, but I didn't think she felt very nice to control.  

I think we're all agreed that they need to do something with the art though.  (See also: Mario sports titles.  When was the last one of those that looked special?)

A thought.  Maybe they need to transport Mario somewhere that isn't the Mushroom Kingdom?  If I recall correctly all the NSMBs use that as their backdrop.  Maybe there could be a themed world.  Fantasy Mario that looks like the Bayeux Tapestry (no swords though, this isn't Sonic)?  Cyberpunk-ish Mario drenched in neon?  Mario crashlanding into another Nintendo franchise?
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptySun 16 May 2021 - 10:05

@masofdas wrote:
Okay the engine Wayforward uses then.

This is acceptable.

@Balladeer wrote:
I mostly associated WayForward with Shantae's shiny mammaries.  I'm sure they could make Mario look nice, but is that the nice-looking art style we want?
I would imagine Mas was thinking stuff like Mighty Switch Force or their Batman game on the Wii which I think was quite well received.

Quote :
 Peach in a bikini?

What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) 1*u25ThuKumIgL76lO61nkYQ
Odyssey already did it.
Speaking of Odyssey though . . .
Quote :
 Maybe there could be a themed world.  Fantasy Mario that looks like the Bayeux Tapestry (no swords though, this isn't Sonic)?  Cyberpunk-ish Mario drenched in neon?  Mario crashlanding into another Nintendo franchise?
This is kind of how Odyssey's kingdoms felt, and yes, that is exactly what I want in a 2D Mario.
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptySun 16 May 2021 - 17:39

How about a halfway house between Wayforward's boob-o-vision and Ubi-Art's French-o-colour - give it to LizardCube - the peeps that made Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap. They get a lot of personality out of small sprites I reckon.
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptySun 16 May 2021 - 18:04

I'd be down with that or Dotemu (is it that) who did SoR4, basically a modern take on Yoshi Island.


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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptyMon 17 May 2021 - 14:17

If we want to hand Mario over to someone else (which, by the way, I don't think we should) the best platformers of recent years have been indies. Let's see what the Celeste dev, or Yacht Club, or Team Meat can do.
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptyMon 17 May 2021 - 16:23

Wayforward is an indie, just a big one.

It isn't even really handing Mario over to someone else, but Nintendo do that sometimes Capcom with Zelda, more of who does that style as Nintendo themselves haven't for ages.
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptyMon 17 May 2021 - 20:28

I'd completely forgotten that WayForward ever did a Batman game - which does, to be fair, look quite nice! Mighty Switch Force doesn't do it for me so much. The Celeste dev... You can guess my feelings about that.

Also, more generally, I would be up for a new hand at the tiller with 2D Mario. With the exception of Donkey Kong, I don't think Nintendo franchises in general have produced a truly great 2D platformer since Kirby's Epic Yarn on the Wii. The further the developer from Ninty with this one, perhaps, the better.

@Buskalilly wrote:
Quote :
 Maybe there could be a themed world.  Fantasy Mario that looks like the Bayeux Tapestry (no swords though, this isn't Sonic)?  Cyberpunk-ish Mario drenched in neon?  Mario crashlanding into another Nintendo franchise?
This is kind of how Odyssey's kingdoms felt, and yes, that is exactly what I want in a 2D Mario.

That would absolutely be great, but I don't think we'd get that level of budget and innovation splashed on an in-house-developed 2D Mario sadly. I was thinking about one of those themes applying over the whole game, and I'd settle for that.
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptyTue 18 May 2021 - 18:39

All this chat about great 2D platformers in recent years makes me want to see Super Mario receive it's Sonic Mania game. Give me a blend of nostalgia with fresh new levels and design. Take what fans already love and add new things to it that make it feel like an totally new experience. Familiar, aye, but different. 

Something like that is absolutely in Nintendo's grasp. I think they could probably wing it, to be honest.
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptyWed 19 May 2021 - 3:11

I haven't played it, but isn't that what the pre-loaded levels in Super Mario Maker 2 kind of are?
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptyWed 19 May 2021 - 20:03

@Buskalilly wrote:
I haven't played it, but isn't that what the pre-loaded levels in Super Mario Maker 2 kind of are?

Kind of, aye. That said, many of those levels were a bit gimmicky, interestingly twisted but often played for laughs rather than true playability. Sonic Mania had loads that was immediately recognisable, but very little felt reused.
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptyWed 19 May 2021 - 20:12

In addition to the gimmickyness that Cappa mentions, (I haven't played much of it but) SMM2's campaign feels like what would happen if you take that 'different theme for each world thing to its logical conclusion, i.e. a bit disjointed and awkward.  I ought to give the rest of it another go sometime, but I'm not expecting it to be the answer to this thread's question.

I'm less sure whether Nintendo could wing the Sonic Mania approach.  'A blend of nostalgia with fresh new levels and design' feels like what New Super Mario Bros. was, and I know a lot of us were keen for the game before the style was overused but it didn't work for me.  The nostalgia seemed to hamstring the freshness, to the point where it felt like a remake of a game from the NES era rather than something new, or even something taking the best up to that point (Super Mario World) and building from there.  Maybe with a younger team?
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptyThu 20 May 2021 - 2:30

Well the trick with Sonic Mania was that it was made by fans.
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PostSubject: Re: What's Next? (for... Smash Bros.)   What's Next?  (for... Smash Bros.) EmptyFri 21 May 2021 - 22:47

Hopefully a younger team would be fans too!

Aside:
 
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