Last year’s E3 saw the announcement of Mario Maker for the Wii U, which was recently revealed to be known as Super Mario Maker now. During the last year, we’ve seen a little more from the game, but I will honestly admit that it hadn’t grabbed me at all yet. That was until I got to go hands-on with the game this past weekend and now it is one of the most anticipated games for me for the rest of the year.
For those that are not lucky enough to make it out to E3, Nintendo teamed up with Best Buy to hold special events all around the country this past week to show off Super Mario Maker in store. They held this across two days, the first being on Wednesday and the second on Saturday. I did not have an opportunity to go to the first one, but did go the second day and luckily got a lot of hands-on time, with most of the crowd being there earlier.
Mario Maker gives you complete control of the Mario universe at your fingertips on the Wii U GamePad. Specifically, the game takes four different styles of Mario from four games: Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. Wii U. With the ability to switch between these, you can create pretty much any type of stage that you want.
Nintendo themselves will be creating a number of pre-made stages for you to play in the final game, along with the ability to share stages. For this demo, they had what I believe was 40 available pre-made stages that you could choose from and play.
These ranged from rather easy to near impossible at times. One in particular that I remember being insane took the Super Mario Bros. 3 physics and level design and combined an underwater stage with a super fast moving auto scrolling stage. For someone that loves difficulty in their gaming, this is something that had me so excited while playing , which is something I really did not expect, even as a longtime Mario fanatic.
The types of stages created almost felt like NES Remix on steroids and that is something that really has me excited. There are the easier levels available for the younger audience that can also make stages for hours, while there are the medium and very hard stages for adults.
I was able to try out the 10-Mario mode where you have 10 lives to make it through a number of stages in a row. This is definitely difficult and will be a true challenge when the game releases, with the full game also have a 100-Mario mode where a lot of the unlockable sprites supposedly will come from.
Online sharing of stages is what will truly make this game special, with near infinite possibilities of stage design. The interesting piece of information that my local Nintendo rep told me about this feature is that after one creates a stage, they have to actual beat it themselves in game to be able to share it online with others. This is a great idea, proving that all stages available for download are not just a joke to screw with people.
Since there wasn’t anyone else in line at the time, I was able to mess around with the level creator a bit as well. You can put blocks, items, enemies, and pretty much anything you want anywhere in the stage and it is so easy to do with the Wii U GamePad and stylus. It is very limited at this time with only two rows of items available to choose from at this time, but the potential is there already.
After spending a good bit of time with the game over a two hour span, I have to say I was very impressed by this game. It was very under the radar for me before, but now it is a must own game that I have to have when it releases on September 11 for Wii U.