When it was announced that Super Mario Maker was making the jump from Wii U to 3DS, there were a lot of people asking if it would be worth it, smaller screen, less processing power, something had to give right, well what was delivered was a fantastic version of a great game, minus some little issues.
Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, apart from having a much longer title than the Wii U version also features several changes, gone is the 100 Mario Challenge and instead players can play through the Super Mario Challenge, here players are given a series of worlds, with an interconnected element that will give players the basics of elements. As you make your way through each course, at the end of the world you will be rewarded with new course elements for when you make your own. The best part of the Super Mario Challenge is that each course has two objectives that you can try and achieve, with things like collect all the coins, or only defeat Goombas and nothing else, to score the medal. Once you get the first medal, a second challenge unlocks for you to see, but it is possible to get both done in the one sitting, if you’re lucky.
While you can jump straight into creating a course of your own, it is really to your benefit if you play the Super Mario Challenge first, but if you do jump right into creation, then you will find the same tool set and options found in the Wii U version, minus a few things. The core of the experience is still the same, first you select the item you want to place down, if it’s a singular piece tap to add it, if you want to lay down a whole bunch of that item, drag the stylus across where you want. You can delete, undo and erase everything if you want as well, the system worked great on the Wii U and it works just as well here. While the screen size is smaller, the only concession they did was changing the layout to better fit the screen and it works. While you can create levels on your own, you can now create levels in conjunction with another player, if they also own the game, while there is no reason you need to do this, it is a fun way of creating something different.
Creating levels however is hampered by the fact that you are unable to share them online with players around the world, sharing is now limited to spotpass only, which means you need to take your 3DS with you to collect levels from other players. While sharing, levels is fun, the inability to take them from the internet is a massive let down, if you are like myself and don’t live in a major city, the chances of meeting people carrying a 3DS, along with the game are slim. If you can spotpass with other players, getting levels is a breeze, just like spotpass as a whole, so at least you don’t have to fight with the system. If the levels you make or get from other players are not working for you, then you can also revisit any level from the Super Mario Challenge that you have beaten, letting you try to get the medal again, or if you desire, you can actually edit it, letting you see how they made certain parts.
The game also looks as nice as it does on the Wii U version, with the exception of the New Super Mario Bros U style, it looks blocky at times, no matter what is happening on the screen. I played the game on a New Nintendo 3DS and the load times are also quite long, from the initial load in screen, where it reads saved data, to loading levels in the Super Mario Challenge, the load times can seem to take a while. No where is it more apparent though then when you are creating a course, tapping play will let you try your current course out, but it takes a few moments to do so, no matter the art style being used. While load times don't make a bad game, they are not in the spirit of other Mario games, which keep things moving along very quickly.
Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS is a great game, it takes the same level creating function as is found in its Wii U brethren, but lets you take it on the go. The inability to share levels online is massive letdown and while spotpass sharing is a nice addition it should not have been a choice of one or the other.