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Super Mario Maker photo
Super Mario Maker

This has to be one of the hardest Mario Maker levels

Have mercy on us all
Sep 21
// Jordan Devore
It took Bananasaurus Rex, the guy who can do the impossible in Spelunky, "about four hours from start of practice" to clear this absurdly difficult Super Mario Maker level. Just watch.
Dtoid Designs photo
Dtoid Designs

Dtoid Designs: Show us your Super Mario Maker skills

Let's see what you can do!
Sep 20
// CJ Andriessen
Earlier this month, after more than a year of waiting, Nintendo finally released Super Mario Maker on the Wii U. Our own Chris Carter liked it, and with more than one million levels created so far, it seems the rest of the wo...
Mario Maker photo
Mario Maker

Good news, now Super Mario Maker can give you nightmares

A Goomba's life can be a terrible thing
Sep 17
// Nic Rowen
You can make fun little levels in Super Mario Maker. You can make challenging levels to test player's skills. You can make trolly Cat Mario style levels that play cheap shots for laughs. But what about a level that will leav...
Mario Maker Smash stage photo
Mario Maker Smash stage

Super Mario Maker stage coming to Smash Bros.

Battleground madness
Sep 14
// Nic Rowen
A brand new stage based on Super Mario Maker is heading to Super Smash Bros. on September 30th, and it looks exactly as crazy and whimsical as you'd want it to be. Embracing the creative chaos of Mario Maker, the stage will be constructed differently at the beginning of every match and constantly edited and fussed with throughout by a stylus gripping hand like so many Duck Amuck shenanigans.

Metroid Maker? Zelda Maker? Should Nintendo keep it up?

Sep 14 // Steven Hansen
This is new territory, and a surprising route for domineering Nintendo, but recent moves like opening up its IP to mobile show a company that's adapting. The mad success of all-ages, creative ventures like Minecraft and even Sony's now-flagging LittleBigPlanet are easy answers for the shift. The PS4 has a dedicated Share button, but I saw as many people sharing pictures of their Super Mario Maker codes (with their phones, off their TV screens) as I did Metal Gear videos. Part of that is novelty. But, also, opening up a beloved series to fan-goofing and sharing could give Mario Maker a long tail. Then what? Super Mario Maker support with DLC, or expansion packs bringing in new 2D Mario aesthetics? Or would you like Nintendo to go whole hog on Sony's "Play. Create. Share" and start making tool sets for other popular series? I mean, it's not like Nintendo wants to make a 2D Metroid itself, clearly.
What's next? photo
If Mario Maker is a success, then what?
With the 9/11 Super Mario Maker release, it seems like a lot of people spent the weekend playing and making levels while I spent the weekend playing more Metal Gear, eating too much at an Indian buffet, and watching sports. T...

Also court dates, bills photo
Also court dates, bills

Google search 'Super Mario Bros' for a celebratory Easter egg

I'm always forgetting anniversaries
Sep 14
// Steven Hansen
Google did a low key celebration for the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. So low key that the 30th anniversary was yesterday and many of us idiots who'd normally be writing posts about it were busy watching football and ...
Super Mario  Bros. photo
Happy Anniversary!
On this day in 1985, Nintendo released the original Super Mario Bros. for Famicom in Japan. Mario had been around for a few years at that point, initially appearing as Jumpman in Donkey Kong before getting a name in Donk...

Mario Maker levels photo
Mario Maker levels

Share your Super Mario Maker creations here!

I made one too
Sep 11
// Chris Carter
So, Super Mario Maker is finally out, and I can only assume people are hard at work creating their own levels. Thankfully the pointless "nine-day" wait function is now gone, so you can access every tool available in a few hou...

