Super Mario Maker for Wii U: The Toilet ov Hell Review

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Nintendo just gave us the keys to the most widely-known franchise in all of video gaming. Try not to screw it up.

I have played Mario games for almost my entire life. From trying desperately to conquer Super Mario Bros. on our used NES with my siblings to playing Super Mario Bros. 3 with my grandfather when we’d go visit him in Michigan to the joy of exploring the 3D world of the Mushroom Kingdoom on my N64 on Thanksgiving to even playing through Super Mario 3D World with my wife earlier this year, I can think of very few characters or series that have had as much of a constant presence in my life as Nintendo’s flagship franchise. It was with great delight, then, that I saw last year that Nintendo was hard at work on a level-building system for gaming’s most famous plumber.

It still seems a bit strange that the notoriously controlling Nintendo created this game, but when you consider that the Wii U finally provided the requisite equipment necessary to make this dream become reality, you suddenly realize that it makes perfect sense. There are thousand of adults just like me who grew up playing Mario games; it seems only natural that the company, now that the right tools have been developed, would grant us access to their world and give us the proper palette to make stages for the younger generation. And what a palette it is! Super Mario Maker allows you to develop stages of variable length using items, enemies, and environs from Super Mario Bros. (NES), Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES), Super Mario World (SNES), and New Super Mario U (Wii U). Just grab your Wii U gamepad, pick your game template, pick your background, and have it!

What I love most about this game is how intuitive it feels to build a level. Just grab some item, enemy, or stage block from one of the five tool sets and drag it onto the screen. Want to change that Green Koopa Troopa into a Red Koopa Troopa? No problem; just grab him and give him a little shake with the stylus. Want to make Bowser gigantic? Easy peasy; just drag a Super Mushroom onto the Koopa King, and badda bing, you have a gigantic end boss for your stage. The level building component of this game is so simple, easy, and enjoyable that just about anyone can make a stage. As an added bonus, the developers have retconned the game templates for Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario World so that you can add items, enemies, and scenarios that may not have been present in those games. Want to battle Bowser Jr. in a Koopa Clown Car on an airship stage with the original Super Mario Bros. graphics? You can do that! The sheer volume of items at your fingertips paves the way for some truly unique gaming experiences that you may never encounter in an official Mario game.

However, this game’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. Anyone can make anything! Unfortunately, this has led to a whole lot of crappy stages that are either inhumanly difficult or just downright un-fun to play. Levels can be accessed in multiple ways. There’s a “10-Mario Challenge” using Nintendo-official stages that show off what the software can do. More importantly, though, is “Course World”. From here, you can access the “100-Mario Challenge”, a random sample of user-created stages, or you can browse through uploaded stages and find one that strikes your fancy. Unfortunately, playing through a “100-Mario Challenge” will undoubtedly expose you to a number of poorly-designed stages. Moreover, “Course World” seems to favor whatever types of stages are the current paradigm, so the limited sorting options can make it difficult to find something you’ll enjoy.

However, this is less of a gripe with the system than it is with the user-base. When you have a random sample of people like me who have been playing Mario games their entire lives mixed with kids whose first consoles may be the Wii U, you’re likely to find variation in quality. Rather than being bummed by this, though, I choose to believe in the community. As the initial glimmer of “Automatic Mario” stages wears off, I believe the community will get better at level building, and more good designs will emerge. Plus, Nintendo has done a great job of supporting its software for this console, so I don’t doubt that some updates and patches in the future will address some of the stage-sorting grievances.

As it is, though, Super Mario Maker should be judged by what it has rather than what it doesn’t have. Sure, there are plenty of things I’d like to see added to the game (bigger enemies, midway flags, a more dedicated campaign mode), but the stock software already offers so many possibilities that new permutations of traditional Mario stages and unconventional levels that turn the franchise’s concepts on their heads will continue to emerge. At this point, I should note that Nintendo added a pretty neat system whereby players can access different 8-bit character costumes either through Mystery Mushrooms or through the use of Amiibo. These mushrooms add an entirely new layer of gameplay that has inspired some makers to build stages based on other franchises. Check out the Legend of Zelda dungeon below for an example.

