Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Nintendo Wii U - Super Mario Maker


Nintendo Wii U, Super Mario Maker, Super Mario 30th Anniversary

It's Super Mario's 30th anniversary! To celebrate, Nintendo has released what I think is one of the best Super Mario game - Nintendo Wii U Super Mario Maker! Not only do you get to create your own courses, you also get to play near-limitless courses in one game! How awesome is that?!

The Super Mario Maker (RRP from £39.99, bundles available; suitable for 3 years +) allows players to create their own playable Super Mario levels in their choice of game styles, play offline sample courses for fun and inspirations, as well as play other player's creations online, making it the biggest, longest play time Super Mario game created.


Nintendo has created a few brilliant videos to show you what features there is and what you can do in the game, so I definitely recommend watching the videos here. But basically, Super Mario Maker has the following features:

Nintendo Wii U, Super Mario Maker, Super Mario 30th Anniversary
Adding elements and adjusting them
E.g. You can add a pipe, extend it and even tilt it to make it lie flat
Note: That hand appears on the TV screen but not the Gamepad, and it's definitely not mine
Nintendo Wii U, Super Mario Maker, Super Mario 30th Anniversary
Removing an element
Nintendo Wii U, Super Mario Maker, Super Mario 30th Anniversary
Left: Unlock more elements each day
Right: Combine elements to make new elements (eg add giant mushroom to a Koopa to make giant Koopa)
Nintendo Wii U, Super Mario Maker, Super Mario 30th Anniversary
Shake an element while holding it to change it
Eg hold and shake a red Koopa to turn it into a green Koopa
Nintendo Wii U, Super Mario Maker, Super Mario 30th Anniversary
Multi-select elements to move them together (You can also duplicate sections of the course by copying and pasting)
Change between styles instantly by selecting the game style in the top left corner
Left: Super Mario Bros. style               Right: Super Mario Bros.U style
Nintendo Wii U, Super Mario Maker, Super Mario 30th Anniversary
New set notice
Nintendo Wii U, Super Mario Maker, Super Mario 30th Anniversary
Save creation any time
Nintendo Wii U, Super Mario Maker, Super Mario 30th Anniversary
30th Super Mario Bros amiibo - Classic colour (also comes in Modern colour)
Sold separately or comes in a bundle
Nintendo Wii U, Super Mario Maker, Super Mario 30th Anniversary
Left: Touching 30th Super Mario Bros amiibo onto the Gamepad unlocks Giant Mushroom to make Mario (or enemies) bigger
Right: Touching other amiibo characters unlocks the character in the game, which Mario will turn into after "eating" a Mystery Mushroom
More Mystery Mushroom costumes can be unlocked by playing the 100 Mario Challenge in Course World
As you can see from the above images, creating a course couldn't be easier. Forget about computer language/ game coding, anyone (3 years and above of course) can be a Super Mario Bros game designer with the Super Mario Maker! And we are only touching the basics (the kids are discouraged to play video games during term time, so they tried the game out during the weekend). You should see the courses featured in the trailer, they are amazing!

But then of course, if you have creativity in your bones, you won't have a problem designing the awesome courses that's featured in the video:

Nintendo Wii U, Super Mario Maker, Super Mario 30th Anniversary
Abby's design in Super Mario Bros.U style
Nintendo Wii U, Super Mario Maker, Super Mario 30th Anniversary
Clay's design in Super Mario Bros. Style
You can see that Abby is thinking more logically. Her course is playable with a good pace and I'm looking forward to playing it! She's very possessive of her course and was telling me off for adding things to what she thought was her course (it was actually my own)! She said that she really likes it and couldn't wait to finish it. 

Clay on the other hand has no limit with his creativity and imagination. Although I couldn't get further than where Mario is standing in the left picture (he is only 4 years old after all), I'm super impressed with his course (although Abby wasn't amused. Her reaction when she felt that she was being tricked when playing Clay's course was hilarious). Give him a few more years and he might just create something that is comparable to those featured in the trailer!


Not only is it easy to create a course with the Create mode (even Clay can do it!), we also like it that elements are unlocked daily, giving you enough time to know a few new ones each day instead of getting overwhelmed with all the choices. It is also something to look forward to each time we get new ones, which keeps us wanting to play more! I'm so looking forward to ghosts and fireworks to unlock!

You can also tell that Nintendo is putting a lot of effort into building the Create Mode and make it fun to "play" with. For example, when you place one element on the course, it made a sound. But if you add multiple elements by dragging the stylus pen on the Gamepad screen, each element will make a different sound, and together they'll make a tune! The Reset Course button (the space rocket) is really funny as well. When you press and hold onto the rocket, it will count down "3, 2, 1" and you'll see the course being wiped out!

As it is a single player game, the kids have to learn how to take turn to play. Them both really liking it makes it a bit more difficult, but we are getting there, especially when you can simply play on the Gamepad (you don't really need the TV screen for this game, but don't be tempted to walk to another room with the Gamepad like Clay did, it is not a tablet and needs to stay connected with the Wii U console!) while the other can watch TV.


Nintendo Wii U, Super Mario Maker, Super Mario 30th Anniversary
Main Menu
Nintendo Wii U, Super Mario Maker, Super Mario 30th Anniversary
8 offline sample courses to play; for fun, break from creation and inspirations.
Course finished will be added to Coursebot where it can be modified
Nintendo Wii U, Super Mario Maker, Super Mario 30th Anniversary
Unlimited online courses created by other players
100 Mario Challenge unlocks additional Mystery Mushroom elements
When you are done creating or require some inspiration, you can also play 10 Mario Challenge, where you can play 8 courses offline and try to keep 10 lives up until the end of the challenge! Or to see what other players around the World are doing with their designs, click on Course World to play their courses (you can even give stars and comments) or take the 100 Mario challenge. There really is plenty to do in the Super Mario Maker!

I really like it that Nintendo is encouraging players' creativity and allow them to share their creations, building a strong community within each games. You can see that in other games too, such as Animal Crossing where there is a function for players to share other players' pattern designs (e.g for clothes) by scanning QR codes. I think that really make Nintendo stand out from the crowd. Thumbs up Nintendo!

If you like platform games, you should totally give Super Mario Maker a try. Even if you aren't very creative like me, you can still play near-limitless different courses, which makes it a really value for money game!