By Chris Ames
I won’t lie: growing up, I hated the Mario games. As someone who had regularly played platformers more along the lines of Crash Bandicoot or Spyro, the original red plumber himself had never really appealed to me that much. The game itself just had this saturated feeling to it that simply left me bored out of my mind. A few levels in and they all just began to mesh together without any real coherence. This will rustle some jimmies surely and that’s quite fine. None of this is meant to say that the franchise is bad so to speak,Mario 64 and Mario Party are hilariously fun games after all. Just the original side-scroller that started it all just never quite did it for me. Then of course, Super Mario Maker came out and hilarity ensued.
To keep it short, Super Mario Maker is a game that allows players to create their own custom Mario levels for them, as well as others, to play. Naturally, with no real rules or restrictions to what goes, creators have the ability to make the most nonsensical and sadistic levels possible for others to try and complete. A good analogy would be a platform version of Happy Wheels (a similar game wherein custom level building is possible). The innumerable custom levels made by players range from painfully easy and funny to gut wrenchingly hard. Along with playing levels created by other players, the game includes the ‘Ten Mario Challenge’ wherein the player only has ten lives to try and complete eight random levels created by Nintendo designers. In one level, you might find an underground party when you go down a pipe. In a different level, you might find that the only thing standing between you and the flagpole is a stack of giant enemies crowned by Bowser and you have to figure out a way to defeat them all without getting hit by a projectile.
The ability to play these levels as well as the ones created by players gives the Mario franchise a fresh look and spark which one could argue it has not had for a while. By Nintendo essentially giving away the tools they have to make Mario games to their players, countless opportunities have been opened up for the red plumber. Though it may seem odd that they would give away their secret recipe to the masses, all in all Super Mario Maker is a fun and creative little game that is sure to please if not appease fans and casual players alike