I don't understand all of the complaints about the NSMB series' art style...

#1kabii_samaPosted 9/8/2012 11:24:48 AM
In 2D Mario platformers, which artstyle is your favorite? (Based only on ingame graphics) - Results (39 votes)
Original Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2 (JP)
2.56% (1 votes)
1
Original Super Mario Bros. 2 (US)
0% (0 votes)
0
Original Super Mario Bros. 3
15.38% (6 votes)
6
Super Mario World
38.46% (15 votes)
15
Super Mario All-Stars style (SMB 1-3, later reused in Super Mario Advance 1&4)
10.26% (4 votes)
4
Yoshi's Island (DS)
15.38% (6 votes)
6
Super Mario Land
0% (0 votes)
0
Super Mario Land 2.
0% (0 votes)
0
New Super Mario Bros. sub-series
15.38% (6 votes)
6
Mario vs. Donkey Kong sub-series (any game, specify which)
2.56% (1 votes)
1
This poll is now closed.
It's not my favorite art style, but I like the look of the characters and the art style in general in the New Super Mario Bros. games, especially now that they are making nicer-looking backgrounds. I just wish they wouldn't make the environment so paper-thin. Even with movement limited to a 2D plane, unique, 3D environments for the stages like in Kirby 64 and Donkey Kong Country Returns would both look nicer and allow for much more freedom in the level design. Not only could they have you moving between different layers of the stage as in DKCR, but they could have a twist to those classic vertical stages where you can go off the screen on one side and reappear on the other.

For example, imagine a stage in which your goal is to scale a massive tree and reach the top. But, instead of just climbing a bunch of branches with a flat, 2D tree as the backdrop, the tree is truly 3D and you can actually go all the way around it as you climb it, with the camera adjusting to your position. Compare it to the first two bosses in Kirby 64. As far as I know, no true 2D Mario game has ever had something like this, although the Galaxy Games probably have a 2D segment similar to it. They could really do something similar with all of the tower stages in new games to make them more unique, perhaps with you needing to move between the interior and the exterior of the tower in order to progress through the stage.

Also, while the NSMB series as a whole has introduced many new gameplay elements and stage devices, I feel it would be nicer if individual stages were more unique and memorable. Kirby 64 is rather good at this; even after the many years it's been out, I still remember what every one of the stages were like and in some cases I essentially know the layout of the stage by heart. On the other hand, with NSMB2, which I just played through at release, (particularly in the secret worlds) I end up forgetting which stages are which, and how many of the levels played out.

It would help if the world maps had more objects by stages to identify them with, but (in both the series as a whole and this game alone) many of the stages just reuse old gimmicks with only minor changes to them. NSMB Wii was a bit better in this respect, but it would be nice if, as in DKCR, nearly all of the stages in a 2D Mario game felt unique, both through visuals and gameplay. (Even those dreaded mine cart and rocket barrel stages in DKCR, despite being simple in nature, all had some unique twists to them.)
#2SpunkySixPosted 9/8/2012 12:33:02 PM
I don't get it either.

"Oh no, the graphical style within a series isn't changing drastically, how could this be?!?"
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#3Toadster9001Posted 9/8/2012 12:40:51 PM
Why are people still voting for World, even though Super Mario All-Stars is a much better looking game? Jesus Christ, the SMW fans can be just as bad as the NSMB fans.

That being said, there's nothing WRONG with the art style, but it's bland. Never before has Nintendo recycled an art style for three games in a row. At least NSMBU has some nice looking backgrounds. I also prefer sprite based gameplay because it requires more precision. In a game like Donkey Kong County Returns, for example, players can make sloppy jumps and still complete levels with ease.
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#4BlanketPIPosted 9/8/2012 12:44:40 PM
[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]
#5SwagodilePosted 9/8/2012 12:44:49 PM
Toadster9001 posted...
In a game like Donkey Kong County Returns, for example, players can make sloppy jumps and still complete levels with ease.


Did we play the same game?
#6BabyLuigiOnFirePosted 9/8/2012 12:45:39 PM
I agree with TC, but if the artstyle should change, don't make a drastic transition from that to a Kirby 64-like game. I would first like to start off by using polygons as the ground for once, much like Donkey Kong Country Returns and Kirby's Return to Dreamland. Both games are gorgeous and the polygonal floors and objects make the game look better with 3d character models.
#7Toadster9001Posted 9/8/2012 12:48:57 PM
Swagodile posted...
Toadster9001 posted...
In a game like Donkey Kong County Returns, for example, players can make sloppy jumps and still complete levels with ease.


Did we play the same game?

Yes. The only stages that required pixel-perfect jumps were the minecart levels. And then there's Mirror Mode, but I don't consider that to be part of the main game.
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#8Toadster9001Posted 9/8/2012 12:53:40 PM
BlanketPI posted...
That has nothing at all to do with it being sprite-based or geometry-based. That is the physics engine (and level design) alone. Basically, your complaint is that the levels are made such that jumps do not require as much precision.

True, but sprite-based games typically require more precision. Exceptions include the Donkey Kong Country trilogy and Earthworm Jim. My point is that the physics engine/conversion to polygons has made Mario platformers much easier than they used to be. NSMB feels like a 3D platformer turned on its side. Hell, the beta footage of NSMB actually uses SM64 assets.
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#9BlanketPIPosted 9/8/2012 1:05:11 PM
[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]
#10kabii_sama(Topic Creator)Posted 9/8/2012 1:34:10 PM
BlanketPI posted...
That has nothing at all to do with it being sprite-based or geometry-based. That is the physics engine (and level design) alone. Basically, your complaint is that the levels are made such that jumps do not require as much precision.


Yeah, the physics are a bit different from what you'd expect in one of the newer Mario games. DK, being a big, heavy ape, falls rather quickly and lands with a thud. He also seems to have a bit of difficulty changing directions on a dime. But if anything, those seem to be intentional decisions made by the designers of the game to make it harder, not easier.

Toadster9001 posted...
Swagodile posted...
Toadster9001 posted...
In a game like Donkey Kong County Returns, for example, players can make sloppy jumps and still complete levels with ease.


Did we play the same game?

Yes. The only stages that required pixel-perfect jumps were the minecart levels. And then there's Mirror Mode, but I don't consider that to be part of the main game.


Really, the only thing that makes jumps really easy is Diddy Kong, who (in single player) functions as a mere power-up not unlike the Racoon Leaf, Cape, etc. in Mario games. And those types of power-ups have been around since Super Mario Bros.3 (a sprite-based game). The more realistic physics and the lack of Diddy Kong in Mirror Mode make DKCR a much harder platformer that requires more precise platforming in many levels than all but the first two 2D Mario games.

Hence, I'm not really sure what you are trying to say with "sprite-based games typically require more precision." The physics engine is what really matters in platformers. If Super Mario Bros. were to be remade with the exact same jumping physics but full 3D graphics in the vein of NSMB Wii, would you honestly say that the game somehow requires less skill and precision? I don't see how you could.

BabyLuigiOnFire posted...
I agree with TC, but if the artstyle should change, don't make a drastic transition from that to a Kirby 64-like game. I would first like to start off by using polygons as the ground for once, much like Donkey Kong Country Returns and Kirby's Return to Dreamland. Both games are gorgeous and the polygonal floors and objects make the game look better with 3d character models.


I wouldn't mind a more gradual change, but if Nintendo ever ends the New Super Bros. series and starts a new line of 2D Mario platformers (Ultra Mario Bros.?), it would be an excellent time for a complete revolution in the style of the graphics.