Developers, why make your own games when you can just give the tools to fans?
At least that’s the lesson Nintendo is teaching us with the excellent Super Mario Maker, which lets players create their own 2D platforming levels. We already talked about the Nintendo franchises that we want to see get their stage-designing games. Now, it’s time to talk about the series that Nintendo doesn’t own that need a Super Mario Maker of their own.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Mario’s old rival could definitely benefit from a game that lets fans make their own 2D levels. Heck, Sonic actually needs it more, since Sega seems incapable of actually making good Sonic games these days. Why not let fans take over? It would be a blast to draw your own stages complete with loops, springs, and all the other franchise staples. You could even let creators decide if they want to build levels for Sonic, his flying sidekick Tails, or the wall-climbing Knuckles.
Capcom doesn’t really seem interested in making new Mega Man games, so why not give the tools to fans? The upsetting thing is that Capcom actually announced a title that was all about letting players make their Mega Man levels back in 2010, Mega Man Universe. Yup, Capcom could have beaten Mario to the punch years ago. Sadly, that project was cancelled. Maybe the success of Super Mario Maker will make Capcom reconsider.
Speaking of 2D sidescrolling franchises that were popular on the Nintendo Entertainment System and later all but abandoned by their publishers, how about a Castlevania Maker? Konami wants out of the triple-A game, so release the tools to fans and let them have fun with Dracula’s castle and monster buddies. You could even include the role-playing game aspects from Symphony of the Night and give creator’s flexibility; they could make old-school, linear levels or labyrinths that focus on exploration.
OK, how about something outside of 2D platformer genre? Gradius is a series of side-scrolling space shooters (often called shoot-’em-ups or shumps). Fans could have a lot of fun creating their own levels by placing obstacles and enemies. Konami has released a lot of Gradius games over the years, so it has plenty of assets, art styles, and power-ups to let people play with.
Rayman’s been around since the ’90s, but the franchise reinvigorated itself in later years thanks to some excellent 2D platformers that feature vibrant, cartoon-like graphics and four-player co-op. Ubisoft has already shown that Rayman is at his best in sidescrollers, so let’s give this more modern series the Super Mario Maker treatment. Unlike some of the other ideas on this list, Rayman doesn’t have to rely on nostalgia, so such a game could take more risks.