One last thing I’d like to note is that the music in this game is excellent. From the tried-and-true classics like the Super Mario Bros. 3 “Airship Theme” to new tracks created for the retrofitted NES Ghost House stages (see below), the always memorable and hook-laden Mario songs are present in full force. Even the “Maker Menu” remix tracks are fantastic.

As it is, Super Mario Maker is a somewhat flawed but riveting exercise in game design based on a beloved franchise. While it may be easy to focus on what’s missing, there is more than enough included to allow the dedicated level builders to create some truly unique stages. Even more importantly, though, this game provides a solid bridge between those of us who grew up with Mario and the new generation who may be experiencing some of the greatest games ever made for the first time. For connecting the old and the new, the nostalgic and the jaded, the noobs and the pros, and for doing so in the particularly endearing and kooky way that only exists in the world of Mario, I give Super Mario Maker 4.5/5 toilets. Now go buy the game and console!

TOILETSCALE_4-5_of_5

(Photo VIA)

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  • Maik Beninton™
    • Maik Beninton™
      • This shit is absurd

      • Count_Breznak

        Meh, for maso-platformers you got solgryn/grynsoft.

        • Maik Beninton™

          Wat?

          • Count_Breznak

            The whole “let’s make levels/platformers as difficult as possible” thing has been going on for a couple of years, pretty much starting with Super Meat Boy. And from there it’s I wanna by the guy/boshy, Wings of Vi, Volgarr the Viking and so on and so forth. The middle two being created by solgryn.

    • pïgchop™
    • Óðinn
      • more beer

        That is talent!

    • Óðinn
      • more beer

        I used to bang a chick who would do that while we were fucking! She was a lot of fun.

        • pïgchop™

          Finish the story!

          • more beer

            What do you want to know? She was a pretty freaky girl.

          • pïgchop™

            Did she enjoy mushrooms on pizza? Beer for breakfast? Anal sex?

          • more beer

            Actually she liked all of those things. What are you banging her now?

          • KJM, Doom Hunter General

            It’s a small world.

          • more beer

            Yes it is.

          • more beer

            So I did some research and know where to buy 6 packs of Trve beers. That is the easy part. The shipping part is a little bit trickier but can be done.

          • but where can a man buy Tyrvv beer?

          • Man, I should really start brewing.

          • more beer

            You and me both. I`ve been talking to this girl who wants to partner up brewing. Maybe when work slows down in January. I will go take a class at one of the brew stores here.

          • more beer

            That I can not answer. But aren`t you supposed to not be drinking?

          • haven’t had a drop! but the people need to know…

          • more beer

            That is really good. But I just asked what local liquor stores it could be purchased at.

  • JWEG

    As I mused before when you said this review is coming up, this definitely will attract the ROM Hack community. It probably has done exactly that, the evidence being in the form of all those near-to-if-not-completely-impossible levels.

    They seem to enjoy inflicting pain upon others – like some kind of Mario Cenobites, but way nerdier.

  • RustyShackleford

    Damn wish I had a Wii U. Played someones awhile ago and had tons of fun! Kart and Smash were cool, but also some of them more minigame like things were great for hanging out and being competitive about dumb shit lol. Never been good at level creating type things but this sounds simple. Yep!

  • “Now go buy the game and console!”

  • Waynecro

    Great write-up! I haven’t played a Mario game since Super Mario Sunshine because I simply lack the patience to enjoy platforming games. I have, however, enjoyed watching the Super Beard Bros. playthroughs of Kaizo Mario. Shit’s nuts, man.

  • You had a chance to add corpse paint to Mario and you didn’t? For shame, Dubya. For shame.

    • Vote for Jeb

      I couldn’t get pixlr to work the other night and ran out of time ;(

  • Óðinn
    • Guppusmaximus

      System Requirements for Super Motorboat Maker:

      Human Head
      Functioning Neck (swivel-like action)
      Vocal Chords
      Lips

    • Melting Jack

      I’d suck those milk jugs dry i a jiffy.

