It’s not VR.
It’s not mobile.
It’s not 4K GSYNC wtfbbq.

It’s Mario Maker.It’s the ultimate set of creation tools, and it’s a ton of fun. Yes. I think it’s a system seller. Yes, I suppose it is mostly like LittleBigPlanet. But it’s Mario.

Monday, 11:36am – Gavin

Ah, Mario Maker.  I’m so happy that it has been so well-received.  I’ve yet to try my hand at it, but I love that people have embraced it for all its lunacy.  User-generated stuff often isn’t my bag, as I find that a lot of user-generated stuff is just terrible, or misses the point of what made the original so fun.  My perusing of Youtube’s collection of people’s levels mostly confirms this.  But as a concept, Mario Maker is brilliant.

The rigidity with which people are forced to use the Nintendo tools and use the game pad for designing means that levels will at least be more functionally sound than a lot of the LittleBigPlanet levels were.

What appeals to me most is the ability to create my own tutorial levels.  My wife isn’t much of a gamer, so I’d love to be able to get her involved in this.  Being able to create a level that teaches someone the basic physics and mechanics of a game without any enemies could be a great way to get them introduced to a series that may otherwise appear to be inaccessible.

Now that Skyward Sword is over and done with, I’ve taken the plunge into Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (again).  I’m on the third mission now, and I’m reminded a) of how amazing this game is, and b) how little the game holds your hand.  There’s a good difficulty curve, but it’s very dependent upon you knowing some video-game logic, and also having a basic familiarity with the general stealth game environment.  It can be pretty punishing at times.  It’s still absolutely diamonds though, a paragon of the stealth genre.  I haven’t touched Chaos Theory in five years, but it’s amazing how many of the little parts of the game I remember, like camera placement, dialogue, and tactics.

I’m also still playing Child of Light.  I don’t know how far into the game I am as there’s no indicator in the menu system or anything, but I’m having a lot of fun with it, really getting to learn the active battle mechanics and figuring out a lot as I go.  It’s still unbelievably gorgeous and has some really interesting environments.  The turn-based battle system, while not my favourite, makes for some interesting strategic options.  The game is very good at giving you visual clues as to what types of attacks will hurt a specific enemy, which is one of my principle concerns with most turn-based games, like Final Fantasy or Chrono Trigger, or even my beloved Earthbound.  It can get a bit repetitive, and the map isn’t particularly meaningful beyond allowing for fast travel.  Still, exploration is a lot of fun.  Movement is smooth, and the art style and soundtrack are still fantastic.

I can tell that there’s still a lot to get through, so I don’t want to heap too much praise on the game.  Still, as of now, I’m thoroughly enjoying it.  Stay tuned!

Monday, 12:01 am – Ricky

I’m actually almost awake at the time of posting. Work is work, but when it’s quiet again, it’ll be Mario Maker time.