Shigeru Miyamoto has revealed he opposed some of the customisation features in Mario Kart 7, but allowed the development team to include them in the final product as long as they first ensured the core gameplay experience lived up to past series efforts.
"I was actually pretty well against some of the customisation features of the game," Nintendo's design chief told the latest issue of Famitsu (translated by 1UP). "It can be fun to win money for racing and use it to buy parts and such, but I didn't think that had much to do with the core fun of the series.
"The idea for that came from the studio staff, though, and my final response was 'If you can build this customisation on top of a solid control and gameplay foundation, then go ahead.'"
Miyamoto went on to describe Mario Kart as a solid, established series that didn't need much tinkering with to bring it to 3DS.
"Sometimes people yelled at me to look at things more closely, but like I said, the core of Mario Kart is pretty solid by this point and I think it's safe to have it evolve in a pretty staid and traditional manner.
"The basic message here is 'Mario Kart's been powered up for the Nintendo 3DS,' and I think the online upgrades in particular are pretty neat. A lot of time was spent on how to get all the individual components working together - Wi-Fi and Street Pass, local and internet play."
On the subject of hang-gliding, one of the game's biggest new additions to the series, he said: "The way the gliders fly isn't particularly faithful to real life, but I think it feels pretty good in action."
Finally, Miyamoto explained the thinking behind the game's pretty rubbish name. "Coming up with the title was actually a lot of trouble for us, but it is the seventh game, and so it just sort of came down to what felt best. Besides, 7 is supposed to be a lucky number, isn't it?"
Mario kart 7 races into UK stores on December 2. Famitsu gave it 37/40 in its review.
For more on the title, check out this recent NGamer Mario Kart 7 preview.