Nintendo

Super Mario Maker Review

It’s time to overload your imagination and baffle players worldwide with Nintendo’s finest level creating tool yet in Super Mario Maker. But even if you haven’t got a creative bone in your body, the game still oozes the typical Mario charm to pick up and play.

Developed under Nintendo’s EAD division and from Mario producer Takashi Tezuka, Super Mario Maker is a pocket full of dreams, desires and wishes for level creators worldwide. Designed both for creating and playing, the game brings so many inventive cards to the table it’s often hard to focus on just a few. With freedom like you’ve never experienced before in a franchise title, Super Mario Maker not only encourages you to think outside of the box when creating levels, it delivers various tools to users with the perfect pace. Over the course of nine days, you’ll unlock four Mario universes and a plethora of objects, enemies and power-ups to satiate your creative hunger. It’s simply the perfect excuse to keep you coming back for more; feed us a little and we won’t just crawl back, we’ll perform a perfect Mario dash with child-like glee.

Similar to Mario Paint on the SNES, the main menu screen within Super Mario Maker is interactive. By using the GamePad, players can touch different parts of the game’s name to unleash items, enemies and other effects, all while able to fully complete the background level. It’s in these small, charming touches littered throughout the game that makes Super Mario Maker exude life and a complete pleasure to watch, play through and create.

super_mario_maker_create
Select your tools from the top bar with your stylus and stick a few enemies in there. Add some wings. Add mushrooms. Wait, are we a chef or a designer?

But in order to become the ultimate level creator, Nintendo won’t just throw players in at the deep end without a floatation device. Instead, you’ll unlock new in-game items and settings by spending between five and fifteen minutes creating a level with those currently available. You’ll be guided through those first tutorial levels and, over nine days, can unlock additional sample courses to play around with. Getting a feel for your surroundings and the different options available to you is key to creating the best levels. In fact, some of the best user-created levels I’ve played have been ones that use just one theme, or focus on finding just one crucial item. Less is certainly more in Super Mario Maker.

Players can choose to design courses in either Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World or New Super Mario Bros. U. There are also six background options available for each game including the overworld, underground, underwater, ghost, castle and airship. At first, the amount of options presented seem just right, particularly coupled with the many transformation combinations offered, but before long you’ll be craving for different Mario universes to invent and explore within.

However, with that said, there are ample choices for creators via 60 in-game items and sound effects. Drag and drop wings on the back of Goombas, Koopas and Piranha Plants or supersize them with mushrooms – instead of Big Macs. Send Mario into sub areas through pipes and doors to lengthen the level, or use power-ups in humorous ways to dash through enemies, and decrease the time limit to really ramp up pressure and frustration.

super_mario_maker_underwater
Underwater levels are beautiful in a New Super Mario Bros. U design. But er, good luck getting to the goal post!

Stand out from the crowd by recording your own voice in levels, or by using a mixture of the readily available sound effects such as fireworks and laughter to amuse – or annoy – other players. But if secrets are more your calling card, you can also use the mystery mushroom to spoil gamers with up to 100 different character costumes available, though thankfully you won’t have to unlock each one with their counterpart amiibo. And despite showcasing their pixel-led models in the retro levels only, it’s another small but wonderful touch from Nintendo.

When uploading your imaginative creations to the online server, players must complete their courses before doing so, weeding out the impossible levels whilst allowing you to tweak or edit the levels to your liking. At first, you’ll only be able to upload 10 courses but players can unlock more slots by earning medals. When other Mario fans play through your courses they can either leave a comment on Miiverse or reward a star to those they really enjoyed. Quite simply, the more stars you earn the more opportunities you’ll receive to bag a medal. And if you thought a level was particularly good, you can choose to download it to your repertoire to play whenever you wish.

However, it’s unclear at this point how Nintendo select levels for the featured section. How does your ingenious level become noticed in an oversaturated part of the game? For instance, I’ve seen countless creations by those with one or two medals, but not many from new creators. Even my own level was played by just seven users, six days after it was uploaded. It’s a major worry in a game that pushes heavily on its creative elements. Perhaps we need to hit the Nintendo “quality seal” to find an audience.

super_mario_maker_trolley
Quick, Mario! We need your plumbing expertise to get these levels hooked up. Wait, you’re a builder now? Oh. Well, nevermind.

