It has been a long time coming, but it’s finally arrived: The long awaited Super Mario Maker 2! With Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, only one game kept people from unplugging their Wii U and shelving it for good. The first Mario Maker was a pleasant surprise, a diamond in the rough for its’ time. Super Mario Maker 2 is no different.
Super Mario Maker 2 has 100+ levels made directly by Nintendo in its story mode and each one of them feel like they serve a purpose. The majority of levels within the story mode are used to show the new additions to the game whilst some play off of the nostalgia that is associated with previous Mario games. Many of the levels could be considered contenders for the top 2D Mario levels in series history. The story itself is quite simple, a dog named “Undodog” destroys Peach’s castle and you (Mario) have to complete jobs in order to raise money to rebuild it. The story itself is true to Mario tradition but many of the new characters that you interact with are a breath of fresh air and absolutely ooze creativity, this makes you wonder just how the development team came up with them. The single player story mode is exactly what you’d want in a new Mario Maker game and overall is just loads of fun to play!
Whether you’re finished with the well crafted story mode Nintendo has to offer and still craving more, or you are just taking a break from making courses to play a quick match or two, Course World has it all. Each level in this game mode is handcrafted by another player like you and I! Ranging from easy mode containing auto scrolling levels where you can sit back and listen to music and watch the scenery to normal mode: levels that are around the same difficulty of World – 1 levels in standard Mario games, to expert levels: for those who want to spice it up and add a bit of a challenge to their game, to super expert: insanely difficult levels for only those who are willing to go through trial and error to achieve success!
Nintendo really outdid themselves with this game, and course maker is one of the areas where it shines most. When playing the original Mario Maker, we had two screens to work on: The Wii U Game pad, and your TV/Monitor. In Super Mario Maker 2, the game developers had less to work with, and still managed to succeed. The biggest flaw is that everything is a bit more condensed because you only have one screen to work on now, but you can easily adapt to this with a bit of practice. The controls are much different in TV mode as well, because you have to use the joysticks to move each block individually, and if you are in handheld mode with both joycons on the side, you can only use the joystick to move Mario around the course, and you can’t use buttons for anything else.
- The story mode is an excellent addition that will inspire and give you ideas for making your own courses
- Course World is back and better than ever! Featuring a tag system, to help other players find what they are looking for in a level with ease, and a sticker system for players to encourage others makes for a very positive experience.
- An all new feedback system for Course World – In the original Mario Maker you were only given the option to say “I like it!” but now there is a “Boo!” option as well, to give the level designer some feedback on what to change.
- Through completing set challenges across course maker, you can unlock clothing for your Mii character, to give it spirit when playing Co-Op or competitive matches.
- The game features a simple, yet useful tutorial for first time course makers, but no longer requires you to unlock assets of the course, for those raring to make new levels from the start.
- The game features a new style of course based off of Super Mario 3D World adding even more variety to the game.
- The online multiplayer is a bit finicky at times, with stuttering and the occasional lag, which can make some courses hard to complete.
- Course Maker is a bit less intuitive, and controls are varied based on what position your switch is in at the time.
- The 3D World course style is not compatible with the other styles, so if you want to swap your course to that mode, you will have to remake the whole course.
- The lack of Amiibo support means we don’t get to play levels in custom costumes such as: Pikachu, Link, Mega-man etc.
The Final Verdict:
Super Mario Maker 2 is an extremely polished game, worth playing to veterans of the franchise and newcomers alike.
Ian Roberts & Isaiah Pander