Super Mario 3D Land offers a more accessible, compact experience that users can "gobble down", according to the game's director.
Speaking in a typically insightful Iwata Asks interview on the Nintendo site, Koichi Hayashida explained that he wanted 3D Land to be "like a hamburger" rather than Galaxy 2's "imperial feast".
"You can walk around with a handheld system, so some people can play on the train when you commute," he said.
"I live a few stations away from the station nearest from my home to the company's, so at first I thought I should aim for light courses that you could clear in about that time and stop playing whenever you got off the train."
Iwata chimed in, stating that approach is very different than the one taken in Super Mario Galaxy 2, which Hayashida also directed.
"Yes," he replied. "To me, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is like the Manchu Han Imperial Feast.
"It's the kind of game that says, 'There's all this laid out before you, so eat whatever you want!' To eat it all takes hours, so when you finish eating, your stomach is full. We put in everything that had built up since Super Mario Sunshine and made Super Mario Galaxy 2 to be a game that has everything."
In contrast, the development team aimed to "reset" the Mario experience when putting together SM3L.
"This time, I wanted to make a compact game that, rather than the Manchu Han Imperial Feast, was lighter, like a hamburger you could just gobble down. I decided to start thinking from there," he added.
Despite the fact that the game was initially designed as "an introduction to all the Super Mario games we made before," Hayashida added that more content was added until it was almost as meaty as Galaxy 2.
"We really wanted to make a game that's easy to get into, so we weren't planning on making it a game full of features," he explained. But once we started making it and included the special stages, it turned out to have quite a lot of volume."
"I agree that the volume is comparable with even the Super Mario Galaxy games so I'm not sure about it being compact," added Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata.