Super Mario Odyssey is launching tomorrow, marking a new era for the Mario franchise, Our favorite plumber started from being a classic hero trying to save a princess and is now heading off to new adventures, this time traveling the world in his ship Odyssey. Super Mario Odyssey Director Kenta Motokura and producer and Nintendo executive Yoshiaki Koizumi took some time to talk to Joshua Rivera of GQ about why Mario is a franchise that fans will always find special and won’t outgrow it.
Koizumi and Motokura both believe that Mario games are different than any other platformer game because players always have to do something new instead of just going forward towards the ending. Mario games were also implementing more to their gameplay than just collecting stuff and jumping around and that’s something Super Mario Odyssey is achieving masterfully.
With Cappy added to Super Mario Odyssey, Mario is able to have more abilities giving the title a handful of new things to try. Motokura explained how the idea of Cappy occurred by saying the following:
At the beginning of development, one of the themes impressed on us by Mr. Koizumi was using the Joy-Con for different player actions. One thing that was very natural was the idea of throwing something. So we chose something that was already familiar to players for Mario to throw, so that they would have a sense of empathy and a sense of connection—we decided Mario would just throw his own cap.
One more thing that makes Mario games different is the fact that it always had a sense of humor in it. This mostly happens because the creators want their games to have “extra range to emotions” where a player can feel when Mario is scared or sad or finds himself in a dangerous situation. All these mixed with a bit of humor is what made Mario our most favorite video game character.
When asked about why platformer games are not that popular and tend to be underestimated in America Motokura both explained that Mario games always have this variety of things to do that most platformer games are lacking. As Motokura stated:
Players can try different things and when they do, the game reacts in some way. So there’s some kind of relationship between what the player does and what the game gives back.
Super Mario Odyssey’s Director finished by saying that Mario games won’t be outgrown by fans since the franchise always brings something new with each game and that’s what players want from their games.