Why Super Mario Maker On The WiiU Is A Great Representation of Life As An Artist
Super Mario Bros. is officially turning 30 years old on September 13, 2015. (Boy, I feel old.) Over the past three decades, Mario and Luigi have had countless adventures where they’ve had to rescue Princess Toadstool from Bowser, scale Donkey Kong’s barrels, and race to the finish line to name a few. The Super Mario Bros. games have come a long way and evolved with the times beautifully. But for a lot of people (myself included), it’s still not enough. We want more!
I’ve written reviews in the past about previous Super Mario Bros. titles.
Game hackers created alternate emulators of the game on their own with wonderful results. Some are even self-playing that result in a tribute to the game’s mechanics and physics. But the WiiU has just stepped it up in ways all gamers-from casual to hardcore alike-could only dream of for so long. Not only is Super Mario Maker a testament to the history of the Super Mario Bros. franchise, but to me it is also comparable to life as an artist. How is Super Mario Maker comparable to life as an artist?
Follow me down the warp zone on this one…
The sole purpose of the game is to use your imagination to create something out of nothing. Not only do you get to do that, but you also get to share it with the world for everyone to see and play through. And isn’t that what all artists want? A way to share their creations and ideas with the world. You can publish your levels on the Nintendo WiiU server for fellow gamers all around the world to partake in your creation. These levels are then rated by the players who play through the levels and rate them. Percentages are shown of the total of players who complete your level. Data is shown as to where previous level runners have died in the level when you do. You can then choose to follow the designers of these levels and get alerts whenever they publish a new level creation. You can utilize the graphics, physics, power-ups, enemies, sound effects, and more from every previous Mario title from 8-bit graphics to current. You can mix and match. You can change color-schemes. You can even modify existing game elements in ways that have never been done before, like make enemies even bigger so that they take up the whole screen.
The game does have some very minor things that I have issue with that I’m hoping could be corrected either in patches or even future sequels. The first of which is that there are no half-way markers for levels. Technically it makes sense so people don’t create their levels to be so long, but there’s already a limited amount of data available for each level you create. Also, the game takes on graphical views from Super Mario Bros. titles going back from the 8-bit to current as I had mentioned before EXCEPT for Super Mario Bros. 2… What’s up with that? Maybe I want to glide Princess Toadstool across a level and fight a Birdie at the end accompanied by a slots game at the end of each level.
This is literally an infinite Super Mario Bros. game and the crazy thing is that you can have infinite options and things to do in the game without ever having to create a single level yourself. If you really think about it, it’s a testament to how genius the level designers have been over the last 30 years regarding difficulty and balance. A great addition to any gaming collection and any age. Super Mario Maker above all, in my opinion, brings together Mario players of all generations together in a way certainly like never before, and it is glorious.