You find galaxy’s design limited? I mean it could use a 64 movement system to allow for more variety of ways to traverse something and let the player control pacing via speed, but I think they did great for what it was. Then again you probably don’t think Galaxy is a bad or even mediocre game anyway. What your own rating (between 1 and 5) of it would be, also you shouldn’t appeal to me, I’d prefer you’d be honest.
Yeah, the levels are more straightforward with more of a defined sequence. The level designs allow you to mess around with them in less ways and your moveset is more limited in general. A lot more of it revolves around gimmicks than solid platforming, like blasting off from the stars or pulling yourself in bubble sections. The new spin move is cool, but the means of using it is more awkward. A lot of the game revolves around collecting star bits, and I’m not a fan of collectathon type mechanics in general (then you get the purple coin levels). Shooting at the screen is generally not really integrated into standard play, and the need to shake the wiimote to spin makes it so you can’t do both at the same time (not that you’re required to). Many of the levels are small and flat and can frequently revolve around enemy fighting more than platforming which is what the game is strongest at. The focus of the game on planets with their own gravitational fields lends to the flatness of the level design, because a rounded planet ends up functionally as a flat planet, and the wonkiness of the camera that might be invoked with more interesting architecture leads to them making more flat planets. Even some of the more interestingly shaped planets, like a ? shaped one, end up being effectively flat because of this.
I feel like in comparison, Mario Sunshine had more going on with its levels, especially the secret levels, even if the main world levels were frequently a clusterfuck. The rotating puzzle blocks in the secret levels were a genius piece of level design if you ask me. There was a lot you could do with Fludd, even if the hover nozzle was slow and kind of dull. You can even beat the entire game without the hover nozzle. And you can slide on water, shotgun spray, spray while moving. Plus the turbo+rocket nozzles were great. And the game added the 360 spin jump, which you can even do loosely to not get the full spin, but to go higher/further without the same physics as the spin jump, effectively replacing the long jump, though not entirely. It has the best walljump physics too if you ask me.
64 has the best level design of the lot, and a strong platforming moveset overall, with great Z-action on most maps, or at least obfuscated paths forward with a ton of different ways to get around things, and almost never only one path forwards, which I think helps it win by itself.
You get things like mario 64 free running, which can be really varied and technical. Mario Sunshine freerunning is alright, and mario galaxy freerunning is nonexistent, and would probably be a joke. It doesn’t have the levels/moveset for it.
I just see Galaxy and 3D world as weaker games, with the spin attack as a solid addition to games that don’t really demand it, though hey it’s cool that it resets on walljump I guess.
Mario 64, 5/5 (basically perfect)
Sunshine, 4.5/5 (very good, bit shy of greatness for various reasons)
Galaxy, 3/5 (average, doesn’t stand out much to me)
On 3d Mario: http://pastebin.com/BpyS7Y8X
Okay, I’m probably sending mixed messages here.
My primary inspiration here is the secret levels in Mario Sunshine. These are like a playground, generally don’t have Fludd, and the game has enough movement options that there are a lot of ways to deal with each obstacle.
I don’t like the way mario 64 levels and the main levels of mario sunshine are filled with so much unnecessary stuff. I don’t like the 100 coin challenges. I don’t like the scavenging for the stars. I like the Secrets because they’re direct and to the point, but still open enough to allow different approaches. I’d like them more if they had just a bit more leeway, a few more moving parts, bits of geometry.
Mario Galaxy by contrast has fewer movement mechanics and more constrained levels. It’s true that they’re straightforward, but they’re so much so that they kind of force you to rotely follow sequence. Also yeah they’re too slow.
Mario 64 has a lot of little level design elements that are really cool for speedrunning, wrapped up in a cacophany of a level. It would be cool if those could be focused into a more straightforward course, like the bowser levels, or of course mario sunshine secrets.
I’d like to find the middleground between these two extremes of straightforward + constrained and clusterfuck + freedom.
Also 3d world far as I’m aware is really easy except for the green star scavenger hunts and has less movement options than even galaxy.
How would you expand on fludd for a future mario game?
Change the hover nozzle to not be so damn slow or remove it completely.
Add rain sections where you have infinite water.
Maybe let you switch between all the functions at any time.
More traditional dual analog third person shooter controls for fludd starting from whenever the button is pressed. If the console allows light presses, then keep the existing light press function in.
Add in more combination moves, fludd + another move. Like maybe if you dive right when you do a rocket boost, you can do a rocket dive.
Apart from that, I got nothing.