Chris Kohler, editor over at Game|Life, has up a great interview with Super Mario Galaxy
director Yoshiaki Koizumi. They discuss the development of the Mario
games, clarifying Shigeru Miyamoto's tense relationship with stories
(and sentences), and discussing the lineage of the Mario
titles: "In terms of spiritual successors, I've never found that to be the case. Whereas with the Zelda series, each game seems to follow pretty closely from the last with a few stylistic deviations. But Galaxy really feels like it went back to earlier roots with Super Mario Bros., in terms of trying to find that same tempo, that same feel. But for me, it's a matter of thinking what to do with each next step. There's nothing you really throw away. You think about these ideas and refine them constantly with every iteration of a game series. So for all the camera problems that you may have found in Mario 64 and Sunshine, even though we didn't realize how to fix those problems then, those solutions presented themselves over time and found their way into this game. I feel like you really can't have Galaxy without all of the things we learned from Sunshine."