Mario and Luigi Dream Team - 3DS - Official Screenshots - Nintendo - 003

The latest in the popular Mario & Luigi RPG series took much longer to make than expected, claims Producer Akira Otani in a recent Iwata Asks interview. The decision comes not from being a complicated game but rather a creative choice to include 2D pixel art instead of 3D graphics.

Long ago are the days when 3D seemed impossible and 2D sprites were the only option, I suppose. However, it makes sense now that polygons and character models can be whipped together and bent to do whatever a programmer might need. Sprites need to be drawn traditionally with one frame at a time.

However, the graphics in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team are not your average pixelated sprites. Otani says that much of the work hours devoted to this game’s graphic were used to give them a distinct 3D look.

“We worked out special ways of drawing and using color to make them look three-dimensional. The work load was tremendous, but thanks to that, it has the sort of smooth polish distinctive of AlphaDream.”

Mirroring the characters walking animation was not possible thanks to the asymmetrical “L” on Luigi’s. Didn’t think 30 years into the future on that one, did you Nintendo?

Take all the time you need AlphaDream with this bold graphical decision. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team‘s graphic style rubbed me the wrong way at first, but now I am a total convert. Old cranky gamers like myself long for more pixelated art in video games, so it’s great to see that a mainstream game will still support them as high resolution character art continues to grow and grow.

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team will release in America on August 11 for the Nintendo 3DS.

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