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Super Mario Maker Wii U Review

Reviewed by on Sep 03, 2014
Rating: 5 Star Rating

Nintendo celebrates Marios 30th Anniversary with Super Mario Maker. Quite possibly the best reason to own a Wii U yet. Read Kidzworlds full review here!

Let's get something out of the way right off the top. Not since the days of discovering secret rooms in Super Mario World or taking that first step into Peach's castle in Super Mario 64 have I experienced such joy and amazement playing a game featuring our lovable plumber. Bold words, I know, but Super Mario Maker brought a giddy grin to my face from the moment I booted it up to the time I turned it off. The mixture of sights and sounds from different eras of Mario woven together in such a slick and polished fashion is simply put, wonderful.

It's not just an excellent and intuitive creation suite, limited only by imagination. Super Mario Maker is quite possibly the last Mario game you will ever need. A never ending supply of original, fun and sometimes downright bizarre levels for fans to master, regardless of skill level, from creators all over the world.

Super Mario Maker arrives September 11th!Super Mario Maker arrives September 11th!Courtesy of Nintendo

Boundless Mario

Super Mario Maker presents you with only two options at the main menu - Create and Play. But those two little options open up endless possibilities. Choosing create will instantly whisk you off to the the Course Maker while choosing play will open up other options including 10 Mario Challenge and access to the Course World, the main hub for new content.

10 Mario Challenge is a fun entry point to the game that tasks you with completing 8 varied and unique sample levels with only 10 lives. Each of these completed levels then appear in the Course Bot and can then be opened in the creation suite, allowing you to see how they were made. With 68 levels to best, It's a great place to get your feet wet while perhaps also providing inspiration for your own levels.

Course World - Your go-to place for endless supply of new levels!Course World - Your go-to place for endless supply of new levels!Courtesy of Nintendo

Entering the Course World menu is where you find all the user generated levels and the Makers themselves. You can also take the 100 Mario Challenge which is similar to the 10 Mario Challenge only now you're playing on levels created by other players and let me tell ya, on the harder difficulty level, you're going to need those 100 lives. Some of the courses I have come across have been downright  devious in layout and enemy placements but what always keeps me pushing is the fact I know someone beat this level. You see, you can't upload your level unless you can beat it yourself, that way there is no impossible levels. So just having that knowledge kept me pushing, being the competitive gamer I am.

Plus, completing 100 Mario Challenges unlocks little goodies but you'll have to play it for yourself to find out what!

Enter The Course Maker

When you're finally ready to wow the world with your original takes on Super Mario levels, head back to the main menu, hit "create" and enter the Course Maker.

Breathe it all in, take a moment to realize the power in front of you. After all these years, you can create and share your own Super Mario levels with tools so easy to use any one can jump in and begin building in seconds.

Use the Creation Suite to build epic levels quickly and easily!Use the Creation Suite to build epic levels quickly and easily!Courtesy of Nintendo

Super Mario Maker does a great job of easing you into the creater mode. Each new day you play, more items, worlds and themes will be at your disposal. It limits what you can create in the beginning but this way no one is overwhelmed  when starting out, lowering the barrier to entry. After about 9 days everything will be available and you can truly start building mind bending levels. Personally, I found it slightly annoying that I was ready to learn and continue expanding my options but had to wait until Nintendo thought I was ready. It would have been great to have the option to open everything from the start if I choose but I understand why Nintendo went this route as default.

Super Mario Maker Overview!


Once you pick up the stylis, creating your dream level is a breeze. With a simple press and drag of the sylis on the Gamepad, watch worlds appear. At times it feels like your painting, each graceful swipe transforming the world in front of you. Drop enemies on the map where ever you like or sneak in some dangerous obsatacles like canons shooting Bullet Bills. Go even further by placing a Mushroom power up on the Bullet Bill and watch him grow into a more intimidating foe. A lot of the enemies and items can be modified once or sometimes even twice. Grabbing a Green Koopa and giving him a shake with the sylis turns him into a Red Koopa and adding wings onto him then makes him jump along.

Everything you need is just one tap away thanks to easily identifiable on screen buttons and prompts and if you ever do get puzzled about how to do something, there is a great in-game tutorial found in the menus.

There is also Amiibo support in Mario Maker's creation suite, but part of what makes Mario Maker so fun is the sense of discovery as you uncover new ways to play. So I'll let you find out what happens when you tap an Amiibo to the gamepad for yourself when the game launches.

Just some of the various items at your disposal.Just some of the various items at your disposal.Courtesy of Nintendo

What is truly amazing is just how fast and seamless everything in Super Mario Maker works. Bouncing between the editor and actually playing your level in preview is as fast as snapping your finger. Same goes for changing up the style and themes. In a span of 10 seconds, you can change your levels theme to Castle, Underwater, Haunted House and more in four unique graphics and physics styles, Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros.

Nostalgia Overload

Super Mario Maker, doesn't just provide great tools, it also provides a great dose of nostalgia for those older gamer/parents out there, with a perfect blend of sights and sounds from different generations of Mario games. Super Mario World music over menus covered in 8-bit artwork all coated in an incredible gloss finish with attention given to the smallest detail. Even Super Mario Bros 2 gets some love from Nintendo in the form of sound effects (although there is no SMB 2 themes just yet). Each time you boot up the game, your greeted with a different animation depending on the day of the week as well. The best way to describe the presentation is that is just makes me feel good. I am always happy when playing Super Mario Maker - yes, even during the more challenging user created levels.

You must be able to beat your level before you can upload it.You must be able to beat your level before you can upload it.Courtesy of Nintendo

Mario Maker Faux Pas

Not all is perfect with Super Mario Maker though. The searching of created levels is in some serious need of updates. You can only see a selection of the top rated courses or Makers. At the moment, there is no way to search for levels or Makers by name nor can you simply see a list of levels created by your friends. If I want you to play my level, the only simple way is to give you the awkward 14 digit Level ID. It seems quite the oversight as creating levels specifically to share with my friends was something many fans, myself included, were really excited for. Let's hope such options can be added in a future update.

That hopefully fixable oversight withstanding, Super Mario Maker is one heck of a great package.

Super Mario Maker is available September 11th!Super Mario Maker is available September 11th!Courtesy of Nintendo

Final Thoughts

Simple and intuitive level building tools that open up limitless potential for fun, Super Mario Maker is a must own for Wii U owners and will be providing platforming fans with unique challenges for years to come.

Super Mario Maker: Wii U Game Rating:5

Release Date: September 11th, 2015

Have Your Say!

Will you be creating your own Mario levels? Comment below and let us know!