It Turns Out That Super Mario 3D Land May End Up Outselling Super Mario Galaxy

By far the most intriguing thing about Super Mario 3D — for me — was the intent of its design. Its creators often discussed the game as a mid-point; a stripped back 3D experience that would be tangible to the new 2D crowd roped into Mario through its mega successful New Super Mario Bros. series. It looks as though they might have had some success with that: in its first year of release Super Mario 3D Land has outpaced sales of Super Mario Galaxy.

Well, more specifically: Super Mario 3D Land sold more in its first year of release than Super Mario Galaxy did.

Whereas Super Mario Galaxy shifted 7.66 million in its first year, Super Mario 3D Land managed to sell 8 million. Apparently much improved sales in Japan helped push Super Mario 3D Land over the edge, reports Siliconera.

Considering the games were released at two different times on two different platforms, there are a number of reasons why a game like Super Mario 3D Land could outperform Galaxy but I would say that the accessibility, alongside the quality of 3D Land in general, may have pushed it over the edge. You could argue that Nintendo's original intent — to bridge the gap between 2D and 3D — was successful, particularly in Japan.

Interesting. Also — play Super Mario 3D Land. It's amazing!

Super Mario 3D Land Outpacing Super Mario Galaxy’s First-Year Sales [Siliconera]


    It is pretty great. I always thought of it as an alternate-reality Mario 64: a different design direction the developers could have taken for the series' very first foray into 3D.

      Indeed, it's closer to what I thought they would do back when SMB64 was being mooted, which makes SMB64 all the more mind blowing really!!

    It was a pretty nice game, perfectly suited to a handheld. I always have trouble taking in a giant 3D world on a small handheld screen so 3D Land handled it well with smaller areas.

    I was really unimpressed. I had beaten the game in under four hours, the depth perception was annoying (especially in that final level where you have to jump into the screen) and the levels felt copy pasted and sparse, and lacked personality. And to unlock all the levels you had to do the game twice, but it still took me less than 11 hours. Game was a cakewalk and I don't think the $70 pricetag was justified.

    This does not surprise me. I thought the game was amazing. The level design was fantastic.

    I do agree that the first part of the game was way too easy but the extra levels and collecting all the coins became very hard at times. The best mario game since Mario 64

      Really? I got all the coins really easily, didn't even need a guide. Only hard levels were the doppelganger ones but even those only took a few goes. Thing that annoyed me was you had to do ALL the levels as Mario AND Luigi to get that terrible last jump into the screen oh god my eyes wtf I don't care anymore I'm trading this game in tomorrow level.

        haha sounds like you had a bit of a different experience to me,

        Fair call on the mario and luigi thing. Personally though, i didn't mind it. I like to play mario games a few times anyway. Actually, if i think back i would play any mario game over and over again.

        I guess its just a matter of opinion ;)

    Great game. Feels very much like the successor to Super Mario 64.

    SM3DL is still probably my favourite title on the 3DS (outside of Mario Kart 7). I think it deserves every sale it gets. Thinking back to Galaxy though, I loved it just as much when the Wii was in its prime. I think I enjoyed Super Mario Galaxy 2 even more. Really, they're all amazing games.

    It's probably been NSMB.2 (3DS), Paper Mario (3DS) and NSMB.U (Wii U), which have fallen short for me. Although I'm yet to actually play NSMB.U, I was never impressed by how close the releases of NSMB.2 and NSMB.U were to each other.


      seriously though, NSMB.U is really good. It is to NSMB Wii as Galaxy 2 is to Galaxy 1. eg not particularly innovative but extremely polished, like a fine wine

    Another thing that needs to be said is the fact that a fair amount of places now are selling 3DS consoles with Mario 3D Land preinstalled on them, I would assume Australia is not the only place where this bundling is happening and in comparison I don't believe Nintendo ever released a Wii console bundled with either Super Mario Galaxy 1 or 2.

    That being said I strongly believe that Super Mario 3D Land is the preeminent Mario game for the platform, the less spoken about the atrocity that is New Super Mario Bros 2 the better.

      I'm liking NSMB2! It doesn't have the magic that 3d Land did, and it is more of the same 2d mario, but I'm actually really enjoying it so far. I like collecting coins!

      So it's not brilliant, but it's really not an atrocity in my book.

        My problem with it was it is in essentially more of the same from Nintendo, from a graphical standpoint, bar minor up scaling there is next to nothing different graphically from this game and it's predecessor on the Nintendo DS. On top of that the only real additions to the game are a two power-ups, one ripped directly from Super Mario Bros 3 and the other being a variation to the fire flower which played up to the games obnoxious endgame which is for all intents and purposes a really thinly veiled game lengthening device.

