Community Review: Super Mario Maker

Community Review: Super Mario Maker

How are you finding Super Mario Maker so far?

I’m having mixed reactions.

First off the good: playing other people’s levels is amazing. Absolutely amazing. I think Nintendo is doing a better job that I expected of curating levels. Sure, I’ve played more ‘DON’T MOVE’ or ‘RUN RIGHT’ levels than I’ve ever wanted to, but I’ve also played some mini-masterpieces.

The great thing about Mario Maker is Mario. No matter what you design, it’s still fun to just run around and jump. Mario’s core stickiness is undeniable.

It’s also incredibly easy to make a level. I made a level with my four-year-old nephew on Saturday and he was able to use the tools fairly easily.

But, the unlock system is fairly brutal. Even with being sped up as it is, it still needs to be faster. What about a simple mode — with only a handful of starting tools — and then some sort of expert mode with (almost) everything unlocked? I feel like that would have been a better compromise, particularly for people who want to jump in quickly and start creating with a full suite of tools.

I think it’s a case of Nintendo dramatically under-estimating their audience.

I would have also liked to see more of a single player, playable component — something like LittleBigPlanet’s single player.

But the great thing about Super Mario Maker is this: it exists. I still can’t believe Nintendo has unleashed Super Mario Maker into the wild. But here it is! Being weird, being the most insane thing Nintendo has ever released. And I’ve played Tomodachi Life.

For all its flaws, I love it. I can’t wait to see how truly insane it gets.


  • I haven’t touched it much mainly because of having to unlock stuff, I just want to get in and make levels, not have to stuff around with minimal amount of things first.

  • It’s very good. I haven’t been able to play much yet, but I have made a few insane jumping levels. I made one particular level where you had to jump on 10 bullet bills in a row. It’s brutal.

  • Never ending amounts of mario levels?? arrrrrrr HELL YES!! pretty sure I’ll still be playing this in years to come. It doesn’t get old.

    It isn’t perfect, no ice and sand levels yet but I’m sure they will be DLC. Only small issues though so i don’t really care.

  • This game is fantastic fun, and the unlocks can be done in under an hour with a bit of perseverance. I agree it’s not ideal, but it’s far better than the week originally touted.

    So far I’ve been making traditional style Mario levels, and for the most part they seem to work well enough. Using the Mario 3 airship map is just an excuse for pure brutality too. That music brings out the bastard in me every time. 😀

      • 8388-0000-0056-2869

        Feedback is good. They are works in progress.

        • Enjoyed your castle and airship stage, I would suggest moving your fireflower bricks across one at bowser so as to not interfere too heavily with the jump to his platform and for your submarine (curse you water stages) I would suggest being mindful of what you can and can’t see on screen as you approach it with reference to your rotating fire bars especially given it is an autoscroller and perhaps cut a cannon out or give us an “out” up top.
          Boiler Room was good fun though I didn’t complete it

          • I’m actually thinking of removing 2 (or maybe one) of those flower bricks. The idea is to beat Bowser rather than avoiding, but he can be tricky with that chain-chomp shielding him. 🙂

            The submarine needs a lot of work. It’s too large vertically, which causes some issues, and I need to change the placement of enemies (I used too many sprites and the game locked me down! :P).

            Boiler Room was my first play with rails, and although it’s messy, it is pretty fun. There are a number of “troll” enemies just out of reach on that level I added for flavour. 🙂

  • I have created around 7 levels (almost have ghost house unlocked) and spent some time online playing through other peoples creations and I have a few points.
    -There are a lot of garbage stages. I’m thinking there should be a crash course on level design dealing with themes, length and difficulty balance etc out of the gates.
    -There are a lot of great stages that have superb pacing, balance, enemy spread and a mix of complex and simple platforming.
    -I wish I could filter out don’t move and run right stages, as entertaining as they are, I do like to play the game as well.
    -I wish I could search for makers or directly view what someone on my friends list has made without level codes and so on

    The game is a joy to actually play however, and creating stages is a breeze and when a stage comes together and feels professional, you feel pretty good about yourself

    My biggest gripe though is with the very binary rate system. Getting stars = more uploads so you feel compelled to star peoples work just to let them upload more stuff even if their stage was a bit of a phone in or a convoluted mess. What I would love is a 3 star system, a red, a yellow and green. Red for “expert”, the frustratingly difficult stages that someone has spent a lot of time on, nailing jump distances and enemy placement etc. Yellow for the enjoyable “traditional platforming” stages that wouldn’t be out of place coming directly from Nintendo and Green stars for the casual or relaxing stages like music/moveless/run right variety. This would give players the option to filter by stages they want to play without hitting brick walls and also allow people to encourage the creators of the stages inspiring them to make more of the same style.

