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Super Mario Maker Review

Chances are, if you own a Wii U you like Mario games, the portly plumber having a few decent games on Nintendo’s misunderstood console. This new release is something very different from what has come before, as even though it is classic Mario platform action, this time around you get to direct the action.

Even those without an artistic bone in their body will find this game is just brimming with fun, from naming your selection to the way the game's music adapts to what you are doing, like when placing blocks, the game will sing to you, it is silly but so endearing you just cannot help yourself by trying more items out.

This fun approach encourages you to try all the items available, with the creation itself being unbelievably easy with simple drag and drop actions using the stylus on the Wii U Pad, placing blocks and creating horizontal and vertical levels, changing backdrops and games with ease. All it needs is a little imagination and some patience as not all of the content is available immediately, with progression being drip fed over the space of a few days. Now that may annoy those that have a specific idea in mind but over the course of a few days more and more of the game unlocks, allowing for a steady flow of ideas, starting with Mario’s first outing in Super Mario Bros and then moving onto Super Mario Bros 3 and even the SNES classic Super Mario World, each time increasing the possibilities by adding new backgrounds like underground, castles, ghost houses or underwater and on top of that throwing in even more tiles to use like note blocks, piranha plants, personal special effects and of course, Bowser himself.

Changing between games does not only change the overall palette but also the gameplay mechanics, with Super Mario Bros keeping it simple with pinpoint accurate jumps, Super Mario Bros 3 allows the introduction of the Super Leaf, Super Mario World has Yoshi and New Super Mario Bros.U brings in wall jumps amongst other skills and powers to utilise.

Super Mario Maker is a classic Mario/ Nintendo game with progression of the titles challenges unlocking even more hidden gems that continually push you forward. Super Mario Maker also lets you show off your achievements by unlocking and using them in your creations. Aside from logging in each day to see what new goodies are delivered there are other ways to earn more items to use and this is integrated nicely with the rest of the online sharing experience via challenges. With various degrees of difficulty, you have 100 Mario’s (lives) to complete a set amount of user created levels to earn a prize. Playing these levels is obviously a roulette of quality; some perfectly mimic the joyful challenges of Mario games of the past whereas others are downright nasty. Difficulty of some can be insane with no real obvious way of completing levels, being so convoluted only the designer gets it and it is here that you realise just how skilled Nintendo’s own level designers are. Thankfully the poorly designed and frustrating levels can be skipped, leaving some real gems to unearth and hopefully with a larger audience there will be more quality levels to come. If you wish you can leave comments, either at the end or at a certain part of the level, offering advice to future players or even to the creator and if you are especially happy with the level you can reward the creator with a star. This is where the community will make or break this idea, as with more stars earned, more slots become available to upload levels, starting with ten and increasing from there.

With a little navigation of the menus you are also able to see what comments other players have left your own creations and even look over a panoramic view of the level to see where other hopeful Mario’s lost their lives and how many attempts/completions have been made. From here you can get an idea of what people like and dislike of your levels, pushing you to earn more stars by pandering to the gamers wants. Here you can also share your level ID codes (Feel free to star them 0872-0000-000F-51DB and 15FC-0000-000F-4EF3) with friends and search individual creators and favourite them and play their creations away from the challenges to complete them and then download them to your own world and hopefully learn a few new design tricks.

Mario Maker is a fantastic idea that manages to keep faithful to the ideals of Nintendo and Mario whilst, also loosening the reigns and allowing fans to have a good old rummage in one of the best toy boxes out there.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: Wii U)


+ Very versatile creation system
+ Wii U pad is ideal to use
+ Loads of content to unlock


- Heavily reliant on the kindness of the community

Edited On 02 Sep, 2015

( 4 )
trancematic's avatar
trancematic 1 year ago
Exactly why i packed my Nintendo Wii U away many many months ago,Nintendo need to drop the kiddie image that Nintendo are well known for and give us a console that competes with the big boys with more appealing adult orientated games instead of constant Nintendo Favourites like Mario and all the games that appeal to people in there teens,they have lost there audience of mature gamers who have evolved and moved on to bigger and better things,so its about time Nintendo got with the program and they wouldn't have 3rd party developers abandoning them at such a alarming rate.
Joe Anderson (Editor)'s avatar
Joe Anderson (Editor) 1 year ago
At least Nintendo is a little different tho. PS4 and Xbox One are very similar.
Anonymous user's avatar
PHILIP 1 year ago
Everyone I know personally have sold their Wii U's as they just never used them amymore. I agree the Wii U doesn't get used that much in my home either but their exclusives are mostly good and they have given me many hours of enjoyment over the years. I still think its a worthy 2nd console to own it just offers a different feel that the playstation/xbox does and this title will be great for myself and the kids to enjoy. Nintendo games are just different and colourful - some a bit too kiddie friendly yes but they are aimed at being fun.
trancematic's avatar
trancematic 1 year ago
Well if the game appeals to the Nintendo Fans then by all accounts the reviews coming in are incredibly high. I dont dislike Nintendo i just wish they had a more powerful console that gives both Sony and Microsoft a run for there money and a little added pressure. Its just sad that its underpowered and many of the big 3rd party games don't come to the Nintendo Wii U because of those reasons and the lack of sales on the unit.

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