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Super Mario 3D Land Will Feature SpotPass Support

sm3lspot.jpgAfter months of tenuous support and early-adopter woes, the 3DS community is still raucously rallying around a few key titles to justify their investment, and one of those is the iconic Super Mario 3D Land. In the N64 era and before, Nintendo launches have had Mario as a flagship launch title, but in this case they've chosen to wait for a plumber-studded showing during the holiday season. Regardless of how you feel about their launch strategy, it's becoming more clear that Nintendo is putting a lot of their best ideas into their Mario title.

One such idea comes from Japanese marketing boxes for the game, just revealed by Andriasang. After plenty of Nintendo titles not featuring the 3DS' full functionality, Super Mario 3D Land will have SpotPass support. What this means is that folks who purchase the big title will have the opportunity to register its data in their systems, then to share items with other 3DS gamers they pass on the street.

The other icon on the back of the box is a P-Wing block, which is apparently similar to the Assist Blocks that appeared in New Super Mario Bros. Wii as a way of increasing difficulty while enabling casual players to get a chance to see the whole game. It's not yet clear what these P-Wing blocks will do, but Miyamoto has referenced SMB3 a few times so far; a title in which the P-Wing block could allow skipping an entire level. (In the original game, this could backfire if the player dies after the handicap, as they would be reset to before the skipped level.) Besides the iconic powerup, there's little indication as to how the game-changing assist will work in this new title.

There are plenty of titles both big and niche for the 3DS this year--from Mario Kart to Cave Story. Seeing new features in a flagship title such as Super Mario 3D Land gives me hope that the rest of them will be just as rich!

2 Comments

raindog469 said:

I'm really kind of bummed that I came into Mario fandom when I did. I played the first game in arcades and on the NES and thought it was fun, but got bored of just running to the right, enough that I never played the sequels. The next time I touched a Mario game was Super Mario Sunshine, and I still think it might be the best of the series -- there are some linear bits, but the game was dozens if not hundreds of hours of exploration, like a Zelda game as a platformer, letting me complete quests in almost any order I wanted. It made me a Mario fan, so when I played Mario 64 on the DS, it made me very excited for future installments in the series.

Then Galaxy came out, and it still had multiple stars in each area, but there was essentially no hub world (not like Delfino Plaza) and it was a little more linear. It was a letdown. Galaxy 2 was better, but still continued that progression, and now the 3DS one is so linear that the concept of "skipping a level" actually means something? I know many fans consider Sunshine to be the low point of the series, but with other platformers losing their exploratory qualities too (Jak and Daxter, Spyro, Ratchet and Clank, etc.) I wonder what my options are for vast virtual worlds to freely explore that aren't RPGs or shooters in shades of brown.

Come on, Nintendo, for a while there you were able to transport me to another place and let me poke around as I liked. Give me some more of those vast, fully fleshed-out worlds to explore.

ironmouse said:

Don't you mean StreetPass? SpotPass is for wifi access, StreetPass is player to player access.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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