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An interesting idea that’s always been in the back of my mind is the concept of a ‘open world’ Mario game. After all, the very thought of exploring the world of Super Mario has always fascinated me. Yet we have never been able to fully explore what the world of Mushroom Kingdom. Yes, the vast majority of people can instantly recognize the world but has always been separated into different lands. Almost like each game had its own independent universe that was deeply rooted within the Mushroom Kingdom.
If one were to take small pieces from the many Mario games, it could be very easy for anyone to imagine how this could be crafted. Combining the exploration of Super Mario Sunshine’s tropical resort of Isle Delfino hub and the condensed, yet optional star questing charm of Super Mario 64, and have something that allows players the easy to know where to go without it being overwhelming. Followed by the fragrant stories of Paper Mario and you have just a taste of what an open world Mario game can be like.
Super Mario 3D World producer Yoshiaku Koizumi explained if there’s a sufficient demand could push the franchise in that direction.
“I don’t know if we can consider Super Mario 64 as an open world game, but I think Super Mario Sunshine is more consistent with that definition because of the city and entire worlds to explore. Our main standpoint with Super Mario is to ensure that players always know where to go.
It’s for this reason that we have given great importance on the placement and visibility of the flags, particularly in Super Mario 3D World . Again, as creators, we want a large number of people to be able to play and enjoy the game, so it’s sort of our duty to ensure that the objectives are clear to everyone. However, if a very large number of players expressed the desire for a more open Mario, we would take that request very seriously.” — Yoshiaku Koizumi