To say that our favorite plumber brothers have inspired generations of gamers would be an understatement. Our two unlikely heroes have captured the imaginations of millions, simply by providing tight gameplay mechanics, ingenious level designs, and a whole lot of creativity. If there is one thing that Nintendo has shown us, it’s that these two are chameleons and can take up any role; from Koopa squashers to golfing, there’s nothing they can’t do.
Well, it’s finally time to put the power in the hands of the player, in the form of Super Mario Maker. We’ve previously played said title, and I’m here to tell you it’s the real deal.
Quickly, if you don’t know what Super Mario Maker is, it’s a game where you are handed over easy to use creation tools to build whatever sort of mad Mario stages you can dream up. Better yet, you can choose between four styles: Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U.
You can share your concoctions online, search for other creations, and of course, play through some of the most positively devilish levels. In other words, it’s everything you wanted as a kid.
The first thing I had the pleasure of fiddling with were some levels that were already created by members of the development team. I was a bit hesitant since I had zero prior knowledge of what I was hopping into. I first dove into a simple area which started me off with the with pipes that didn’t lead to directly to where I had predicted. Simple enough, find the right direction then run through the course like I’ve done a million times already. There were some difficult platforming sections but overall it was a simple way of introducing me to what’s possible.
Then it happened, I got my hands on one of the most evil level designs I have ever had to conquer. Imagine an intro section filled to the brim with fire balls. It was such a terrifying sight that I couldn’t help but verbally express the instant fear inducement. Getting through it turned out to be not so bad, but the sight alone was enough to get the blood pumping. As I progressed I faced impossible jumps, frightening falls, odd creature producing item blocks, and Bowser himself. Needless to say, I didn’t conquer it, but for the sake of my street cred, I got close.
What was so incredible about this was that it played on my past history with the franchise. Allow me to elaborate, as someone who has played most of the platforming Mario titles, I came into this with plenty of preconceptions that quickly had to be forgotten.
Maybe blaming my trust issues on this isn’t fair, but it was incredibly refreshing to think twice before I gleefully hit an item box, or hopped onto a pipe. It’s the small things that matter. Being able to search challenging creations , will bring back the excitement from the long time players like myself.
Listen to me gushing about this, and I haven’t even talked about the creation aspect yet! It’s as simple as choosing one of the four game styles, and grabbing whatever item you’d like to add and dragging it into place. The Wii U gamepad is the perfect canvas for you wildest dreams. Stack enemies on top of each other or place a trick item box, it’s all up to you.
There is now also some hilarious amiibo support. For one, you can introduce pixel art Link into your world and make him playable through your level.
When first announced, I was skeptical about Super Mario Maker. Why would I care about being able to stack enemies on top of each other? What would set this apart? Well, it’s time to get on board this hype train because the game is legit. It’s a natural evolution of this franchise; plenty of user created designs have surfaced before, so having an official Nintendo version of that is exciting.