One Giant Leap for DIY Platforming
With a massive pit of lava standing between me and the flagpole, I decided to get creative. Atop sporadically-placed blocks, I stacked several trampolines, creating columns of bouncing platforms that extended and contracted at irregular speeds. I began to jump, using each trampo-tower to get the height I needed to reach the next one. And when I found that two were too far apart, I simply paused the action and moved them within a closer yet still-challenging distance of one another. Then I threw in some Bullet Bill-firing cannons to make proceeding even more precarious, because I was running out of time and wanted to get a taste of how crazy things can get.
And believe you me, Super Mario Maker can get super crazy.
Of all the games I played at E3, this was the one I had the least amount of time with, about 10 minutes total. Yet, during that small temporal window, I actually got to take a good stab at doing what Nintendo has done wonderfully these last 30 years, creating a 2D Mario stage and actually playing around in it. I liked what I stabbed.
What was immediately apparent to me was the smoothness of the stage-maker interface, wherein placing and removing blocks, platforms, enemies and other obstacles (all of which are quickly accessible from a pull-down menu) is as simple as dragging them onto a grid on the GamePad screen. SMM gets a lot of mileage out of basic inputs that are smartly implemented to make modifying, rearranging and duplicating pieces a snap. Best of all, one can instantly go from editing a stage to playing it and then back again, so there is absolutely no waiting time standing between coming up with an idea, testing it out, making adjustments and repeating the process if necessary.
The whole thing is clean, easy to understand yet deep despite the accessibility, something the best Nintendo games pull off all the time. And in this case, it is also remarkably versatile. One need only look to images (read: LOOK AT OUR SMM IMAGE GALLERY!) and/or videos (like the ones Nintendo aired during E3) to really get an idea of the possibilities within Mario Maker.
Essentially, the game throws nearly every item, enemy and stage feature from across Super Mario’s history into a Wii U-shaped toybox from which fans have free reign to create whatever kind of stage they want with them. An 8-bit airship styled like the original Super Mario Bros. covered in cannons that spew everything from goombas to coins? That’s possible. A stage inspired by 16-bit classic Super Mario World where the only obstacles are giant Bowsers riding around in giant clown cars? It can be made. A lava-filled castle obstacle course built around the wall-jump feature exclusive to stages based off the modern-day New Super Mario Bros. U and populated by enemies stacked one on top of the other? Why not?
Pretty much any stage idea can be realized, and as long as they can actually beat their creations themselves (a smart restriction on Nintendo’s part), creators can share their works with the rest of the world and partake of the thousands, if not millions, of stages the community has to offer.
So, basically, what Nintendo has done is made it so they never need to make another Mario game ever again (not that they’re actually considering doing that… I hope). Super Mario Maker is remarkably robust and intelligently designed to make it easy for fans of all skill levels to become creators and do things Shigeru Miyamoto and his fellow game designers could only have dreamed of when they introduced the world to a pudgy little plumber with a jumping addiction.
I seriously can’t wait for my next chance to try to this game out, which should come when the game is released on September 11.
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
Images / Screenshots / Artwork
Our Super Mario Maker photo gallery currently contains 27 images. Click on any of the thumbnails below to see some of them, or the button to view more.
More Super Mario Maker Images »
[View Super Mario Maker images / screenshots +]
[Watch Super Mario Maker videos / trailers +]
[View more Super Mario Maker articles (news, previews, reviews) +]
[View Super Mario Maker cheats / guides +]
MORE FROM GAMEDYNAMO