So… yeah. I just gushed all over Super Mario Maker. It’s a truly fantastic game, but there’s one, major reason why it’s so good.
Super Mario Maker has a style to it that you don’t see every day. This isn’t a game with a storyline. I’m not immersed in a plot or experiencing character development. I’m just playing a video game.
It’s technically JUST a video game. I’m playing it just to play it. There is no end to this game. Sure, you can unlock everything, but there’s always something to do. Super Mario Maker is one of those games that never actually has to end. If I’m doing my math right, that means you essentially have infinite hours of gameplay to experience.
Animal Crossing is another potentially endless game. How do you “beat” Animal Crossing? You don’t. You just… play it. To enjoy it. You don’t have to spend hours and hours trying to beat it. But you spend hours playing it because you want to. That’s when you know that you’ve found a truly special game. You don’t have to play it. There’s no primal urge to hit endgame. You are playing it just to have fun. That seems to be a lost art nowadays.
But Super Mario Maker takes this idea one step further. Its real charm is the community aspect. If this were an indie or small-time title, the community involvement would be miniscule. But the name Mario has a worldwide following. People are going to participate.
And rather than just making and playing your own levels, Super Mario Maker includes people from all over the world to take part in your game. You don’t even have to make your own levels. I’ve spent afternoons just exploring the imagination of our generation. Some of the levels were so dang creative too. I never could have come up with those level designs. That means the player’s experience isn’t limited to their own creativity. Basically, even if we’re not extremely creative, we can still fall in love with this game.
It’s also genius on Nintendo’s part. They didn’t even have to expend any energy making any of the levels, but they’re getting all the credit for the creativity. See? I’m giving them credit right now! They didn’t come up with those incredible level designs, but they gave us the tools to make them happen.
Super Mario Maker is, without a doubt, the best game that I’ve played this year. It’s fresh, it’s innovative, it’s communal. It’s everything I want in a video game. There may not be any story or plot progression, but Super Mario Maker is setting the bar for the next generation of video games.
You can find Andy on Twitter at @vElectricv.