Super Mario Maker on the Wii U was a unique title that caught a lot of people by surprise. The ability to create and mold your own Mario levels, along with playing levels from other creators, made for an enjoyable and timeless experience. When a 3DS version was announced, gamers everywhere thought this was a cool idea: being able to bring the Mario Maker experience with you wherever you go sounds like a perfect idea. But do technical limitations of the 3DS hold back this game?
Incase you are unfamiliar with the source material, Super Mario Maker is a game where you essentially create, share, and play custom Mario levels. Using a graphical template from Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, or New Super Mario Bros U, players can create whatever sort of crazy level they can think of. Each graphical style makes the jump from the Wii U to the 3DS with ease, with only New Super Mario Bros U looking not quite as crisp as its console counterpart. I didn’t encounter any slowdown or issues with the game in the graphics department, which is impressive considering the scale to handheld.
Another thing that is really well done is the way you unlock things to create levels with. The Wii U version of the game slowly crept along as far as unlocking additional items went. It took about seven days in real time to do (unless you sped up your Wii U’s clock, cheater!). In the 3DS version of the game, a majority of items are available right from the start without having to spend days playing to unlock additional content, which really helps with the “jump in and play” mentality. Nintendo has changed how to unlock additional items with a new mode: Super Mario Challenge.
Defeating created Mario levels in the Super Mario Challenge mode releases more tools for the level creator mode. . These levels are pretty fun and are unique to the 3DS version of the game. There are also additional challenges in the levels, such as defeat only certain enemies, adding to the overall replay value.
So everything sounds fantastic right? A new mode, the same gameplay from the Wii U version, a quicker way to unlock things, and a pretty solid transition between visual fidelity from the console to the handheld. Should be a home run right? Well, no.
You see, Super Mario Maker is about creating levels. The Wii U version was so great because you could create and share with the world online. The 3DS version of this game does not feature that. The only way to share your levels is via StreetPass or local multiplayer. That’s it. You cannot upload your courses online in any way. This almost makes creating levels pointless unless you live in a city or have a lot of friends who pick up this game There isn’t anyone to enjoy your courses with because no one will ever play them.
As far as downloading courses, this has been heavily restricted, too. You only can choose from a handful of Nintendo selected courses to download. There is no way to search for anything in terms of popularity, difficulty, upload date, or anything like that. This once again severely limits the 3DS version of this game, and kills a lot of the replay value that made the Wii U version so great.
If you own a Wii U and 3DS, honestly, there is no reason to pick up the 3DS version of Super Mario Maker. The Wii U version is far superior and you can actually share your courses with others, which is the main function of the game.
Mario die-hards that only have a 3DS will find some enjoyment in playing the new mode, and the limited selection of online courses, but without the ability to share your created courses with the world, it seems like a waste of time.