Reviews// Super Mario Maker

Posted 2 Sep 2015 15:49 by
As you're creating, a warped version of your level's sound track reacts and bends to what you're doing. Little touches like this help make the creating process more of a joy than it should be without being patronising.

It's simple to make a level, dragging elements down from the top of the screen and placing them in the grid below. A button on the bottom left allows you to test as you create and you have an option to study Mario's movements once you're back creating so you can tweak things and put them right.

One of the more controversial decisions Nintendo has made with Super Mario Maker is that the game unlocks over eight days. When you start you're limited to what you can use to create a stage. Even some of the various graphical eras of Mario are behind closed doors.

I like this idea. It gave me time to get used to the basic functions of creating a level and slowly build on my skills. I was able to revisit my earlier designs and tweak them with new tools and enemies, and expand on my initial ideas.

It also turned me into a child. Every morning I would rush to my Wii U, boot it up and play with my new toys. I was genuinely excited to see what was unlocked next and how I could use the new bits and bobs to create new challenges.

I am, however, fully aware that not everyone is as slow as I am and that some would rather have everything unlocked at once. Although that's not an option in Super Mario Maker, a little tinkering with the console's date and time will speed things up.

The creation tool may not be as expansive as LittleBigPlanet. You can't create completely new game types for example, but Nintendo has found the happy medium of letting you have enough freedom to create while still keeping it fun to do. In LittleBigPlanet I got bored and overwhelmed within a couple of hours. Here, I'm more than happy to spend my time designing, developing and uploading levels.

The game keeps things interesting by offering stats on your creations, sending you notifications when someone's played one and showing you where people have died. You'll check up on your own courses once and a while and even give them a quick run for old time's sake.

Being a create-your-own game does come with it's own problems though. You're not able to create new ideas in the same way a new Mario game can. There's no way of creating new enemies or shaking up the rules so despite the four different art styles on offer, you may well get bored of repetition.

There's no overall goal to work towards. Once you've unlocked everything, playing becomes redundant other than enjoying creating or discovering some genius creator's levels to play. That might be enough for most people but with that feeling of collecting secret stars or battling to the end game boss gone some will lack the drive to return.

But for most Super Mario Maker is better than you'd ever expect it to be. It's filled with things that you wouldn't expect Nintendo to allow you to do, and I for one am happy that they loosened their tie a little for this one.

Of course, the success of the game really does rely on you. There's always the chance that it falls apart after release if everyone just focuses on making extremely difficult courses, but Super Mario Maker does everything in its power to stop that from happening.

From encouraging you to experiment, to helping fun courses rise above the dull ones this game has set itself up for a bright future. I can't wait to see what you all come up with.

Pros:
- Excellent creation tools
- Quick course streaming
- Easy to find the best levels

Cons:
- Lack of creating new elements
- No overall drive to continue playing

SPOnG Score: 8/10
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