Super Mario Maker Thoughts and Wishes

Super Mario Maker is easily one of the best games for the Wii U. There are so many possibilities that it provides as a Super Mario level editor that the game will easily last players a long time.

That said, I’ve noticed some missing things (and I’m not the only one of course). Some of them, it’s clear why they were left out. Others are a bit questionable. Before I go into it, I will reiterate: I love this game. This is simple list of things I’d like to see added to the game (via download or DLC).

  • Checkpoints – I like to make longer levels. But no checkpoints can make them more tedious than they should be because any time you lose a life, it means going back to the beginning.
  • Slopes – Many people have said this, I won’t bother elaborating. Though the new Super Smash Bros. stage has them, so it makes me wonder…
  • Water as a Design Element – We can’t place water outside of water styles right now. That exists in the original games, so I think it’s something we should see in the future.
  • Lava as a Design Element – Same as above.
  • Level Ending Flexibility
    • Ending in the Secondary Area – The end of the level is currently restricted to the first area you make. I think it’d be cool to be able to finish in the secondary area.
    • Travel Right to Left – I think it’d be neat to be able to create levels that go from right to left. You can do it now, but the ending will always be on the right somehow. It’d just add a bit more variety and eliminate the instinct of “always go right”.
  • Third (or more) Area – I’d love to see a third area as a possibility in a level. It might be because I tend to like making longer levels, but a third area would be really cool even for short levels with plenty of pipe travel. Speaking of pipes…
  • Pipes for Travel within an Area – Pipes are currently limited to travelling between areas. Being able to use a pipe to go elsewhere in the same area would be pretty cool.
  • Doors to Different Areas – Doors are limited to travel within an area. This was probably always the case in the original games where doors were a thing (not counting Super Mario Bros. 2), but door trickery can be a fun mechanic to include, and it’d be more elaborate with the ability to go between areas. This is probably one thing I could leave off of this list if I had to, however.
  • Freedom with Music – There are a number of great songs that Mario games have to choose from. One notable omission from Super Mario Maker is the “athletic” theme from each of the games (excluding Super Mario Bros., which didn’t have one). It’d be great to be able to choose that for my levels instead of the main themes available (great as they are) as well as potentially choose from some other tracks from Mario’s history (the Bob-Omb Battlefield theme from Super Mario 64 would be great even in a 2D platforming level).

These aren’t the only omissions from the game, of course, but they’re some of the things I noticed weren’t available as options that I’d like to see. What would you like to see in the game?

You can check out my Super Mario Maker levels here: (I’ll try to remember to update that list!)

Super Mario Maker Codes


Let me just say that Super Mario Maker is awesome so far. I’m loving every minute of it.  It’s not only a fantastic tool for creating Mario levels, it’s also hilarious.

I’ve created a page on this site where I’ll try to remember to post my level codes. You can see that page HERE or by clicking “My Super Mario Maker Level Codes” on the sidebar. Please tweet your level codes at me!

I’m Beyond Excited for Super Mario Maker

I’m pretty excited to play Super Mario Maker in just over a month. The game has impressed me with something new in almost every video I’ve watched, be it at the initial reveal, E3 2015, Treehouse Live, or even the various different gaming sites that are posting videos about it. I simply cannot wait.

Speaking of video game sites, IGN streamed Super Mario Maker for 2 hours this past Friday, and it was definitely worth a watch (if you’ve got the time or you’re able to run it in the background). Because they took viewer requests, it answered a few more questions than we’d had answers to previously.

There were two things I found disappointing about the game in this video:

  1. No fences to climb (from Super Mario World). A shame, not terrible.
  2. Yoshi is limited to the games he appeared in (Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros.). This isn’t surprising, but with so many other elements recreated for games they hadn’t appeared in, I had a small hope that Yoshi would see the same treatment.

But neither of those points are HUGELY disappointing, and definitely aren’t deal breakers. I hold a much stronger hope that we’ll see DLC for this game in some form or another. At the very least more elements for us to use in our stages, but perhaps even another art style?