As levels are uploaded within a few short hours to the server, Course World offers an abundance of user-created levels. Players can scroll through courses by difficulty level, their maker, or through the Featured, Up and Coming and Star Ranking course tabs. But if you don’t fancy choosing any yourself, you can play through randomly selected courses in the 100 Mario run. By playing with either the Wii U GamePad, Wii Remote, Classic Controller Pro and Wii U Pro Controller, take on eight different user-created levels with 100 Mario lives at your disposal. This is a great way to find newly uploaded courses by other users, specifically those that haven’t been highlighted by Nintendo’s servers. There’s even a handy skip option if you’re finding a level too difficult or frustrating.

Super Mario Maker isn’t just a game for creators though as it also offers a 10 Mario offline mode to rival its online one. With over 70 levels designed by Nintendo’s EAD team, you must clear 8 levels with just 10 Mario lives in order to rescue Princess Peach. Super Star Dash, Find the Fireflower, Dry Bones Stampede, and Zig-Zag Lava Bubbles are utterly charming, fun and fresh levels to play through. But since the courses are entirely randomised, you’ll most likely run into the same ones repeatedly and – unlike 100 Mario – there’s no option to skip them. For players, then, Super Mario Maker is extremely light on content. Perhaps a mode similar to those seen in NES Remix placed as a single-player campaign would have given us something extra to chew on.

With longevity for creators, Super Mario Maker is an incredible design tool. But it’s a title that is solely reliant on user-created content, and therein lies its predicament. Truly amazing in short bursts but how long until the imagination well runs dry? Perhaps we’ll need to question how long that piece of string is first, then add wings to it.

8/10

100 comments

  1. You fucking go colette. I love it when you have to sit on your ass for hours just type one of these babies up. Always flawless. Too bad you have some ungrateful bitches here.

        1. Thank you. :) Though er, if that was sarcasm, still thank you. XD
          Besides, we know Mario spends a lot of time at McDonald’s, particularly embedded in their Happy Meals.

  2. so this game is just point better then Devils Turd…..which got a 7/10

    no wonder i dont trust the reviews at mynintendonews,its freaking gay and biased…..

    1. If you actually read the reviews, and didn’t get your panties in a bunch over the scores, you’d see the reviews on this site are not only unbiased, but very thought-filled.

      MNN Review Score 10/10/10/10

      1. it certainly is biased. comparing the two: devil’s third has a single player campaign. mario maker has some easy repetitive levels, which can hardly be called a campaign. devil’s third has an extremely robust online multiplayer. mario maker promises to have a robust multiplayer but currently doesn’t BECAUSE THE GAME DOESN’T HAVE CREATED USER LEVELS YET.

        the more i type the angrier i get at you. how can you be so fucking ignorant? as of now, this game has maybe 2 hours of playable content at most. TWO HOURS. so you are telling me a sandbox warrants an 8 out of 10? fuck you

      1. I have a list of typos from dozens of previous articles. I post the mistakes in the comments and also send in the corrections. Why don’t you ever fix them?

        1. Sometimes we miss comments which state the errors in our articles on here. Sadly I’m not around as much as I used to be for regular news posting as I mainly work behind the scenes. However, we’re human, it happens. We get a lot of emails on a regular basis, so it’s difficult to respond or see to them all. But thank you for your comment! :)

  3. people giving good reviews to this game are corporate slaves.
    i need to damage control those good reviews

    1. There shouldn’t even be a review of the game maker game. It’s not a game, it’s a do it yourself hobbie for ultra fans of level creative types and builders.

      1. that is true, but the fun of playing the levels, I don’t know, I am not clear on the down side of the game which basically fulfills the fantasy/imaginations of anyone who grew up playing the series.

      1. Which two? He said 3D, so I assumed he was referring to a Galaxy or sunshine game. Did the wii get two 3D mario games? (I can’t remember!)

          1. Wow. I forgot how far back the Wii went. Also, since I’m not the Mario Fan you are, you’d certainly know better anyway.

