NS Preview – Super Mario Maker (Wii U)

Super Mario Maker Nintendo Wii U 1 million copies

Regular readers of the site might remember that us guys at Nintendo Scene went to Shoreditch a month or so ago to play the new games from E3 in Shoreditch, during which we all had a bit of a mess around with Nintendo’s celebratory title, Super Mario Maker. Recently I have been able to get a full hands-on with the game (i.e. without a slightly overbearing and over-helpful attendant) and I just wanted to share a few initial impressions with you all.

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This game has a wondrous start, easing you slightly into the editor before dropping you fully into the pool of options. The initial items you can play with are essentially everything (with the exception of a couple of power ups) that you would see in World 1-1 of the original Super Mario Bros.; but the amount that you can do with just that set of items and objects is incredible. I began with a simple left-to-right platforming level, in the vein of the opening level to the original game, but soon my imagination ran away with me and the levels became stranger and stranger. This is made completely possible because the editor is both satisfyingly in depth, but such an easy and intuitive system to use. In short, although I can only make relatively simple levels at the moment, I can develop the skills I have learnt as each new item/object set unlocks.

This being said, the levels that others have made or that already exist are bewildering. If anything, playing the other levels that people have made has been the most responsible for my own imagination developing in the editor. Some of the designs are so cleverly constructed, or devilishly difficult, that you realise that there’s a lot more that can be done with the editor. I have only briefly delved into the user-created content but I can already tell that the bulk of fascination with this game for most people will be found here.

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As well as that, the in-game 10-Mario Challenge is incredibly fun and is the mode I have so far spent the second most time in (aside from the editor). It basically gives you ten lives to complete eight randomly chosen levels from the in-game levels and the difference between the levels in terms of difficulty and imagination is incredible and gives you a greater idea of what can be done with the game. Simply put, the ‘Play’ side and ‘Create’ side of the game work in a strange kind of tandem and feed into one another in a wonderful way that I haven’t seen in a level editor before (and I have played a fair few).

Also, my first impressions (and the praise I have for it at this stage) don’t end here, as this game is spectacularly well-presented too. Visually even the original Super Mario Bros. palette is crisper and more colourful than ever before, without losing any of the simple details that continue to make the original game so endearing. The choice to base the editor itself on Mario Paint is a masterstroke of genius from Nintendo as not only does it make the editor remarkably simple to use, but aesthetically it succeeds in being both tidy and instantly comprehensible.

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That’s all I have to say about the game at the moment, as I have only played the game an hour or so and only have used one item/object set so far (although by the time this posts I will have three to play around with). However, if the rest of it matches up to what I’ve played so far, I am going to be playing this game a long time. Check back in two weeks for my full review of Super Mario Maker, but in the meantime drop any thoughts or questions you might have in the comments or tweet me (@reuthegamer).

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