Super Mario Maker

I think it’s about time to take a look at this, though I fear that things could change as updates keep on being released. So if that’s the case, I’ll do updates just to let you know, that or I’ll edit the review if it hasn’t been released yet…maybe!

It’s Mario’s…well was Mario’s 30th anniversary (I’m a bit late aren’t I?), and whilst I still appreciate Sonic a bit more, Mario has shown gamers and the industry itself how a game should be; fun, simple but entertaining to boot. The Mario universe has tons of characters that have been considered timeless…although my least favourite character is somehow Mario himself, mostly because he’s a cardboard cut-out with little to no personality compared to near enough every other character.

When it comes to games, I like them; a lot. My favourite 2D Mario game will always be Super Mario Bros. 3, because I grew up with the GBA port and was my first ever Mario game I truly played. And my favourite 3D Mario game, and I double-checked, is Super Mario 64, another game I grew up playing. But everyone has their preferences based on which game people grew up with, and that’s what I love about the series, most children now and the ones who grew up in the 80’s has at least played a Mario game in their lifetime and most have enjoyed every single minute with the Italian Plumber’s adventures. Mario is Nintendo and Nintendo knows it.

So how does Nintendo celebrate 30 years of the franchise that made them kings of the gaming industry (were)? Well, we live in the years of the internet and everyone complains at how the games aren’t that good anymore, if at all, and how they’re too easy and boring. Upon hearing this, I assume Nintendo snapped and shouted “DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO COPY AND PASTE…I mean MAKE A MARIO LEVEL? OF COURSE YOU DON’T! YOU THINK YOU CAN DESIGN A MARIO LEVEL YOURSELF? THINK YOU CAN DO BETTER? WELL HERE YOU GO, SUPER MARIO MAKER, ENJOY! NOW P*** OFF!!! And buy The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wind for the Wii U when it’s released. OK, thanks bye!

Super Mario Maker (スーパーマリオメーカー Sūpā Mario Mēkā), developed and published by Nintendo and was released in 2015 worldwide.

So, where to begin, this package is a game creation tool in which you can make Mario levels for yourself. There are four level themes, which include Super Mario Bros. for the NES, Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES as well, Super Mario World for the SNES and New Super Mario Bros. U for the Wii U. So where’s Super Mario Bros. 2 (The Lost Levels and USA) or Yoshi’s Island? I’ll talk about that later. Each of these level packs have different designs and mechanics based on their respective game so one item may not work in the way you want it to for Super Mario Bros. but may work for Super Mario Bros. 3. When designing a level, you’ll have to understand each mechanic for each level theme if you haven’t played a Mario game AKA living under a rock. Nevertheless, you can create whatever you want with these themes so long as Mario can still get from A to B. And after you finish your creation, you can share it with other people all around the world, but I’ll talk about that later.

Using your gamepad, you can design these levels by using the items on the top of the screen. However, your list of items is quite small. Well, you see Nintendo planned it this way so that you could get used to the tools and get comfortable with the creator, and every day, more tools will be sent to you, meaning you’d have to play this game for nine days to get everything. This wasn’t popular with people and we complained and complained, and rightfully so, we paid £40-50 for this game and we want what was given to us. So Nintendo patched the game so that the delivery feature was removed and you can now get all the tools in a day…by filling the level editor with random crap until Nintendo tells you to ‘STOP IT’!

Tools are near enough the same for every level theme though some may have different designs and mechanics. In fact, there are some tools you can’t use in other packs, especially power-ups, so you can’t use a Cape Feather from Super Mario World on a Super Mario Bros. level. For example, if you’ve played the original Super Mario Bros. 3, most of the stuff you saw in that game is here and only for that level pack, though there are some new tools that you can add that weren’t in their respective games like Bowser Jr., Airship blocks and much more. Though one item you can get in Super Mario Bros. is the Weird Mushroom, in which Mario will be thinner and taller like Waluigi and his mechanics are altered too when you use it. You can also select backgrounds from the level themes like Overworld, Underground, Underwater, Airship, Dungeon and Ghost House. It’s nice that you can use them for each level pack even if Super Mario Bros. didn’t have the Airship and Ghost House stages.

The level themes have their own specific mechanics, Super Mario Bros. you can…well run and jump, no biggie. Super Mario Bros. 3 will let you grab some items, especially Koopa Shells. In Super Mario World, you can also grab items but you can kick them up. And New Super Mario Bros. U will give you a wall jump and the spin. So if you want to make a level that takes advantage of Mario’s specific moves, then you have a good enough choice to make.