You can check out the IGN video HERE or watch it below:

Animal Crossing Improvement Ideas


I’ve loved the Animal Crossing series since I started playing it on the GameCube. It’s a great series with immeasurable replay value, and it’s the perfect thing to play on a calm Sunday morning or after a long day of work if you’re looking to wind down.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf, on the 3DS, is the latest (and greatest) in the series. It introduced some really cool changes to the series (especially welcome after City Folk (Wii) was almost a clone of Wild World (DS)). Now you play as the mayor, and you get to modify your town with Public Works Projects. This is a new feature that allows you to place things wherever you want in your town.

Or does it?

Here are some things I’d like to see improved in the next entry in the series.

Let Me Be The Mayor

“Wait, what? I thought you said just above that you were the mayor in New Leaf!”

Yeah, sort of. You are the mayor, you’re called the mayor, you get to choose when to make changes, and you get to choose where things go…with approval.



When you want to place a Public Works Project (PWP), you have to bring Isabelle and show her where it can be done. She will tell you if there’s enough room. This is reasonable, in theory. What actually happens is that the space limitations are outrageous. I demolished a bridge to replace it with another one. Now I can’t place it anywhere near where it used to be (which is the only reasonable spot to put my third bridge).



The round streetlight Isabelle is talking about is off screen, but not even JUST off screen, it’s a good few steps to the left. So it’s not at all in the way. Also, if there’s a question of the bridge not reaching at this point, this is exactly where the bridge used to be (you can see the worn ground in the image right by the river if you look behind Isabelle’s speech window). This is annoying because a bridge doesn’t require much space on the ground, considering it’s mostly over the water anyway, so I don’t understand why the space requirements here are so large.

To sum up that small rant, I hope to see spacial requirements become more realistic.

But there’s more! You see, Isabelle likes to do this thing on event days where she closes my office or, at least, doesn’t let me work. If it’s a Bug-Off, for example, and I sit in my mayor’s chair to do some work, Isabelle tells me I should be out enjoying the Bug-Off. If she’s running the fireworks, my office is closed!!! That’s especially annoying in August when there are fireworks every Sunday…

I’m not alone in my frustration with Isabelle either. I think I speak for many players when I say:

In short, let me actually be in control of my mayor business.


On a happier (heh) note, I’ve seen some screenshots from the new game, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, that include a yard outside a villager’s home. This is a great idea and I’d love to see this come to the main series games. Here’s the screenshot I’m referring to:

The luxurious pool is a nice touch.

The luxurious pool is a nice touch.

I’m sure it’d be hard to balance having enough space in the yard vs. making placing a home difficult, but I think this would be a cool feature to have in the main series.

Terrain Design Tools

As it is, players are making beautiful towns using patterns. You can find a ton of examples of this online. Players use patterns to make roads, typically, and it makes a town feel much different (in a good way). This is great. But as it is, placing patterns to make long roads can be very, very tedious. You have to aim your player correctly and move between patterns, accessing the pattern menu between each…it’s tedious. I’d like to see some actual terrain design tools that allow us to modify large areas of terrain in bulk, so we don’t have to do it the hard way. Also, I’d like terrain design to be separate from patterns, since we’re harshly limited in the patterns we can store. Maybe that storage limitation could improve, too…

Character Development

So I know Animal Crossing is not, nor will it ever be, about a story. I’m mostly okay with that, even though I love a story in my games. But I’d love to see some more advanced development for characters and their relationships. Maybe the player could actually become best friends with another villager (to the point of them actually acknowledging it, I mean). Maybe some of the gossip that villagers spread sometimes could actually mean something (as most of the relationship gossip seems generated and never seems to mean much). It’s hard to decide what I’d really like to see here, but I would like to see more of it.

Those are just some of the improvements I’ve thought of recently for the Animal Crossing series. This post may or may not have been fuelled by my frustration about the bridge placement – I’ll let you decide.



I’m at a bit of a loss for words, so this post might not be the best worded thing in the world. Bear with me.

