Have you ever dreamed of creating your own Super Mario World? A plethora of Goombas, Koopa Troopas, and Torpedo Teds, all jam-packed in a maze of absurdity mixed in with self recorded sound effects? Would you then like to share your creative talents with the world, so all can revel in the madness that is your creation? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then take a trip into the world of Super Mario Maker. A wonderful tool that not only allows you to create your very own levels and worlds, but interact with your creations and share them with a vast, interactive community of novice to expert makers, creating years and years of replay.
Super Mario Maker is accessibility at its finest. No knowledge of programming code or art design? No problem! Mario Makers smooth drag and drop interface allows players to easily create and showcase their marvelous platformers to share with friends and players all over the world. An easily accessible tool bar allows for access to power ups, enemies, and building blocks which can be customized to your preference. And sure, the thought of creating a whole level from scratch may seem a bit intimidating at first, but if you can attain a mastery of the ancient art of point and click, you are halfway there.
Course Maker is Super Mario Maker’s premiere mode, which allows players to pick from four styles including Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario U. Each style changes the landscape to reflect its unique art style and soundtrack, which is seen throughout its various stages such as Super Mario World’s Castle level or Boo’s Mansion from New Super Mario Bros.U. As the art style changes, so does the appearance of the assets available for your use. The feeling of nostalgia invoked from seeing Bowser’s intimidating castle and listening to its ominous music was indescribable, bringing me back to a time in my childhood, where I knew that at the end of this perilous journey, there would be a frightful foe ready to strip me of my flower power ups and extra lives.
The second half is going to take a little bit of imagination but Super Mario Maker knows that some may have trouble crafting a Mario masterpiece. Players can scroll through various sample courses and interact with each design, saving them to their own collection. Players can expand on sample courses and add their own personal flare such as more enemies or various sound effects. Various doors and pipes can be placed around the world, allowing visiting players to be warped to another sub-level of your creation, opening more opportunities of exploration and discovery. Blocks can be littered all around your world, containing helpful items or dastardly enemies which makes the experience mysterious and fun. It was hilarious to see the frustration on my girlfriend’s face when she realized that every block I placed contained Goombas. I didn’t troll her entirely (ok, maybe a little). A winged block contained something magical, which I had kept secret. If you have been investing your hard-earned cash on the waves of Amiibos released over the past few months, you will be thrilled to hear that Amiibos have functionality with Super Mario Maker, which allow you to change your ordinary Mario costume to one of your Amiibos. So what did I place in the mysterious floating box? A Yoshi costume, which I had acquired by placing my girlfriend’s Yoshi Amiibo on the Wii U gamepad. A true delight to see Mario take a back seat and bring in another contender into the platforming fray.
So maybe you aren’t the most savvy, imaginative architect in the Mushroom Kingdom. Maybe you simply just have an insatiable lust for stomping on King Bowser while laying the smack down on Goombas and Koopas along the way. Well, you are in luck. There are two modes to satisfy any platformer enthusiast. 100 Mario Challenge gives players 100 lives to complete 8 randomly generated stages spanning from Super Mario Bros. to Super Mario Bros. U. These courses are updated regularly and are added to your sample courses upon completion. If you are looking for more challenges, players can adjust the difficulty or dive into the immense, creative online arena. Players from all over the world, can and have uploaded their marvelous creations for the world to partake in. It is truly wonderful to explore through someone’s creation and witness how much work and care has been put into a level’s creation. I found myself laughing at some the ingenious ways players had placed items, enemies, and blocks all over their world. How various sound effects played during certain areas in a level and how early I would encounter Bowser during my time with a course. After spending time with your favorite courses, you can then comment, rate, and add it to your collection of previously played sample courses, adding more to the gaming experience.
As much as Super Mario Maker does right, the Mushroom Kingdom is not all Yoshis and Princess Peaches. When I first purchased Super Mario Maker, I noticed that not all the styles and assets were available. It took a bit of research and manipulation to unlock everything for use. In hindsight, Nintendo was attempting to familiarize players with certain worlds, items and their interaction within a level and opted for a daily roll out for each set. As much as I understand its reasoning, I did not care for it much because I expected to jump in and experience everything Super Mario Maker had to offer. It was a bit of a hinderance which eventually paid off but wished it was eliminated from its final version. The second issue is the way comments are implemented online. Once a player completes an online creators level, he or she can comment on the level. The problem with this is that when a new player enters the level to participate in its completion, comments are literally plastered all over the world. This makes it very difficult for new players to see enemies or make difficult jumps because of the text or pictures that block your vision. Countless times have I missed jumps because of text from various players overlapping over the next platform. This can easily become a game breaker for some players. Lastly, if you have not invested in your Amiibo collection, you can easily find yourself funneling all your funds into these artfully crafted toys to obtain costumes and power-ups for use in Mario Maker. At around 15 bucks a piece, this can become quite an expensive endeavor, so I caution players to research their desired Amiibo and see its application in Super Mario Maker.
Overall, Super Mario Maker was an amazing experience to partake in. Being able to create a level from scratch and customize it to my own personality and liking was truly amazing. How easily assessable it was for me to create something so complex without having to spend a large amount of time was refreshing. Sharing my creation not only with my friends, but with the world and have a strong interaction with the online community was something of beauty. If you ever wanted a reason to buy a Wii U, Super Mario Maker may be the title to sway your opinion. It is a title that is constantly changing and evolving by the day. Whatever you do, do not miss this gem.
- Unlimited replay ability
- Highly active and creative online community
- Easy and accessible for all ages
- Online comments clutter online stages making visibility difficult
- Amiibo investments can become an expensive endeavor