This year marks Super Mario Bros. 35th anniversary! As a result Nintendo are really going to town, celebrating with such new titles as Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Super Mario 35. Everyone on my Switch friend list seems to be currently working through some Mario titles or other!
The wee plumber’s been on my mind recently too. It was just last year that I discovered the best Mario platformer I’ve played in nearly 30 years.
In The Beginning
Mario side scrollers were my introduction to the gaming world in the late 1980s. I began with the utterly magical Super Mario Bros. 2, moving swiftly on to the formidable Super Mario Land. I also got fully to grips with the other Super Mario Bros. titles the NES had to offer. I skipped the SNES era but have owned every Nintendo console since (apart from Wii U). I persisted with playing Mario platformers, hoping to rediscover that joy these early Mario titles had brought me. But I could not…
The New Super Mario Bros. games were shiny at first but soon felt repetitive, and as if they went on forever. Yoshi 64 and Super Princess Peach were quirky and memorial, but still did not hit that sweet spot for me. None did. I even tried Super Mario Run but no dice.
Then, finally, in 2019 I came across a Super Mario side scrollers that, once again, imbued me that much missed sense of adventure. The bizarre thing was, it was a game within a game. Albeit a very well done and we’ll fleshed out one. I am talking about the Super Mario Maker 2 Story Mode. Hear me out!
Built Across Generations
The SMM2 Story Mode has 120 levels. These were designed to show off, one by one, the various play mechanisms possible in the game. My gosh, there are a lot! Although I’ve played the franchise extensively there were many new ways of playing for me to get to grips with. And I found myself genuinely stumped on countless occasions! And I loved that, it’s been too long since I really felt that sense of challenge.
The fact the levels are presented across five Mario game styles, with 10 level themes in addition, mean the visuals and sound never get boring. Mario controls differently depending on the game style you’re playing in, further mixing things up. This is something I also appreciated in the mighty Sonic Generations also (a firm favourite of my millennial generation).
Build A New Adventure
The level editor and community levels just feel like additional bonuses to me. I will say, though, that when I do play fan-made levels my mind is further blown. It is genuinely refreshing to play level arrangements not put together by the original team. They are as wacky and diverse as the day is long, an explosion of new ways to play Mario. For those who enjoy taking part in online communities you’ll find bustling forums dedicated to the title on most social media sites, Reddit and Facebook included, where you can chat and share levels. Some players have even taken things one step forward and showcased community levels on their Twitch and YouTube channels. We seriously recommend checking out DGR. If he can’t get you hyped for this title, no one can!
If you’dd like to find out more about Super Mario Maker 2 here’s the link to the official page on the Nintendo website. For more on Mario titles, including information on the Super Mario 3D All-Stars, check out the official website.
Article by Helen Doherty