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Super Mario Maker 3DS Review

Super Mario Maker 3DS Review: Now you can design and build your own Mario levels on the move, with the Nintendo 3DS version of Super Mario Maker. Here’s our full review.

Back in the day I used to love sketching out my very own super-fiendish computer game levels in the back of my jotter. My creations were hideously sadistic, throwing endless fireballs, spiked boulders and ravenous beasties at the hapless player, to ensure their near-instant demise. And now, over two decades on, I’m realising those bloodthirsty dreams with Super Mario Maker on the Nintendo 3DS.

This level creation tool first appeared on the Wii U, and now Nintendo has ported it over to the portable 3DS console. Which makes perfect sense, because the stylus is a brilliant tool for crafting your own worlds.

Of course, building Mario levels can be quite a complex activity, so Super Mario Maker 3DS includes a whole bunch of tutorials to help you get started. These virtual guides (hosted by a pigeon – don’t ask) are fun and interactive, and a great starting point for everyone. Even younger gamers will pick up the basics in no time.

Once you feel confident enough, you can dive straight into the Mario Maker 3DS creation tool. This is surprisingly easy to get to grips with, yet also complex enough to craft some truly imaginative levels.

First, pick the theme of your level, such as water or ghost house. You get a handful to choose from and can change it up at any time. You can also switch between different generations of Mario, from the original Super Mario Bros to the Wii U version, depending on whether you want a retro look and feel or something a bit more modern.

WIth that done, you can start to add blocks, enemies, obstacles and the rest. You get a decent selection of stuff to start with, but can expand this by playing the Super Mario Challenge levels. You also get a funky selection of special effects to play with, which activates sounds and visual effects to spook or delight your players. You can also add the likes of auto-scroll and a timer, to force your players along to the end.

Mistakes are easy to erase and you can also play any part of a level at any time, so you can tweak them to get them just right. And when you’re happy with a level, you can name it and place it in your own Mario game. You get a blank canvas of 30 worlds, each with 4 levels apiece, so you’ve got plenty of space to fill up. Of course, these levels are easy to share with friends and random strangers via Streetpass and, and you can try out other gamers’ creations just as easily.

If you want to take a break from creation, the Challenge courses should keep you going for ages. You have 100 in all to blast through and each one is essentially a crazy Mario level as designed in the game itself. You have set objectives to beat, which often demands dozens of replays in order to accomplish. You won’t even be told what a load of the objectives are until you complete them, which is almost as sadistic as those levels I used to sketch out.

You can download Super Mario Maker 3DS from today, or grab it from your friendly local high street games retailer.

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