Developer(s) – Nintendo EAD Group No 4
Publisher(s) – Nintendo
Director – Yosuke Oshino
Producer(s) – Tazashi Tezuka & Horiyuki Kimura
Partly inspired by the Super Nintendo classic Mario Paint, Super Mario Maker is a game in which players are given the facility to design their own Super Mario courses, and share them across the Internet with players from around the world. Personally, whilst I was mightily impressed with the practically infinite amount of replay value there is to be had with this title, I did have a few issues with it preventing me from being able to call it the ultimate Mario experience.
Graphics – 8/10
The templates available to players to create their own Super Mario levels consist of the conceptual and technological design of the original Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros U. By proxy, players will already know that they will eventually be in for a whirlwind of customisation options involving some of the most wonderfully outlandish conceptual design in video game history. If that weren’t enough, Nintendo have also added a few new elements into the mix that can be implemented, such as distorting scenery to add to a stage’s level of challenge, and a whole range of sound effects and scenery effects like fireworks, and funny noises activated whilst interacting with certain object in each stage. In some of the better level designs I’ve encountered so far, I’ve been impressed with how Nintendo have managed to keep the franchise relatively fresh and creative even after thirty years.
Gameplay – 7/10
As mentioned, what this entails is players designing, sharing and playing a multitude of different Super Mario courses based on four templates of four classic Mario games. Different elements can be unlocked through either playing other people’s courses, or through the nine-day unlocking cycle; but there is another way of getting round this for anyone who would prefer to have these features unlocked even sooner. All that the player must do is experiment with the creating mode for 5 minutes at a time, at which point they will receive a notification that new features will soon be available, After this, the player can then set the date forward by a day in the system settings, reload the game, and the new features will become available. This can be done multiple times until all the features are unlocked. However, one problem that I think will always apply to this game is that the levels present will always vary in quality from either masterful to exceedingly boring, since content is almost solely user-generated. I’ve already encountered this problem whilst playing, and I don’t think this at least is likely to ever change.
Controls – 10/10
There isn’t hardly anything to say about the game’s controls, since it consists of a control scheme, which has already been around for thirty years, and has been perfected all this time. Super Mario Bros set the standard of how a 2D side scrolling video game should be correctly developed, and by proxy, there was never going to be an issue with controls.
Originality – 6/10
Though the entire concept of user-generated content and modding is by no means anything new to the world of gaming, Nintendo have still managed to at least keep the Mario franchise relatively fresh by adding a gameplay concept new to it, whilst along the way, adding new elements never seen in Super Mario stages before. Ultimately, the majority of what uniqueness this game holds lies with the player’s ability to design as many rich and varied courses as possible, and from what I’ve seen so far the quality of that has ranged from captivatingly unique to courses that Nintendo themselves would despair at if they were to see them for themselves.
Overall Super Mario Maker is a very decent game. It also has the potential to be even better still if Nintendo decide to provide players with even more course templates and elements as the next few months or years go on. In my opinion, it could potentially pave the way for Nintendo to make even more of these kinds of games, which could be extremely interesting if they decide to do so. It would be just another example of how this franchise could possibly continue to establish new trends in the world of gaming.