June 26, 2015

"Mario Maker" First Impressions

Last weekend I had the priveledge of demo-ing Mario Maker at Best Buy.

The Nintendo reps had their demo configured so in your time slot you could either ‘make’ a level, or play through one. Since I had a couple of questions in regards to game mechanics and small things on the creation side, I opted to ‘make’ a level. I didn’t have a lot of time, so I chose the Mario 3 theme, and made a basic underground level. It was a demo I was doing, so not all the features were present. Some questions were, if I’m building a level in Mario 3 style, but swap it to Mario World, will all the Racoon Leaves transform into Cape Feathers? Can I use Yoshi in game modes that he doesn’t appear in? Things like that.

Anyway, I was quite impressed by what I was able to do, and I know I’m going to be spending lots of the time with the tools available at launch. Heck, I have a few ideas [which you may find online once I post them through the game] I won’t do anything too nuts [I was never quite a fan of towers of enemies] but a few different things here and there. Mario 3 could very well be my favourite of all the Mario titles, so look for tons of levels with that scheme. In fact, when I was younger I enjoyed playing the Mario titles so much that I draw my own world maps and random ‘screenshots’ of levels I came up with myself by using colored pencil crayons. I don’t have those anymore, as I sent a good chunk to Nintendo themselves [no I’m not seeking credit, but I would not be surprised if some of those ideas got used.] Designing my own levels and being able to play them, and have others play them, is part of my childhood dream come true. I am looking forward to seeing how extensive, in –depth the creation is, and what will be available at launch. I can foresee some content being available in the future for download, but what or how much is guess-work.

Anyway, after I ‘made’ my level, I quickly ran through and beat it. If I had more time, I would have loved to made a level, beaten it, and played a level that the Nintendo Reps had pre-loaded. So, I hung out for an additional 10-15 minutes afterwards and watched two sets of people who chose to ‘play’ rather than ‘make’.

The game launches this September, to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Super Mario – the classic first game (but not the first appearance of Mario, as he appeared in a few arcade style titles on and off the NES before then. But, to me, it will always be the first Mario game); and looks to be an essential title for those who own a wii u. Whether or not it will improve sales of the console itself remains to be seen. I am also curious if there will be something free for the N3DS that allows you download / play Mario Maker levels on your N3DS. 

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