Super Mario Bros. 2 (a.k.a. USA) introduced gamers to a Mario game where every character behaved differently and had properties apart from one another. As the second game in the Super Mario series this break from the norm was not a surprising and was a pleasant change, which is why it became all the more upsetting when future titles would go back to having all characters move and act the same. However, Super Mario 3D World on the Nintendo Wii U brought this concept back in full force, allowing players to choose from the balanced Mario to the slippery Luigi, from floaty Peach to speedy Toad. It even expanded on the roster from Super Mario Bros 2 by adding Rosalina and her ability to double jump. All of these characters allowed for a different platforming experience which encouraged multiple playthroughs of a level. So, one of my hopes, if they ever decide to make a sequel to Super Mario 3D World, is that the roster will grow even more and increase the amount of options for the players. It is not the easy though, as each character should feel somewhat distinct and add something somewhat new to the gameplay.
In this article I thought it would be fun to look at some potential newcomers that we might see. I believe a sequel would, at most, give us three new characters so I decided to focus exclusively on who I think those three would be. In order to figure out how these characters might play, I have looked through all of their prior appearances and games – as well as taken into account their personalities and what they are known for. So with that, this first character should be fairly straight-forward.
A recurring and adorable character from the Mario series, Yoshi was first introduced in a main-line Mario game, Super Mario World, and was popular enough to get his own spin-off series in the form of Yoshi’s Island. The spin-offs play a bit of inspiration for how Yoshi would work in Super Mario 3D World but it is not the focus. For example, Yoshi would not be able to lay and throw eggs. The mechanic is harder to pull of in a 3D space and is not really needed for this type of game.
Instead, our main inspiration for Yoshi will actually come from the DS remake of Super Mario 64. In this game Yoshi is one of the four playable characters alongside Mario, Luigi and Wario. He comes equipped with his flutter jump and tongue attack but no egg throwing. This game gives us a good idea of how Yoshi would work in a 3D space and so is key to understanding how he would play here
Yoshi’s main gimmick is that power-ups would not affect him in anyway. This was the case in Super Mario 64 DS where he would need to turn into another character to use the power flower. This is why Yoshi retains some of his abilities. He is easy mode, more so than Peach, but using him prevents access to some of the levels secrets like green stars and coins. He can still be turned into little Yoshi when he gets hit so a Mushroom can turn him big like the rest, however Yoshi could also eat 5 enemies to grow tall again, just like in Super Mario World.
As a final note, this Yoshi would be in his more upright form while the hunched-over Yoshi’s can still appear as a power-up. As Yoshi can’t use Power-ups he can’t ride them anyway. Each character could have his own coloured Yoshi (for example: Mario = Red, Toad = Blue) so they do not get mixed up with the standard Green. Yoshi is such a key character to the series that he is the most obvious pick on this list, but continuing off of Super Mario 64 DS there is one more character that needs no introduction.
Just like Yoshi, Wario is also a recurring force in the Mario universe who has his own spin-off series and his own gameplay style. He’s even had his own unique 3D adventure in Wario World for the GameCube. Super Mario 64 DS is the biggest influence but there are also elements from the Wario Land games that could easily translate into a 3D World sequel.
Wario is the heavier and goofy version of Mario and that would be represented here through his animations and general abilities. Wario is the slowest character in his walk speed however when he breaks out into a run he becomes an unstoppable force thanks to his signature shoulder barge. When this activates he know longer needs to jump on an enemies head to defeat them and he completely destroys the likes of Koopa Troopa’s, shell and all! Spiked enemies can still hurt him but crashing into blocks would break them. He even gets an extended jump like in Wario World if the player decides to jump out of this run.
To make up for this incredible strength attack, Wario has the worst jump in the game, even more so than Toad. He is the opposite of Yoshi’s easy-mode being a harder version of Toad to use, but with a bit of mastery he can become very rewarding. He gets power-ups like everyone else and can even break blocks in his little form, although he can barely reach them with his jump in this form.
Wario for me is the next likely candidate thanks to his popularity and prestige as a major Mario character. The only thing holding him back is Miyamoto’s comments that, as he originated from outside the main-line Mario games and had a different art-style, he is rarely considered to appear alongside Mario. Although it has happened before so it’s not impossible and Miyamoto even follows it up saying that 3D models negate this factor nowadays. With these comments in mind you may understand my decision for the next character on here.
Nabbit is the rabbit-looking thief who made his debut in New Super Mario Bros U. Since then he has appeared in a number of Mario spin-offs such as Mario Golf World Tour, Mario Party 10 and Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. He even appeared as a stage hazard in Super Smash Bros for Wii U. Most importantly though, unlike most characters Nabbit has actually been playable before in a mainline Mario game, specifically the add-on to NSMBU: New Super Luigi U. This is the game that he will take the most inspiration from however it will not be to the same extreme.
In New Super Luigi U Nabbit could not use power-ups however he was immune to all attacks, only dying from bottomless pits and other insta-kill attacks. Just like Yoshi, Nabbit cannot use power-ups however this is not because he is easier to play as. Instead he is about the same as Mario in speed and jump, if not a bit faster, but the amount of coins Nabbit can obtain is much higher. Every power-up and every enemy kill nets him more coins than anyone else, fitting his thief motif. This makes Nabbit a rewarding final character if your aim is to get max lives or a high score. As a side, Nabbit is no longer immune to enemy attacks but he does not shrink when hit. Instead he loses coins and when he runs out of coins he loses a life instead. So you better be careful.
The reason I feel like Nabbit has more potential than some other Mario characters is for the same reason that Rosalina became playable before some other big names in the series. Nabbit is not only popular in his own right but he is the latest character to originate in the mainline Mario titles.
I could have done some more characters and maybe one day I will but this time around I just wanted to focus on these three characters as I feel like they are the most likely. Sorry Daisy and Waluigi fans, maybe they will get there chance another day. But until then let me know what you thought about this article. Are you hoping that any new entry into the 3D Mario series will introduce more new characters? Do you like the sound of the characters I described and can you think of any interesting ways other characters might play? Let me know and more in the comments below.