I dunno. The Squirrel seems different enough to me. In addition to traditional gliding, he's got a double jump (Something that Mario hasn't really had before, oddly enough,) and the ability to wall hang forever.
Really though, wasn't the cape just a rip-off of the raccoon ability, come to think of it?
Ice = Beats undead enemies, ineffective against spiked or large foes, turns effected enemies into projectiles or platforms, and has a shorter, but higher range than the fire. I'd say it's different enough to warrant existance.
As for skating, just think about how practical that would be in a 2D game requiring underwater segments and get back to me.
And how does that Flying Squirrel suit remind you of the Tanooki suit? They both float, yeah, but only the Tanooki can truely fly, and it has super ground-pound and invincibility abilitys. Flying Squirrel gets the other bonuses I've pointed out earlier. Really, their biggest similarity is that they're both costumes based on small mammals.
They should make it more interesting though, like it's the same story over and over and over again =/ They should make a mario game with a small twist like Bowser kissing peach, mario knows about it and thinks she likes Bowser better than him but they are actually a hologram made by mindbus or some villan and Bowser and Peach are trapped, at the end Mario finds out, knocks out the villan and saves Bowser and Peach, but the villan becomes concious, explodes the place, he gets killed, Mario, Peach and Bowser try to escape but their path is destroyed and the way out is blocked, the only way out is thousg a small hole in the cieling 50 ft (or more) away from them so Bowser apologises for all the wrong he's done to them and tells Mario to keep Peach safe and love her cuz there's no one else like her in the world, grabs the both and with all his might, throws them to the hole and are safely outside but before they leave Peach looks back with sorrow and Bowser glances back with a hopeless grin and the ground underneath him explodes and peach leaves with an astonished expression, a few hours pass and mario and peach go back to the place just to find Bowser's lifeless body, shoked, Peach quickly tries to revive him in vain then Rosalina appears all of the sudden telling Mario and Peach that she can revive him but he will not be able to remember them or anything at all. So she does and Bowser wakes up while Peach hugs him with tears of joy but Bowser asks the confused, who are you where am I etc. So they tell him lies that he's Mario's and Peach's best friend who saved them but something hit him that he doesn't remember. So they joyfully go to Peach's castle, give him a tour and make him the castle's gurad, at the end Bowser Peach and Mario go to sleep but before Bowser goest to his room Peach tell him that she is glad he's back and Bowser says that he is too. He goes to his room locks himself and looks at himself in the mirorr, in the mirror, the reflexion shows the villan's reflexion and says to himself "all according to plan" the game ends so to b continued in the next game... you know.. cinematic like... (sorry 4 the spelling, and grammar ) my idea btw lol
Well, you're actually wrong, only the Mario SIDE-SCROLLERS are that way since they are a revival of the original SMB on the NES, hence the ttitle "New Super Mario Bros." simply for fans to enjoy the side-scroller feel again and not have to worry about a big story they have to follow and remember to understand the game, they could finally again JUST focus on the GAMEPLAY. But games like the Paper Mario series, the Mario Galaxy series, and Super Mario Sunshine have stories. So you can't say none or even half of the Mario games have no story except for saving the princess, Nintendo has grown up and look at all the games with a story in the different branches of the Mario series, the only ones without one are the side-scrollers, and most people want it to stay that way, including me, because EVERYONE has had at least ONE time in their video game life where they didn't want to play a game with that story you had to know to understand most of how the game went and JUST worry about not losing and having fun. That's all. Understand?