Fast Forward Review - Super Mario Maker
Hello, and welcome to Fast Forward Reviews! This column is all about giving you the day 1 lowdown on video games that have been newly released, and what you can expect in your first hour of gameplay!
Today we'll be looking at Super Mario Maker, a game that has been really hyped up since it was announced during Nintendo's 2014 E3 conference. We got a lot to go through, so let's fast forward and get right into it!
Super Mario Maker is all about getting the player into the Mario level making spirit, and that means giving you near-immediate access to all the tools you could possibly need to start making your very own Super Mario Bros. levels. A quick tutorial at the start of the game shows you absolutely everything you need to know about making your very own Super Mario Bros. levels, and does so in a very brief - yet informative - matter.
Don't take this the wrong way either. Super Mario Maker is extremely accessible. Nothing about the maker is complex, as every tool and pathing AI is already set up without you needing to do anything more than plop each tile into the grid.
Super Mario Maker's interface is so simple a child could use it!
Super Mario Maker is very adaptable, and so players can even create enemies otherwise never seen in a Super Mario Bros. game by simply placing an enemy tile onto another existing enemy. But why stop there? Why not attach wings to something that should never fly? Why not have a death-ball of enemies by stacking them on top of each other? The possibilities are far from endless, but the combinations are various enough that you will have fun messing around with the level editor until you feel like playing a level for yourself.
A Toy Koopa riding a Bob-Omb, who is on a Koopa Troopa, riding a Goomba, on top of a Hammer Bro, riding Bowser, defended by another Goomba. Why? Because why the heck not?
As for the actual gameplay, each Super Mario tile set comes with the engine of that particular game. That means that - technically speaking - Super Mario Maker is 4 games in 1, namely: Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U.
After completing the 3 minute tutorial you will also be granted access to the main menu. There you will find the Course Maker, 10 Mario Challenge, Course World, Coursebot, options and more.
10 Mario Challenge involves playing 10 pre-designed levels made in Super Mario Maker. In regular Super Mario Bros. fashion you will have to rescue the princess by getting to the castle after a series of stages. However, if you complete the 10 Mario Challenge 7 times you get access to the 4 NWC 2015 levels that were seen during the Nintendo E3 2015 event. Beat these and you will get access to the elusive Luigi Mushroom.
It just wouldn't be a Super Mario game if Princess Toadstool didn't get herself captured by Bowser, would it?
The Course World gives you access to the 100 Mario Challenge, Courses, and Makers submenus. The 100 Mario Challenge allows you to play random levels developed by fellow Makers until you run out of lives. Meanwhile, the Courses submenu gives you access to featured stages, and the Makers submenu lets you check out the overall star rankings (think of them as the total "Likes" from Facebook) of other players.
This game is definitely a game I would recommend to amiibo collectors. Almost every single amiibo in existence to this date is compatible with Super Mario Maker and unlocks costumes that can be used in original Super Mario Bros. levels. While these can be randomly unlocked by playing the 100 Mario Challenge, it is certainly a nice little gift for supporters of the amiibo franchise. You can see all the costumes in the video below:
(Video courtesy of Kotaku, via YouTube)
Don't try to fool us RR-sama, we know it's you under that disguise... What's the catch with Super Mario Maker?
Catch? What catch? This is literally the game you've been waiting for if you ever wanted to make your own Super Mario Bros. levels! I'm not kidding! 10/10, I'm sold!
... Okay, so I wish that the amiibo support or costumes were permanent instead of functioning like a regular super mushroom that changes your looks. But seriously, considering that this feature isn't even part of the game, I can't find a logical reason to complain without being nit-picky!
Okay, so there's 3 minor concerns...
Firstly, Super Mario Maker limits you at first to a select few enemies and tile types. The rest need to be unlocked, and I'm not entirely sure how to do it. Secondly, the older Super Mario Bros. styles have been tweaked a bit as to make the game more accessible to newer players. This means that Mario feels a little more like he does in newer games, but not so much that it feels out of place. Thirdly, there's no Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA), or Yoshi's Island tile sets, so no Birdo or Shy Guys. Sorry fans of those games.
I would personally like to see Super Mario Bros. 2 make a comeback in Super Mario Maker. The gameplay mechanics could make for some really interesting level designs in the right hands!
But hey, Nintendo has been pretty good for DLC lately, and other sources have already indicated that Nintendo has confirmed that there will be DLC support in the future. Maybe we can expect some funky new tile sets or gameplay style DLCs in the near future? Maybe we'll even get a Super Mario 64 DLC! Okay, that's a bit of a stretch, but only time will tell!
Everything looks and sounds the way it's supposed to. In fact, it's a bit better. You can add random music tracks and effects to stages that are not characteristic of their game, and although this looks a bit wacky, that's the point of the game. No complaints here.
I'd love to give you guys a sample of how the game sounds, but I'm pretty much limited to giving you guys pre-release footage as I'm unable to record anything myself. Instead, enjoy the below clip of the game's Super Mario World editor music as it pretty much sums up the original sound design of this game.
(Courtesy of AlfredDerCreeper via Youtube)
Have you been reading this? Buy this game. Buy it now! I cannot stress this enough: if you don't have a Wii U, but you love - or loved - Mario games, buy a Wii U and this game now! This is the game you have dreamed of, and more!
What about other fans who got this game the second it showed up? Does it meet your expectations? Did you find something bad about it that I missed? Leave your opinions and thoughts in the comments section below!