One thing Nintendo aren’t behind on is the Wii U’s gamepad. While Sony and Microsoft pour millions into get services like PlayStation Now up and running Wii U had the very much en vogue ‘second screen’ functionality ready to go at launch, although having a slow start we’re only really getting to see the Wii U’s gamepad get used more inventively.
Creator games are something you could say Nintendo are a little behind on however, sure we’ve had Mario Paint and Warioware D.I.Y., but playing Mario Kart 8 recently did make us think in light of games like Modnation Racers and Trials Fusion that the game would benefit from a track creator, something bound to propagate a much wider community beyond hardcore competition racers and Luigi Death Stare video makers. Just pause a second to imagine how insane a Mario Kart track creator could really be.
As if by magic E3 came along and with it the rumours of a Mario Maker game, ‘This could be potentially huge’ we thought and following the game’s reveal it definitely stands out as a title that will be big next year on Wii U.
And having a go on Mario Maker does make you think that up against the biggest player in the platform creator space LittleBigPlanet it has the edge in terms of simplicity and gameplay. The user interface is clean and straightforward and throwing a Mario stage together is pretty speedy, we had the basics of a level done within a few minutes.
Press one button and you can test out your creation straight away and the familiar fine tuned Mario world platforming physics are there making us think straight away that it has the edge on LittleBigPlanet for controls. Although you can't do half the stuff you can do on LBP.
HITC World (working title)
There is a sense with the build we saw that Mario Maker attempts to foster your creativity by making you work within deliberate limitations You have access to familiar platforms, enemies pipes and the like but at present you only use two different stylistic treatments either the 80s Super Mario Bros or the more textured New Super Mario Bros world.
Of course these are early days yet and the word is more content is coming. What we haven’t seen with Mario Maker yet is sharing and multiplayer functionality. For the game to be really massive we feel it’s completely crucial that sharing levels at least comes along, what’s the point of making the most sadistically testing and utterly unforgiving platform level in existence if you can’t get others to play it?
We wait to hear more about Mario Maker but first impressions have got us hopeful and the Wii U gamepad doesn’t just look like a gimmicky gaming toy any more