Review: Super Mario Maker

Sep 11 // Chris Carter
Super Mario Maker (Wii U)Developer: Nintendo EAD Group No. 4Publisher: NintendoRelease: September 11, 2015MSRP: $59.99 The core theme behind Super Mario Maker is simplicity. Opening up with a rather lovely tutorial section, you'll be introduced to the creation process, which is as simple as touching an object with your stylus, and placing it in the on-screen grid. The entire experience can be played on the GamePad without the use of a TV, and never seeks to overwhelm the player. As the famous fictional Chef Gusteau once said, "anyone can cook!" and now anyone can create a Mario level. While Super Mario Maker doesn't give you everything your heart desires, you'll find plenty of toys to screw around with, from enemies like Kuribo's Shoe (which are actually Yoshi in select themes), to Giant Goombas that split into more Goombas, that can assist you in crafting objectives like P-Switch-centric puzzles, and even shoot 'em up levels with clouds or Koopa Clown Cars. You can create pipes or doors to send players into different areas of a level, tracks to craft moving platforms -- every basic Mario concept you can think of is here. The bread and butter of Maker is themes. You'll start with the original 8-bit Mario theme as well as the New Super Mario Bros. U series, then eventually work your way up to Mario 3, and the always delightful World. Themes (which have their own unique physics and in a few cases, movesets) can be shifted at the press of a button, including the ability to jump into underground, ghost, water, airship, or castle settings in every sub-franchise. It's awesome to create a level and see it switch to an entirely new gimmick within seconds. An "undo" option, eraser (which can be toggled with quick trigger presses), and a nuke-like reset button make everything easier. Costumes, however, are probably my favorite extra in Mario Maker, which provide players with a way to morph into other characters like Sonic, Pac-Man, or Mega Man. They're unlocked by way of amiibo, or another method I'll get to shortly, and have some unique animations and sound effects in tow, like Pac-Man's shift to an 8-bit sprite when he runs. Sadly, all of these costumes are limited to the 8-bit style only. The more you play it, the more you'll realize that limitations are a recurring issue with Super Mario Maker, despite its immense charm. [embed]306729:60161:0[/embed] Not all of these objects will be available immediately, either. Instead, you'll have to wait nine days to obtain everything, including major themes like Mario 3 and World. I can confirm that players will be able to fast-forward the Wii U clock a day ahead at a time to "unlock" the next set of items. But the process is still painfully tedious, as you have to play five minutes to "allow" the unlock, then switch to the main menu, then back to the game to receive the items, then play for another five minutes, and so on. Since this method is available, the entire requirement is rendered pointless. Having said all that, it wasn't really a dealbreaker in any way for me, and didn't have any direct correlation to my assessment here. However, there are a number of shortcomings inherent to Mario Maker's toolset even after unlocking everything. For starters, there are no assets related to Mario 2 outside of a select few re-skins. Not only is the entire theme missing from the game, but unique objects and enemies such as the iconic Phanto are nowhere to be found. Additionally, there is no way to eliminate the countdown timer (the max is 500 seconds), which takes the wind out of exploration-based creation's sails considerably. There's also a severe limitation in terms of how you can build out levels. Right now you can't choose to create a vertical-themed stage -- you have to go with the same horizontal blueprint the game gives you without fail. Maker also limits the amount of enemies you can have in any given level (for instance, only three Bowsers or roughly 100 smaller enemies) even in the 8-bit theme, which is a silly design. Mario Maker does have a few modes beyond the creation realm, thankfully, including a "10 Mario Challenge" mode that tasks you with completing eight levels in 10 lives. This essentially functions as the campaign, and brings players through a variety of different themes composed by Nintendo. The reward is two-fold -- you'll experience a fun pseudo-story mode, and obtain each blueprint for use later in the game's creation mode. They're relatively easy, but some of them provide mechanics very rarely seen in a core Mario game, and are worth spending several hours on alone. The online hub (titled "Course World") is probably where players are going to spend most of their time in the coming months. Having played other creation games with online functionality for years, I have to say that this is one of the better modules. There's support for everything, from bookmarking levels (with hearts), to viewing your "played" history, to queuing up your own creations, and sorting potential levels with qualifiers like popularity and newly shared. It's crazy to see what people have come up with already in the past few weeks, like re-creations of old school Mega Man levels complete with the 8-bit costume, to the classic "music videos" we've seen for years on end in games like LittleBigPlanet. My one gripe with viewing levels online is that they are automatically "spoiled" right before you start them. Basically, by looking at a stage, it will show the entire layout by default -- there's no way to "hide" this currently, and a lot of courses I played lost their luster as a result of this snafu. As a bonus of sorts, the hub has its own version of the 10 Mario Challenge -- a 100 lives version, which basically grabs levels online and mixes them into a custom world. This is probably my favorite element of the game, as it does a good job of curating content and giving it to you in a rapid-fire format. It also rewards players with costumes upon completion, so you don't need to use amiibo to unlock them. Super Mario Maker is a charming little creation tool, and I'm sure fans will come up with some amazing levels for years to come. However, it feels a bit more constrained than it needs to be, and is in dire need of updates or DLC to keep it going long term. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Super Mario Maker review photo
The costumes are the best part
Ever since I was five years old, I've been drawing my own Mario levels on graph paper. It's a pretty common story, because when I look at a series to give me a platforming baseline, it's usually Mario. Nintendo didn't ju...