Today, we lost a great man who will be a part of many video game players’ hearts for the rest of their lives. Satoru Iwata, CEO of Nintendo, passed away today.

As someone who never met Mr. Iwata, I obviously have none of my own stories to provide you that tell of this man’s true, genuine nature. But I do know that Satoru Iwata has led Nintendo for most of the time that I’ve followed the company, and for ALL of the time that I’ve CLOSELY followed Nintendo. He’s the only person I’ve ever known to be the CEO of Nintendo.

This was the man who, as a CEO, took a pay cut (alongside other executes at Nintendo) to avoid having to lay off employees. This was a man who knew that video games were meant to be fun. This was a man who refused to sacrifice the nature of the company he led in order to make easier money. This was a man who wasn’t afraid to jump in and help out. This was a man who was always genuine, who always cared, and heck, he was also a pretty funny guy. He was also a very smart man. If you’ve never done so before, read the story about how he helped compress Pokémon Gold & Silver so the Kanto region could be included in the game – it’s a personal favourite story of mine.

Please remember the magic Mr. Iwata has helped to bring us. Don’t fret now about the future of Nintendo. Treasure the memory of Mr. Iwata, treasure the memories he helped to bring us, and treasure the memories that we’ll create in the future because of Satoru Iwata.




Goodbye, Mr. Iwata


Nintendo E3 2015 – My Thoughts

After today’s Nintendo Digital Event, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I liked the games I saw (or I was indifferent to them due to lack of existing interest – this applies to Fire Emblem – but I’m sure they were good games to see nonetheless). On the other hand, I felt like something was missing.

I saw that Satoru Iwata tweeted about the reception the Digital Event received:

ROUGHLY translated:

[Iwata, thank you very much. I would continue to take seriously the various opinions on the Digital Event of the year so we can meet your expectations of many. #Iwatter

So here it sounds like Iwata is saying he’s aware of our reaction to the Digital Event and that Nintendo will continue to try to “meet our expectations”. I find it important to highlight the many things that were still good about today’s Digital Event:



You can’t tell me this whole idea wasn’t amazing!


I loved this.

Star Fox Zero

Star Fox Zero

I was stoked for this game upon its initial announcement last year, but there was so much left unanswered at that time. Now, we know a TON about it (see Nintendo Everything’s detailed posts HERE and HERE including information on the game) and it looks amazing. I’m really intrigued by the ideas included here and I can’t wait to get my hands on this game. The only thing I’d say about it is that I had been hoping for a new story, while this seems to be a reimagining of Star Fox 64’s story (NOT a remake though, it looks like it’s very different from Star Fox 64), but that’s fine I think. The game looks like a ton of fun, so I can live with the story.

Super Mario Maker

Super Mario Maker

We’ve seen it before, but the more I see from it, the more I love it. If you haven’t watched the Nintendo World Championships portion that focused on Super Mario Maker, I strongly urge you to check it out and see what this game is really made of. You can skip directly to it by clicking here. SO much hype.

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam

As someone who LOVES the Paper Mario series, this was a great thing to see. While I was hoping for a Paper Mario entry on the Wii U, this was a fantastic thing to get nonetheless. It seems like such an interesting idea for the Mario Bros. RPG series (and this means Paper Mario will be in a REAL RPG* game again! I’ll keep hoping for a home console Paper Mario game, but maybe that’ll be something for next time.

The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes

A follow-up to the beloved “Four Swords” style of gameplay, this game will be loved by many. I never played Four Swords myself, but I know this is something fans wanted and it’s a great thing to see. I loved A Link Between Worlds, by the way.

Developer Spotlights

I love that this idea returned from last year. We saw some great words from developers and people who worked on the games. There’s so much love between these people and what they do. It’s really inspiring to me, so I have to include that here.


There were a lot of other great games shown today, but I think you should check out the event for the rest, or see Nintendo’s YouTube channel for more.