    Also if people want to give my stuff a try, NinNet ID is Nexi01 and stages I am most proud of are
    053F-0000-0055-FC86 – Castle (bit claustrophobic toward the end)
    ECD1-0000-0059-AF06 – Airship (needs a few tweaks here and there)
    9C8D-0000-0055-92C4 – Swim (which is a bit of a mess but I was testing something out for later)

    • -I wish I could search for makers or directly view what someone on my friends list has made without level codes and so on

      Yes! It’s annoying that there isn’t a “Friends Levels” tab in the Makers section. Something like a simple activity feed would be great too so you can see straight away if someone you’re following has made a new level. That and a rating system like you mentioned are really my only complaints though, I’m having a blast with the game.

      I’ll give your courses a spin tonight!

      Here’s a couple of mine (plus a bunch more on my profile. NNID: Powalen)

    • Just had a go. Nice levels! Really liked the airship one and how it was generous with Mushrooms / flowers.

      Castle was good too. Only thing I would’ve liked to see was some indicators of things like thwomps coming from off-screen before they get you. Fun though!

      Followed for future levels 🙂

      • I thought about that thwomp while play testing it and how it hit me every single bloody time and grew too attached to it. You would think my putting it there would trigger a thwomp alert in the back of my mind but nope.

      • Updated my castle, changed the pacing, enemy density and visibility of hazards. I think it is a much more complete level now

  • I’m having a lot of fun with Mario Maker. I don’t normally enjoy the 2D Mario games because the more interesting levels in those games are usually too challenging for me, but this game lets people make levels that are interesting in other ways. I also enjoy making the levels! I actually appreciate that the game locks you out of certain things at first. As someone who wasn’t wholly familiar with the 2D Mario games, it was useful for me to get used to the way things work slowly, piece by piece. Also, I’m not a fan of levels that throw everything in without a clear sense of cohesiveness, so forcing players to unlock sets kind of softly suggests to them that it’s a good idea to keep things a bit more conservative. I don’t mind the occasional level that turns it up to 11/10 though; those can be amusing, but usually don’t play very well.

  • It’s a solid game, but some of the minor changes to the Mario rules annoy me. I mean yeah some of the older games didn’t have some of the newer features, eg ghost houses, air ships, Bowser Jr in SMB, so it’s cool to have those backported. But breaking some of the things that stand out to me as core Mario rules is, like I said, irritating. Like in SMB, Mario would get changed to small Mario if you were hit by an enemy with a powerup, and if you grabbed a flower while small you would only become Super Mario. That might possibly have been a thing in SMB3 too, but I can’t remember. Something feels off about Mario’s running physics in SMB too. I haven’t tested it out yet but at one stage it felt like you couldn’t build up enough speed to cross a single-block gap by standing on the edge of one of the blocks forming it. And in SMB3, being unable to pick up the P-switches was a pretty core part of a lot of the puzzles. Making you able to do that now kind of breaks that, I think. Don’t know why they decided to add it in, would’ve been nice to keep things as they were, would make that mode stand apart from World and New. Not having slopes seems like a pretty major oversight, given how heavily they featured in three of the four games.

    It’s also be nice to have more control over what you can do. Eg there’s no way to put in powerups that “stack”, like if you hit it as small Mario a mushroom comes out, but you need to make it there as Super Mario to get the fireflower/leaf/feather/whatever instead. Also not being able to make vertical levels. Have a little more camera control, like being able to fix it on a particular area until you move beyond it. All sorts of niggling little things like that.

    I mean it’s still a great little package and everything, just disappointing how some of the limitations are starting to show after spending some time with it.

    • The switch thing was a bit weird to me too. They made sure you can’t pick up shells etc in SMB, so why the glaring omission to SMB3 for switches?

      They need to add a dynamic item for the power ups (mushroom>flower/leaf etc). I do miss that too.

    • I hear you on the limitations, there are some workarounds like P positioning in SMB3 by putting it in a 1 block hole. Slopes and diagonal pipes I would love to see as well as the little corner block that lets you run up walls in SMW but I can see why with the limitations of SMB1. If SMB1 got relegated to its own palette though, the issue would go away. I think Nintendo are listening to feedback though, unlocking for example. Give it a while for people to settle in then release as free DLC. Nintendo have been surprisingly good about their DLC in the past.

  • I’m having a lot of fun with it.

    Off TV play is perfect for this game as well. Creating an in-depth level can take hours so it’s great not having to hog the TV from everybody (especially because creating levels isn’t exactly riveting for everybody else in the room to watch :P)

    I hope they patch in a better rating system for creator feedback though. Anything that can help me realise why people don’t like a level so I can improve my next one (something more in-depth than star or no star).

  • Loving it, the only negative thing is that I’ve been sleeping at like 2am every night because I’ve been playing, but that’s due to my own lack of self control.

  • I would love for them to patch it and give us more options, like sloping paths, a bigger play area (I want more vertical space) and the ability to link sets of levels together so you can make your own ‘series’

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