Super Mario Maker Preview
Nintendo recently showed off their games from E3 at a special event in London's trendy Shoreditch and I was very lucky to receive an invite. So I thought I'd try and write down some of my thoughts and feeling from the games I got to play.
As I entered the room and even outside it's kind of clear what game Nintendo wants you to have front of mind. There's a giant mural on the wall outside celebrating Super Mario Bros 30th anniversary. Super Mario Maker had by far the most demo units to play (8) in a dedicated room as you entered the venue. Anyone who loves 2D Mario games is gonna fall hard for Super Mario Maker. In the demo there were a variety of prebuilt levels to jump into (including the ones from the recent Nintendo World Championships) and some of the levels can get painfully hard, but you find yourself ready each time to try again and beat that level. When you do inevitably die, you can see where everyone else globally has also failed around that point in the level, gently encouraging you that you're not the only one to fall at that hurdle.
Trying to squeeze making a competent Mario level into a 20 minute window is a big ask, however the tools make it surprisingly fun. My favourite touch is after testing the level you can view a ghost trail of where your Mario travelled, making it easy to place traps or enemies for crazy jumping tricks.
Nostalgia seems to play a big role in the game and it's pretty cool seeing newer enemies get downgraded to 8Bit incarnations. Nostalgia for nostalgias sake though has it's downfalls. When creating courses the "undo" button is a dog icon 🐶. Eagle eyed Nintendo fans will recognise this from Mario Paint. But it is not 1992, Nintendo can't pretend that the world agreed that the best icon to represent undo is a back arrow ↩️. Don't be surprised if there's a lot of Miiverse posts asking Nintendo to add an undo button.
However all the tools you could ever ask for to make amazing Mario levels are there and the tools to share and review them online seem intuitive. Of course this is just scratching the surface but my 20 minutes is up again and there's so many other games to play. . . .