More Thoughts On Super Mario Maker

I wrote my Super Mario Maker review last week, and after seeing the public’s thoughts on the game, as well as a comment I received, I think it’s necessary to continue the dialogue.

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[/su_lightbox]Super Mario Maker truly is the first of its kind. Does it have its problems? Actually, very few of what I would consider actual problems. The ‘issues’ are all in what Super Mario Maker does not include. I found the image to the right (I do not know who gets credit for it) that nicely illustrates what’s missing.

Yeah, having those things would be nice. I spoke about that in my review. I want different biomes. I want slopes. The missing suits and even items which introduce major mechanics would be great too. Those things can be added in a patch/dlc.

There are bigger issues here with which I do agree.

No Map Maker in Super Mario Maker

No World or Map Maker

Here’s where most people get hung up: You can’t actually make a full Mario game in Super Mario Maker. You can’t make a world. You can’t make a map. Super Mario Maker is about making levels or courses. It’s about sharing those courses with people online and with friends. You download courses and rate them, discuss them, etc. People have taken to themes whether they be levels that are zany and play themselves, or creating the most ridiculously impossible course ever.

Yeah, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could make our own map and set up a series of levels? I’d love to theme a world and connect everything together. Lives right now don’t matter unless you play 100 Mario Mode. Fighting a boss is silly because it’s not really a boss of anything. There’s not progression. But again, that’s not Super Mario Maker’s fault.

However, the framework is already there for this to be a feature. When saving a level you can choose to save it to a world. Right now those worlds serve no purpose. Could this be a feature coming soon?

Lack of Purpose

This was alluded to a moment ago when I talked about lives not mattering and bosses serving no purpose. There is a distinct lack of “I should be checking these ?-blocks!” If you die it doesn’t matter. Coins don’t matter. Storing items doesn’t matter. If you die you just start over.

This is Not the Game You’re Looking For…

While I agree completely with all of the above, technically that’s not the fault of the game or its developers. They made a fantastic game within a tool, and a rather innovative new one at that. Super Mario Maker is a course maker using the items available. The point is sharing what you make with others in bite-sized pieces. With what we have been given, this is revolutionary.

I personally want the tools to make a Mario 64 or even a Super Mario 3D World level. How amazing would that be?!

It’s hard to ding a game for being completely new but not going the extra mile that we can only see now that we have this new thing in our hands. That’s why I think Super Mario Maker deserves the near-perfect score I gave it.  Now, if Nintendo launches Super Mario Maker 2 and adds nothing upon this model… then we have a lot to complain about.

I think this is only the beginning for this model. I predict Nintendo will run with this idea and create a Mario Kart variation, as well as a version to introduce Mario 64 / the 3D model. This has generated an enormous amount of buzz for them around something that has been out for 30 years… it’s incredible.

  • I totally agree with your follow-up post here, but it is entirely fair to ding the game for not including those features.

    A 9.8 rating to me means a practically flawless game, and because they are charging full price, it seems pretty clear there are a couple of major flaws. I don’t want to grip on your rating, just saying.

    The level creation tools are fantastic, but the lack of a full wrap world creator is a gigantic missing piece.

  • I think it boils down to whether or not they intended for that to be the experience. I don’t believe they intended Mario Maker to be a “Make a Mario game” experience. I believe they intended for a “Share, rate, and build Mario levels”. Given my belief, I hope you can see why I gave the game that rating. It’s pretty darn near-flawless in that regard.

    Note: I think it’s also subjective to the scoring system we use. We are very different from your typical 1-10 system.

    From our Review Process page:

    1 to 4: Absolutely horrible. Avoid this game at all costs. We even regret playing it.

    5 to 7: Average. There is no real reason for you to run out and buy this title right away, but it might have a few redeeming qualities.

    8 to 9: Great! This game is highly recommended.

    10: Absolutely phenomenal. No game is perfect, not even a 10, but this comes close. We not only enjoyed this game immensely but we will be playing it over and over. You absolutely must buy this title.

    I’d say Mario Maker falls right in that great to phenomenal range. Not perfect — no game is — but so close. Heck, even missing the features and if we were to ding them I can’t imagine docking it below a 9.