Reviews// Super Mario Maker 3DS

Posted 26 Jan 2017 14:10 by
My only other concern with this mode is that because it is a series of challenges there is no feeling of progression that is apparent in more traditional Mario releases. I never felt as if I was on an adventure as I always did when I played Super Mario World. However, this is a relatively minor quibble: overall the standard is excellent. Furthermore, challenge mode also features 'medals' that can be acquired by completing certain objectives during each level. For example, on one level the game asks you to jump on every 'Dry Bones,' before reaching the end. Successfully completing a challenge rewards the player with a medal. Collect forty of these and an extra world is unlocked following the completion of World 18. Although, as I mentioned, earlier levels are rather easy to finish, these challenges do become progressively tougher and completing them all would require a serious time committment.

Level designing in Mario Maker 3DS hardly strays from the formula established in the Wii U version of the game. Levels can be created using either the Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World or New Super Mario Bros U style. I was hoping that Nintendo might include some templates for the rather forgotten Gameboy games in the series, however it seems that the company believes they are indeed best left forgotten.

There is hours of fun to be had from this mode, however it does have one extremely significant drawback compared with its Wii U brother. Levels in the 3DS version cannot be shared online, neither can new levels be downloaded from Nintendo's online service. I am not entirely sure what the rationale for this is as the 3DS is just as capable online as the Wii U. Levels can be shared using StreetPass, but sadly the number of people using this has, anecdotally, declined considerably over the past year. In the time I have been playing the game (and carrying it around with me) I have downloaded two levels from other players, not a great hit rate.

The inclusion of the massive 'Super Mario Challenge' is undoubtedly intended to address the problem of a lack of content. However, without an online mode Super Mario Maker on the 3DS feels like a missed opportunity. I would imagine that we will have to wait for the inevitable Switch version of the game before we can play Mario Maker levels online and on the go.

Despite the lack of online play, Super Mario Maker on the 3DS is still worth buying, particularly if the player hasn't tried the (superior) Wii U version. The 'Super Mario Challenge' alone will provide hours of play. It is just a shame that Nintendo couldn't find the time to add online functionality to push the game from being good to truly essential.

Pros:
+ Super Mario Challenge is enormous.
+ Medal system provides surprising depth.
+ Course creation is still very enjoyable.

Cons:
- No online course sharing.
- Visually uninspiring.
- Course creation can be a little fiddly on smaller systems.

SPOnG Score: 8/10
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