Super Mario Maker is a must own for any Wii U owner and anyone that enjoys creating content. If you own a Wii U, you owe it to yourself to buy it because, let's face it, you own the system for Nintendo's high quality First Party titles and this is easily one of them, even without touching the content creation tools. The joy of playing the unique content created by other users in a the familiar Mario world is endlessly entertaining.
Playing player created levels drops you into unique situations you would never experience in a normal Mario game. The complexity of some of the levels created by players is truly amazing, and it has only officially been out a day. I can only imagine what we will have a few weeks or months from now.
However, as good as the game itself is, the creation tool is obviously the big draw for this game and it is, by far, the best content creation tool I have ever seen. You can't do ANYTHING you want like you could with true Mod tools, but what Nintendo has given us is a straight forward, easy to use set of tools, that can be used to create extremely unique levels. Do you want a level that is pure fast paced action? You can build it. Would you like build a set of Mario puzzle levels? You can do that. Do you want to see Mario morph into Mega Man and run a whole level of crazy acrobatics and a limited timer? You can do that too.
The game though is not without some flaws.
First, gating the creation tools is absurd. I understand the reasoning, but this is EXTREMELY annoying. You CAN get around this by exiting the game, setting the date forward on your console and going back into the game. However, it is inconsistent when it comes to unlocking your new tools. It claims 5 minutes, but at one point I played a half hour stretch before it gave me the message telling me I had played enough. However, this is a temporary issue, and really should not keep anyone from purchasing the game.
The other issue I have run in to, has to do with the players themselves. It should shock no one, to know that there are people out there with the simple goal in life to try to ruin other players experience. You will run into levels people created simply to torment others. I realize it sounds harsh, but here are some examples that I ran into this morning.
-A level that started off with a jump under 3 Thwomps (block guys that slam down), over top of a set of the music note bouncy blocks. You had to jump under all the while running, make a large jump across a hole onto another set of bouncy blocks, then jump on the very corner of a moving platform. It had to be the very corner though, because in the middle or other side and you were smashed by another Thwomp (block guy). And that was just the first 20% of the level. I cleared it, but it took me around 25 tries.
-A level that has you up in the air, jumping from platform to platform until you realize it leads no where. The solution? There is a tube below the screen level randomly placed in the level. The creator knows where it is and can clear the level without issue to put it up. However the only way you have of finding it, is to randomly start jumping to your death until you fall passed it, and find out it's there.
I probably went into too much detail there but you get the picture. You will run into these levels. My advice, is to skip them. I can't bring myself to but that would be my advice to others. And you can easily skip them with the press of a button and it will give you a different level instead. However, these situations, as annoying as they are, are still worth dealing with in order to experience this amazing game.
As of right now, THIS is my game of the year.