Why The Latest Number One Mario Maker Course Is Such Garbage

Why The Latest Number One Mario Maker Course Is Such Garbage

Here, captured in a three second GIF, is the entirety of the current top-rated Mario Maker course. It's hilariously bad. How in the world did it climb the ranks, then?

The answer is in the course title, which is written in Japanese:

Why The Latest Number One Mario Maker Course Is Such Garbage

It says "I will play the courses of everyone who likes this," according to a translation provided by Kotaku's own Brian Ashcraft. This promise alone was enough to get 124,591 people to play the troll level, and at least 26,767 of those players ended up starring the course. Stars, for those that don't know, are what determine the popularity of a course; the more people "star" something, the higher that course moves up in the rankings. To give you an idea of the scale here: the second place course in Mario Maker right now has only 17,698 stars to its name.

To make matters worse, there's absolutely no way the player has kept his word. It's just not possible. I've been playing Mario Maker non-stop since launch, and I've only tried out about 1,500 courses over the span of 116 hours. I have no idea how long it would take this guy to play through over 100,000 courses, but I imagine he'd have to give up pretty much everything else in life to do achieve it.

Understandably, some English-speaking players are kind of miffed about the entire thing:

Why The Latest Number One Mario Maker Course Is Such Garbage
Why The Latest Number One Mario Maker Course Is Such Garbage

Japanese players, who can actually read the course title, seem a bit more amused by the entire thing.

Of course, to veteran Mario Maker players this crappy state of affairs is nothing new. The top courses that Mario Maker highlights have always been bad. Most notably, there was a period in which nearly everything in the top 10 was some sort of "don't press anything" course. The levels ended up playing themselves, as you can see below:

This type of course still makes up the bulk of Mario Maker's top ranks, but at the very least creating an auto level takes some degree of effort. Hell, some are even kind of awesome! I can't really say the same of the latest top Mario Maker course, but hey. I stopped relying on Mario Maker to tell me what's worth playing a long, long time ago.


    I really hope Nintendo figure out a way to weed out bad levels. Maybe they could also create a special section for those self playing levels. I think I might stop playing the 100 Mario challenge until then.

    Those self playing levels are actually fun to make. I'm working on one at the moment. I'll never upload it though. I don't wanna annoy people haha.

    We already have veteran Mario Maker players?
    The world is moving way too fast for me.

    Last edited 20/10/15 10:25 am

    Does this game have some kind of long-running reward system? Can someone explain to me why it’s so damn popular!?
    Without some kind of cohesive long-term game structure I thought people would get sick of it really quickly.

    I mean Trials has the best level maker I’ve seen on a console. While I’ve seen some clever looking creations on Mario Maker they aren’t anywhere near as varied as the creations you see in Trials- people making crazy 3D structures, animations, entirely different game types ect….. even then I find playing created Trials levels gets boring after a little while just because most people aren’t playing the same courses. I do it for a few hours and it’s cool to see the stuff other people can make, but it’s ultimately less satisfying beating levels that have small leaderboards and which will disappear into irrelevancy as soon as something newer comes along next week.

    I get that there’s challenge there for people who want to wade through the crap and find the REALLY hard levels, but wouldn’t it have been better if Nintendo actually created these things themselves and then told people to beat them? I mean beating Inferno IV on Trials wouldn’t be the same if it was a created level that held no official standing.

      The creation is the reward. For the same reason Minecraft and The Sims are up amongst the biggest PC games of all time, this appeals to the tinkerer inside people.

      We like to play with lego for a reason, and this is just a digital lego set, which happens to be built around one of the biggest franchises in gaming. Thats enough.

        Sure….. but it’s a 2D side-scrolling lego set comprised entirely of pieces from old-school Mario games.

        I mean Minecraft is Minecraft, you can build some phenomenally creative things in that game, people build all kinds of crazy crap.
        Trials too…. Like I said it’s the same thing- much more varied, much more powerful as a tool. Even then Trials isn’t JUST a level maker, for most people the joy is in mastering it the fine details of the Redlynx created levels that become the ‘canon’ of each release.
        Hell, even Little Big Planet 2 (I haven’t played the original so I can’t comment) seems more creatively flexible and it’s 5+ years old….. even then when LPB3 one launched with a lessened single player component (less than LPB 2 but more than Mario Maker) people were really critical of the omission.

        I get that it’s good game for the things that it does, it just looks to me like a pretty limited set of tools that’s going to result in a million “sameish” levels that at best are hits for a day or so before being buried in a sea of poorly archived tripe. If you put the exact same game on a console that got more than 2 games a year I think it might be forgotten in under a week (see Project Spark).

          The fact its Mario is what makes it so popular though. Pretty much every gamer knows who Mario is, knows the classic sideways games, and has played it on one platform or another.

          And almost without fail there has been that little voice in the back of the head arguing that you could build a better level, or that you'd make Level X just a little differently, or something.

