For Christmas I surprised Dear Boyfriend with the Wii U Super Mario Maker deluxe console set. He is one of those people who is practically impossible to surprise, especially when it comes to gifts, so I had been convinced that he already knew what I was getting him.
Surprise: He didn’t! And he loved it!
I’m primarily an Xbox One gamer, while he primarily sticks to the PS4. But we’d each been wanting to try the Wii U for a while now, especially with the new Zelda game coming out sometime soon-ish.
So far the only game we’ve got for it is Super Mario Maker, which is why I got this particular package. For the most part, SMM is exactly as advertised. You, the gamer, have the ability to create a myriad of side-scrolling platforming levels … After you unlock all the features, of course! 😉
I hadn’t previously been aware that Nintendo greatly restricts your creation abilities at the beginning. Literally all you can do at first is a handful of things, like adding blocks, extending or shortening the length of the level, adding 1-up mushrooms to ? blocks, etc.
Dear Boyfriend did a bit of scouting around the Interwebz, and found that, if you just create and play new levels at an ordinary pace, you’ll receive notifications that a new “shipment” of level building tools or options will arrive, say, next Monday. (It’ll actually give you the date, and I think it will deliver on said date unless you do the trick we did).
To speed up the virtual delivery truck (which actually does make a cute little delivery truck noise that greatly confused us when we heard it, given that we were expecting a FedEx delivery IRL), you can basically go crazy on the few features you do have in level making.
And by “go crazy,” I mean create virtually – or literally – impossible levels by simply adding thousands of blocks and Koombas and mushrooms to every square on the screen, even high up into the sky. Like how Dear Boyfriend added a zillion diabolical spikes in this dungeon:
Apparently the game has some trigger for when it thinks you’ve played around enough with the existing tools to give you more fun tools.
In the photo above is one of the neat little features I liked. Namely, that you can put a tracker on Mario so that you can see exactly how high or far he jumps, so that you can place obstacles at exactly the right distance or height for optimal difficulty.
Another thing we both really like about the game is the various challenges to play levels that other users around the world have created. In order to upload one of your levels, though, you have to actually beat it yourself. In other words, no impossible levels, which would be super easy to create.
Unfortunately I had to go home after Christmas and won’t be back at my soon-to-be home until probably February, before I move there for good in late March.
So now Dear Boyfriend has time to practice SMM and create a torturous level like the Pit of Panga level below for when I get back 😉
Until then, I’ll occupy my gaming time finally playing Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, which I got for Christmas.
For now, here’s my review of SMM:
Pros – Definitely an a nice break from ‘normal’ games with campaigns. I think the biggest draw is just how interactive SMM is. Every gamer’s experience will be entirely unique, which is cool. Some of the tools we had unlocked by the time I left town were nifty, like the Mario tracker I mentioned above, and a voice recorder for custom sound effects.
Cons – Not that I expected one obviously, but there’s no story, so it doesn’t have the narrative hook that most games I love do. Also, if we didn’t know about the trick to speed up the acquisition of tools, I can imagine the first couple of weeks with the game would have gotten boring fast.
For those of you who have played around with SMM, what did you think?
Happy gaming, everyone!