Illegal ROM downloads and emulation has been a strange inspiration for Nintendo in the past year as games like NES Remix, NES Remix 2 and now Mario Maker all seem to be inspired by ROM hacking. While Super Mario Bros. level editors are nothing new to the homebrew front, this is the first time Nintendo has welcomed it on a home console. What Mario Party Legacy saw today was an early build of the game but one that gave a solid representation of what we should expect from the title.
Mario Maker utilizes the Wii U GamePad for editing which makes for a simple intuitive control scheme that allows players to quickly edit the levels. Don’t like where a pipe is placed? Drag it over a spot and extend it. Want a Piranha Plant to sprout wings and fly in the air? Totally possible since you are in control. While the demo Mario Party Legacy saw was limited in terms of enemy types and terrain, there was still a huge amount of potential for wackiness to ensue. The game gives you the power to create terrifying new levels that would put Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels to shame.
However, the amount of control you have doesn’t stop there. You can instantly go from editing your level to playing it with one tap of the stylus. The ability to quickly switch between interfaces is a key component so you can test out the game as you build the level. Another feature the demo showed off was how the graphics could be changed from the retro 8-bit style of Super Mario Bros. to the gorgeous High Definition style of New Super Mario Bros. U . The change, sadly, is only cosmetic since the game currently only plays like the original Super Mario Bros. For example, you cannot wall jump in the game and enemies still move like they would in the NES game.
While the game showed a lot of potential there are still some features that would be a welcomed addition in the final product. Having the ability to change the physics alongside the graphics is the most glaring omission. Also more types of enemies (demo was limited to 4 core types) and terrain pieces. That being said, Mario Maker has the chance to be something special if it launches with an online interface that allows levels to be shared easily. We’ll have more coverage on Mario Maker for Wii U as the release date nears.