          Thats all this taps into. Having every graphics style is a brilliant move, and lets people create exactly what they had in mind, without fail.

          But I'm not sure how many franchises this would work for. Not even sure a brand like Sonic would have made this sort of thing work.

            Nobody else could put out a game that was this simplistic and be critically and commercially acclaimed for it. Not with a different franchise, not on another console.

            The exact same game with a Raymond/ Sonic/ Any other theme and it would have been panned.
            The exact same game on another console and it wouldn’t have been a blip that was panned for being half-assed.

            It’ll be really interesting to look back on it in a year (or a generations) time and see what we think of it, Nintendo make such great games but surely their time would have been better spent making something that was a little more hearty (like a proper WiiU Mario that wasn’t templated from a Wii/DS/3DS title). Even if everybody has dreamt of making their own Mario levels (I can’t say I have)…. I don’t imagine you’d be doing it for months on end, particularly when 99% of them don’t get played.

            Maybe it’s just because I don’t get the appeal now, but I can’t see this game having a thriving community by February next year. There’s only so much you can do with a Mario level maker and once the novelty wears off there’s nothing there.

              Yeah not sure of the long term novelty either, so I hear what you're saying, but the fact its Mario is still a key factor why this has taken off. You might not see it, but its clearly tapped into something, as evidenced by the ridiculous number of stories (and levels) so far. Mario has that ideal balance of being simplistic enough anyone can understand, while having the complexity there to being a challenge as well.

              In a generation, who knows, but I doubt it'll be looked back on as a failure. For one thing, from Nintendo's point of view, they are getting millions of methods and ideas they can use themselves, potentially making the next era of Mario platformers that much more devious.

              In the near future, it'll stick around for a good while. Christmas is coming, along with the rubbish being made after that, and there will be the inevitable patches improving things. Better searching/filtering, maybe the ability to link stages into chapters and full game equivalents, and then who knows?

              Imagine what the best story tellers using this could do if they had 32 levels to work with instead of 1...

                It’ll probably look like a better idea in a generation than it will in 6 months time when people are starved for WiiU games again.

                Here’s the thing: it SHOULD exist. It’s a great idea.
                It’s just that a 2D level maker shouldn’t be a full-priced retail game in 2015, it should be tacked on to a REAL Mario game as an impressive addition.

                Halo 3/4/5’s Forge mode is a comprehensive game editor that’s tacked onto a huge single player game and a multiplayer experience.
                Trials I’ve already mentioned several times.
                People give Star Wars Battlefront shit for being just a multiplayer game.
                People give LBP 3 shit for being primarily a level builder
                GTA 5 is a huge single player game with a completely separate multiplayer component
                Ditto MGS 5

                It’s pretty stock standard for something like this to be packaged with another game, to release it on its own is AND have almost nobody point out that it’s ridiculously underwhelming is weird, and I’m saying that as a Mario fan!

                  Yeah no real argument that it should be packaged with something else, but thats part of why I think this would really only work with the Mario franchise. Little Big Planet had something tacked on, but who talks about the single player game with that? Really, the only thing the game attached to LBP does is introduce you to the concepts, and open up objects. Which you shouldnt need with Mario games.

                  Its certainly something thats worth having, I think we both see that, so really it just comes down to whether its value or not, and that comes down to the individual.

                  I dont own a Wii U, and I doubt I ever will, so I cant see myself ever using this, but I will admit that solely because of Mario Maker I did consider the Wii U as an option.

              Super Mario 3D World is the "proper" Wii U Mario. I know that you'll argue that is styled after 3DS's Super Mario 3D Land, but that's no reason for dismissal. SM3DW is as "hearty" and "meaty" as Mario games can get. A perfect mixture of Mario Galaxy's polished and creative levels and sense of freedom and SMW tight platforming and difficulty. It is also the Mario game with one of the highest (if not the highest) level count.

                Sure, but it’s still got no hub, no “theme”. It doesn’t look or feel like its own console-defining experience the way 64, Sunshine and Galaxy were… it’s designed to look and feel like the 3DS game.

                As I said above, if Halo 5 can have massive single player campaign, various types of multiplayer and a forge mode editing suite for levels and videos; why is that Nintendo’s flagship franchise gets .5 sequels and stand alone, full priced level editors?

                It’s the easiest way to tell Nintendo’s games are suffering from them propping up a hardware division with no 3rd party support. It’s just easier to get 2D platformers, close to the mould iterations and .5 sequels/ spinoffs out the door. Still rock-solid games, they’re just minimalist. It’s better to turn Super Mario Land into Super Mario World and then into Captain Toad’s 8 hour adventure than it is to have nothing at all on the release schedule.

    So this is basically like the vast quantity of "heart for heart" levels in Little Big Planet people made for the trophy?

    I've been watching a few let's plays online for Mario Maker and most of the user-made stages I've seen are truly incredible. I think I need to get this game sooner rather than later.

    Last edited 22/10/15 6:59 pm

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