Sorry to state the obvious, but Nintendo is a pretty incredible developer.
It was a huge part of my youth, from the first time I heard those toe-tapping tunes in Super Mario World to the heart-stopping moment I first controlled Super Mario 64.
It's incredible to think that a layout of a level can be instantly recognisable. 1-1 from Super Mario Bros
feels more like an old classic rock anthem than a simple collection of blocks and platforms. I recognise it instantly, as I'm sure you do.
It's this nostalgia that sits at the heart of why I've enjoyed my time with Super Mario Maker
so much. One of the first levels you'll play isn't one made by a mere civilian. It's a remix of where it all started made by the team behind Super Mario Maker
Everything appears to be as you remember it. A '?' block, a Goomba some more blocks, you know where the mushroom is. But here you're tricked. Everything looks as it should but you'll soon realise what Super Mario Maker
is all about.
Hit the mushroom block and a horn sounds, go down a pipe and instead of the usual shortcut you're treated to a room filled with disco lights as cannons shoot coins instead of bullets. It feels like a rom-hack and you can't help but smile as the levels you play constantly surprise you with twists on well known formulas.
With level design handed over to the player Super Mario Maker
becomes a mixed bag. Some levels are dull, others funny and there will always be sadistic level designers out there hell-bent on making things as hard as possible.
That's always going to be the case. It's not easy to create Nintendo magic and although this game proves that not everyone is up to the task, it does show that there is some real talent out there and thankfully Super Mario Maker
makes it easy for the good stuff to rise to the top.
When you complete a level you can give it a star. If my maths are correct giving a level a star equates to about 10 retweets or 50 facebook likes. They're not given out easily and if you get one for one of your courses, it's a big deal.
Super Mario Maker
makes it easy to find the levels with the most stars, putting them in a leader board. From there you can visit the designer's set of levels and see if they've managed to produce the same quality elsewhere.
This is more important than you may think. Finding courses to play is simple. They load quickly, can be saved for editing yourself and browsing for new stuff becomes a black hole in the same way it does on YouTube.
Away from randomly choosing levels, there are two game modes. Mario 10 gives you 10 lives to complete a run of levels made by Nintendo themselves while the game is self conscientious enough to allow you to have 100 lives when you take on player created levels.
As you'd expect with anything delivered by Nintendo, it's full of charm. Instead of Mario 100 giving you a list of levels to run through it presents them as a classic 'saving the princess' scenario, and picks out castle levels to finish on. You're even treated to a credits sequence at the end showing you the names of the creates of the courses you've played.
The more you play, the more you unlock. I wont spoil this side of the game for you - sadly that seems to be done enough on youtube, which is a shame as some of the little surprises will blow your mind. Especially if you're my age.
The game's nice little touches seep their way into the level creator. Clearing a screen is done by holding down on a rocket, which counts down and blasts off across your design, wiping everything out in its wake. Undo is a dog that barks every time you correct a mistake.