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Super Mario Maker (3DS) Snapshot Review

So is Super Mario Maker as much fun on the 3DS as it was on the Wii U?


The answer to that lead-in is, of course, yes. Super Mario Maker is a ton of fun on both Nintendo’s home and away consoles. But you probably knew that already. After all, we’re talking about a game that lets you make Super Mario courses in four different flavors. I mean, how bad could it be?

So the rub here is that you can craft Super Mario courses, that much you know. Super Mario Maker includes four different tile sets, all of which represent the major evolutions of the character and his world.

What you won’t find here are sets based on GameBoy titles or Super Mario Bros. 2. The former is understandable, but the latter? Eh, not so much really. SMB2 is a favorite for many, and while it might be the black sheep of the family, it’s an unarguable classic. I felt that SMM on the Wii U should have had it, and I feel the same way about this incarnation.

Still, it’s not a huge loss, because what you can do in this game is pretty magical. Though… there is one massive and glaring omission. But more on that (ominously) later.

Makin’ Mario

If you’ve played the Wii U SMM, then you’ll automatically be right at home here. The game runs more or less the same on the 3DS, with some little tweaks here and there, though nothing of note that I’ve seen.

You can place characters, tiles, mystery boxes and landscape features with a stroke of the stylus. Want to add a Goomba into that box and give Mario a lousy time? You can. Want to add wings onto another? That’ll work too, and you can even stick sound effects into different placesand really throw people off.

You can let your imagination run, and that’s half the fun with this ‘game’.

Wii U screen shown, but you get the idea

Ease of use

Everything in the game is drag and drop. So if you do want to put that aforementioned mushroom-man into the ‘?’ block, then all you have to do is tap the menu that has the enemies in it, and drag him over with the stylus.

There are some exceptions to this of course. In some instances, you can variate items and characters by ‘shaking’ them… basically by moving the stylus back and forth in a quick motion. It’s all very simple though, and there are precious few things that’ll present themselves as a mystery.

Basically, you’ll be crafting levels in no time flat from the moment you boot up the game card.

Looks and sound

Do you like almost any era of Super Mario Bros (not SMB2 obviously)? Then you’ll love this. Everything from the original SMB, SMB3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros is present and accounted for. If there’s anything that’s been left on the cutting room floor, I haven’t seen it yet. Super Mario Maker is as complete as you could hope in terms of graphics and audio.

Even the music from each era is intact, and SMB3 has the little bonus boxes as ‘end of level’ points instead of the flagpoles. It can be as though you’re playing a course from the original game. Can be.

I have to add that, since unless you’re making a level to your specific taste, you might not be completely enraptured with the choices available to play through. And that brings me to a big downer.

Still a Wii U screen. For some reason, we had trouble getting 3DS shots

Limited online capability

I was totally unaware of this. Totally. When I turned on SMM though, I got aquatinted with its lack of online features pretty fast.

In the Wii U version of the game, there are featured courses that gift players with bonus costumes for Mario to wear. They’re pretty cool and can deck out the little guy in suits from other Nintendo games, and even some completely different properties. You won’t find those here.

You also won’t find the ability to upload courses that you’ve made. Yep, I know. There’s no way around that not being a massive bummer, but there it is. If you make a course in SMM on the 3DS, you can play it on the 3DS. If a friend wants to log onto the Nintendo ‘network’ and download it though, they’re out of luck.

I also found the courses that were available to be somewhat limited. I don’t know, it could have been just me, but they seem way less interesting and way more gimmicky than the majority of what I’ve played via my Wii U. Just a thought.

Still though, if all you’re looking to do is craft some levels to play through, or run through a few courses of dubious quality to while away some time, then you’ll have a good time. And really, I can’t crap on too much here.

We’re talking about Super Mario Maker on the 3DS after all. And that’s something that’s undeniably cool that I don’t think any Nintendo fan was even expecting.

Not without its downside

Legendary graphics and sound - 90%
Top notch creation features - 90%
Lack of some online features is a poison mushroom - 70%



Still fun and loaded with plenty to do, Super Mario Maker is somewhat inferior to its console bro. While the looks, sound, and creation features are all great, there's no ability to upload your created courses and the selection of what's averrable to play through (made by Wii U gamers) feels limited.

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About Jason

Jason's been knee deep in videogames since he was but a lad. Cutting his teeth on the pixely glory that was the Atari 2600, he's been hack'n'slashing and shoot'em'uping ever since. Mainly an FPS and action guy, Jason enjoys the occasional well crafted title from every genre.

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