GameTech: Miyamoto’s vision for Mario lives on through fans

W HENEVER Shigeru Miyamoto meets his maker, it will be a very sad day for gaming. Miyamoto is almost certainly the most beloved game developer of all time, having created both Mario and Zelda, among other titles. Thankfully, his legacy will be left behind in another maker.
GameTech: Miyamoto’s vision for Mario lives on through fans

Super Mario Maker 2 is one of the best Mario games ever created.
Super Mario Maker 2 is one of the best Mario games ever created.

WHENEVER Shigeru Miyamoto meets his maker, it will be a very sad day for gaming. Miyamoto is almost certainly the most beloved game developer of all time, having created both Mario and Zelda, among other titles. Thankfully, his legacy will be left behind in another maker.

We did not expect Super Mario Maker to be one of the greatest games of the last decade. In fact, we had very low expectations indeed. Why weren’t Nintendo making their own new 2D Mario? Wasn’t this just a cop out, a way to avoid doing the work themselves?

That was back in 2015. Five years later, we realise how very wrong we were. Super Mario Maker 2 has a strong argument for being one of the best Mario games ever released. Not only does it contain the best Mario levels ever created — the new ideas keep coming. Essentially, it is an endless supply of 2D Mario, forever, generated by the fans.

The most recent update to Mario Maker 2 is just the crowning moment. It adds all the abilities and gameplay of Super Mario Bros 2 to the mix, along with other updates like the Frog Suit and P-balloon Mario.

This means that a whole new swathe of design options and levels just opened up.

Super Mario Bros 2 gameplay revolves largely around picking things up and throwing them, so Mario doesn’t bounce off enemies like before.

This also means that levels become completely different kinds of puzzles to solve, where Mario is often riding Bullet Bills, then picking them up as he rides them, throwing them, before bouncing to a new platform and carrying on.

In just the first week, some of the ideas generated by fans have been amazing, creating whole new genres of ‘Mario’ games to enjoy. Watching expert players build and complete the toughest levels is a sight to behold.

In addition, the update brings with it the ability to build worlds instead of just levels. So creators can now string five levels together, with a traditional Mario overworld map connecting them.

When Miyamoto created Mario, he created a whole new world for gaming. Now, gamers are creating worlds in his footsteps. Mario Maker doesn’t just make Mario — it will make your day, too.

NO MAN UPDATE

Meanwhile, Corkman Sean Murray and his team at Hello Games, who are based in the UK, have teased another update to their own world-building. No Man’s Sky, which has steadily grown in quality over recent years, has been receiving additions over the last five months and that isn’t going to stop.

“Sometimes it’s good to take a moment and look back on the most recent steps in the No Man’s Sky journey,” Sean says in a blog post. “Beginning with Synthesis, we planned to release more regularly, and it’s encouraging to look back on how this has unfolded so far. Over the past five months, we’ve released four substantial content updates — Synthesis, ByteBeat, the Living Ship and the Exo Mech — and we’re so happy with what each of those has added to the vision of the game.”

The updates in question included the ability to pilot a mech on planets, living ships that became accessible through missions, better way to upgrade gear and a new Space Map. However, Murray is now teasing even more changes this year.

“In addition to these content updates, we are working up some more ambitious additions to the universe, and have so much more planned for 2020 for us to feel excited about.”

In these times of restriction, there’s no better time for Murray’s original vision for No Man’s Sky — a vision of vibrant, endless space to explore — to come closer to fruition.

NEW BLOCKBUSTERS

Speaking of timing, Sony has announced two blockbuster titles will release this summer, giving gamers something to really look forward to. The first is one of the year’s biggest games, The Last Of Us Part II, which will release on June 19.

The second, however, is the one that intrigues us most. Ghost of Tsushima is a new samurai game from the excellent Sucker Punch Productions that will release on July 17. While Ghost of Tsushima is something of an unknown quantity, the videos we’ve seen so far have been nothing short of, well, haunting.

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