) is justifying the release of another side-scrolling,
two-dimensional Mario game by claiming that it is what consumers
want. But is that actually the case? Takashi Tezuka, a veteran
producer at Nintendo, told
that all of the similarities within New Super Mario Bros. U are
"The things we feel like we've already promised the gamer is
that Peach will be kidnapped by Bowser, and Mario will move from
left to right," he said. "We know that's what people are
Tezuka went on to say that this game is "what people
He may be right in assuming that New Super Mario Bros. U is
. But is that actually what they want?
, the original New Super Mario Bros. game ranks 22nd with a
review score average of 89.17%. If we exclude Mario no Super
Picross (an obscure Japanese import with only one review) from
the list, New Super Mario Bros. would rank 21st.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the first sequel in the "New" Mario
series, ranks 25th with a review score average of 88.12%.
However, the most acclaimed Mario games do not fall within the
predictable, side-scrolling scenario that Tezuka described. Super
Mario Galaxy, which became the most critically acclaimed Mario
game when it was released in 2007, provided consumers with a
wholly unique experience. Its review score average of 97.49% is
higher than any other game released on Nintendo Wii.
Super Mario Galaxy 2, which achieved a review score average of
97.12%, ranks second among Mario games reviewed on
But Super Mario World -- the final side-scrolling Mario game
released until New Super Mario Bros. arrived -- ranks third with
a review score average of 96%.
The rest of the top five is rounded out by another 3D Mario
game, Super Mario 64 (95.95%), and another 2D Mario game, Super
Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (95%).
, the top five highest-ranked Mario games include the first Mario
Galaxy (97%), its sequel (also 97%), Mario 64 (94%), Super Mario
Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (94%), and Paper Mario (93%).
Meanwhile, New Super Mario Bros. achieved a Metacritic average
of 89%. New Super Mario Bros. Wii scored 87%.
From a critical standpoint, it is clear that people enjoy 2D
Mario games. But they tend to like the 3D offerings a little bit
In terms of sales, however, it would seem that consumers
prefer Mario's 2D outings. The original Super Mario Galaxy sold
10 million units
. Its sequel moved
more than 6.7 million units
. Super Mario 64, the first 3D Mario game, sold
nearly 12 million units
. Super Mario 64 DS (a handheld port) sold another
9.6 million units
By comparison, New Super Mario Bros. sold more than
28 million units
, while New Super Mario Bros. Wii sold more than
25 million units
Only Mario 64 and Mario 64 DS were released at the launch of
their respective devices, so it is hard to gauge how the
installed user base may have impacted the sales of these games.
New Super Mario Bros., for example, arrived on store shelves more
than 18 months after the Nintendo DS was released. New Super
Mario Bros. Wii arrived a full three years after the Wii console
But even if the installed user base played a role in the
success of the New Super Mario Bros. franchise, the reality is
that these games are still much more profitable for Nintendo.
The only question now, however, is whether or not that success
can continue when a 2D Mario game is released at a console's
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