Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS
Game review on New 3DS
Kris Godwin / Thu 8th Dec 2016
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Note: GSR's original Super Mario Maker Wii U review can be found here.
Originally released for Wii U in 2015, Super Mario Maker was (and still is) a fantastic game that finally gave gamers the power to create and share their own Mario courses. Since its launch, the game's community has fully taken advantage of its powerful tool set, with levels that have been bursting with design genius, whilst ensuring that game - quite literally - never ends.
Now, the game has been re-released for Nintendo 3DS, taking advantage of 60 million new users! Does it make the transition intact? Or does it suffer from the handheld's limitations?
As a package, Super Mario Maker is remarkably similar to its home console brethren. All four graphical styles return, in addition to most of the creation tools (Amiibo compatibility and sound recordings don't make the cut, unfortunately).
Still, you do obtain all of the stuff to play with almost immediately, which will undoubtedly come to the relief of those who disliked the original's approach of making you wait a certain time-frame.
However, new players need no worry about feeling overwhelmed, as lessons are available in order to ease you into the whole thing, and they're hosted by the delightful pigeon Yamamura and customer service lady Mashiko (who were a hidden highlight of Mario Maker's digital manual).
The 100 Mario Challenge mode also returns, with all difficulty settings unlocked from the off. The 10 Mario Challenge has been cut, however, and has been replaced with the Super Mario Challenge.
For me, this was the best part of this port, as it is built like an actual Mario adventure game, with 18 worlds and a renewed importance on 1-ups. Levels, though fixed, are nevertheless super enjoyable to play through, with specific gimmicks built around items.
Unfortunately, Super Mario Maker for 3DS is missing a pivotal feature - course sharing. Well, when I say 'missing', I really mean 'pared back drastically.
You can no longer upload courses online, and all of the community features are gone. Now, you're only able to share course with others via StreetPass, and downloading user-courses is an entirely random process.
To me, this makes the 3DS port more of a 'game', and less of a creation suite. The pre-made offerings are the star of the show here, with community inputs relegated to a chaotic - albeit comprehensive - aside.
As expected, the visuals are clean and pleasing, as is typical Mario. The 2D modes translate very well to the 3DS screen, but the New Super Mario Bros. aesthetic suffers from some muddy and zoomed-out issues.
Additionally, there is no 3D effect to speak of, which is a shame, considering it would been great to see Nintendo implement 3D-specific ideas to gameplay (multiple planes, anyone?).
It's... it's Mario! Aside from being unable to record via the microphone, sound is just as jaunty as the Wii U version.
If you're expecting a true, 1:1 portable Super Mario Maker, then you'll probably be disappointed. Those who can't get enough of creating and sharing content will definitely be underwhelmed by the strange omission - the 3DS definitely has the network capabilities, after all.
However, if you buy this as more of a 'gamey' title; one that focuses more on the action rather than crafting, then you'll definitely have a blast.
Review copy provided by Nintendo Australia