Super Mario Maker review

hero-mario grey
supermariomaker.nintendo.com

“Super Mario Maker” makes me feel like I’m breaking the law. I should not be able to create a Lakitu that throws flying Chain-Chomps. Yet, the newest creation from Nintendo, “Super Mario Maker,” allows me to do just that—legally.

Builder games aren’t anything new, from “Garry’s Mod” to “Minecraft,” gamers have built their own adventures and experiences for some time now.

Nintendo threw its name into the mix with its prized possession: Mario.

“Super Mario Maker” gives players all the tools to create an entire Super Mario level.

What really stands out about “Super Mario Maker” is that it’s equipped with four settings to differently build your world: Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros.

Each setting changes the world visually, alters the physics and adds features that were seen in the game. For instance, in Super Mario World, you have the ability to fly and ride Yoshi.

Most of the items and tools carry over between settings, but with a few changes. Yoshi is available in Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros, but if you were to put him in and switch it to classic Super Mario Bros, he would be replaced with a Kuribo’s Shoe.

That’s a bummer. It would be really interesting to see how Mario riding Yoshi would look in 8-bit.

The level creator is fun and offers endless options, but that’s not what keeps me returning to Super Mario Maker. In fact, I haven’t used the feature since my first day with the game.

The real bread and butter is the online component. When connected online, you’re allowed to view and play levels that others have created.

Nintendo has really surprised me with how well they have handled the online capabilities. Everything is organized well enough, with filters that show levels that are popular, highly rated and featured. You can also follow your favorite creators and be notified when they create a new level.

It’s worth noting that before a level can be posted online for others to play, the creator has to complete the level themselves. This is a great feature that somewhat keeps order.

During the first week the online charts were flooded with “Do Nothing” levels.

These are really busy and interesting levels that take you on a ride to the finish line, and you’re required to press nothing. Think of it as a Super Mario Rube Goldberg machine. I’ll admit, the first few times it was really interesting and clever, but after a while it does get stale.

Then there are the insanely difficult levels. These levels usually feature a giant Bowser who spits fire at you and invisible blocks that will block your jump when you least expect it.

I’ve been diligently working on completing one of these levels for about two weeks now. I still haven’t beaten it.

I found myself seeking out more traditional levels. The ones that seem like they would be in a real “Super Mario” game are the most enjoyable to me.

Another minor complaint is the gamepad. The Wii U gamepad just felt uncomfortable to me, especially during platforming that required pixel perfect execution. The Wii U Pro Controller isn’t required, but definitely recommended for this game.

As a kid, my mom and I played hundreds of hours of “Super Mario World” together. Being able to play new levels with her in 2015 was an amazing experience that both of us enjoyed.

Super Mario Maker is a must-have for any Mario fan, or Wii U owner, and is only going to get better with time.