It might have been a bit odd to launch a new handheld without a Mario game in the day-one lineup, but it looks like we'll have to wait a little longer. Super Mario for the Nintendo 3DS is set to come out before the year is over, and we got a quick look at gameplay at Nintendo's press conference during the first day of the Electronic Entertainment Expo. It's a new 3D platforming adventure with different perspectives, blending a bit of side-scrolling and 3D gameplay that we've grown accustomed to since Mario 64.
What's exciting is that the raccoon suit is back, a brown cuddly suit with a striped-tail that is adorable but doesn't help Mario look any slimmer. While we didn't see Mario take flight, we're sure that the leaf power-up has properties that we're just dying to take advantage of. Familiar foes like goombas, cheep cheeps, and bob-ombs will return for Mario to stomp on, and it looks like some members of the Koopa clan will be around for some entertaining boss battles. Some levels--which shared themes from previous Mario games--had a top-down perspective, while some areas had Mario moving from left to right. We watched as Mario carefully walked along rails, dodged spikes, jumped over rotating blocks, bounced along a keyboard, and doggy-paddled underwater.
Super Mario will be playable on the E3 show floor, so be sure to keep an eye out for a hands-on update later on today. The game is set to come out by the end of the year.