While New Super Mario Bros. received universal praise in 2005, there was a general feeling that the game was on the easy side. Nintendo was aware that the game wasn’t entirely challenging, however. In an Iwata Asks interview, Shigeru Miyamoto pointed out that it was hard to come up with the right balance for the game’s difficulty, but Nintendo considered releasing “an enhanced version of New Super Mario Bros., for those people who wanted to play a Mario that demanded more skills.”
If I had to point out one aspect, I’d say that the difficulty level was a little…
While you succeeded in coming up with a Mario title that anyone could play, for those players who were seeking a bit more of a challenge, it may have been a touch too easy.
As you can imagine, no matter how hard you try, it just isn’t possible to settle on a difficulty level that will satisfy everyone ranging from people who haven’t played a game in years right through to players who know all the Mario games inside out. You have to focus it on either one or the other.
I like to describe the series of action games that you and your team come up with, most famously Mario, as being “sports tournament games”. What I mean is, by pushing yourself harder and harder, you make progress, and then just when you have the goal in sight, you slip up. Then a voice seems to come from above that tells you: “Right! Give it another try!” Then you try again, and fail yet again. But by doing that, and failing again and again, you will steadily build up experience and as a result, when you do succeed, the feeling of satisfaction is incredible. That’s why I think they’re reminiscent of a sports tournament.
That’s why we even discussed releasing an enhanced version of New Super Mario Bros., for those people who wanted to play a Mario that demanded more skills. With the Wii version of New Super Mario Bros. this time round, its biggest single defining feature lies there. We didn’t just want first-time players to enjoy it; we wanted to make a new Mario game that players looking for a stiffer challenge would be able to relish.