When you celebrate an anniversary, usually you celebrate it by giving a present to that special someone. At least that’s what I have been told. Nintendo however decided to shake things up a bit by celebrating Mario’s 30th anniversary in the grandest fashion possible: By allowing it’s dedicated fans and Mario lovers the engine that makes Mario levels itself.
What a wonderful present this is to all Mario lovers.
Super Mario Maker is all about creating your very own Mario levels. You can recreate the iconic World 1-1 or remix it entirely to make it a living nightmare for veterans and newcomers alike. But to describe Super Mario Maker as such would be a sin on it’s own.
I haven’t seen a game that you can jump into fast for so long. You are immediately thrown into an incomplete level which right before you jump to your death, the game pauses and teaches you how to complete it on your own by putting in elements that are missing in the level (or add more to it if you desire). The level of accessibility is so easy that kids can even be thought basic game level design that features vibrant colors. Think of it as coloring book on a huge tv for kids and adults alike.
How in the world are you getting past that…
The tools that you can use? Customisation is not limited to the items in the level. Sound effects, special effects, item size, variety, even the background music is customisable to your hearts content. Wanna create a Happy Birthday level for someone where you record your voice giving the player the well wishes? Totally possible!
Mario veterans may have some issues at the early on. Not every single tool or item is available at the onset and you are required to create levels for a while to unlock further items. While you are stuck with the New Super Mario Bros U and Super Mario Bros at the beginning, these two levels already feature different types of physics and designs depending on your creativity. I was amazed by a level created in New Super Mario Bros U that is super creative utilising one of the most under used physics in the game. It should still be featured now, but find a level that has something along the lines of Don’t Touch My Shrooms and you’ll know what I mean.
That giant hand you see appears on the big screen, but not on the gamepad. If you erase the items in the level, a cat will scratch it away for you.
Once levels are complete, the mayhem begins. You can invite over friends to try out your levels offline and see how they fare. And the imagination is already limitless. Or, you can upload them and see how the world reacts to it. As a safe measure, it will be impossible for anyone to upload a level that cannot be finished as the creator is required to finish the level themselves first.
Online, the magic truly begins.
In Course World-The game’s online level sharing mode-, there are already hundreds of courses available for you to choose and play. The list can be filtered to look at a Global or Regional (Which is US, UK, Japan, the ilk) list, ranging from difficulties from Easy, to Expert, or all of them (difficulty however is decided by Nintendo though), along with Weekly or All Time list. Even when you filter it, there will be hundreds of levels for you to choose. Various sections can also be chosen to filter it further such as the Featured List and the Makers list.
Feeling a little lost? You can also let the game choose for you by playing the 100 Mario challenge where the courses online are randomly chosen for you to try on. Offline, you can play the 10 Mario Challenge instead to unlock premade courses available in the game (there’s 68 of them if I counted correctly). These can then be further edited to your liking as well.
Suck on that Flappy Bird.
I wanted to make this written review short, but again, it would do this game injustice. Opening the box you will notice there’s no manual physical manual for you to use and read. Well, that’s because the manual is easily accessible from the game itself through your trusty assistance, Mary O! Not only is the digital guide charming, fun to read, along with plenty of helpful tips to make your own levels, there are also videos for you to unlock when you input special codes! (Refer to those codes in the Idea Book. You can’t miss them)
The package itself is beyond amazing. Miyamoto has again outdone himself (even if Super Mario 3D World is already an amazing advancement). However, I can’t help but note some of the flaws that disrupts my experience slightly.
I really wished that the Course World could be improved tremendously in the search feature. I wanted to find that Rick Roll themed Level (See below) that was created (and promoted by Nintendo). But if it’s not in the Featured list, I would have to insert a 16 digit numeric code in the search list. I know it reminds me of the Nintendo Friend Codes that can be shared, but seriously why would they use this method still? It would be much easier if I can search it based on the User’s name, or the Level’s name instead.
Just in case, the course ID is 9D02-0000-000F-4BEE. You’re welcome.
Finding your friend’s level is not easy either. We’re stuck with having to find that level first, and then follow them to see updates in our notifications list if any. I would at least want to be able to share it to people in my friends list by accessing a specific list immediately for us to see what they have made.
As for improvements, I have a few other things that I would love to see Nintendo do with the game through patches. Remember how Smash WiiU has the capability to upload tournament fights to Youtube? Why not Super Mario Maker? Not only do I think levels should be shared, videos that are played by friends can be good entertainment for everyone. And what about those featured levels from the Facebook Hackathon and the Nintendo World Championship 2015? Why not give them a special Featured rating and let us play those levels? Or get more developers other than Michel Ancel and Koji Igarashi to do levels in the featured list? (GET HIDEO KOJIMA NOW!) I realise that DLCs are coming to the game as well such as costumes from other Nintendo IPs. So, please please please please please, Balloon Fight. You know why. 🙂
I remember starting off my Disney Infinity 3.0 review by saying how I wish my toys came to life. Super Mario Maker was the dream I had when I made my own game levels using a small notebook in school using pencil and drawings. The game is the same method as how Super Mario Maker was envisioned to be. I am truly thankful to live in an age where my prayers for such a thing has been answered (even if it took me around 19 years to see it happen). I just wish sharing with friends is as easy as giving my notebook to my friends. Instead, they are going to need an unlock code for that.
Super Mario Maker has managed to stop me from playing Metal Gear Solid V. And that game is already addictive as hell.
|For||Against (Very minor ones)|
|Levels are super easy to make for everyone||Sharing and locating levels in Course Worlds can be so much better|
|Course World Levels are creatively made||The maker will be staring at the WiiU Gamepad a whole lot|
|Nintendo Magic as always||Uploading levels is to 10 per user, unless your levels get a lot of stars|
|Snappy, zippy, ultra fast||It took me away from Metal Gear Solid V|
|You can Rick Roll people in this game||Someone is about to do a John Cena level. I’m sure|
Final Score: 9/10
The game has been reviewed using a retail copy of Super Mario Maker. Get yours now at http://kyosgamemart.com/collections/preorder-games/products/wiiusmm for RM 240! It will run out soon!