Posted June 11, 2014 by Jeremy Jastrzab in Feature

E3 2014: Mario Maker Preview

Have you ever played a Mario game and thought “man, which bozo designed this level?”, and quickly added “seriously, I could design a WAY better level”. Well, following in the footsteps of Project Spark and LittleBigPlanet3, you can finally do so with Mario Maker. Sure, there are guys who have been doing this on the internet for years, and many other games allow you to do this, but for the first time such a tool has been made available on a Nintendo console.

Mario Maker is pretty much a perfect fit for the Wii U, and it’s almost a surprise that the game wasn’t thought of sooner. After all, LittleBigPlanet has been around for a few years now, and at the least, the Wii Remote could have been used as a tool to help alleviate using menus and controller pads. Also, while what was saw was pretty basic in terms of tools available for creation, there were a few features that allowed Mario Maker to stand out on its own.


Most pertinently, was the immediacy of everything in the game. At the press of a button, you were in the ‘creation mode’ adding blocks, tiles, items and enemies, and then with another press you were back on the game. Another nifty feature was that you could switch from 8-bit Mario to ‘New’ Mario (full HD) at the flip of a switch as well. It’s pretty much a given that you’ll be able to switch between the SNES Mario as well, though whether they extend this to Game Boy Mario is another matter…

Trailing your levels as you built them was important – after all, for a game that is based around precise jumping and movement, you will want to get into the option screen and move that tile by one frame in the easiest possible way. Handily, you have a ‘trace’ of the path that Mario takes as you move. This further helps with the precision with which you can set your levels. Thankfully, the gamepad allows for that precision.


Nothing was revealed in concrete detail for the time being, but it can only be assumed that the game will allow for players to share and rate levels that have been created amongst one another.  After all, it was very interesting to see developers on the E3 show floor coming to try the game and creating levels themselves. The possibilities are quite exciting when you sit back and think about them.

At an E3 show that has been pretty safe, where most announcements and reveals have been mostly expected, Mario Maker manages to mix in a bit of old and a bit of new. And while it may be argued that something like this is somewhat overdue, it’s definitely exciting for anyone who has wanted to try their hand at creating levels for a Mario game. Again though, you won’t be doing it till 2015.

Jeremy Jastrzab

Jeremy is the former executive editor of PALGN, and freelance journalist.


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