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Review: Super Mario Maker

Super Mario took over the world 30 years ago. This year, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the mascot and have the opportunity to re-create some of our favorite levels of all time in Super Mario Maker. This game is the perfect celebration since it finally gives us the power to create the Mario levels of our dreams. Didn’t like the new 2D Mario games or want to make your favorite levels harder? It’s possible thanks to this Super Mario Maker, the perfect level creator.

Learn to create, step by step

Super Mario Maker is the first Nintendo game that follows the path of other succesful level creator games but manages to avoid the classic flaws of the genre. Where games as LittleBigPlanet forced you to read everything about creating a level in a short time and offered you all the tools right from the start, Super Mario Maker takes things slower. The tutorial of the game takes days to complete so you won’t start with all tools during your first session. It’s a great feature for the new gamers since the game focusses on certain aspects of creating instead of just handing you all the tools at once.

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After some time with the game, the game will automatically unlock new tools based on your playtime and style of creating. Some creators will unlock new tools every 15 minutes, while others will need to play for hours before unlocking new tools. This is the new system that was released with the first patch of the game, disabling the first mentioned day-system. Giving tools to the players based on their time with the game makes a lot more sense than locking the tools behind a 9-days door of course. The tutorial remained the same on the other hand and is definitely useful to learn the ropes. If you want to create the perfect Mario level, you’re forced to go trough the tutorial.

Easy to create

It may sound difficult to create a level but don’t be afraid, Super Mario Maker still is a Nintendo game, so creating is never too difficult. You can easily access all the tools on the screen and the interface is very user-friendly. In seconds you’ll be selecting the famous question-mark blocks, enemies and other useful elements to create your own levels. While you create you can always test out the level without loading times. This is really useful since you’ll need to know if you can make the jumps you’re creating. The lack of loading times is the true power of Super Mario Maker and transforms the creating of levels into a lot of experimental fun.

 

The best Mario in years

 

Creating a Mario level opens up a lot of new possibilities as well. You can attach items or enemies to certain objects. This way you can hide mushrooms in blocks or make enemies disappear in pipelines but it doesn’t end there. You can attach certain enemies to blocks, clouds, Bowser Jr’s vehicle and a lot more. There’s a lot possible and not everything has been done before by Nintendo so creating new Mario experiences was never this fun.

Different styles

As you see on the screenshots, the levels you create can be created in three different styles. If you like colorful, 3D renders, you’ll love the New Super Mario bros. style. Like the classic Mario games? Switch to the Super Mario or Super Mario 3 style. Switching styles while creating can be activated with just one push, again without noticeable loading times. It’s great to see how your levels look like in the different styles. Some levels are better in the pixelated graphics while other, more complex level tend to favor the more modern 3D look. It’s really up to the creator to select the style the want for their level, just take note that once you’ve selected a style and uploaded your level, you can’t change the style while playing.

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A lot to play

Creating your own levels is a lot of fun if you’re creative and have some good ideas but if you’re not that creative, you won’t really like to create your own levels. Don’t worry however, Super Mario Maker offers a lot of content for the veteran Mario players. First of all there are tons of levels created by the fans online. You can select the level you like and start playing it without loading times, even online. Since there are a lot of levels you can also use several filters to search the level you like. Special levels created by professionals as Nintendo are always marked in a different color, you’ll find your new favorite level in no time. The best part about this system is that Super Mario Maker also recommends other, similar levels once you complete a certain level. The online server searches for other levels that matches your interest to give you another one once you’re finished. This is a rather addictive gameplay since you’re always curious about that one other level after the last one.

So you’ll have enough challenges online but offline as well. Offline you can test out special events where you need to complete ten levels with a limited amount of lives, this one is a true challenge and something the veteran players will absolutely love. There’s plenty of Mario action for everybody and this makes Super Mario Maker one of the best Super Mario games that released in years.

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Higher difficulty

Creating your own levels also means that most of the levels you’ll find are extremely challenging to complete. Super Mario fans always wanted crazy levels filled with enemies and difficult jumps and that’s exactly what you’re getting in Super Mario Maker. Some of the levels we found are so hard we couldn’t reach the end of it. So the veteran players finally found their sequel on ‘The Lost Levels’. To motivate players, the game always shows where other players died. If you fall down or get killed by an enemy, you’ll see a white balloon marking your spot of failure but you’ll also see the balloons of other players. It’s comforting to see that you’re not the only one failing at platform levels.

Amiibo support

This brings us to the last part of the review, the Amiibo support. Super Mario Maker supports Amiibo in a great way. Almost every Amiibo is supported in Super Mario Maker and unlocks a classic 8-bit costume for Mario. That way you can even create Zelda inspired levels and insert a Zelda or Link costume thanks to your Amiibo. Pushing the D-pad up also unlocks a small Easter Egg that’s different for every Amiibo. It’s not necessary to have but it’s a lot of fun without a doubt!

Conclusion:

Super Mario Maker is the perfect level creator and the best Super Mario game in years. Nintendo allows fans to create their own levels for the first time and does so without too much explanation. Everything gets explained step by step so you always know what to do. The lack of loading times while selecting a level online is one of the best features of the game and transform it into the perfect game to play for months. The difficulty is high but it’s never too high since you’re in full control of your own levels. Super Mario Maker offers a lot for the veteran Mario fans and the newcomers at the same time. Own a Wii U, start brainstorming because you’ll need to get this game for sure!

9/10

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.