            I think I still have MGalaxy 2. If Wii games didn’t look so god-awful on my TV, I’d go back and play it.

            1. The logical thing would have been to release an HD bundle of Galaxy 1 and 2 on Wii U, as said by a Miiverse pal.

  4. Maaaan…. I love this website, but your commenters are very edgy kiddos; sorry about that.
    I guess like Splatoon, if Nintendo updates Mario Maker, the constant stream of content will last for quite a while. 8/10 is no reason not to pick up this game, it’s just a number, people.

  5. I don’t see how for the entire review you praised the game, and then at the very end had a small problem and you have it a 8/10. This game deserves ATLEAST a 9/10, if not a 9.5/10.

      1. so you agree even though you havent played the full thing? good thing you are just a child and your opinions dont matter.

    1. Not entirely sure how you’ve came to that conclusion as I noted two larger problems and two small problems from the game in the review, but thank you for your comment either way. :)

      1. You said for people who wanted to play levels that it was very light on content but I don’t see how that’s possible because there’s a nearly unlimited amount of levels you can play just because there user made. And there’s levels that Nintendo made. The other problem I saw was that your levels didn’t get played much, but that can just be fixed by giving out your level codes to people you know so they can play them and give them stars, so then it’s higher on the list so more people can star it and so on. The last thing you said was that it might not have longevity but that is tied into my first point. How can a game with potentially endless amount of levels get boring? You would have so many different levels to choose from, and you can make your own, or have them be random. So over all I think (it’s my opinion, not saying you can’t think differently) that this game deserves atleast a 9/10 if not more.

        1. Very well put!! They should’ve had YOU review the game instead of her!
          I swear some people find the smallest flaw or just that little thing they don’t like & go ape shit over it. Everything I’ve been reading from day 1 this jem is a 10!! 9.5 at the lowest.

          I’m very surprised at her score. With the reviewer being a girl and all. Oh Well…..

        2. if sandbox games never get old, why aren’t you playing gary’s mod? or disney infinity? or minecraft? shut your mouth you fucking tool.

          1. I’m pretty sure Minecraft addicts are still there, and he may be a Nintendo/sandbox addict so this may hold him down for a while.

            But agreed, for the rest of us we’ll get tired of stressing out on shitty levels people make OR from not getting attention on our own.

        3. The levels that Nintendo made are super fun, don’t get me wrong, but they aren’t long and can be completed in several minutes if not seconds. They are also entirely randomised, as stated in my review, so you end up playing the same ones continuously.
          The problem with the server uploads is evident. Who really wants it to be a popularity contest? And why should you hand out your code all the time just to get a higher position on the board? That means levels that aren’t well made are getting artificially added into the server system, which doesn’t seem fair either. It’s difficult to call either way.
          Of the levels I played in the server, most were of the same nature. There was one level which was particularly fantastic, even going so far as to comment on Miiverse about it. It was a level that used maths in such an inventive way, and I commend that creator.
          But you’ve got to decide whether this game is for you or not. :)

    2. so what does mario maker do that’s better than other sandbox creator games? or how about online level makers that have literally been around for years? you get to change the skins of the levels whenever you want, i guess that’s it.

      oh sorry i forgot, you are a child that only plays Nintendo systems so you have no perception of the actual gaming world. if you did, you would know this “game” is nothing special.

  6. I’m so glad this site reviews games the way they do. If 90% of the people commenting were in charge it would be, “Mario? 10/10!!” , “Not Mario? 3/10 garbage!”

    At least, despite the fanatic Mario worshipers (several whom I still like,) I can still come and read a legit review.

    Stop obsessing over the score fuckers, read her damn review and make your decision, score be damned. God people.

    1. uuuh let’s see, this is a 2d sandbox game with ZERO capability for modding and very limited offline content. what games are better hmmmmmm minecraft, gary’s mod, disney infinity, terraria, little big planet 1 2 & 3.

      you are a fucking nintendrone TOOL who has a hard on for colette. this website gives biased reviews to every nintendo game it reviews and you eagerly lap them up despite the facts. why don’t you go back to being an intelligent nintendo hater like you were a month ago?

