The latest excellent game on the Wii U for the majority of the gaming community to ignore is Super Mario Maker, a game that puts the gamer in the driving seat to control the content of Mario levels in one of four skins: Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros.
As the trailer above shows, the content is quick and easy to activate, meaning a basic level can be created in no time at all. It may be fiddly at first but once the tools are used a couple of times it becomes remarkably intuitive. You simply control the content on the gamepad using the stylus (did you forget you had that?) and a giant hand replicates it on the screen. After a fairly basic tutorial you are ready to go!
Then comes a huge hurdle. One major issue you encounter at this point is the requirement to keep playing on consecutive days in order to unlock the more advanced level features. This means that perseverance is the key – the only key – to unlocking the tools to make the most innovative levels for friends to enjoy. The thinking behind it is clearly to make sure players don’t make a couple of exceptionally tough levels then disappear forever, though for the more dedicated amongst us it is frustrating. For anyone getting the game on day one and trying to put together a cool new course, get ready to be disappointed – all you get are four types of blocks, three enemies, mushroom power ups and pipes.
As expected, Amiibo functionality is a key feature. When scanned, one of several things might occur, depending on which figuring has been scanned. For the most part a new playable character will be unlocked. This is fun but there is a flaw – the character is allocated at random so you can’t design the level around who you’ve placed in the box. It is quite fun to play as Link or Yoshi progressing through the stages he’s active in, though doesn’t add too much to the game. It’s disappointing that this is only available for the Super Mario Bros. themes and does nothing for the remaining three.
Where the game comes into its own is the ability to access other people’s levels. There is a leader board based on popularity and spending an hour in there was a joy. One level I played was called “Don’t Touch The Shrooms”, a tough level that can only be completed if you can avoid mushrooms due to a carefully placed spring board. When mushrooms are being fired at you from all angles it gets quite stressful!
Feel free to add me on your Wii U account and try out some of my Super Mario Maker creations. My username is Hutchie and I’ll be slowly unleashing increasingly complex levels throughout the weekend.
This game has legs. It might not feel impressive on first look but get the hang of it now and it will reward as more features are unlocked.
Super Mario Maker is available as a Wii U exclusive worldwide now.