Yeah, you did indeed read the title right. Now first off, I think I need to give a bit of a disclaimer here. I do not think the Super Mario Maker games are bad by any means. In fact, each of them are among my favorite games for their respective consoles, even the notorious Nintendo 3DS version. However, the New Super Mario Bros series is personally a favorite of mine, I’ve grown up with these games, and they’ve always held a special place in my heart. I have replayed all of them countless times over the years, and I have played them to 100% completion before as well. So it’s safe to assume at this point, I am a big fan of 2D Mario games.

Now like most kids, I was introduced to the New Super Mario Bros series with the installments on the Nintendo DS and Wii. I remember going to GameStop on launch when I was only nine years old to pick up New Super Mario Bros Wii on release, and I remember going home super excited to play the game. Shortly afterwards I acquired a copy of New Super Mario Bros for my DS. These games were no doubt some of my most played games as a kid. A few years later, I acquired New Super Mario Bros 2 for my Nintendo 3DS and I eventually purchased a Wii U specifically to play New Super Mario Bros U on my Wii U. Now like most people, at this point, after playing each game to the fullest, I was burnt out on the series. It felt like the series to me had ran its course, and there was no where farther the series could be taken.

Only a few years later, Super Mario Maker had arrived, and it really changed the 2D Mario landscape, seemingly for the better. It was no doubt one of the best games to own on the Wii U, and one of my personal favorites as well. At that point, I was one of the many who declared that the New Super Mario Bros series was not needed to continue and that it was best to leave it in the past. Super Mario Maker including an infinite amount of levels in your hands made me feel like there was no turning back.

Fast forward several years later, New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe, and enhanced port of the Wii U version was released onto the Nintendo Switch. So I decided to relive old memories I had with the original 2012 game, and picked it up. To my surprise, I had a blast with it, playing the game again made me fall back in love with 2D Mario after taking a break from Super Mario Maker for a while. It made me desire more, so at that point I was eagerly waiting for Super Mario Maker to hear to the Nintendo Switch. To my surprise, a month later it was announced that a sequel to the Wii U original was coming in just a few months. So on release day, I picked up Super Mario Maker 2. However, after playing it for a while, something felt off.

Super Mario Maker 2 is a fantastic game, don’t get me wrong, but playing it made me realize a lot of things that I didn’t realize the first time around. For starters, I think the novelty of creating your own Mario levels has worn off a lot, and the stuff that you find in course world shows. It seems like there’s significantly more garbage in course world than ever before, it feels like a lot of people are extremely uninspired with their creations. Now of course, there’s a lot of fantastic creations too, but I feel like it’s much harder to find the best courses to play this time around. Not to mention it’s no secret that creating levels is not nearly as convenient this time around with the Nintendo Switch. This is surely an unpopular opinion, but I feel like the fact that scrolling through course world, 90% of the levels you’ll run into are not worth playing is a massive turn off from even bothering to check the selection to begin with.

Another thing I noticed this time around is that the excitement and anticipation for Super Mario Maker 2 died down significantly quicker throughout the Nintendo community than it did for the original game on the Wii U. In less than a month, I noticed a minuscule amount of people discussing the game and sharing level creations compared to its release week. To me it just seemed like the game has not clicked with people as much as expected. I should also note that as of right now, New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe has sold more copies than Super Mario Maker 2 by over half a million. This is very surprising also taking into consideration one is a port of a 2012 game and one is a brand new sequel to a very popular game from the previous generation.

So with all that being said, what I’m trying to say is this. It is clear that the novelty of Super Mario Maker seems to be wearing off now. Making levels might even be less accessible than it already has been come next generation. Also, there’s only so much they could continue to add on to make each new Super Mario Maker release stand out amongst each other. However, New Super Mario Bros has a lot more potential, because the levels are in the hands of professionals. While they have been somewhat basic in the past, the team could use some inspiration from the good Super Mario Maker levels to create something special for the next New Super Mario Bros game. Also, the style could be changed to something more similar to the Super Mario 3D World style in Super Mario Maker 2, which would give the New Super Mario Bros series a nice, fresh coat of paint. New bosses could be added and new world themes could be added as well to make the next game stand out. As a big issue some of the later games in the New Super Mario Bros series had were that they felt a tad bit too similar in certain fields.

Despite all what I’ve said here, I still love the Super Mario Maker series, I think Super Mario Maker 2 is currently one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch. However, just because I love the game, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t acknowledge its issues, and there are some big problems that not only this game has, but the series is starting to have as well. The New Super Mario Bros series is by no means perfect either and has had several issues in the past, I won’t deny that fact. However, so much time has passed since the last new installment in the series that the big wound it once had has almost entirely healed. I think if Nintendo truly put some love and care and listened to the past criticisms, the next installment in the New Super Mario Bros series could be a true gem for its respective system, just like the original was, which started it all.

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