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Super Mario Odyssey and the Lack of Lives System Explained By Game Director

Super Mario Odyssey is the game on the tip of every tongue at the moment, or at least the tongues that belong to Nintendo Switch owners. It’s the game we’re all looking forward to, yet there are some who aren’t too happy. Why? Because Mario no longer uses a lives system.

Instead of using lives that you lose whenever you meet a colourful end, you’ll lose coins instead with Super Mario Odyssey. It’s a bit more modern, you could say, and according to the game’s director, Kenta Motokura, there’s a good reason for the change.

We thought about how a lives system would work in this kind of broad, exploration-focused game. In this sort of game, there would be a lot of different restart points. We decided not to use the lives system because it was not an element that was absolutely necessary. We also thought that it would affect some users’ desire to play because, while users who are good at the game would rarely see the (game over) screen that comes up when Mario runs out of lives, inexperienced users would probably end up seeing it frequently.

Well, that settles that, then. Shall we get back to being excited and stop worrying about the little things?

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