As if participating in a 25-hour marathon wasn’t difficult enough, the Extra Life site struggled to stay online due to multiple DDoS attacks. Even so, we powered through and raised $1,218 for the Children’s Miracle Network of Hospitals. Simply amazing!
View the full post to see the individual parts, as well as the lengthy shoutouts! Thank you all for your support and we’ll see you next year when we do this all over again!
You can watch all of the action right here on the blog with the Twitch player above. While you’re at it, we’d really appreciate it if you could make a donation to Extra Life. 100% of the proceeds go towards the Children’s Miracle Network of Hospitals, which includes 170 hospitals in North America that take care of over 10,000 kids every day. Every bit helps and your support is truly appreciated!
Though it hasn’t been that long since I posted one of these, I’d actually had that configuration for a few weeks beforehand. This time, I’ll try and stay on top, posting these closer to when I rejigger the setup. At most, I’ll do these once a month for however long I’m interested in writing them. Here are a few new pieces I added!
After an unintended extended hiatus, we’re back! Jett and Jason return from vacations and Mat returns from…adulting. Games discussed include Super Mario Maker 2, Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, Spider-Man, Dying Light, Moonlighter, Contra Anniversary Collection, Dr. Mario World, and 20XX! And for today’s game show…how good are you with anagrams?
Super Mario Maker proved to be a revelation. Providing players with intuitive tools to create their own levels in the Mushroom Kingdom, they broke the boundaries of Nintendo’s own level design ethos while pushing the limits – and oftentimes breaking the limits – of what was possible within the game’s toolset. Long after the Wii U died, the Super Mario Maker community seemingly held onto Nintendo’s ill-fated console longer than anyone else.
As mind-expanding as that first game proved to be, it wasn’t without fault. Limitations within the tools made it impossible to recreate every facet of the 2D Super Mario experience, such as sloped hills among others. Finding good levels proved to be a chore due to the game’s poor filtering options. For players who simply wanted more Nintendo-created levels, they were gated behind a clunky 10 Mario Challenge mode that essentially made it impossible to experience them all without having to play repeats. Super Mario Maker 2 aims to not only address the issues of the first, but expand the scope of what players can create within the Mushroom Kingdom.
Technical difficulties cropped up yet again while streaming Super Mario Maker 2, but thankfully we were able to do a full stream this time. Just in two parts! In part 1, I play some awesome levels from Randy and Adam. In part 2, we venture off into the world of online, dipping our toes in the laggy online co-op pool before attempting a few endless challenge runs. I’m not enough of a masochist for the super expert levels, but we tried them anyway!
Playing the first Super Mario Maker made me realize that I took Nintendo’s approach to 2D Super Mario level design for granted. Contrasted against most of the user-generated levels I played, Nintendo’s approach across multiple Super Mario games showcases a high level of creativity, polish, accessibility, and restraint. It’s great that players are given the tools to create whatever they want, but it turns out that I mainly want more of Nintendo’s secret sauce.
Unfortunately, the Nintendo-made levels were poorly packaged as part of the 10 Mario Challenge. In it, you’re tasked with beating as many levels as you can with only 10 lives. However, unless you beat the entire challenge in one sitting, you’re likely to have to repeat levels before experiencing all of Nintendo’s content. Furthermore, the lack of connective tissue between levels made it difficult to get invested in Mario’s travels. At the very least, prior games sort of gave you the sense of working towards saving Princess Peach. With Super Mario Maker, you were just served levels at random that you’re running through for the sake of it.
Seemingly aware of the first game’s issues with regards to the presentation of Nintendo-made content, Super Mario Maker 2 takes a very different approach. Thus far, it’s made a huge difference in the way I consume and enjoy the game.
I liked Super Mario Maker a lot. I’m not one who enjoys making stuff in games, but I did have a great time during the brief stretch where I was into it. However, it fell out of my rotation pretty quickly when my interest in making levels waned and it felt like all of the user-created levels I encountered were awful. Because of this, Super Mario Maker 2 was not on my radar at all.
Then the Super Mario Maker 2 Direct happened. What I saw knocked my socks off! While I expected Nintendo to make improvements over the original, the sheer volume of improvements on display were staggering.
Introduced at the end of the Super Mario Maker 2 Direct, Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers give Nintendo Switch Online subscribers the ability to save on select games. Sold as a pair for $99.99, you can redeem them for two $60 games and save $20. You can buy multiple sets of vouchers at a time and vouchers are good for a year after purchase. However, it looks like vouchers will only be sold until July 31st.