First Impression: Super Mario Maker (WiiU)

Have you ever played a Mario game at some point in your life and you think…. It would be nicer if that jump wasn’t so impossibly far (because we all know that Mario seems incapable of jumping when necessary) or wouldn’t it be cool if the whole game was played like the Big Little levels of classic Mario??

Nintendo has answered the call with their newest side scrolling platform game creation system, Super Mario Maker. In this game, the player is in control of the environment, the hazards, and the experience in whole.

Players can create and play custom levels using the WiiU Gamepad based on the corresponding styles, physics, gameplay mechanics and enemy behavior of four fan favorite Mario games, Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros U.

Game building elements (bricks, mushrooms, Goombas, pipes, etc….) can be added at a player’s free will, and make for some interesting mix-ups from the original games. Imagine Boos overtaking Super Mario Bros…yikes!

The player also has the power to manipulate the behavior of various elements in unique ways, like make cannons emit any type of object (good and bad) or grant objects various attributes (feed an enemy a mushroom to enlarge it supersize).

These levels can be shared online so that users in the Miiverse can experience each other’s creative designs. In order to earn the right to upload, the player must themselves successfully complete their newly created level.

There are 100 costumes available to dress Mario in, and these can either be unlocked by playing through the online 100 Mario Challenge or by scanning any Amiibo figurine.

Additionally, the 8-bit Mario Amiibo figurine that was released alongside the game, adds a Big Mushroom that makes Mario giant while giving enemies mustaches.

If designing a level gets to be too much, there is also a gameplay mode called the 10 Mario Challenge which has pre-made courses that you can play through to earn medals and to stimulate your creative juices.

I found the 10 Mario Challenge exciting as you get 10 lives and each world has 8 levels that you need to complete to reach Bowsers castle to save the princess (it wouldn’t be a Mario game without that!). The pre-generated levels are developed randomly in one of the four Mario game styles, but even though the level looks familiar, it has been modified. Imagine seeing the Bullet Bill cannons and thinking “help” and they instead toss endless amounts of coins at you, or Mario eats a mushroom and instead of just growing big he becomes a long string bean version of himself (think one of those magic mirrors at the fairs). Of course at the end of the castle, Toad is there to inform you that the Princess is at another castle. Onward to the new 10 Mario Challenge world….

In general, I absolutely love this game. Similar to the dynamics of Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet series (play, create and share), this game has endless amount of gameplay available. Whether it’s designing an insanely challenging level or playing through custom designed levels, the game will keep you on your toes. With more gameplay and experience in the game a player gets, the more elements and features that are unlocked. It is the ultimate Mario gaming experience.

I have yet scratched the surface of this game and so once I have dived further into the game and truly experienced more of what it has to offer, I will be back with a full review of this creatively designed open world toolbox.

Come join the fun with Super Mario Maker on the WiiU for $59.99.

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