So what was wrong with the Digital Event? One main thing:

Lots of focus on games we already knew existed

(EDIT: I made the mistake of claiming “low amount of Wii U content here, but that’s not what I originally meant to write there and I can’t recall what I DID intend to write, so I feel there was only one problem worth mentioning here)

We’ve seen a lot of Yoshi’s Wooly World and Xenoblade X, for example. I think people were just annoyed to see more of things we already knew, and not a lot of reveals for things we didn’t.


There’s also the people upset about Animal Crossing and Metroid, but I don’t think that was a true problem with today’s event that needs to be focused on.

 EDIT 2015-06-17

In my original post, I didn’t elaborate on the upsetness people experienced because I was unaware of the fact that someone has started a petition to cancel Metroid Prime Federation. Yes, a petition to cancel a game in development. One that plenty of people have signed, by the way. This is awful, to me. I’m not linking to it here. Instead, I’d like to share some thoughts on how there’s a lot of ridiculous behaviour going on regarding this game (and the Digital Event) written by Josh at Nintendo Feed – see his well-written post HERE.

*see HERE for my thoughts on Paper Mario: Sticker Star.

My Nintendo E3 Wishes


With Nintendo announcing their E3 plans tomorrow, the hype training is prepping for a long ride. I’m only going to make one prediction as the last item on this list. The rest is what I want to see. Here are my wishes for Nintendo’s E3 2015:

Animal Crossing (Wii U)

One of the most important things with this wish is that it doesn’t end up being another City Folk. That is, I don’t want New Leaf re released with small changes. While New Leaf is the best in the series so far, it still had a lot of areas that could be improved. A very minor example: more mayoral control would be great. I’d like to feel like I’m the mayor a bit more, instead of having to wait until a villager requests something to be built. Maybe I can unlock things another way, without mindlessly waiting to be asked? Also, Isabelle is not the mayor & shouldn’t be allowed to close the mayor’s office whenever she feels like it. On another note, maybe an easier way to add ground patterns outside? I’d like to see more improvements to the series as a whole instead of a gimmick or two as was the case in City Folk.

Super Mario (Wii U)
I’d like to see another entry in the main 3D Mario series. 3D World was great, but there’s still a lot of desire for 3D explorable worlds like Galaxy or, better yet, Mario 64. I’d actually love to see Mario return to the style of Mario 64, with worlds and such to explore through (and less linear than Galaxy, amazing as Galaxy was). A small wish is that Mario even returns to the castle from 64, but also explores outside of it throughout Mushroom Kingdom.

Paper Mario (Wii U)

I’ve wanted this for awhile. Since the ending of The Thousand Year Door, actually. There’ve been 2 games since TTYD and the latest didn’t please a lot of people (you can see my thoughts on Sticker Star here). I’d love to see a return to form for the Paper Mario series. Great story, great battle mechanics, a great world to explore, great settings, great characters, and, rather importantly, great partners.

MOTHER 3 (localization, Wii U VC)

This is my one and only E3 prediction. The timing is just perfect for it. Reggie joked about it at last year’s E3, there have been hints, Lucas is coming to Smash in June (notably close to E3), and I even saw a suspicious leak yesterday (that I don’t hold a lot of faith in so won’t link here). I’m also just playing Earthbound for the first time, so I’d really be looking forward to this!

That’s all from me for now. What are your wishes for E3?

    What was wrong with Paper Mario: Sticker Star?


    With some rumours popping up lately about a Wii U entry in the Paper Mario series*, there’s been discussion about what direction the game should take. Most of that leads to “please make it like Thousand Year Door” (and I take that position as well). But what’s gone wrong with the series otherwise?

    Well, I haven’t played Super Paper Mario, but I know it’s more platforming than RPG, as intended. That’s fine, taking the series in a different direction like that is okay, but I wasn’t really interested. I have played Paper Mario: Sticker Star, however, and I had some problems with it.

