New 2D Mario game heading to 3DS

We saw a lot of Mario toward the end of 2011. With Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land seeing both critical and commercial success, the 3DS was host to some truly spectacular gameplay experiences. Of course, as fun as Mario Kart games may be, a lot of gamers hold the Italian plumber's platforming quests very dear to their hearts, even more so than the stellar kart-racing franchise.

Super Mario 3D Land was an impressively crafted platformer, and it really provided something special for 3DS owners. The game managed to blend 2D-style gameplay with 3D environments practically flawlessly, and it proved once more why Mario is the king of the platformer. Now, though, it seems Nintendo wants to put its focus on delivering yet another side-scrolling game in the series.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata recently addressed the state of the 3DS, saying that gamers could expect more quality titles being released at a steadier pace. Logos for games such as Mario Tennis, Rune Factory 4, and Paper Mario all popped up in an online briefing, but Iwata made sure to point out that more retro-style Mario was in store, too.

"Although there is no logo here, we are planning to release a totally new side-scrolling action Super Mario in 2D as a key title for the Nintendo 3DS in the next fiscal year," stated Iwata. "With the fulfillment of software, we are confident that we will be able to make the Nintendo 3DS active for the full year as the mainstream platform in the video game market."

I'm really glad that Nintendo is taking initiative in bringing both first-party and third-party software to the 3DS at such a steady pace. A lack of content is what made the 3DS launch a total letdown. Here's hoping the system sees increasing success in 2012. Also, who else is totally stoked about this new 2D Mario game? I can't wait to learn more about that one!