Want To Build Your Own Mario Levels? Fuhgeddaboudit.
Why Nintendo will never let you edit the Mushroom Kingdom.
Sony and Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet (released in 2008) was a revelation. Here was a game with a full-featured level editor, the type of construction set almost exclusively seen in PC gaming, available on a console and later PSP. Even better, users could share their creations with the rest of the world and vice versa, thereby opening the door for an infinite stream of content.
It was quite stunning. Most importantly, we daydreamed about Nintendo, or more specifically, Super Mario Bros., and what it would be like to build stages from scratch.
This would be the Holy Grail for millions of Nintendo fans. For more than 25 years, Mario's creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, has kept such technology under lock and key. Giving players the chance to design their own Mario adventures would certainly go over well, to the tune of ten million plus copies sold, and that's a low estimate.
Well forget about it, because the odds of crafting your own Mushroom Kingdom romp appear slim, at least from where we stand.
There's a huge difference between the best Mario titles and LittleBigPlanet, in that the former are tightly designed and spot on platformers, while the latter is somewhat sloppy to control. LBP wasn't designed to unseat Mario or even become the king of the platform games so much as it was created specifically as a sandbox experience. If anything, the pre-made levels starring Sackboy served as an appetizer to the main course. Sony wants players to build, create and share. That's the whole point.
Giving fans the privilege of designing Mario levels could partially ruin Mario's appeal moving forward. If players can do it on their own, why bother purchasing more games from Nintendo?
Obviously, folks would still buy Mario games, but perhaps not in the same numbers.
That's probably why you'll never get to redesign Big Island from Super Mario Bros. 3.
On the positive side, at least you can build puzzles in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!