On June 28th, Nintendo released the sequel to Mario Maker 2 fans have been craving. This game has easily been one of the most anticipated and wanted Nintendo Switch game for so many people. Does the hype live up? Or is this just another example of a mediocre sequel? All of those questions and more will be answered below.
So let’s start with the making part of this game, which is improved. All of the new tools and items added into this game to build with leaves the Wii U title feeling like a beta version of Super Mario Maker 2. People are already beginning to build binary (computer language) in this game by using one of the newly added tools, the on/off blocks. The slopes also add a great amount of verticality to stages, making the stages feel much more natural than it’s Wii U counterpart. With that being said, the editor does feel a bit more crowded, leading to much more building mistakes than I had in the original. Also, the TV editor is just a mess, basically uncontrollable. Building with handheld mode is by far the most ideal option, but your fingers make it hard to see the screen, so a stylus is recommended. All of this definitely makes the editor a bit clunkier, but it’s far from bad. If you need a stylus for this game I have one I recommend highly here.
The new style to mess around with is the 3D World style, being a 2D incarnation of the mechanics of 3D world. This easily became one of my favorite styles to create with as Mario has a bigger moveset then any other style and there are plenty of new items, enemies and power ups brought in with the style. However, this style does indeed have a major flaw; unlike the other styles, you can not switch out a level you create between multiple styles. You are either committed to 3D World or you have to completely restart your level to play it in another style. Although this is understandable due to just how many new things 3D World introduces that have never been present in previous Mario games, it’s still annoying.
Not the creative type? Try the course world. This mode features levels uploaded online by players around the globe for you to play. This is by far my favorite part of this game! You can see many levels (over two million currently) by some of the most creative and excellent level designers out there. I will admit there is some garbage on the server, but it is now easier than ever to skip those levels and find great levels. In this mode I’ve been through loss (R.I.P koopa), I’ve had some laughs (thanks Potatochan) and I’ve had some rage (thanks BulbaSour). I have spent most of my hours in this mode and likely so will you. Also, if you think you’re great at this game, try endless challenge. In this mode you play through randomly selected courses to try and beat as many levels as you can before you run out of lives.
However, course world has a downside; multiplayer versus, also known as lag the mode. In multiplayer versus you are randomly paired with three other people in order to try and complete a randomly chosen level. This was my most anticipated mode, and it ended up being my least favorite. At minimum half of your matches during this mode are very laggy to a point of being nearly unplayable. On the chance you do get a good match you’ll have to suffer the bad rules during this mode; waiting for items to respawn, getting softlocked with on/off blocks, getting keys stolen, etc. I tried, but I couldn’t get too much enjoyment out of it.
Ironically, my least anticipated mode ended up being one of my favorites instead. Story mode is an absolute blast. In this mode, Undo Dog destroys Princess Peach’s castle by accident and you have to raise money to rebuild it by completing levels for coins. The levels you play through are very fun and creative, and to me they surpass anything found in the “New” Mario games. They are gimmicky, well designed, wacky, and most importantly fun. You also have a fair bit of freedom in this mode choosing which parts of the castle to rebuild and at what time. You may also encounter some familiar faces to unlock some extras such as costumes for your mii and extra items for the editor. Despite the lack of making and sharing levels which Mario Maker is known for, I still highly reccomend giving story mode a go.
As for another negative, this game feels like it lacked a bit of polish in some areas. Examples include how your playable character has no affect on the endless challenge, how levels get deleted out of nowhere and how this game is packed full of glitches. Now the glitches aren’t Sonic 06 levels of bad and are almost all intentionally pulled off, but these still standout a bit to people like me.
Overall, Super Mario Maker 2 is a blast and something that I’ll continue playing for hours upon hours. Creativeness is at it’s peak, as the possibilities for levels seem endless now. The Story mode is tons of fun, but there is some downsides like the multiplayer and polish. I still think this is a great game, but to make it a masterpiece I would fix the multiplayer and perhaps add a new game style or some new items. As it stands Super Mario Maker 2 is still a great game that I hope to see a lot of you playing. This game gets a 9/10. Thank you for reading, and keep those levels coming!