A complaint often levelled at user-generated content is that it rarely plays as well as a professionally made game. It’s a fair criticism: hobbyist creators working in suites such as LittleBigPlanet are often capable of incredible artistic achievements, but it’s rare for amateurs to get that all-important “feel” right. That’s what makes this Super Mario 64-inspired sandbox made in Dreams all the more impressive.
Pay little attention to the placeholder backdrop: this is all about the controls. Mario moves fluidly around the environment, animating almost identically to his Nintendo 64 counterpart. Practically all of his moves are intact, and it’s perhaps worth reiterating that this has been hand animated and programmed with a DualShock 4 by a PlayStation Network user named PieceofCraft.
Nintendo’s unlikely to be as impressed with the creation as we are, but this is a reminder that Dreams is capable of incredible gameplay as well as outstanding visuals. It’ll be fascinating to see where the release is at in a year or two, because when these kind of controls are paired with great levels, we’re going to start seeing some truly special stuff made inside Media Molecule’s engine.