Published on November 29th, 2015 | by octaneblue0
Review: Super Mario Maker
Platforms(s): Wii U
Release Date(s): September 11, 2015
Have you ever wanted to make your own Super Mario levels? Now you can on the Wii U with Super Mario Maker, a game that lets you create, share, and download 2D Mario levels. The interface is simple enough for anyone to get started. Simply put, if you love Mario games, you’ll find a lot to like about this game. Read on for the full review of Super Mario Maker for the Wii U!
Immediately upon starting up Super Mario Maker, you’re given a tutorial about how the game works, and you can start working on your own level. It’s actually really simple to jump in and start creating levels. Super Mario Maker is a game that demonstrates the usefulness and uniqueness of the Wii U GamePad. There are icons scattered around the interface that you can tap on the GamePad and drag to where you want to place the object on your level. You can place things like blocks, coins, pipes, enemies, platforms, power-ups, etc. nearly anywhere. You’re given a lot of freedom in Super Mario Maker, so you can almost always create what you want within the game.
The game offers four different appearances for levels, which are based on sprites or models from Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U. You can usually seamlessly switch your level between each style, keeping everything intact but just switching appearances to make your chosen style. However, each of these styles has their own attributes that make them unique from the others. For example, Yoshi is available in the Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros. U styles, but not in the others. And power-ups from specific games, such as the Super Leaf in Super Mario Bros. 3 and the Cape Feather from Super Mario World, are set to those styles only. But some enemies and objects that weren’t in certain games originally are able to be placed in levels. Wigglers didn’t debut until Super Mario World, but you can put them in a Super Mario Bros. 3-styled level. To match a past style, these objects have new, 8-bit style sprites. Environments such as ghost houses and airships are available throughout all styles, and they come complete with new themes if they didn’t appear in a certain game too.
The game offers exactly 68 pre-made “sample” courses, all of which are unlocked by simply playing around with the Create mode, or by going through the 10 Mario Challenge. These sample courses are mostly short, but are primarily examples of what exactly you can do with the items and such that you’re offered when making a level. The 10 Mario Challenge is a mode where you go through and unlock 8 sample courses. There are 17 sample course worlds, which consist of 4 levels each. Worlds 1 and 2 are unlocked over time in the Create mode, while Worlds 3 through 16 are unlocked through beating levels in the 10 Mario Challenge. The 17th world, which features 4 special levels, are unlocked once you unlock all the levels in the 10 Mario Challenge. All this takes a couple hours to unlock. You can edit these sample courses too, and save your own edited version of them.
The game features some nice online features. There’s a 100 Mario Challenge available, which gives the player 100 lives to go through a randomly generated group of user-created levels. This mode can be quite fun, as you’ll have a different experience each time you play. You can also play through individual levels at your own leisure. You can pick out levels from top creators, play ones that are highly ranked, and you can use options such as sorting levels by the region of the creators. Each created level has a unique ID, and you can share this with any players so that they can try out the level. Unfortunately, there isn’t a section that just features levels created by those on your friend list, so you’ll have to get the course ID for those.
Super Mario Maker features extensive amiibo support, with the large majority of amiibo figures unlocking playable costumes in the Super Mario Bros. mode. So, for example, you can tap an amiibo onto the Wii U GamePad to generate a Mystery Mushroom that changes Mario into characters like Link, Yoshi, an Inkling Squid, Kirby, Ness, Sonic the Hedgehog, and many, many more. You just have to place that Mystery Mushroom into an item block. Most of these playable costumes come complete with sound effects and tunes from the character’s respective series. It’s worth noting that these costumes can be unlocked in the game itself without having to own a figure; you unlock a random costume by clearing the 100 Mario Challenge.
The Super Mario Bros. series is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and Super Mario Maker is an excellent release overall to celebrate the occasion. The creation process is extremely simple and intuitive, and players are just limited by their own imaginations. Because of the game’s online features, there’s an endless amount of replay value as well. If you’re a fan of the series, Super Mario Maker is a must-own title for the Wii U.
+ Easy creation interface, anyone can make their own Mario levels
+ Plenty of creation tools
+ Infinite replay value
– Lacks a online section featuring levels made by friends