During Nintendo’s most recent Direct presentation, Super Mario Bros. Wonder was introduced as a significant overhaul of the traditional 2D Mario formula. In addition to its distinctive level design and gameplay mechanics, Wonder is poised to revolutionize the online gaming experience by striving for an “entirely positive” online environment. Online gaming frequently grapples with issues such as trolls and toxic players, creating a challenging landscape for many players. However, Mario Wonder aims to break this mold with its more relaxed approach to online play. Producer Takashi Tezuka explained, “Individuals have their own perception of what online play may entail. Perhaps it is somewhat challenging or intimidating.”
Game director, Shiro Mouri, expounded on this notion, stating that the fundamental principle behind the online gameplay in this iteration is centered on the concept of casual connection. The aim is to enable players to partake in multiplayer game sessions as if they were engaging in a single-player game. The primary objective is to create an online play experience that is entirely positive. This philosophy is evident in various aspects of the game. For instance, players can encounter others in the form of signposts, which offer helpful power-ups. This concept is reminiscent of Death Stranding’s online co-op elements. Additionally, online players can appear as shadows in courses, facilitating friendly races or cooperative exploration of hidden secrets.
Mario Wonder’s cooperative modes prioritize collaboration over competition, regardless of whether one is playing with local or online friends. Participants can aid each other by exchanging power-ups or rescuing each other from challenging circumstances. The game also presents a unique combination of in-person and online cooperative play, enabling two players to participate in the same game in-person while two others play online. For larger groups, parties exceeding four players can establish lobbies accommodating up to 12 individuals, thereby offering a versatile and accommodating multiplayer experience.