Collect ALL the pieces photo
Collect ALL the pieces

Day-one update removes nine-day wait on Super Mario Maker content

Just make some levels, ya dingus!
Sep 10
// Jed Whitaker
A patch for Super Mario Maker went live hours ahead of its official release that removes the requirement to wait nine days -- or set your Wii U system clock ahead -- to acquire all of the level editor parts.  The update ...
Miyamoto photo

This Super Mario mythbuster vid from Miyamoto is adorable and disappointing

Miyamoto is Bowser's mom?
Sep 10
// Chris Carter
Yesterday, Nintendo hyped up a video from their own Shigeru Miyamoto, who would reveal "myths" about the Mario series, some of which have plagued fans for years. The biggest draw was probably the identity of Bowser Jr.'s (and...
Famitsu photo

DLC confirmed for Super Mario Maker, starting with Famitsu mascot

Necky the Fox
Sep 10
// Chris Carter
As expected, Super Mario Maker will seemingly get new DLC post-launch. I mean, the format is ripe for it, both for free and paid content. The first round will include the DLC character of "Necky," (Nekki) Famitsu magazin...
Mario Maker photo
Mario Maker

The Super Mario Maker idea booklet is bizarre

Peruse the digital version
Sep 09
// Jordan Devore
In the lower left of this Nintendo-approved image, it looks like Mario is holding hands with himself. It's far from the only strange sight in the Super Mario Maker idea booklet. Ahead of the game's Friday release, you can loo...
Squid now photo
Squid now

Splatoon has one of the best Super Mario Maker cameos

Extra twist
Sep 09
// Steven Hansen
Super Mario Maker, which comes out on September 11 (9/11) has seen various 8-bit character skins (Sonic, Waluigi, Pit, etc), many of which are unlockable with amiibo dolls (but also unlockable through gameplay). The only dif...
GAME photo

Did you pre-order Super Mario Maker from GAME?

Better check your bank account
Sep 08
// Vikki Blake
GAME, the UK's biggest games retailer, has apologised to customers who have been charged up to seven times for their pre-order of Super Mario Maker. For some, that's a whopping £328.93 disappearing from their bank accou...
Super Mario Galaxy photo
Super Mario Galaxy

Miyamoto is 'always looking to challenge Mario Galaxy and do another 3D action title'

The team can only do so many projects
Sep 07
// Jordan Devore
The last time Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto spoke about the possibility of another Super Mario Galaxy, the team was busy with Super Mario 3D World and physically couldn't "make both at the same time." But more Galaxy, he...
Wii U game deal photo
Wii U game deal