You want to add some sounds to your levels? Then you can…in a way. The sound frog will let you add sound effects to areas or even items when you interact with them, heck, you can even record your own sound effects…though they will be removed once the course is uploaded, it sucks but I can understand why, don’t want to hear foul language, especially from kids.

In terms of creating a level…in a minute. But first, I’ll tell you a story. Remember that image above that was leaked online and it said ‘Mario Maker’? When I saw that, I flipped with joy, I knew this game was about making Mario levels, though I thought I could make an entire game but I guess that was wishful thinking. When it was announced as Super Mario Maker, this was it, my anticipated game of the year…well for 2015. I mean sure, it took ages for me to get a copy for a decent price, and I managed to get one anyway and the wait was worth it.

So here’s what I learned. Designing a level is quite easy and very user-friendly, and this is where for the first time I have to praise the Wii U’s gamepad since it’s your canvas, placing objects with your pen is easy and you’ll have fun creating levels using the tools you have. The hard part is making sure it’s perfect depending on how good you want it to be. There have been many people who make Mario levels…that feel lazy to me, it’s not their fault, you will have fun with what you make, but if you make a level that, to you, is perfect, then it will take a while since you’ll be testing it and testing it to see what works and what doesn’t, then editing it some more to get it right and having to think about how another player can figure it out for themselves, it’s surprisingly hard work and you appreciate the work Nintendo have done in their own games. Heck, I made a level that took me two days to develop to get it right and it’s one I’m still proud of, it even aggravated the Super Gaming Bros, I’ll have a link to that video, the level is the first one they play in that video. Though if you’re a Kaizo Mario fan or you love making Kaizo levels on your PC, you’re in for a treat…unless you like the unofficial PC version.

But then as I use this I realised that a lot of things are missing from this game like…I don’t know SLOPES, JUNGLE LEVEL, DESERT LEVEL, DAY/NIGHT LEVELS, ABILITY TO CHANGE MUSIC; HECK, MORE MUSIC, MOST POWER-UPS, ENEMIES, POISON MUSHROOM EVEN? Where are any of those? These can make a level fun, I mean there was an update where you can add keys to your levels, like doing something to get a key to unlock a door, that’s cool and HOLY CRAP THEY ADDED CHECKPOINTS, something that should have been in the toolbox from the start, that is utterly ridiculous but thankfully, they’re here and levels aren’t a pain to finish, especially tougher ones so long as the creator implemented them into their levels. But I want more…maybe some DLC or a free update (please be free updates), some people can easily get bored with what they have so giving them something more can ease the boredom…just saying Nintendo, you did great with the DLC for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, I know you can do good again here if you want our money.

Now when it comes to sharing, we go to the Course menu. Now I told you that you can share courses with other people and vice versa, all around the world, you can pick a random level and try it out. But there is a mode called 100 Mario Challenge. And it has a very deep and complex plot…Peach is kidnapped…go save her. We’re celebrating an overused trope too? It is Mario’s birthday so I’ll give him a pass, LET’S A-GO! In 100 Mario Challenge, you can play a bunch of Mario levels created by random people, the 100 being the lives you have at the start. There will be different difficulties like Easy, Normal, Expert and Super Expert, added in one of the updates. You see, your level will be part of this challenge based on the amount of people playing it, if people had a nice time with it with no challenge, it’s going to be in the Easy bunch, some challenge but not too bad, Normal bunch, a challenging level, Expert bunch, and for the Super Expert bunch…Kaizo I assume. You can also play the 10 Mario Challenge, playing courses made by the developers of Nintendo themselves, but I only played it to unlock stuff I guess.

As of this writing, I’ve completed the 100 Mario Challenge Easy mode 19 times and Normal mode 36 times. Expert is a pain, and Super Expert gives me nightmares. Every time you complete a challenge, you get costumes. You see, the costumes can be used only for Super Mario Bros. so when you get a Costume Mushroom, you’ll turn into different characters even outside the Mario Universe like Link, Samus, Ness, Ike, and then there’s Sonic, Felyne from Monster Hunter and Pac-Man. And then it gets completely ridiculous like Arino from GameCenter CX, Super Mario Kun from the Coro Coro Comics, Famitsu’s mascot Necky, a Mercedes Benz GLA based of the promotion from said company and Nintendo, Chitoge Kirisaki from anime Nisekoi, Yu Ayasaki from Daigasso! Band Bros. P, Japanese rock band BABYMETAL, Hello Kitty along with My Melody and our British homeboy, God Damn Mother******* Shaun the Sheep, along with Callie and Marie from Splatoon being the recent costumes. It’s unbelievable but they do make the game fun, but you can only use them in Super Mario Bros., which also sucks but it would take time to make even more 2D sprites for other games 3D models of all these costumes, so I understand. In fact, completing 100 Mario Challenges will unlock additional costumes but I think I’ve already listed so much already.

