Wii U Review: Super Mario Maker

What better way to celebrate 30 years of Mario?

Super Mario Maker does exactly what it says on the box, it gives you tools to make and play levels from Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros. U. It doesn’t give you all the tools to begin with as it doesn’t want to overwhelm you and I understand that, learning how to make your basic level is easy…but to make it challenging and memorable is another thing entirely.
The best thing is that you can play other peoples’ creations online, putting your skills to the ultimate test. One level has recently become famous for taking 11,000 attempts before being completed. One would say it was near impossible, but the good thing is that the creator must complete their own level before they can upload it, so you don’t get a bunch of broken or half-finished levels. Super Mario Maker also has Amiibo support for pretty much every figure out there, including the incredibly rare Silver and Gold Mario Amiibos, they essentially make sprite versions of your Amiibos to use in the game. Ever wanted to see Sonic on a Mario level? Or play as Bowser? Now you can.
The game has a 10 Mario Challenge in which you get 10 lives to tackle 8 random Mario levels made by Nintendo, when completed these stages can become templates to use in the Maker. There’s also a 100 Mario Challenge which is the same deal but with 100 lives and random levels by the online community, you can skip some but it will probably cost you a life to do so. These vary in difficulty and length, some will seem like a breeze while others are incredibly sadistic, these people are evil in their designs!

You will get the chance to make standard levels, but also other levels such as underwater, ghost houses, airships and even make your own Bowser’s Castle’s. Making the levels does require a lot of thought and planning, but the interface is so simple to use…it’s really something special, I’ve always dreamt of making my own Mario levels and now I have the ability to do so, sure my designs aren’t that great…I still have yet to master making a truly difficult level, but it sure is good fun trying.

Just be cautious of your every move, some people online will be sadistic enough to leave a coin trail in the shape of an arrow, which has sometimes left to a bottomless pit to fool you into killing yourself and cursing the creator. The levels and tools look just like their original counterparts and some have gone to great lengths to recreate classic Mario stages, while others have placed music blocks over in such a way that it plays a song like Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” or Zelda’s “Labyrinth Theme”. I’m sure there are other songs and more will surface, but it’s brilliant to see. Here are those two on YouTube:

The Verdict

Super Mario Maker is everything I’ve always wanted. A great tool that is simplistic to use to design your very own stages, while trying out others designs…good or evil in nature. There really is no better way to celebrate 30 years of the Italian Plumber than this and is an essential purchase for any Wii U owner.

Score: 9.0