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Super Mario Maker

Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS, WiiU
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: Sept. 2015


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Wii U Preview - 'Super Mario Maker'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on June 15, 2015 @ 5:00 a.m. PDT

Build and rebuild the Mushroom Kingdom. For the first time ever, anyone can create 2D Mario levels using the Wii U GamePad controller.

Mario Maker was one of Nintendo's lower-key games at last year's E3. There wasn't a ton of hype behind it, and the displayed version was pretty basic. Things have been quiet on the Mario Maker front for about a year, and it's clear why. During the Nintendo World Championship at E3 2015, Nintendo debuted the unreleased Super Mario Maker as the final challenge for the contest. Not only did it make for a great viewing time, but it introduced a version of Mario Maker that was miles ahead of what was shown last year. Redubbed Super Mario Maker, it already has the potential to be one of the hits of E3, and the show hasn't even started yet!

Super Mario Maker lets you to create your own Mario levels. One of the key features is that it allows you to use the tile sets from four Mario titles: Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros. Last year, the tile set was mostly cosmetic, so you could swap between them quickly, but the gameplay stayed identical. In the year since then, each of the four modes now uses accurate physics from the game in question. Super Mario World Mario can spin jump, New Super Mario Bros. Mario can wall-jump and ground-pound, and in terms of basic movement, each one plays significantly differently from the other. This change is absolutely for the best and does a great job of helping Super Mario Maker feel like more than a basic level editor.

Of course, with that comes a variety of enemies. Almost all the classics look to be represented: Boos, Cheeps, Hammer Bros., Koopa Troopers and countless other Mario enemies. Enemies can even be bonded together to create terrifying chimera monstrosities that are more deadly than a single enemy. Likewise, classic power-ups like Super Mushrooms, Fire Flowers and even Yoshi are available for creators to use. A nice feature is that these abilities are not tied to the originating game, so you can use 8-bit items in 16-bit games. Some characters even have new sprites exclusively for older games, such as an 8-bit version of Bowser Jr., who showed up in one of the stages.

Super Mario Maker also contains a boatload of new content. While it has most of the classic Mario power-ups and abilities, it also introduces some new stuff, such as a new variation of Kuribo's Shoe, which replaces the iconic green boot with a stiletto heel. A controllable clown car, such as the one used by Bowser in Super Mario World, is also available to use. There are even absurd new power-ups, like a Spiney who transforms into a protective hat for Mario to wear.

There's a lot to see and do in Super Mario Maker, and the game allows you to mix and match classic Mario features in new and unusual ways. Do you want to have question mark blocks that spew swarms of Boos? Go for it. Want to create a giant pile of Bowsers? Completely viable. What was shown at the Nintendo World Championship displayed excitement and creativity that far eclipses what you might see in a regular level editor. The Nintendo World Championship levels focused on high-difficulty challenges, but it's clear that those are just one of many options available to those who wish to make the game.

We only got a small look at Super Mario Maker during the championship, but it was clear that it has evolved far beyond the simple level editor that was showcased at last year's E3. With boatloads of content, physics from four different games, and Mario features both classic and new, it has the potential to be a title with nearly infinite replay value. The World Championship levels were clearly a result of what arises when gamers across the world get their hands on Super Mario Maker's creative tools. Whether it's Kaizo Mario-style hatred or ridiculous goofy levels, there's a ton of potential here, and Super Mario Maker can provide the tools to do so.  Super Mario Maker is due out this September exclusively for the Nintendo Wii U.

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