Anyway, when you upload a course, people will play it. But that’s not just the important part, they have to like it, so much so that they have to give you a star, the more stars you get, the more stages you can make and this is where I feel anxious, you can’t make any more unless you get stars, I can understand why, but if you can’t get any stars, get ready to delete some levels and start afresh. And then there is another problem…Nintendo themselves. So I found out that Nintendo were deleting levels and never giving users an explanation as to why, you can’t even re-upload these levels either. I think they’re doing this to clear up servers but that’s stupid, heck, I made a Donkey Kong level and that got deleted too. This is the sole reason I never have the passion to create Mario levels anymore, because all that work that you want to share with people and by having your hard work removed, it feels like you’ve effectively wasted your time, it makes you think that Nintendo doesn’t care about how you convey your levels and thus, more and more people could leave this toolbox in the shelf. And then much later another level of mine was deleted, and that’s when I have just near enough given up on this piece of software, SCREW THIS!!! Also, what’s up with the automatic levels, they’re cool and all but I see them all the time and they get tons of stars. I mean you don’t do anything in the game but that’s OK, the mechanics look pretty, I just hate them, especially in 100 Mario Challenge. Are people really fascinated with doing nothing, or is doing nothing completely fun for you? I don’t know, but it ain’t fun for me.

The graphics…well, if you want to see what I think of them, here are the links to the games I’ve reviewed, because the graphics, level design and music is here and accounted for…then again, I may need to re-review some of these games, would you like that?

Overall, Super Mario Maker is a fun tool that lets you make the Mario level of your dreams; it’s a nice anniversary gift that offers you tons of stuff to do. But I love it for the fact that kids will try this out and learn as they make more and more, we may have some future game designers thanks to this, they may learn how to test a level, like what works and what doesn’t, what can be easy for a player and what can be challenging for some, it’s a simple learning tool for kids, a nice tool for people like me, and Kaizo suicide for the hardcore. But if you don’t care about creating Mario games, you may get a kick out of playing the levels nevertheless. Content-wise it may seem lacking and I don’t think we need costumes just for the sake of it…well they’re free but something to make it more tangible. Though there may be unofficial software on your PC that could do much better and there’s more items too…in fact all of them, Super Mario Maker is accessible to anyone and the most user-friendly. But I love how even Nintendo are looking at these creations and taking notes for themselves and watching videos of other people’s creations…before taking them down because NINTENDO!!! As for me, I have no passion in making levels anymore out of fear of them getting deleted. Hope you got the joke from the title card!

So what’s next for the Italian plumber? Who knows, I don’t we need more 2D games anymore since we have Super Mario Maker, so my bets are on a 3D game…and hopefully a good one for once. I know it will probably be for the forthcoming Nintendo NX. Fingers crossed the console is at least decent.

You can get it on the Nintendo Wii U.

Rating: When there can be no more updates!

And to see levels that I made (that haven’t been deleted), here they are, along with the ID codes:

A Shell is your Shovel: (F375-0000-019F-6E2C)
The Secret of Bowser’s Prison: (55B6-0000-01A8-0361)
Mario’s Airwaves: (8591-0000-01B4-FA58)
Keys to Victory: (FEBF-0000-0209-FC68)
The Dead has Arisen: (E1D2-0000-023B-E301)
The Jumping Jacker: (C3F2-0000-0247-177A)

OK, it’s official, this is my longest review I’ve ever written with 2875 words and counting. I knew this was going to happen. What else can I say but…a new review next week.

And yet again, I need to write some more because now Super Mario Maker is coming to the Nintendo 3DS…albeit, a neutered version. From what I know, all the level themes from the Wii U original will be included…instead of using themes from the handheld games. I mean, I kind of have to expect that from Nintendo, wasting opportunities for years. It does have 100 levels made by Nintendo, one I assume about involves a ceist and desist. Oh, remember the online features where you can share levels to everyone? Well that’s gone and instead, you can share levels locally and not all shared levels on the Wii U can be played and what we have is a pretty pointless port.

Like we all said, we wanted a 3DS version where we can make levels based off Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, Super Mario Land, Super Mario Land 2 and New Super Mario Bros. 2. In fact, why do we have better ideas for games than Nintendo. Would I buy it? No…unless it’s cheap…very cheap, but considering that this is Mario and it’s never cheap, I don’t particularly care.

But for those who for some reason would want this, it’s out December 2nd 2016…or December 1st if you live in Japan.



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