    Let me start off by saying Sticker Star is a fine game. It’s a fun game with amusing dialogue, and the music is cool. I enjoyed playing it as a game, but it’s not what people (including myself) wanted out of a Paper Mario game. Here are my issues with it:

    • Battles, while they still occur like they would in the proper RPG Paper Mario games, give NO rewards (aside from a few coins I guess). This is because:
    • Almost all RPG elements are missing. This includes gaining experience from battles, growing levels, learning moves, and, rather importantly:
    • There’s pretty much no story! The first 2 Paper Mario games (never played Super Paper Mario) had deep stories like any typical RPG. Sticker Star has basically nothing meaningful as far as story.
    • The world is just a map. It feels very “New Super Mario Bros.” in this respect, and that’s hugely disappointing, because the other games had awesome worlds to explore.

    You’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned the stickers at all. That’s because, while I see why many would have a problem with them, I could’ve accepted them as a battle mechanic if the rest of these issues weren’t present.

    And yes, this is not a new game anymore, I’m posting only in response to be Paper Mario rumours and my need to state my thoughts on Sticker Star in writing. I’m not alone in this either (just one example by the good people at Zelda Informer), but I feel that the more clear it is that people feel this way about Paper Mario, the better.

    Thousand Year Door is my favourite Paper Mario game, and I sincerely hope they decide to properly follow up on the magic in that game, because it was beyond stellar. It’s easily one of my favourite games of all time.

    *while I don’t think this particular rumour (regarding Intelligent Systems at a Japanese job expo booth claiming Paper Mario is in development) is true, I think there should be a Paper Mario game incoming soon. 

    Games I Played in 2014

    This will be a blog where I post my thoughts on games. Most posts will be short and to the point.

    However, this particular post is a feature I might want to do each year briefly discussing some/all of the games I played over the past year.

    The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (Wii U)

    Having never made it through a single Zelda game when I first tried The Wind Waker for GameCube, I didn’t stay with it for very long. However, having loved Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, I was quite looking forward to Zelda Wii U. Since that wouldn’t arrive for awhile (and still hasn’t, obviously), The Wind Waker seemed like a great way to scratch the Zelda itch.

    The Wind Waker HD became my favourite game in the series to date. The story was amazing and the gameplay was typical Zelda gameplay, except the GamePad greatly enhanced the gameplay experience. Go back to playing Ocarina of Time on the N64 and try using the menu after playing The Wind Waker HD and you’ll see what I mean.

    LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (Wii U)

    I usually love the LEGO games, so I wasn’t shocked that I enjoyed this one. I think I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, though. There was something that this game just did right. It’s the best LEGO game (based on a franchise) that I’ve played yet. I still have yet to play LEGO Batman, however.

    Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)

    Even though this came out in late 2013, I played the majority of it in early 2014. Looking back at Super Mario 3D Land for 3DS (2011), I remember being hesitant about it. It was obviously the [New] Super Mario Bros. format but in 3D. However, I found myself surprised at how well it turned out. I realized that being in 3D allowed this game to be a lot different from the New Super Mario Bros. games that had begun to wear out their welcome (and would truly have worn us out by the end of 2012).

    So what about 3D World? Would it begin to wear us out like New Super Mario Bros. had before it? Not even slightly. Instead of simply rehashing the Super Mario 3D Land setup, Super Mario 3D World surpasses it by far. The multiplayer was executed flawlessly, the graphics were absolutely gorgeous, the music was phenomenal, and the gameplay in general was polished beyond compare. Super Mario 3D World gets a strong recommendation from me whenever someone asks what games to get for Wii U. But a Mario game being recommended when purchasing a Nintendo console is not surprising in the least.

    Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)

    Speaking of stomping on your predecessor, if there’s any game that really blew me away in 2014, however, it’s this one. Donkey Kong Country Returns (2010) was a great game that revived what made the original series great and brought it into the modern era. It had some minor issues, but nothing that would make me not recommend the game. But Tropical Freeze somehow managed to blow it out of the water. Or…into the water? Tropical Freeze has one of my favourite soundtracks of all time, the best swimming mechanic in any game I’ve ever played, and it’s simply beautiful to look at. There’s no question about it: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is my favourite 2D platformer of all time.

