Creating Your Own World: Super Mario Maker Review

Kayla Morris

Mario has influenced many people’s lives since 1981, with his debut in Donkey Kong. The game and the character were developed by well-known video game producer, Shigeru Miyamoto. For many years to come, Mario would go forth to find his lost princess and defeat the evil Koopa king, Bowser. Many great hits came out that revolutionized the video game industry from Super Mario Bros to Super Mario 64. Curious to know how well we know Mario and in celebration of thirty years, Nintendo has provided us with the chance to create a new level for Mario in the form of Super Mario Maker. Super Mario Maker is a game where you can challenge your friends to see if they can conquer your creation.

When developing this game Nintendo kept in mind that there needs to be a variety of tools for fans to create a level. Super Mario Maker provides you with all the blocks and enemies that you’ve seen in previous Mario games seen including Bowser himself. Four skin packs are also provided, meaning that the level can be put in the style of previous installments of Mario. These skins are from Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros Wii U, all excellent games. Of course there can’t be a Mario game without all the styles too: normal, water, ghost house, airship, underground, and castles. However, there have been styles in certain Mario games that haven’t actually appeared in those games. For example, there were no ghost houses in the first Super Mario Bros. Nintendo created what these levels would have looked like in these skins that previously didn’t include these level types. When I tried out ghost houses in the Super Mario Bros skin, it felt like I was in an actual ghost house with the mood and music to match this style. This is something that really strikes a long time fan of Mario’s nostalgia and is very intriguing to newer members. The variety of the game also offers a lot of creative designs.

Now I know what some of you are thinking… “Kayla, this game is lame; all you do is create levels instead of rescuing Princess Peach and defeating Bowser.” That’s not entirely true, and this can be seen with the addition of the One Hundred Mario challenge. The challenge starts like a typical Mario game where you hear the news that Princess Peach has been kidnapped again and you have to go save her. What’s different is that instead of going to the same levels over and over, you get to go through levels that other people created. However, you need to keep in mind that in order to play on this mode, you need Internet connection. This might seem annoying for some, but it’s the only way to play the One Hundred Mario challenge since you are receiving levels from people all around the world. There are three different difficulties in this challenge: easy, normal, and expert. Easy mode has eight levels while normal and expert have sixteen. You are given one hundred lives. This might sound like a lot, but the levels you encounter can get pretty hard which is what will be the cause of losing most of them. There is a skip button on the challenge. However, you could be given an equally challenging level if you skip to a different level. This might be seen as a bit overwhelming at first. However once you really get into it, the difficulty is what’ll make fun, even as you and your friends are raging because you can’t beat a level. Something that’s really helpful in the One Hundred Mario challenge is that you can get three 1ups per level, easing some stress when your lives are low. In the end, it all depends on how nice the creator of the level is. The One Hundred Mario challenge was a great addition to Super Mario Maker and a great way for people to see your creations.

Ever since Super Smash Bros Wii U, Nintendo has been adding Amiibo functions to their games they’ve released and Super Mario Maker is no exception. But what exactly is an Amiibo? Amiibos are figures of Nintendo characters that can make some fun changes to your can when placed on the Wii U gamepad or New 3DS XL. For example, if you use an Amiibo from Smash Bros in Mario Maker, you get a costume of that character that you can use for the classic 8-bit Super Mario Bros stages that you can create. The costumes can add on to the creativity that Mario Maker already brings. For example, my friend Taylor has a Luigi Amiibo, and he used that to create a stage as an inspiration to Luigi’s Mansion, a game where you play as Mario’s brother and you go ghost hunting. The stage itself consisted of dodging ghosts while going through a ghost house as Luigi, which was very enjoyable. There is only one problem that has bugged me since the release of Amiibos in Smash Bros. While some Amiibo like Mario, Kirby, or Pikachu are really easy to get, there are others that are really rare. That is because these characters aren’t as well known as the previously stated characters. The only chance you have of getting them cheap is by pre-ordering them or coming the day of release and hoping they are still available. If you don’t get them, then they are going to be expensive on websites like Amazon. It can really put a damper on one’s spirits and lowers the chances of getting all the costumes unlocked. While this is still a fun addition to the game, it can get very costly if you want to get all of the costumes, and in my opinion it’s not really worth it. However, if you already have all the current Amiibos then you’re set for getting the costumes for them. There are also costumes that you can unlock that are pretty funny, like being able to play as block. To unlock all of these costumes, you need to beat all the difficulties in the One Hundred Mario challenge.

Nintendo kept in mind that there would be some people who don’t have Internet access. A separate game mode was added to Mario Maker that doesn’t require Internet called the Ten Mario challenge. In this mode, you have ten lives instead of one hundred. To substitute for the absence of players’ levels, sample levels are added to the game and are used in this mode. The levels are predetermined on the first time playing through. The only way that they can be randomized is by completing eight levels first thus completing the challenge. It has been confirmed that there are as many as fifty-six sample levels that can generate in this mode which adds to the diversity of the game and doesn’t penalize you for not having access to the Internet. The difficulty of the levels isn’t as high as the difficulty of the levels that people around the world have created, which is a little disappointing. But the levels that you or friends have created can be added to the Ten Mario challenge after beating it the first time, adding to the intensity.

Nintendo created a fantastic game that long-time Mario fans will come to appreciate for a long time. While there are a couple of quirks in the game, I personally have had a great experience with the game so far and hope to continue enjoying the experience. The creativity that was added to the game often made me smile or laugh. If you happen to come across this game, I highly recommend that you give it a try, and it offers many opportunities to be creative. Mario has been around for thirty years now and this game shows how much Nintendo puts into these games for us. Now it’s our turn to show Nintendo how much we appreciate them with the creation of these Mario levels.

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