Super Mario Maker is the game we always knew we wanted. Every gamer has played, if not at least heard of the name “Super Mario”, so it is fitting that for the iconic plumber’s 30th anniversary, Nintendo lets its cherished fans finally create the Mario levels of their dreams. Having played every single Mario game on Nintendo’s consoles and handhelds, I was ecstatic to hear that I would be able to create my own levels. I can say that I was not disappointed…for the most part.
Super Mario Maker is divided into two play choices/categories. There is the Make category which obviously allows you to create your own levels while the Play category lets you play pre-made courses and even lets you connect online to play levels made by other people around the world.
The ability to create your own levels, combined with the option to play literally the now millions of levels uploaded online, gives Super Mario Maker some of the best replay value I have ever seen in a video game. Still, “Maker” is not perfect, but its ideas are something to admire.
Making your own levels is fantastically easy. Creating levels are so simple that anyone can make one. Of course, how well that level is made entirely depends on the imagination and creativity of the creator. One can choose to create “classic” levels, like those you would see in a Miyamoto Mario game while others can decide to go crazy and make levels that will challenge even the oldest of Mario veterans. You, the creator, are able to control every aspect of your level; the size, difficulty, and even time limit. What makes creating levels even better is the ability to choose from four different Mario “skins”. Your levels can be based on the original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario World, Super Mario Bros. 3 and New Super Mario Bros. U. Every game type has its unique mechanics. For example, wall-jumping is unique to New Super Mario Bros. U. This makes creating and playing levels unique and motivates players to experiment with the four different game styles. The great interface and maker controls makes it easy to create levels with no trouble at all.
Super Mario Maker is not perfect. When I say “making the levels of your dreams”, I mean it loosely but I guess that is the price to pay when you have so many ingredients in a gaming universe. There are many enemies, items, and just general mechanics missing that I wish were present. Some of the best memories I have of playing Mario games is messing around with all the unique power-ups and bittersweet moments with silly enemies. I loved the frog suit from Mario 3 and the Penguin Suit from Super Mario Bros. Wii/U. I remember running away from massive Bonzai Bills in some levels. Sadly, all of these things are absent from Super Mario Maker but it is understandable in a sense. There are just too many components in Mario games that it would have been difficult to put them all in. Still, it would have been great to see these things in the game because it would have made level-creating twice the fun than it already is.
Super Mario Maker, in short, is a game of creativity and having fun. It gives you the tools to create your own levels but it also gives you the chance to play levels created by others. By connecting to the internet, you can browse through newly submitted levels or levels that are high on the popularity chart. It is inspiring to see the amazing levels made by others and marvel and wonder at how they did it. If you haven’t picked up Super Mario Maker then what are you waiting for! Go out and make some levels!