Buy Mario Maker, save $20 on Splatoon, Smash, or Mario Kart

Best Buy deal
Sep 07
// Jordan Devore
Best Buy is holding a deal that's great for Wii U owners looking to flesh out their library. If you order Super Mario Maker (which releases this Friday), you can save $20 on either Splatoon, Super Smash Bros., or Mario Kart 8...
Super Mario Maker photo
Super Mario Maker

Mario Paint's fly-swatting mini-game lives on

In Super Mario Maker, of course
Sep 04
// Jordan Devore
One week from today, I'll get to relive Gnat Attack. The chaotic fly-swatting mini-game from Mario Paint lives on in Super Mario Maker, and I can't express how happy that makes me. It's not too surprising that this and other ...
Super Mario Maker photo
Super Mario Maker

An easy guide to the things NOT included in Super Mario Maker

No frog suit, no buy
Sep 03
// Nic Rowen
Super Mario Maker has been making me think dangerous thoughts about buying a Wii U. It just looks so charming and sweet that I've been secretly generating rationales and excuses to myself to go out and blow a few hundred doll...
Mario Maker PAX photo
Mario Maker PAX

I made a terrible Super Mario Maker level at PAX

I had 20 minutes!
Aug 29
// Myles Cox
Super Mario Maker is playable on the show floor at PAX, and it turns out Nintendo is giving players a rather generous amount of hands-on time with the game. If you're patient and don't have anything else to do (also if y...
Super Music Maker photo
Super Music Maker

The greatest song ever made has been recreated in Super Mario Maker

Trust me, this one won't let you down
Aug 28
// Jed Whitaker
A level called "All the costumes unlocked! :)" has been featured by Nintendo in Super Mario Maker, that tricks people into thinking the level will let them use some of the many unlockable costumes in the game. Instead plays the greatest song ever known to man.  I don't want to ruin the surprise, so just watch the video above and enjoy. 

REPORT: This is what a Bullet Bill's butthole looks like

Live on scene at PAX Prime in Seattle
Aug 28
// Steven Hansen
Venerable Super Mario villain Bullet Bill (really, villain? He just a bullet, he goes where he is shot, he has no say in the matter!) is most often seen in profile thanks to his 2D leanings. However, if this official character mock up provided by Nintendo at its PAX Prime booth answers that age-old question: what does a Bullet Bill's butthole look like?
Mario Maker photo
Mario Maker

Get a better look at the different styles available in Super Mario Maker

The 'World' style still rocks
Aug 28
// Chris Carter
Nintendo is still feeding us information for Super Mario Maker, and this time, it's a quick look at the different styles available. As most of you know by now, the game has the original Super Mario Bros. 8-bit theme ava...
amiibo photo

This surreal Super Mario Maker commercial is worth a quick watch

Also, an amiibo trailer
Aug 25
// Chris Carter
If you ever wanted to watch a Dave Franco stand-in briefly play Super Mario Maker, while his world is depicted in a creepy surreal manner in front of him, this trailer is your huckleberry. Even though it is a commercial, it ...
Mario Maker shmup photo
Mario Maker shmup

Now there's a shoot-'em-up in Mario Maker

Super Shmup Bros.
Aug 21
// Jordan Devore
Super Mario Maker isn't out until September 11 and I'm already feeling inadequate. At this rate, any level I dream up will pale in comparison to what we're seeing on YouTube. I'll give it my best anyway. The folks at GameXplain have crafted a shoot-'em-up level called Super Shmup Bros. and it's another neat example of how powerful the creation tools are in the right hands. Wings for everyone!
Mario Maker level photo
Mario Maker level

This Mario Maker level plays like a Metroid game

Metroid U
Aug 20
// Jordan Devore
Between Metal Gear Solid V and Super Mario Maker, my schedule for September is Chinese-buffet full. Both games are going be huge time sinks. They're also tons of fun to watch pre-release. Take this level created by&...
amiibo skins photo
amiibo skins

Sonic, Splatoon, Pit amiibo costumes surface in Super Mario Maker

amiibo skins
Aug 19
// Steven Hansen
[Update: more pictures are available in the gallery below, like Waluigi.] It's no surprise that the sprawling Super Mario Maker supports Nintendo's amiibo toys -- we saw Wii Fit Trainer show up in-game a few months ago. All t...