    2. While I agree that it should be about the content of the review itself and not the score, I believe it’s still important that the score actually reflects what was written in the review, if the reviewer decides to include a score. The score not being important doesn’t make it okay for it to be incoherent.

      Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not talking about this review in particular, as it was well written (as always) and I actually even agree with the score this time. :p

  7. If forge mode in Halo 3-Reach is an indication of anything, its that this game will push the community to create amazing things and strengthen it overall! Do not underestimate a game’s loving community! Give them the tools to create, and they will exceed your expectations!

  8. “But it’s a title that is solely reliant on user-created content, and therein lies its predicament.”

    “With over 70 levels designed by Nintendo’s EAD team…”

    no kidding. these two contradictory statements are in this review and the first is used to justify a negative. lmao

    1. Well when you consider that after a week, there are still only 70 Nintendo-made levels and the community-made levels are a hundred times that…

  9. The first Mario related game I’m not buying. At least not until the price drops to what a casual game SHOULD be. Because this isn’t even a game. It’s more for little kids that like wasting time.

  10. excellent and well thought out review. and 8/10 is a very decent score it’s stupid to be upset about it like some users here.

  11. Would be better if this is also on 3DS without that BS $650 worth of Amiibo content locking, that stupid ass 9-days wait unlock system and have a lot more missing character/enemy sprites plus the missing “Super Mario All-Stars” graphic style remake for Mario Bros. 2 & 3.

    1. You don’t need Amiibo to unlock the sprites. Beat the 100 levels and you’ll get them. Why shouldn’t peripheral owners be able to use their peripheral?

      9 days-It’s best to not overwhelm creators or make it a cluster fuck of content when first creating. It’ll potentially bring better quality creation. You don’t plan on playing a game for more than 9+ days?

      All Star, Mario Bros 2&3- Just wait for the DLC before you decide to buy.

      1. 1. BULLSHIT; otherwise, they wouldn’t be saying its supported and needed. 2. 9-days wait for a simple ass build-it-yourself game with the simplest directions of select/drag/drop construction is, again, BULLSHIT.

        1. Well someone’s just a bunch of sour grapes.

          Needed? Where have they said NEEDED? This is the ONLY title that actually let’s you open Amiibo content without the actual Amiibo, meaning not Amiibo exclusive.
          And NOW you decide to bitch and complain?

          If you hadn’t noticed they don’t cater to gamers anymore. They do hand holding all over the place for casuals.

          As for your separate reply, agreed on giving up on consoles but I’m taking it more extreme and possibly giving up on all of Nintendo.

          1. Why don’t they have the unlocks based on play time instead of days passed? So somebody who plays 5 min a day has the same experience as someone who plays an hour a day? It is fucking stupid, just admit it.

            1. Did you miss the part where I said the market is casuals?

              And I believe it’s 15 minutes, if I recall right, to unlock per day.

              It’s not ‘fucking stupid’, it’s a minor hindrance.

      2. Lastly, I ain’t buying it because I’m through with their home console BS. Wii U is their greatest flop with the stupidest range of fans who aren’t real fans anymore.

    2. Oh and agreed for 3DS, BUT the title is a creation game for originally HOME console titles.

      They have to push the last U sales in some way, otherwise we’d have a HUGE gaming drought.

      1. What about the portable side which are Nintendo’s lifeblood right now and has it own shares of Mario games like Land, 3D Land and such. Besides, eShop has the same VC as well minus SNES.

  12. “Stand out from the crowd by recording your own voice in levels, ”

    I thought once uploaded it turned to a generic noise for others. You know, since Nintendo doesn’t want people to be offended in any personal way.

    “How does your ingenious level become noticed in an oversaturated part of the game?”

    That whole section you wrote worries me in my creations. I don’t plan on buying the game day 1 nor do I have much time to play. I feel like the ‘popular’ creators or gaming-funded ones will be the most prominent.

    “100 Mario run… take on eight different user-created levels… There’s even a handy skip option if you’re finding a level too difficult or frustrating.”

    I thought it was 100 lives and 100 levels? THANK GOODNESS for the skip.

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