Super Mario Maker Adding Checkpoints, Extra Features

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One of the few frustrating aspects of the excellent Super Mario Maker is the inability to add checkpoints in the middle of levels. If someone makes a difficult (read: troll) level that has many twists, turns and sudden and unstoppable deaths, starting from the beginning of a course may be enough of a deterrent for a course to go uncompleted. Nintendo understands these frustrations, announcing today that a free future software update will bring them into the level-editing toolbox, in addition to other features.

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On November 4th, Super Mario Maker will several updates to how content is produced and how it is organized. In addition to the aforementioned checkpoints, creators can also add flags in their levels to denote where players respawn after losing a life, even if they did not reach the exact checkpoint in mind. Additionally, power-ups can now be status-dependent. An example provided is adding a mushroom to a fire flower and putting it inside a block so that small Mario gets the mushroom, while big Mario gets the fire flower. This addition makes courses more dynamic, allowing for creative tweaks to level design.

Remember when the Nintendo World Championship from E3 2015 introduced three maps specifically tailored for the event, which were eventually added into Super Mario Maker itself? This update, due out next Wednesday, will add an Event Courses category to the Course World online hub, bringing special courses created from Nintendo’s external partners. The first will include the “Ship Love” level that beat out other creations at the Facebook Hackathon a few months back. Finally, an “Official Makers” section will be added to highlight ongoing levels picked (or even created) by Nintendo.

While I’m happy to hear that Super Mario Maker is getting some substantive updates in the months after its launch, it feels like this would be the perfect announcement to go along with a Nintendo Direct. It has been a hot minute since Nintendo found a new president of the company, and we’re in the middle of a dynamic and massive fall release schedule. Not getting batches of updates about future Nintendo 3DS and Wii U games doesn’t do Nintendo any service, even if a transition is in progress.


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