Super Mario Maker
It has become increasingly apparent over the last few months that the Wii U is in dire need of some new games to keep players engaged with their flagging console. With Star Fox Zero and Legend of Zelda Wii U now delayed until 2016, the responsibility has fallen to Super Mario Maker to take the pressure off Nintendo for the time being. Not only does it accomplish this, but it also stakes a claim to being one of the richest experiences available on the system, rewarding players for their imagination and ingenuity.
Super Mario Maker is a title that’s instantly accessible from the very start, packing a clear, concise presentation that can be easily understood. Gifted with a limited toolkit you’re dropped into an unfinished level and told to create. This works by having you build on top of a square grid with each item taking up a specific amount of room. Want to add an item block? No problem. Coins? That’s simple. You’re also able to incorporate enemies into your stages as well, like Goombas, Piranha Plants, and Koopa Troopas. By spending more time in the creation mode you’ll unlock new sets, which contain fresh items to implement. This gives you a perfect incentive to keep creating and honing your skills.
Additionally, you can alter the visuals to replicate the style of different Mario titles, such as Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. Considering everyone has their own interpretation of what the best 2D Mario game is, this is a worthwhile inclusion that contributes an extra layer of customization to proceedings.
Once you’ve finished making your stage you can then upload it online for others to play, rate, and download. From this exchange you’ll learn how to improve your level and get a sense for what players like. You can also perform the same function for others in the course world, an area where the game excels. In the course world you can search for a friend’s stage by using a specific ID or browse the list of the best creators and levels, giving you plenty of variation in what you can play. Some creators might focus their efforts on crafting infuriatingly hard levels, whilst others like to show off with elaborate, Rube Goldberg-esque designs. This is in addition to the more traditional stages that are on offer. If you enjoy a level you can then rate it, which will raise its overall ranking and allow others to find it quicker.
The best way to discover original levels is by attempting the 100 Mario challenge. This setting allows you to play through a number of unique user-created stages in the fashion of a normal Mario game, aided by 100 lives. By defeating this mode you’ll be rewarded with some amiibo costumes and items that can be used whilst creating. You can also unlock these costumes by placing any amiibo figures you own on the Wii U gamepad. This gifts players with the ability to play as Megaman, Pac Man, and a selection of other classic video game characters.
Super Mario Maker is an exceptional title that’s simply a must-have for anyone who owns a Wii U. Like the best of Nintendo games it transcends demographics, appealing to a diverse range of players, young and old and with more content becoming available everyday thanks to Nintendo's loyal fanbase, it can only get better from hereon out.