Super Mario Maker is weird to talk about, and that is one of the reasons I have not made any sort of review of it. I downloaded it September 10th, took it with me to GameStop to wait for the game’s midnight release, to be ironic, and I played it all night in order to get the retro Super Mario Amiibo… which, apparently, isn’t all that rare. Huh.
I was torn when I decided to buy the game. I felt like it wasn’t a full retail game, and part of me thought that it might have been better suited for the 3DS. When it came out, I did the whole advancing the clock cheat to get the parts and I was later upset because they almost immediately had fixed that with an update? There was no way to know that really while playing it in line for the amiibo though.
After playing it for a while, I realized that I had made the right decision to download it, as I feel like I honestly would have traded the game in by this point. It’s fun, but to me, the game was only a low 7 out of 10, and it could easily become an 8 with some minor tweeks. The game is very limiting in a lot of way, when it comes to both building, sharing, and playing levels.
Since the early days, they have added small features in two updates. Check points made their return, Nintendo provided levels that were made by themselves and other people, and in return some new costumes were provided for the mystery mushrooms. Also, they gave you the ability to make the power ups conditional, i.e. a mushroom would spawn instead of a fireflower if you were small Mario. The next update added a fire spitting clown car, doors that only appeared when a P switch was active, and the saw blade can be transformed into a bumper by shaking it.
Those free updates were fine and dandy, but the advertisements said that I would be able to make my dream levels, and yet there are obstacles/environment hazards/enemies from every single Super Mario game is missing, and almost everything from Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA) and The Lost Levels is still not in the game? What?
While it is fun to create levels and play them with friends, this game feels off to me when I sit down to try and enjoy it. It turns out that most people are NOT great level designers. Being forced to play a mixed bag of super hard levels, super easy levels, or a bunch of levels that auto play while you listen to the music they play, does not a a great 100 man Mario make. I lost interest in playing the game after a while to unlock costumes for the mystery mushroom, because it wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as making levels. Making levels, the entire point of the game, earns you absolutely no rewards past getting the essential pieces you first get from playing.
This game just feels hollow somehow, and I really wish it didn’t. The game still isn’t what I’d call a solid 8 out of 10, considering that there are games and software out there that did more that were put together in a nicer looking package. I’m not harping on the NES-SNES era sprites. Some of the newly made sprites look amazing on this game, but where is the option to re-skin the game with the graphics from Super Mario All Stars? An SNES collection that was re-released near the end of Wii’s life cycle for full retail price, even though it was literally using a virtual console emulator to play the game.
I’m sorry for this tangent but this game has made me realize something about Nintendo in regards to the Wii and Wii U. Nintendo has no problem releasing an inferior version of a game if they think that something inferior for $5 (NES Wario Woods) will sell more than something that is superior for $8 (SNES Wario Woods). They’ve also recently realized that they can release something from that cheap price point for full retail price even if it’s not even the best version of it, such as Super Mario All Stars as opposed to the later version that included a version of Super Mario World. After NES Remix, they realized that if they use the old sprites in an old yet new sort of way, they do not even have to make a full game experience. Super Mario Maker is the end result of all of these experiments, and damn it… I believe we need to start holding Nintendo to a higher standard.
See, I did that entire article without even mentioning how they’ve been deleting levels lately, they technically own your levels, and the fact that everyone thinks it has a lot of potential for DLC, thus rated it slightly higher than it probably should have been rated. I’m classy like that.