      • JJD Misses Witch Ripper

        I would too.

      • Sgt. Poopypanty’s Fartin Teeth

        I’d pump her down if I had nothing better to do. And ask if she had any Latina friends.

    • BEARD OV GREAT DAWKINS

      Not my style wouldnt kidnap/10. Maybe leave by the roadside/5

      • KJM, Doom Hunter General

        would rescue/10

        • BEARD OV GREAT DAWKINS

          who knew KJM was white knight for blonde bimbos

          • KJM, Doom Hunter General

            (see: ex girlfriend)

          • BEARD OV GREAT DAWKINS

            Join the nerd girl revolution, kj!

          • KJM, Doom Hunter General

            (actually see: multiple ex girlfriends) I have a weakness for flirty blondes. It gets worse when they smoke as much herb as I do, enjoy hanging out watching cartoons & horror movies, and are down to get busy at the drop of a hat. One would almost think I’d hit the jackpot. Almost…

          • oh man, i’d be happy stopping at the “watching cartoons & horror movies” part

          • KJM, Doom Hunter General

            Oh you’d be happy, at first…

          • more beer

            What until the bipolar sets in?

          • KJM, Doom Hunter General

            Among other things, yes.

          • more beer

            Yep been there too.

          • CT-12

            Completely off topic, but Dave Depraved is the zombie dude in this video. Also, this video fucking rules and it’s almost OCTOBER!!!
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHPPR7xxraQ

          • KJM, Doom Hunter General

            Anything Blood Farmers related should never be off topic on a Metal blog.

          • KJM, Doom Hunter General

            Smoking a joint with a hot chick in a graveyard; It’s as if they’ve known me all my life.

          • JJD Misses Witch Ripper

            I have a weakness for blondes. I used to like brunettes but I don’t really anymore.

          • KJM, Doom Hunter General

            Well, I also like dark haired Goth chix too.

          • Sgt. Poopypanty’s Fartin Teeth

            Gah, I saw more than enough fat, corseted goth chicks at clubs back in Chicago. But, when you see an actually hot one, they are more like a supernova than a diamond in the rough! I’ll say this too, goth chicks are the easiest to get get laid with, hands down. Of course, it’s not a universal thing, but from my experience………. not always the best fucks though.

          • Sgt. Poopypanty’s Fartin Teeth

            Blondes and white girls in general are pretty low end on my scale, though I make exceptions here and there (Charleze Theron and Christina Hendricks come to mind). I’m mostly into Latinas (obviously), black women, and Southeast Asian women. The more exotic and fresh off the boat, the better!

      • more beer

        Dye her hair and she will be duct taped and in your trunk.

        • BEARD OV GREAT DAWKINS

          Could use a pair of glasses and some flats

          • more beer

            Wouldn`t the glasses just be in the way when you duct taping around her he to get her to be quiet?

          • BEARD OV GREAT DAWKINS

            THEY KEEP THE GLASSES ON!!!

    • Sgt. Poopypanty’s Fartin Teeth
    • CyberneticOrganism

      Heh, her breast says Nordic.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      MUSHROOMS HAVE EMPTY CALORIES AND NOT MUCH PROTEIN BRO

  • Guppusmaximus

    Shit! This is Nintendo taking baby steps…. Check this shit out:

    http://www.mariocrossover3.com/

    • Vote for Jeb

      Yup, the online community has been modding/ripping off Nintendo for a while. But this is a licensed property.

      • Sgt. Poopypanty’s Fartin Teeth

        And that makes a difference in the internet age? A few will get busted, sued, etc. and thousands will run amok. I’d put money down that if Nintendo makes a stink about this, there will be a hundred Reddit and 4Chan forums behind them (I really don’t see Reddit lasting until the end of next year, though).

  • Spear

    Nintendo has created yet another platform that is going to have to be heavily monitored for dongs.

    • Vote for Jeb

      I haven’t made any dongs yet. For that, I am ashamed.

