Super Mario Maker 2 Review: A riot of a sequel thats more than just another level editor

Super Mario Maker 2 Review: A riot of a sequel thats more than just another level editor (Pic: NINTENDO)

Two years into the Switchs lifetime and its most popular titles are actually from Nintendos ailing predecessor the Wii U getting another shot, including chart-toppers Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.

Super Mario Maker was another rumoured and much requested port, a no-brainer seeing its one of the best 2D Mario games in recent years. But Nintendo have gone one better to bring a full-fledged sequel to the Switch instead.

Of course, being a game about thats primarily for creating your own levels, you could raise eyebrows over whether Super Mario Maker 2 is a genuine sequel. However, Nintendo justifies its number by cramming in plenty of new tools and features, and begins by including one thing the original didnt have: story mode.

Instead of rescuing Peach yet again, youre working together with Toad and Toadette to rebuild Peachs castle. Youll need the funds first, so levels are structured like jobs with coins for reward (including any coins you collect during the level).

As you complete jobs and gradually restore the castle, and youll unlock more jobs that get trickier but also reward more coins, plus youll even come across some fun side quests.

Its essentially a full-fat 2D Mario game with over 100 levels designed by Nintendo in-house thats worth the price of admission alone.

Kudos also goes to the Luigi Assist system that makes these levels accessible by letting you edit the levels with additional powers ups or blocks. Although the story mode doesnt strictly teach you how to make your own, level design incorporates virtually all existing tools and mechanics, which serve as points of inspiration.

And there really are a great deal more tools at your disposal, all unlocked from the start. New additions include features absent from the first game, like slopes you can slide down, to completely new objects like the claw, while also subverting familiar elements, like using a dry bones shell to ride through lava.

Theres also more course themes, such as snow and desert, which transfer seamlessly between the other existing styles of SMB1, SMB3 and SMW. In fact, the number of themes actually more than double as each also has a nighttime version, which throws in some even stranger modifiers.

More nuanced options include how you can adjust the height of lava and water or orient sub-areas as vertical stages. Throw in the delightful addition of setting clear conditions, such as tasking players to collect a set number of coins or defeat a hidden boss, and theres room for more sophisticated level design than ever before.


Separate from the existing styles is the Super Mario 3D World style. You might joke how it shouldve been renamed 2D World, but its still incredible how well that games unique features, like clear pipes, blink blocks, and of course Cat Mario, transfer to a side-scrolling format. As it stands, its the next best thing to having the Wii Us best Mario game on Switch.

Fans may lament that a few elements still havent made the cut (sorry Charging Chuck) – the most glaring omission is the mystery mushroom from the first game that transformed you into different 8-bit character sprites in the SMB1 style, which sadly also means theres no amiibo support.

Nonetheless, with such a dizzying amount of tools available from the start (though theres still some surprises to unlock, including a brand new power-up), its really hard to complain about such quibbles.

Playing handheld, the experience is almost like playing the original Mario Maker on the Wii U gamepad. Theres some notable improvements, from how objects are now grouped into themes in selection wheels to being able to zoom in and out of levels by pinching the Switchs capacitive touchscreen.

The biggest change is that traditional controls means you can make levels while the Switch is docked. Having tried Mario Maker 2 in handheld and TV mode, Im impressed by how well it works in the latter.

My one gripe is that you can only use the touchscreen to draw and drop in objects in handheld mode, the button for doing it in docked or tabletop mode simply doesnt register when the Joy-Con are attached to the system. While its more natural to use the touchscreen, its unnecessary to restrict the choice, so I hope this gets corrected in a patch.

In any case, its great being able to add in new pieces to a level and then hit the play button to test straight away. Swapping between make and play modes to tweak a level tile by tile, or checking Marios trail to ensure you can physically make a jump feels intuitive and effortless.

Of course, if you do indulge in making the most masochistic Mario levels, its only fair that you have to clear it yourself (including from any checkpoints youve added) before it can be uploaded to the servers.

However, before you think about uploading or indeed trying out other players levels, youll need to have an active paid online subscription. It feels like a stingy move, but at least its made up for with one final feature.

The first Mario Maker didnt have multiplayRead More – Source


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