Mario has had a prolific career that rivals even Homer Simpson’s. Throughout his tenure at Nintendo, Mario has worked in the genres of RPG, platformer, rhythm, sports, minigame, and even survival horror if you count Luigi’s mansion; in these games he’s worked as a plumber, professional athlete, event planner, warrior, speech writer, drug dealer, janitor, entrepreneur and he even had a brief stint at politics. While I might have made up some of those, that doesn’t detract from Mario’s varied career. But even Mario hasn’t done everything in the world. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of possible new genre and sub-genre Mario spinoffs for the questionably certified plumber to explore.
Real Time Strategy
Between his platforming and RPG adventures, Mario has explored beyond the barriers of the Mushroom and Koopa kingdoms. Mario has visited allies such as the Bean Bean Kingdom, and he’s battled enemies such as the Shroobs. With the introduction of several kingdoms and factions, Nintendo has the perfect amount to create an RTS for a new series of Mario spinoffs.
The idea of the Mushroom Kingdom declaring war on the Koopa Kingdom is sickeningly hilarious in itself, but we know that Nintendo would create their own brand of warfare that makes it look like Mario Party. Not that that would make it any less brutal, however—friendships are broken in those games. Each Kingdom could have its own characteristics, and they even have coins to build certain magical buildings and weapons. Plenty of cannons can be used to fortify a castle that may or may not have a princess, and troops could be created based on power-ups (Tanooki Troopas, anyone?).
Massively Multiplayer Online Game
Mario has already starred in a slew of RPGs. From the traditional turn-based roots of Super Mario RPG to the action/turn-based hybrid of the Mario and Luigi series, the plumber and his parties have created their own brand of console RPG. It’s only natural that the plumber take the fight to the next level: party management.
The premise could be similar to the RTS game. The mushroom kingdom is under attack, and players can choose between the Mushroom Kingdom and Koopa Kingdom. I envision a scenario in which it’s too much for the portly plumber to handle; therefore, the citizens of the allied kingdoms could create their own soldiers based on race and class. Likewise, players could work under Bowser’s tyrannical rule and choose from the various enemy types. Main characters such as Princess Peach or the Hammer Bros could issue quests, and players could create magical abilities based on the many power ups. I personally love the battle system in the Mario and Luigi series, so I trust Nintendo could come up with something that’s more interactive than clicking. Afterall, they do have a Wii U controller to experiment with.
We relied on developers themselves to provide the fiendishly challenging (although easily avoidable) levels in past Mario games, but this generation of gaming has provided opportunities for players can create their own levels. Minecraft allows players to create literally anything they can imagine, and Sony’s LittleBigPlanet allows players to create their own platform levels. There is already so much to do in the Mushroom Kingdom universe, why not expand it even further with this new genre for Mario spinoffs?
Given the Mario series’ vast environments, it seems fitting that Nintendo would be willing to let players create their own Mushroom Kingdoms–so long as said mushrooms don’t resemble certain forms of genitalia. Really, this doesn’t have to be a sandbox/user-created content game in itself—it could simply be a level editor. Players can place their own blocks and traps for other players to explore, which I’m sure would be a dream come true for long-time Mario fans.
Similar to the RTS Mario idea, this would be a miniature game—probably for the 3DS—in which Princess Peach and Toad take matters into their own hands. With a tower defense subgenre, the battleground would take place in the heart of the Mushroom Kingdom.
As mentioned throughout, the Mushroom Kingdom is ripe of power-ups and enemies that would be applicable to all genres of gaming—Tower Defense being no exception. Players could set up bob-bombs, cannon balls, and various soldiers with different abilities. If this were on the 3DS—or even a downloadable title for the Wii U—Nintendo could utilize the second screens for unit placement. And, of course, Nintendo could throw in several factors in which luck and cheap shots come into play.
First Person Shooter
Haha, just kidding! Well, I guess this just about wraps up this li–OH WAIT! I just realized why an FPS game could be feasible for new Mario spinoffs!
As much as I would like to see a Goomba teabag Toad, I think Nintendo could feasibly make a Mario game that keeps in spirit with the series. I envision a Mario game that plays similarly to old school multiplayer modes, such as GoldenEye 007, in which players run to certain areas of the map for the best and better-than-nothing guns. In this case, the players would go after power-ups, and they could play as any of the main characters. Throw in some cheap elements from Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart series and you have an FPS Mario game that keeps in line with the plumber’s more charmingly frustrating endeavors.
Obviously, Nintendo would never heed my terrible, idiotic advice that must be purged and ridiculed; however, I still think the plumber has plenty of genres to explore. With his prolific career in gaming, Mario has proven that he’s capable of adapting to different genres. So I ask you, what kind of Mario game would you like to play?