    Sonic Lost World

    This was a big disappointment. The game is nice to look at, but the gameplay is bland. The music is bland also, which is unusual for a Sonic game. I’m not sure why Sega decided to toy with working controls and gameplay from Sonic Generations (or even Sonic Colors, which I wasn’t crazy about anyway). That seems to be their problem with Sonic games. They’re trying to fix what isn’t broken, without necessarily fixing what IS broken.

    Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS)

    I’ve always enjoyed the Mario Golf games. This one does something different in adding the Castle Tour mode. If you’ve liked Mario Golf in the past, you’ll enjoy this one.

    Child of Light (Wii U)

    I’d heard a lot of praise for this game before buying, and it was well-deserved. This is a great effort by Ubisoft Montreal that really pays off in an interesting game. I’d like to specifically point out the fighting system, which is executed really nicely. I’m not sure if it’s been done before, but it’s a really cool implementation of speed during battles.

    Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)

    There’s not a lot to say about this game that hasn’t been said already. Amazing graphics, flawless gameplay, great soundtrack, etc. This is the definitive Mario Kart experience. Unless you’re talking about battle mode, of course.

    The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (3DS)

    An impulse purchase, I figured that having never played the original (and I couldn’t handle the controls on the Virtual Console), and with my positive reception of the remake of The Wind Waker, I’d try the remake of Ocarina of Time. It was an enjoyable experience thanks to controls being optimized for the 3DS, but I do have to say that I enjoyed both Twilight Princess and The Wind Waker more in the story department.

    Star Fox 64 3D (3DS): This is a game I never owned but I had played before. The 3DS remake is a solid one and it was fun to play through.

    Perfect Dark (N64)

    They don’t make shooters like this anymore. Sure, controls have evolved into a much better standard, but I feel like no modern games match this one in the single player area.

    Banjo-Tooie (N64)

    I’ve played through this before, but having replayed it over the last few months, I think it’s worth a mention here. Before I say anything, I’d like to state that I’m a huge advocate for the revival of 3D adventure platformers. I wish we’d get more of them these days, as they really were something special. But I think that when that revival does happen, there are many lessons that can be learned from Banjo-Tooie.

    Firstly, it really is the perfect sequel. It gives you more of everything without pretending that the last game didn’t happen. I don’t know how many games have done it, but I remember being really impressed that the game started you off with your entire moveset which was obtained in the previous game.

    My one problem with the game is how tedious it can feel at times. Whether it’s because of the N64’s really chugging on this game due to the huge worlds, or because the size of the worlds makes everything really laborious, it does tend to drag on at some points. A lesson that 3D platformers can learn from Banjo-Tooie in the future is to try not to make in-game tasks feel like work because of excessive travelling around/between worlds. That said, it doesn’t do nearly enough to ruin the game, which means it was still very enjoyable.

    Super Smash Bros. for 3DS (3DS)

    This was Part 1 of the year’s main event for me. The dream of a handheld Smash Bros. comes true here, and it really excels at being Smash Bros. on the go. I’m glad this exists.

    Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (Wii U)

    This was Part 2, and on its own served as THE main event for the year. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U delivers an amount of content that makes the 3DS version feel like a demo of this game, and it surpasses Brawl in pretty much every way. While I feel it lacks something where there was previously a story/adventure mode, the fighting itself is so perfectly executed that the game is easily the best in the series.

    Pokemon Omega Ruby (3DS)

    This game was a pretty solid remake of Pokemon Ruby, but I will say it didn’t have me jumping for joy like Pokemon SoulSilver did. This may be partially due to a fondness for Generation II (and lack thereof for Generation III) back in the day, but it didn’t have the same effect. It may also be due to the fact that Ruby wasn’t as “primitive” as Gold/Silver were, so remaking wasn’t as much of a jump as it was from Silver to SoulSilver. In any case, I still enjoyed the game. I think the Pokemon games will need to make big changes in the near future, or they risk growing stale. But then, they haven’t grown stale so far, so who knows?

    I started some new games before 2014 ended, but the majority of those will be played in 2015. Most of my posts won’t be this long-winded, and I’ll post throughout the year my random musings on games and such. Otherwise, you can find me on Twitter @rardk64.