Super Mario Maker is a nice little piece of kit that lets player create their own Mario levels based on a handful of Mario engine from the past. But when the game was announced to be ported to the 3DS, it did not make the transition completely intact, and I’m left wondering why.
The game for the most part, is a faithful port of the Wii U version, where you can find the level creator mode to play around with. And like before, you will have to play the Super Mario Challenge Mode to unlock more objects to put in levels. These challenges themselves actually form the basis for a great Mario on it’s own, even if there is no plot or exploration style map like in Super Mario Bros. 3, World, or New Super Mario Bros. U. There are 18 worlds with 4 levels each. This challenge mode existed in the Wii U version, but it didn’t have this many levels, or made use of the improvements that the Wii U version received I updates. Now those update are innate to the package. There’s also some weird banter between a Nintendo Power styled councillor lady and the director, who is envisioned as a pigeon. Much talk of things like Edamame is had, it’s a little out there.
But while the Super Mario Challenge is nice and all, the visual style doesn’t miss a beat, especially since the game still runs at 60 frames, although it’s missing 3D effect support. The music is nice as are the sound effects, and have made the transition smoothly as well. Although it is a bit jarring to hear fanfare sound effects go ‘WHOOO!’ when you collect a group of coins or power-up. Sounds like a great package, eh? Well, unfortunately for reasons unknown, Nintendo has crippled the game’s online features. If you wanted to share that awesome level you just made, your choices are to be able to do so locally. This can be done in person, or passively through Streetpass, and only once a day at that. You can connect to the servers to download most of the previously made levels on the Wii U version. But there level of curation is also limited, and there is no search option. It’s setup works more like a randomly generated gatchapon factory as ‘Recommended Courses’.
I do have to wonder why Nintendo chose to remove the online features and cripple this game. It only seems to accomplish the message that Nintendo doesn’t get online. Hopefully Nintendo will put out updates to restore functionality, but I’m not too hopeful. The only reason I could guess at the removal was that it wouldn’t fit on the cart, but not even I really buy that idea. At the end of the day, it is a portable solution of the Wii U game, but with the Switch coming on the horizon, we might just be in store for a proper follow up game that won’t have this issue, and more content like Super Mario Bros. 2, and slopes. As it is right now though, the game is hard to recommend, especially to those who already have the Wii U version.