Game Review: 'Super Mario Maker'

It's time to play god in the Mushroom Kingdom.

The latest first-party WiiU game is true to Nintendo’s recent form. Super Mario Maker is an amazing idea, executed perfectly and provides almost limitless replay value to everyone, whether they grew up on Mario in the '80s or were introduced to him in the aughts. The catch? You need to have a WiiU to get at this awesome game. With Nintendo’s track record for three or four great first party games each year and not much else in the way of third-party titles, that might be a hard purchase to justify.

The strength of Super Mario Maker almost pulls off that justification. Owning the game turns a WiiU into a Mario machine with an endless stream of classic platforming perfection. Super Mario Maker is a two-fold kind of game. One, it is a forge for making 2D SMB levels using the resources from almost every Mario Bros game to date. Whether that’s blocks, coins, power-ups, enemies, drainpipes or some of the stranger elements (looking at you rideable cloud) nearly every element that made its way into a Mario game over the past three decades is present. You can even change up the look of your created level, going back to the 8-bit days of the original or the gorgeous HD-ness of New SMBU, all at the press of a button. Build a level as you play through it, run it over and over in a god-like mode and then, once you’re happy with your creation and can actually finish it yourself, share it with the rest of the SMM community.

The other side of that coin is where things get really good. All these community levels are playable whether you’re friends with the creator or not. The ever-growing library of levels can be played as single runs or you can opt to play 10 Life or 100 Life challenges, tackling as many of the created levels as possible with just a finite amount of lives. The 100 Life challenge is a long haul of platforming and harkened back to weekends of our lives lost to games like Super Mario Bros 3.

Super Mario Maker is the epitome of a modern Nintendo game; it’s simple, artfully crafted, brilliantly designed and wonderfully fun. In a world where we Netflix movies, marathon TV shows and download an infinite stream of free apps, Mario Maker is platforming on-demand and a sign that, even though their games are few and far between, Nintendo is still more than capable of giving us what we want.


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