I have a confession to make. I went to the lengths to buy an out-dated console purely to get my hands on one game – Super Mario Maker. Was it really worth all that effort for one game? Yes, yes it was.
Yes, it really was!
So anyway, why do I thoroughly Super Mario Maker? Because it gives me a freedom that is pretty much unheard of in video games. Never before has a level creator been so thorough and offered up so many options – nor has it involved such a unique and iconic character. The chance to make Mario levels is one that just can’t be passed up, but with Nintendo seemingly in no hurry to release Super Mario Maker on the Switch, it meant finding a Wii U at a reasonable price, a price well worth paying for this gem. SMM (I’m bored of typing out the whole title) features tile sets from the original game, SMB3, SMW and SMBU (Mario fans will understand all those abbrieviations). Certain elements not found in earlier games have been incorporated into their tile sets, but other elements remain unique to each series, which influences the type of levels you can make. For instance, if you want to make a level that’s all about wall jumping, you need to use the Wii U tile set. If you want to make use of spin jumping, forget about SMB and SMB3 tile sets. However, maps such as ghost houses and airships are now available for the original game, as are enemies not normally found in it, such as boo buddies and the wizard Kamek.
In many ways, SSM is exactly what you make of it. I have enjoyed designing levels, trying to make use of some of the tricks I’ve seen in videos and on the levels I’ve played. The depth of creativity is astonishing, with so many wonderful ideas coming forward – in fact, it would not surprise me if the most popular creators are being approached by Nintendo; SSM could be viewed as a very clever recruitment tool. In a world where games are increasingly rigid in structure and with a lot of pay-to-play content, SSM delivers a lot of freedom. What we desperately need is a Switch version, which surely can’t be far away, but until then, this game is worth not only the game itself but for me, worth the price of a second-hand Wii U as well. That’s how good it is. 10/10.