Super Mario 3D Land game director, Koichi Hayashida has told IGN that the company did experiment with bringing a Super Mario Galaxy type game to the 3DS when developing the first Mario title for the handheld, but found the small screen wasn't great for the existing experience.
"When we started developing the game, we displayed Super Mario Galaxy 2 on a small TV monitor and found that Mario looked like a speck and that the game was difficult to play," said Hayashida. "This led us to look into the camera and terrain types that would be conducive to playing on a portable screen with a relatively large Mario. If we were making a console game, from the very start, we wouldn't have been thinking about any of those things, and I think the game would have probably been a lot different."
Hayashida added that he feels the team has made a Mario game in which players needn't worry about the camera.
"In terms of camera movement and player control, I think we were able to make the Galaxy series such that players could play without moving the camera themselves, but this time we went one step further and made it so that anyone can play the game without worrying about the camera."
Nintendo's design decisions clearly paid off, with the game scoring an impressive 9/10 in our Super Mario 3D Land review.