Recent Super Mario games have drifted away from what the series was initially meant to be about, so says the Nintendo veteran behind the forthcoming Super Mario 3DS.

Yoshiaki Koizumi, who also directed the GameCube's Super Mario Sunshine and the peerless Super Mario Galaxy, told GameSpot that the 3D Mario games' focus on exploration was at odds with the original series' tight, quick-fire, precision platforming.

"I feel like the core experience is something that we may have started to get away from a little bit when we first started presenting games in 3D like in Super Mario 64," he explained.

"The idea in those games is that you walk around in those environments and give the players a lot of opportunity to explore.

"But the real basics of the Super Mario series is that players have to get to the goal of a level without dying. You have short levels with a very quick tempo, and it should be a very thrilling experience.

"So some of that was actually missing from Galaxy. The gameplay was a bit slower, and it was so much easier to die, so the core experience of getting to the goal without dying was harder to achieve."

Koizumi promised that Super Mario 3DS, which judging by its E3 showing is shaping up rather wonderfully, will see the plumber going back to his roots.

"This time around, you'll find that we have something closer to the three-minute levels you see in Super Mario Bros, so for me, overall this feels closer to the core of the Super Mario Bros. experience traditionally."

Nintendo hasn't confirmed an exact release date for the game but it is expected to arrive before the year is out.

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton is Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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