        The game just didn't have the charm that Super Mario 3D Land is and could not take it's place as the Mario game you should buy for the 3DS, which considering it came out later it really should have. After playing NSMB2 to completion and playing NSMBU, I really think that these titles are cheaply and easily made, there is literally next to no effort put into them, and they only get a free ride because they're made by Nintendo.

          I haven't finished NSMB2, or started NSMBU, but I played through the first ones on the DS and Wii respectively, and they were awesome games. NSMBWii for me was one of my favourite gaming experiences of all time due to the co-op wackiness. I love love love Galaxy, but I actually had more fun with NSMBWii, so horses for courses perhaps.

          I think it's unfair to say NSMBU had no effort put into it, I've played that game up until the final boss and it felt incredibly polished and full in every regard.

            I have nothing but praise for the original NSMB for the DS and NSMBWii for the Wii, the former showed that a 2D platformer could still be a system seller in the 21st Century if done right and the latter proved the same could be said on a home console.

            The problem with both NSMB2 and NSMBU is they changed next to nothing on their predecessors bar minor tweaks and graphical up-scaling. Whilst NSMBU may have seemed more polished and full as you put it, it really did not offer much that you could not receive by playing the Wii version. My biggest gripe with it is how a first party Nintendo title grossly mishandled the very focal point of their own console, the Wii U Gamepad.

            NSMBU literally had two ways of utilising the Wii U gamepad, it was either used as a second screen with zero other functionality when playing single player, or in a same fashion except now you could touch the screen to make blocks appear in multiplayer, that was it. Whilst other developers tried unique and interesting ways of utilising the gamepad for their own games, Nintendo could not royally care less about it in the very first Wii U game staring their goddamn mascot. Couple that with a game that offered a pittance above it's Wii counterpart and you get a game that left a rather bad taste in my mouth.

            Last edited 04/02/13 6:53 pm

              I hadn't played NSMB2 when it came out so the last time I'd played a 2D Mario was NSMBW way back when. So the gameplay wasn't remotely stale for me, and like I said, I think NSMBU has a level of polish that NSMBW (and indeed most games) just don't have - it was smooth, fun, there was creative level design, I couldn't fault it. Plus it looked so pretty in HD.
              I agree that the GamePad was underutilised but if you consider that NintendoLand was meant to show off the GamePad in the same way Wii Sports did, then consider that NSMBW and Mario Galaxy didn't really utilise motion controls either, I don't think it's fair to judge it on that basis. Off-TV gameplay is actually super useful (even if the dip in resolution is pretty painful) and the Boost Mode was actually pretty fun with others. I usually played the game with at least one other friend, and we invented all kinds of ways to play competitively and cooperatively through Boost mode.

                It really shouldn't surprise you that NSMBU had a level of polish that NSMBW didn't, since the former is on a console that can fun full 1080p HD while the latter is on a console that can only run 480p SD, obviously the Wii U version is going to look better and I doubt anyone who bought the game would of had any doubts to this.

                As for the Level design, I'll be the first to admit I have not finished NSMBU, but I am around about half way through, and for the majority of the time I have spent playing it, I couldn't help but notice elements from the levels that had been. . . inspired from levels in NSMB2, which isn't good considering levels in NSMB2 had elements inspired from NSMB1. You might not have been able to fault it, but as the saying goes each to their own, what you most likely found creative I found repetitive and uninspired.

                As for the gamepad, I understand how you might perceive that because another game is being designed to show off the gamepad they can afford to slack of on others games, but the thing is both NintendoLand and NSMBU were both designed by different developer teams of Nintendo EAD, so it's not like they had one dev group making both games and they decided to put all the touchscreen use in one game at the expense of the other.

                As for NSMBW and SMG1/2 the thing with those games are simple, Super Mario Galaxy was supposed to be a technical masterpiece that could show off what the Wii could do when pushed to it's limits, and was designed to a be a true successor to Super Mario 64, they didn't need to utilise any motion control gimmick because the game would have been cheapened by it. The same can be said for NSMBW, this lineage is effectively a hugely lucrative love letter to old Nintendo fans, the 2D styling didn't need any motion control gimmick because like SMG, it would have felt cheaper for it. The touchpad however, is not as intrusive a gimmick as motion control is, nor does NSMBU even show off a fraction of the Wii U's full potential. On top of this both NSMB1/2 both are able to utilise a second screen to a more useful degree than NSMBU, While I do admit that the Off-TV gameplay can be useful, other games implement it just as well, and unlike NSMBU, it is not the only thing the touchpad does in these games. Boost Mode is also fun I concede but to implement that would have taken less than a page worth of code if that.

                On top of this neither NSMBW or SMG1/2 came out anywhere near the launch of the Wii itself, and therefore the console was already established and they didn't need to showcase the motion control gimmick, NSMBU is a launch title and a rather emphatic lost opportunity for Nintendo to showcase what the touchpad could do in a more contemporary game rather than a minigame compilation.

