My inspiration to play Super Mario 3D, roots from my love for Super Mario 64, which has been my absolute favorite video game of all time. I’m not sure how many can relate, but I’m curious to know who else considers this a fun game so comment below!
The two main artists producer and director of Super Mario 3D World are not your traditional game designers. Producer Yoshiaki Koizumi started at Nintendo as a writer and illustrator, some of his work consisted of labeling and packaging of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on the Super NES. On the other hand, the director Kenta Motokura started out designing enemies for Pikmin on Gamecube.
It takes the classic super Mario and gives it a 3 dimensional spin. Creating the 5 characters, is an art alone. However, creating an entire world for them, and one that allows the player to become a part of is what enforces Super Mario 3D World as art. In “Changing a functional or aesthetic element in an existing game. This often critical or ironic intervention is referred to as modification (mod) or patch.”(Stockburger, p. 29) Art has such a broad definition, which allows for objects such as a video game to be considered art. If we look at Stockburger’s take on art, which consists of building upon an aesthetic through modification. Similarly Winckelmann, thought valuable or good art is just the one modified and based on Greek art. In the specific case of Super Mario 64, I believe Super Mario 3D World is based upon modifications of Super Mario 64.
This evolution in aesthetic is a great example of good art, where the modifications enhance every aspect of the game, even the player. This game is almost like a movie, due to its high content in storytelling. It is one which you are basically directing the movie. The game is named after Mario, not only because he was the original character of the game but they strategically also made him an all-round easy to control character with no special abilities. On the other hand every other character has a special ability and a disadvantage, for example Luigi can jump higher than anyone else but is a slower character.
What’s unique about this game is the random cat transformation that allows the player to pounce on enemies, attack midair, or use their claws to climb up walls and poles. As a matter of fact, the cat suit isn’t so random after all, the creators artistically designed it that way to enhance the game. They wanted Mario to have more special abilities like walking on four legs and climbing walls, so they narrowed it down to a cat, an animal well-known by everyone. This is also, supposed to help less skilled players have longer playtime duration. This game is a great example of game design where mechanics are the core of the game, and aesthetics are added on audio, visual, and haptic trappings.The improvements made on this game represent a level of artistry that should be acknowledged, which is why I credit Kenta and Yoshiaki for their talented work.