Rebuttal to "Mario & Luigi... too cutesy?!"
While I agree with the point about how Nintendo shouldn't create a completely new Mario I do believe that they can make the series more grown up without destroying any of the core parts of the Mario universe.
I am a big fan of the Mario series but there were a few times were I felt that the game was targeting someone a lot younger. Namely those damn singing Yoshis in Yoshi's Story and the "Than you for saving my life and the future of our kingdom Mario, heres a cake" ending for SMB64. I'm not saying I didn't like either game but I have a few ideas about how the next Mario games could be both cutesy and mature.
1. Add some more plot. Not just "Save Peach....again" type of thing. Maybe some kind of political upheaval Bowser could be inciting revolt among some of the more disgruntled mushroom citizens. Mario could have to try and expose Bowser's meddling while protecting the monarchy from rebellion. Or maybe Bowser isn't even the villain. Perhaps Kamek or a koopaling has seized control of the Koopa clan from Bowser. Bowser and his remaining Koopas must battle the deserters for control. And now the Mushroom Kingdom is caught in the middle of a civil war.
2. Develop the characters more. Why does Bowser want control of the Mushroom Kingdom? Is it a simple megalomaniac urge or something far deeper? What makes Mario tick? Does Luigi ever feel like lashing out at Mario for the stolen glory? And what about Peach? How does she manage to run a kingdom under constant attack? I don't mean give them some kind of crazy manic depressive complex like Squaresoft does to their heroes. But it might be fun to see our favorite characters cope with their problems like we do.
3. Visits from old friends. While many people want the Koopalings to return why stop there? Lets see how Mallow is doing as head of a kingdom. Lets see Wart try to rebuild his dream empire. Lets see Frogfucius, Booster, Jynx, Kamek, Triclyde, and all the other great characters who never made it to the sequels.
4. Alternate endings. Increases the replay value and its fun. Endings could vary on how many points/stars/whatever he has collected, how quickly he beat the game, or even get a little more complex. There could be endings based on major plot choices too. A quick example would be deciding to spare Bowser or beat the snot out of him.
Well, with that said and done, I think that if Shigeru and Nintendo play their cards right the future for Mario and company could only get better.
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