      • BEARD OV GREAT DAWKINS

        Have you made any buttz? Or dickbuttz?

        • Vote for Jeb

          I feel like such a failure right now. No genitalia whatsoever.

      • Sgt. Poopypanty’s Fartin Teeth

        Look at my newest post. No, I haven’t done any dongs, sadly, but there’s plenty of dick and ding dong related ROM hacks out there that I-Mockery has (hilariously) reviewed.

  • JJD Misses Witch Ripper

    I bought NBA 2K8 and NHL 2K7 today for my 360.

  • BEARD OV GREAT DAWKINS

    Work is too slow tomorrow, i get the day off!

  • Looking forward to playing this with my nephew and probably down the road with my son once he’s old enough.

  • pïgchop™

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUmDfGkCjd4

    Some fun observations in the comments:

    Karangaar: “FUCKING AMAZING WAY TO BE RIDICULOUSLY
    FUCKING HEAVY – similar to a grizzly bear killing somebody with a
    chainsaw while the bear is being chopped in half by a fucking helicopter”.

    beersoffire: “this is like a tank with a chainsaw for a dick buttfucking a helicopter with no rubber and jizzing grenades inside of it. heavy”.

    Andres Yáñez: “So…where’s the doom part? Isn’t sludge metal like, hardcore+doom? And this is supposed to be thrash, too. I can hear the thrash part, I can hear the hardcore part, but where’s the doom?”

    Oh – listen to the riff at 2:53. Remind you of something?

  • pïgchop™

    Lair Of The Minotaur – Evil Power (Uncensored)

    “I HEAR VOICES!”
    Cool….cool….so what do they say?
    “EVIL POWER!”
    Cool! Wicked microwave setting. Let’s eat…these motherfuckers!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1qlKklTgGg

  • KJM, Doom Hunter General
  • Mvthvr Shvbvbv 8

    Ahem…
    *clears throat*
    *sips water*
    NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRDDDDDD

  • KJM, Doom Hunter General
    • BEARD OV GREAT DAWKINS

      I feel like this could be made to not be bad

      • KJM, Doom Hunter General

        Lose the vocalist. That’s the first thing.

        • BEARD OV GREAT DAWKINS

          I hear worse vocalists here every day. This band just needs some polish. Better production too

          • KJM, Doom Hunter General

            Too screamy and yes, better production. The riffs are okay.

          • Sgt. Poopypanty’s Fartin Teeth

            I wish these guys would get better production, but considering it’s Iran and they’re probably getting enough shit there for playing metal in the first place………….

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EARSkO4gdzs

          • KJM, Doom Hunter General

            I have a friend who’s a Metalhead in Iran(even worse for her, she’s female). Playing Metal is blasphemy which is a major crime.

          • Sgt. Poopypanty’s Fartin Teeth

            One that could get her killed, sadly.

          • KJM, Doom Hunter General

            She spends every minute of her day trying to find a way to leave.

        • Sgt. Poopypanty’s Fartin Teeth

          We’re looking at you, Periphery! And that Hamferd knockoff that was posted a few days ago. And Crematory.

  • KJM, Doom Hunter General

    Nice, basic Blues/Fuzz with some tasty leads.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olkaJ7-s3VA

  • Sgt. Poopypanty’s Fartin Teeth

    They’ve had this for quite a while. They’re called ROM hacks. And well, some of the results are, shall we say, offbeat (all of which can be seen at http://www.i-mockery.com/romhacks/ ).

    http://www.i-mockery.com/romhacks/mr-t-ate-my-balls/mrtamb02.gif
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v220/geistimsturm/rcr06.gif
    http://www.i-mockery.com/romhacks/abnormal-family/abfam9.gif

    • Vote for Jeb

      Obviously rom hacks exist. This is a licensed product, though, one that everyone can use.

  • Lacertilian

    That dude’s voice on the Zelda Dungeon video was insta-mutable.
    Use this dungeon music instead –
    https://sequesteredkeep.bandcamp.com/album/the-fortress-in-the-timeless-fog