Written by: J.H. Longman
My name is Jack Longman, avid gamer since the 90’s, so with two decades of gaming under my belt and a background in journalism covering a range of subjects, it was only natural that one day I’d take the leap and write about something close to my heart, so with that, let’s get gaming.
Oh Mario, you have been with us since 1981, even though we didn’t know your name back then, but by 1985 when Super Mario Bros, you’ve always been our Mario. Looking back, I like to think that even Nintendo themselves had no idea of the true extent of the greatness they created, after all the Mario franchise is the highest grossing video game series of all time with over 210 million units sold, such an achievement. Now here we are, 30 years later of Super Mario and what better way to celebrate it with the release of Super Mario Maker to mark the 30th anniversary?
So just what is Super Mario Maker? Well for those of us who don’t already know, it is a creation tool video game that allows players to use the Wii U gamepad to not just create the levels from the Super Mario Bros, such as Super Mario Bros, Bros. 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros U, but to create your own levels too. Be they Zelda inspired, Splatoon inspired as I have already seen just from playing the game, but then you can upload them for the world to play them to. You provided you can beat the level you create. Yes that is correct, not only can you create, but you can share, but if you try to create the ultimate level of death, something I am very much likely to do, the only way you can put your fellow gamers to the test, is if you yourself can beat it because if you can’t, then you won’t be able to upload it. You’ll just have to settle for uploading 10 totally awesome levels that can be beaten, until of course you become allowed to upload.
As well as just creating levels and unlocking more “building styles” to use through-out gameplay, you can also manipulate enemies in the game and other elements. Such as building a tower of Goombas, putting hazards inside question blocks for that added danger element oh and try this on for size, the cannons you put into the game, yes they can fire in their normal fashion, or they can fire enemies, or coins, you know, whatever you prefer, death or leniency. It is the features mentioned and so many others the game provides that just make this game the great masterpiece it is. Sure some may argue it was a half-arsed attempt by Nintendo, throwing a half made game for the gamers to “develop themselves,” but there is an old rule, Give the people what they want. Who better than the people to know what they want? With Super Mario Maker, Nintendo gives the gamer pretty much all the tools necessary to create the Super Mario Bros game of their dreams and I’m sorry, but that is just awesome.
I can just picture the development team for Super Mario Bros NX using the Wii U gamepad, designing all new levels and worlds for their next game. Hell I can imagine them having used a tablet doing exactly this when they made the Wii and Wii U version, only to have one of them turn round and say: “You know, we could make a game out of this.” Then after a moment of consideration, whilst eye contact is maintained, the words that followed were: “Yes we can.” Now let us not forget about the fact that new elements are unlocked every fifteen minutes after a player spends at least that, creating their latest or first course and then there is the use of the Amiibos themselves. A means to unlock costume mushrooms to turn your Mario into your desired Amiibo, even Sheik made an appearance and let us not forget the 8-bit Mario amiibo, who unlocks a very special mushroom that makes you gigantic and gives your enemies a moustache, after all, moustaches are cool.
And you know what else that makes this game great? Besides the 10 and 100 Mario Challenges option, where you are given a finite number of lives and test your skill against the levels created by your peers, how about the fact you can also download their levels, just like they can download yours! To answer my question, it’s the fact how much love and recognition this game has received already, including winning some, I would say noteworthy accolades, which just add to the game itself and another feather to Nintendo’s cap. I’m not going to list their every win and nomination, but let’s talk about some of its victories from this year:
-It won E3’s 2015 Game Critics Award for Best Family/Social Game
-It won IGN’s Best of E3 2015 Award for Best Wii U Game
-And it also won Gamescon’s Award for Best Console Game Nintendo Wii and Best Social/Casual/Online Game
So it is with all of that in mind that I took up the pad, slide out the stylus and set to work making my very own level You Gonna Die, which in all honestly can be beaten rather easily. Not the longest of levels, nor the hardest, it was unbeatable but I couldn’t upload it for that very reason, it was unbeatable. So sadly I had to make it that little bit easier so now everyone has a good chance at beating it and I was surprised just how much time passed when I was playing this and how quick it passed too, Super Mario Maker I guess you can tick the box for captivating and fully engrossing. As far as Mario goes, this very well could be the ultimate Mario game because yes at the end of the day it may be a creative game, which features platformer gameplay, but the only limit on this game is imagination. This game can be any game you want it to be, every game you ever wanted it to be, or even the game you never wanted to play because the skill level needed to beat the impossible levels, is just insane.
And now, it is time for my list of Pros & Cons because I just can’t wait:
-The sheer level of creativity it possesses.
-How easy to use and understand the interface is.
-The amount of fun it can be to make your own level and have other people play it. Ever wanted to make your own game, or at the very least, your own level? Well now you can.
-8-bit Mario Amiibo and the mushroom it unlocks.
-All the possible Amiibo costumes, such as Toon Link with his Deku Leaf.
-It really is a game for everyone.
-It was brilliantly thought out and does the series it is born from, proud.
-Why the hell did we have to wait so long for a game like this, but at least we got it now.
-It is a shame that you can only play as a non 8-bit Mario. For a game born from Super Mario Bros, I had hoped Luigi, Peach or even Toad would also be playable in the same stunning detail Mario is in, as opposed to ordinary 8-bit.
9.7/10.0 building blocks is the very score this game achieves, I couldn’t even wait to write such a score, the game is good, I can’t deny it, just a shame I have to give it back, although I could just “take care” of Mike Scorpio and claim his copy. Excuse me while I have a Luigi Death stare moment, although while I still have you and have these eyes: BUY THE GAME NOW! This is a game you want in your life, so make it happen at once! You will not regret it at all.
But as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of my own and that it is encouraged for you to make your own.