Finally, after four long years of waiting, we get a chance to construct some creative and even devious Super Mario levels, thanks to Super Mario Maker 2.
For those not familiar with the first game, Super Mario Maker basically gives you, the player, a toolbox filled with all kinds of level-creating wonderfulness and tasks you to create your own levels by dragging and dropping different elements.
These levels can be themed around any of the previous Super Mario games, such as Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros U.
Super Mario Maker 2 adds a brand new Super Mario 3D World theme, which, unlike the previous themes, can’t be interchanged as it includes a few new mechanics not found in the other themes. For example, the catsuit, clear pipes and the mushroom trampoline. The new theme also adds a few new enemies and a stylish Koopa Troopa car which Mario can use.
There is no doubt that each player will have their own favourite theme with each oozing charm as you would expect.
Players are free to design these levels as they see fit and share it with friends and other players online.
While the base mechanics from the original is still here, Nintendo has introduced quite a few significant improvements to Super Mario Maker 2. Where the first game already gave would-be level designers a ton of options and elements to use, Super Mario Maker 2 just builds upon that adding some really intuitive new tools.
Some of the more noteworthy additions are:
- The ability to customise your level’s scroll trajectory, speed and more.
- The new on/off switch which lets players, among other things, activate red and blue blocks and change tracks and conveyer belt directions.
- The ability to switch levels from day to night, which affects how some objects function.
All these new additions along with some others ensure that players will have hours of fun creating their own levels.
Among all the new additions, the new Clear Conditions has to be my personal favourite. Basically, players can now set custom conditions for when a level can be cleared. These can include collecting a certain amount of coins or even just beating a boss. It might seem like a small addition but just like the others, it’s these small additions that allow even more intricate and creatively designed levels to be created.
Creating your own levels might sound daunting at first, especially when considering just who much Nintendo has added to the sequel, but, luckily, the controls and UI is very intuitive.
I initially had some trouble creating levels and moving around elements with the Joy-cons when using the Switch in docked mode but, after some trial and error, it became a lot easier to create my own levels. Naturally, when using the Switch in handheld mode things get a lot simpler as the touch screen makes moving and selecting different elements a breeze.
If building your own Super Mario levels sounds intimidating, Super Mario Maker 2 also introduces a Story Mode for those looking for a more structured experience. It’s not anything Oscar-worthy but it does do an admirable job of keeping you playing.
Peach’s castle has been destroyed and it’s once again up to Mario to save the day, not by beating up the various bad guys, but by collecting as many coins as possible in order to have the funds to rebuild the castle piece by piece. Along the way, you’ll interact with some of the characters helping with the rebuilding efforts and receive various jobs from them. Each job’s difficulty is indicated by a star rating, the more difficult the level the more coins you earn from completing it.
Jobs basically consists of completing one of over 100 Nintendo created levels. Some of these levels can be quite a challenge to complete but, luckily, Luigi is there to help, as you can call upon the green-clad fellow to complete the levels that you find difficult for you. This might sound like cheating, but this option only becomes available when you’ve failed a couple of times and the game realises that you might be struggling.
What makes Story Mode such a great addition is that it serves as a way to showcase just what can be done with the level editing tools. Playing this mode helped me get my creative juices flowing.
Lastly, Super Mario Maker 2 also throws multiplayer into the mix. Yes, that’s right, you and three other players can now try and complete some of the user created levels together. Multiplayer ranges from fun to frustrating as you would expect. Stealing powerups from each other, bumping each other off ledges and running around as maniacs did make for a fun and chaotic experience. There is a lot of potential in creating multiplayer specific levels and I can’t wait to see what the community comes up with.
As with the first game, players can share their courses and play courses designed by others. Super Mario Maker 2 makes searching for courses a breeze as it allows you to set up specific filters so that you can find the type of courses that pique your interest quickly and easily. It all just works really well.
There were times when I couldn’t believe what some of my fellow level designers came up with and it drove me to be more creative and try something brand new. In the end, this is what Super Mario Maker 2 is all about: having fun, being creative and sharing with a community. In all these respects, Super Mario Maker 2 succeeds with flying colours.
Super Mario Maker 2
Super Mario Maker 2 builds upon the mechanics of the first game and adds a whole bunch of new stuff to make creating your own Super Mario levels even more fun.
- Single player content
- Creating levels is a breeze
- Clear conditions
- All the new stuff
- Creating levels in Dock mode can be tricky
- Storyline 0%
- Gameplay 0%
- Graphics 0%
- Replay Value 0%
- Sound and Music 0%