Super Mario Maker is more fun than I initially thought it would be

Aug 18 // Chris Carter
Super Mario Maker starts in the best way possible -- a miniature creation tutorial featuring the first Super Mario Bros. After jumping across an impossible-to-make gap, you'll have the option to "finish the course," and bring Mario to the safety of the goal flag. Objects are located at the top, and it's very easy to use the stylus to create platforms, Question Mark Blocks, enemies, and hazards. Putting wings on enemies, piranha plants inside pipes, and items inside of blocks is also as easy as dragging it on top of said item. You can also tap or drag to clone the last-used item, which is useful for dropping tons of blocks. There's a lot of personality present, especially with the auto-tuned voice that notes item placement, cutely shouting out things like "block! block block! block block block block!" to the tune of the classic Mario theme. Maker even has its own tutorial character named "Mary O." who functions as a Power Line Expert of sorts, complete with a headset. I love little touches like this. The way amiibo support works is by adding characters to a roster with a GamePad tap, which will allow players to change into new cast members when touching a Mystery Mushroom. Each character has a special emote with the up d-pad button (for example, Pac-Man will raise a piece of fruit) -- most of the ones I've seen so far also have their own sound effects, and if you're hit, you'll transform back into Mario. Here's a full list of compatible amiibo.  Changing your "theme" (such as above or underground in the first Mario game, or even a new series entirely) is as easy as pressing a button, and only takes a few seconds. It's awesome seeing a stage change from the retro style to the "New" visuals instantly. It's also important to note that more tools only open up "over a series of days, as you continue to create in the game," and only 12 are available right away -- Nintendo notes that this is so you aren't overwhelmed but I don't really buy into it (hence my lingering issue). Expect thoughts on how this scenario plays out in the coming weeks. In terms of modes, you'll start off in the editing portion, but you can also access a challenge mode of sorts that limits your lives, and "Course World," which is a full online hub that allows you to play, star, download, and comment on levels. I love how Nintendo has this mode laid out, as you can clearly see the entire level by way of an icon in the hub menu, giving you an idea of whether or not the stage is up your alley before you even play it. You can also sort by rating and filter "up and coming" levels if you wish, and each map only takes roughly five seconds to load. There's tons of levels available right now for reviewers, so I'll be able to provide some thoughts on how the hub works at a later date. I don't want to spoil too many secrets, so expect our review in early September ahead of the September 11 launch of Super Mario Maker.
Super Mario Maker photo
First hands-on with the retail edition
Although I haven't been super excited for Super Mario Maker based on the initial pitch, we've slowly been drip-fed more and more information over the past month or so, and some of it looks intriguing. Now, I've had the chance to play the game myself, and left pretty satisfied outside of one lingering issue.

Super Mario photo
Super Mario

Super Mario's Question Block has come a long way

I remember my first encounter
Aug 17
// Chris Carter
One of my favorite gaming experiences is playing something completely blind. That's just what I did for my first ever Super Mario playthrough on NES. While I played with my parents at my side, they didn't really know a ...
Best. Mario. Model. Ever. photo
Best. Mario. Model. Ever.

Rumored Mario Kart XXL prototype discovered and shown to the world

GBA tech demo
Aug 16
// Jed Whitaker
The above video supposedly shows a prototype demo of the unreleased Mario Kart XXL that was created by Denaris Entertainment, a company run by the developer of the Turrican series, Manfred Trenz. My search for more...

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