We just came across this comment (by NAUGHT); it caught us rather off guard as we never considered having different levels for each version of N+ to be a bad thing.
In fact, using the same maps for DS/PSP was suggested by the developers, and we actually argued against it since we figured it might piss people off — it just seemed cheap and lazy to us. It’s sort of amusing that we’re being accused of some vast conspiracy for not cutting corners!
Having the same levels on all versions isn’t even possible, because each version is going to be a bit different.. I don’t know how much we can say at this point, but at the very least you can imagine that the dimensions of the levels might vary when the displays in question vary from HD-TV to PSP. Several other aspects of the game are going to work a bit differently on handheld vs XBLA.
Given the above, we figured it would be better to make each level specifically for each platform, instead of making a single level and adapting it.. that way each idea is more suited to the platform instead of just shoehorned in. Maybe it was stupid to assume that more levels was better than less levels?
Finally, there will be at least two people who will be playing it on all systems: us! And frankly we’d rather not be bored to tears beating the same damn level thrice. Is having the same game on several systems weird? We’ve got Super Mario World on three different consoles..
Anyway, there doesn’t really seem to be a down side to having each game come with unique levels — unless for some reason you become obsessed with the thought that somewhere out there are levels you haven’t played. Waiting. Out there. Alone.