New Super Mario Bros. 2 Developers Attended “Mario Cram School”

By Ishaan . July 24, 2012 . 2:30pm

This year, Nintendo will release two 2D Mario games—New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo 3DS and New Super Mario Bros. U for the Wii U. Since both games were being developed in parallel, the company needed to figure out how to divide up their staff between the two.


The way development panned out was, developers with experience creating 2D Mario games were set to work on New Super Mario Bros. U for the Wii U. In the meantime, Takashi Tezuka, who’s been involved with the Mario games right from the NES days, set up “Mario Cram School” sessions for other Nintendo staff to attend.


The purpose of these, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata reveals, was to teach staff from Nintendo’s other departments to design Mario stages. Things worked out such that, of the entire development team, only two members—the director and art director—had longtime experience working on 2D Mario games.



The new blood on the development team resulted in new ideas like stages that took place at night time for a change (above) and “Dash Mario” stages, which put Mario on rails, and all you can do is control when he jumps (below).



Other ideas that ended up in the final game were suggested by Tezuka. Including 2-player co-op and the ability to collect 1 million coins in total were both requests that came from him.


New Super Mario Bros. 2 will be released on August 19th in North America.

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  • AuraGuyChris

    I would love to attend a school like that.

  • raitouniverse

    The nighttime video is on private T_T
    The Dash level is actually really cool, glad to see it’s turning the game anew. They should’ve done it to the Wii U version though… since people are kinda expecting something different with the series on that version

  • thaKingRocka

    Looks like the young-blood have played some Cannabalt. :P I’m not sure if I’m going to play the latest Mario games. I enjoyed my time with the first half of Mario 3D, but I think I may be done with the series after all these years. I don’t see it as a bad thing. They certainly don’t need me to keep playing them. I just finally feel like I may have had enough.

  • Nintendo needs to start putting some serious work into their 2D Mario games again, all the talent is going to 3D Mario.  New Super Mario Bros. can’t even compare to Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and even Super Mario Bros. 2.

    I doubt it’ll happen though since the New Super Mario games are making them some serious money and they’re easy to crank out.

  • malek86

    Well it’s pretty cool that they have put new developers in the field. Hopefully, even if they have been taught what to do, they can still bring something new to the table. Admittedly I’m not a big fan of 2D Mario, so I welcome any possible change.

    (on an entirely different note, it shows that Nintendo is in hot water here, if they felt the needed to develop two 2D Mario games at once)

  • Barrylocke89

    New Blood can indeed equal new ideas. Maybe this new Mario game will be worth looking at after all. 

  • JazzWithAttitude

    Make a Mario game with Super Mario World graphics and i buy first day

  • LittleMofreaky

    NSMB2 looks like the best 2D mario game in years

    • James Beatty

      It’s been 3 years since the last 2D mario game so i would imagine so :P

      • LittleMofreaky

        Hey, guy. I’ve played ’em. I KNOW! Now read my last comment again.

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    Thats sounds good here.^^

    Hope that all the newblood there will be able to add more variation for future mario series there.

  • keithmaxx

    And they thought that they were done with cram schools the last time they took the university exams, hah!

    On a more serious note, new ideas are never a bad thing. Here’s to a better Mario (and hopefully, better other games too)!

  • Ethan_Twain

    Well that’s really interesting!  After the 3DS launched so slowly that Nintendo was forced to cut the price drastically, I’ve felt like they’re kind of scrambling.  They’ve promised a stronger software lineup for the Wii U launch, saying they’ve learned from the 3DS.  They’ve ALSO tried to keep the 3DS software coming hot and heavy.  That’s a lot of software they’re under pressure to make!  In particular I feel sure there’s pressure to release the big games, the ones that are sure to be hits.  That’s why Retro Studios was pulled off of whatever secret things they were doing to work on Mario Kart 7, that’s why Namco Bandai was contracted to work on Smash Bros (NIntendo want’s that game out ASAP!), and probably that’s why Brownie Brown was put on level design for Mario 3D Land.

    If I had to guess I would say that’s where this comes from also.  2D Mario has sold ridiculously well of late, so Nintendo felt the pressure to get it out on both their systems as soon as they could.  Since the Mario team normally doesn’t need to put out products this closely together, Nintendo was forced to pull talent from other divisions of the company.

    If everything I’ve said here is true (and most is only speculation, I’m no expert) then it leads to the following 2 questions:

    1.  Will resources getting focused on big Mario games now lead to a software drought later or at least project delays? I suspect we’ve already seen some side effects.  Fantasy Life took forever in development (that’s Brownie Brown on that one) and Retro has been very quiet for a very long time.

    2.  How will rushing these 2D Mario games out the door affect them as products?  The pessimist would say that they’ll be rushed and lower quality because they aren’t from the core Mario team.  The optimist might say that new staff brings new ideas which, for such a conservative franchise, is a good thing!

  • neetloaf

    I guess this means Automatic Mario has finally become….. canon.

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