                Last edited 04/02/13 10:35 pm

                  I can't believe I'm actually going to continue this discussion but I am. :P

                  When I say polish I mean across the game, not just in the graphics. As I was playing through the game all the levels felt thoroughly thought out, every enemy and obstacle placed with consideration, every Star Coin in a place that was obvious to reach but challenging to achieve, as opposed to just splattering stuff around like you see a lot in platformers. The game felt well made, and the gameplay was smooth as ever. This is coming from someone who spends a great deal of time creating games as well as playing them.

                  I didn't mean to imply that slackness in innovation is acceptable, especially when it's a new console/controller and a Mario title. However I think it's wrong to judge a game on content it COULD have had. The game is long, full of content, and fun. It doesn't utilise a lot of the GamePad's features but really I can't think of many ways I would have liked it to. Aside perhaps from using the touchscreen to interact with the environment, but I think that would have been wrong for a Mario game.

                  I also feel like with this title they wanted to give gamers something familiar that showed off the GamePad in a totally different way to NintendoLand, with it being less about using two screens at once and more about being able to use the screen to play without the TV. It's a hook, especially for new or inexperienced gamers, like saying "We've got new stuff (with NintendoLand) but we still have games that work are the same as before, so don't be scared of the new console!"

                  I think a lot of this falls down to personal taste and the fact that I didn't play NSMB2 before NSMBU. I also really don't believe that there was much more Nintendo could have done with the GamePad without it feeling tacked on or unnecessary. But that's my opinion, if you have ideas for how the GamePad could have had a better use I would genuinely love to hear them.

                  Also, have you played NintendoLand? I wouldn't call it a minigame collection, I had amazing amounts of fun with it, with a few friends and alone.

                and we have hit the reply shut off point. . . why does this always happen when I start a discussion. . .

                Smoothness and consideration of level layout seem to be a given nowadays when it comes to the design of Mario games, maybe I'm just spoilt for choice but this is the company that has been making these sort of games since the mid 80's, and some of the people who had a hand in making the very first Mario game more than like had a hand in making NSMBU. But there is only so far these sort of things can go, it's kinda like the original Crysis, they put so much effort into polishing the game and making it a technical masterpiece that other areas fell flat, I feel the same with the current state of the New Super Mario Bros franchise, and having two games release in very close proximity to one another didn't help.

                The gamepad could have been utilised a multitude of ways, such as having all the score, lives, coins information on it solely so that the main screen had a clean feel to it, or during the game you find items which you can store in an inventory, being able to access that inventory during a level through the touchscreen would have been a nice feature (even if it might have cheapened the game a little) even if they simply took the current second screen functionality from NSMB2 and transferred it NSMBU it would have worked better than what they did.

                I have played NintendoLand. . . I kinda don't know what to say, because it is a mini game compilation, it says so on the Wikipedia article and even Nintendo themselves mention it by calling each game an attraction on it's official site. I understand the functionality through the connection with the Miiverse, plus I love the game myself (personally think it's the best Wii U Launch title) but I'm not sure what I would call it rather than a Minigame compilation. . .

                  Hahaha, I'm pretty sure I played a big role in reaching that point too :P

                  I see what you mean about reaching a peak. I guess for me though the peak was reached here, and now if I got another NSMB title it'd need to have something distinctly different about it for me to enjoy it properly.

                  I think that the HUD on the bottom screen mightn't have worked so well, but that's just personal taste, I like having the HUD where I can glance at it and not have to think about where it is. Plus I think if they'd just slapped all that on the lower screen, naysayers would point and scream "REHASH" even more. And you're 100% right about having inventory access cheapening the game, that's exactly why they didn't use it.

                  I think the name "minigame compilation" has negative connotations. It implies that the package is full of brief and shallow games that don't have any longevity... which isn't the case at all with NintendoLand.

                  I think I think I think I think I think. That's the crux of this discussion, really.

    Eh, I was a bit underwhelmed. I finished the game in like 5 hours, couldn't be bothered playing through the special worlds, and then sold it for a profit. Mario Galaxy on the other hand, all 120 stars and beating Bowser as Luigi. Loved it.

    I'm not surprised that Super Mario 3dland is doing well. considering its one of the few great games (judging from review scores) on the 3ds.

    I haven't gotten around to buying it yet. I got a 3ds mainly for mariokart and the pokemon series (black and the upcoming x and y). There just arn't enough "great" games on the 3DS available at the moment, and even if they are great, They are short lived and definitely not worth the $50-70 price tag (Australia). Even Mario Kart, which has lots of re-playability, just doesn't feel like a full priced game. For a comparison, I bough Far Cry 3, Hitman and Assassins Creed for $25 each the other week. while for 1 3ds game I have to fork out $60!

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now