Super Mario Maker 3DS Review.

A tower of Goombas with a Bowser on top, swimming between a narrow path of spikes, jumping on trampolines that fall from the sky: we are of course talking about Super Mario Maker for the 3DS!

After the success of Mario Maker for the WII U, Nintendo is now also releasing the 3DS version. We have tested it for you and read our verdict here.

Super Mario Maker 3DS Review

Central to Mario Maker is the design of different levels. Here you are free to build and craft what you want, anything your imagination can handle. Almost all building resources are taken from the WII U version. You can create levels in 4 different Super Mario styles. This will make every level you create feel like new. So endless fun.

Go get creative

When you turn on the game you can actually start building right away. Everything happens on the bottom screen. Here you can start building the levels. On the top and side of your screen you see the tools to build with. On your top screen you can see what the end result will look like. This has not changed with the Wii U version.

Super Mario Maker 3DS Review

Due to a smaller screen, all objects look a bit smaller. Still, it’s all good to see. Nintendo has come up with handy solutions to ensure that everything remains clear and good to work with.

A strange bird

When you are building you will see the elements at the top of your lower screen that you can drag to your level via the stylus. Not everything will be released in the beginning, but we will come back to how you do that later.

Super Mario Maker 3DS Review

You can make the levels in 4 different styles: Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros. Switching between levels is smooth and fun. Every time you switch it seems like a completely different level.

If you can’t figure it out, you can easily enlist the help of Mashiko or the ‘funny/crazy’ pigeon Yamamura.

Super Mario Maker 3DS Review

Are you new to creating Mario Levels? Then follow the lessons of Mashiko and Yamamaura to learn how to design step by step in an easy and understandable way. You are free to stop the lessons at any time. The lessons are also not compulsory, which is nice for people who are already familiar with the WII U version.

However, there are some design limitations. For example, you cannot make levels in the desert or let Mario slide down a hill.

Mario doesn’t know WIFI (and Amiibo)

When you have used every bit of creativity to make a level, you want to share it with the rest of the world as quickly as possible (just like with the WII U). And then you get to the point.. Super Mario Maker 3DS does not support online support. It is therefore not possible to put your created level online. This is the biggest flaw of the whole game. Fortunately, you can still share your level via Streetpass or a local network, but if you live in a farming village like me, the chance that you will meet someone is approximately equal to 0%. Sharing therefore requires that you have to encounter via Streetpass or whether you have friends who also have the game.

Super Mario Maker 3DS Review

While you could very easily look up users on the WII U, this is also impossible with the 3DS. You can play a limited number of levels online that people have made on the Wii U, but you cannot star or comment on them. Furthermore, when you have played a nice level, you cannot search for this user to play more levels. You also cannot save the level. With this, making friends via Super Mario Maker has disappeared like snow in the sun.

Furthermore, there is no known amiibo support in the 3DS version. This made making a Nintendo character related level so much fun. Playing as Link in a Mario style dungeon, or playing as Captain Falcon is now no longer possible. It’s not entirely clear why Nintendo did this. It will probably have to do with too little space.

Despite these major flaws, there is still enough levels to play and you can enjoy this game for a long time. It only takes some getting used to if you are used to the WII U version.

Super Mario Maker 3DS Review

Still a great offer

And let’s be honest: the selection of Wii U levels has become huge in the last year. Not all of them are accessible, however: some levels are so rich in detail that they are simply too heavy for the 3DS. Fortunately, these are just exceptions. Almost all levels rated by players are available, but unfortunately the option to rank them by rating is missing.

You can classify them by difficulty. It’s still fun to discover levels. This is best done in the ‘100 Mario Challenge’, where you, armed with 100 lives, play a number of random levels in a row.

In addition, Nintendo has still drawn from its own funds. The Japanese game farmer has designed a hundred original levels especially for the 3DS, spread over eighteen different worlds. These are packed with ideas that you can use in your own creations. Each level also contains an extra challenge, with which you can earn medals. The assignments are as diverse as they are hilarious. For example, in the first world you have to get through a level by burning Piranha plants as Fire Flower Mario.

Mario is putting on some pounds!

The further you get in the levels created by Nintendo, the more difficult the assignments become. For example, in the third world, Mario must reach the final goal without jumping. He can only jump via trampolines and other jumping objects. This way, playing Mario levels is fresh and fun to play again.

Super Mario Maker 3DS Review

When you have achieved such a special goal you will receive a medal. Each level has 2 attainable medals. If you have achieved both medals, you can also edit the level yourself via Levelbot. When you have completed a world you get new elements to use while designing the levels.

Because you have to do something to unlock new elements, it ensures that you keep playing. The levels are also built in such a way that while you play you also get inspiration to be able to apply the elements you are going to unlock right away.

Mario has a slight downgrade visually

The transition to the 3DS has been almost flawless. The game cannot be played in 3D, while it was possible in the previous Mario titles. Now I personally don’t even mind that, but the fact that the New Super Mario Bros style visually looks quite downgraded does. The image is a lot less sharp and overall I don’t think it looks nice. This is also due to the black bars that you see on the top screen on the sides.

Super Mario Maker 3DS Review

Complete Mario package on the 3DS

Super Mario Maker 3DS, despite some limitations, is the most complete and versatile Mario game to appear on a portable handheld. Because there can be played infinitely and there are enough things to unlock, this game will keep you entertained. The possibilities are endless. The medals are also great for when you’re playing at a time when you don’t have internet. The eternal sin that made Super Mario Maker 3DS is not having online support.

Not having online support makes Super Mario Maker 3DS a lesser version than its predecessor. It remains a great experience. If you don’t have a WII U and you are creative (recommended) then this game is really for you. If you are not that creative, you will mainly have it in the Quest to get all the medals.