In this series of articles we've written about one or more Mario games per day, each representing a different year as part of our Super Mario 30th Anniversary celebrations. Today we finish with the latest release.
After writing a lot of these articles over the past month we end with what will become Mario History in the future - the release of Super Mario Maker. It arrived on 10th September in Japan and 11th September in the West, and is currently bringing its brand of creativity to many Wii U systems around the world.
Released as the lead promotion in Nintendo's celebration of Super Mario's 30th Anniversary, this tool-set allows us to use the GamePad to create stages with a host of old and new items. Aspects of its design break conventional Mario rules, with amiibo support also bringing cross-IP zaniness to 8-bit designs.
The key selling point, of course, is having four distinct 2D Mario templates to work with - Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros. U; the latter has elements from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, too. In addition to the appeal of creating and sharing cool levels for others to play, this title also provides a potentially endless supply of new Mario levels to try.
In a recent interview here on Nintendo Life, however, game director Yosuke Oshino explained how the idea of creating levels on the GamePad was originally planned for internal teams; its adaptation into this game and Anniversary tie-in are more of a coincidence than we may have thought.
This being Mario's 30th Anniversary is just a coincidence, it's not something we consciously planned. The idea started with the course editor for the side scrolling Mario games. This tool was previously running on PC, but the team in charge of it thought that it might be helpful for developing future Mario games if the tool ran on the Wii U GamePad and so they started doing some experiments. While doing this they realized how easy it was to make courses and how fun it was for people like them who had no experience with level design. So they decided to bring the idea of making this tool into a game to the producer, Tezuka-san.
The tale of Super Mario Maker will be told in the weeks, months and years to come, though it certainly feels like an important release in Super Mario history. While it's been made clear that more 2D Super Mario games will be made in future, the prospect of more Mario Maker-style titles has also been raised. In celebrating the mascot's legacy in such an exciting way, Super Mario Maker arguably gives Nintendo a tougher task in now taking the series forward.
In any case, Super Mario Maker is the hottest property on Wii U at the time of writing; rightly so.
Further articles of interest: