Nintendo fans experienced a shocking revelation on Feb. 13, 2019, when Yoshiaki Koizumi revealed the trailer for “Super Mario Maker 2.” Nintendo Switch owners can make their own Mario levels and test out the creations of others on June 28.
The sequel to the original game (released on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS) adds a smorgasbord of new features, including the ability to create scrolling levels, a “Super Mario 3D World” theme and up to four-person multiplayer, among others.
The “Super Mario Maker” series offers a creative suite that allows players to create their own Mario levels. Players can choose the style of level based off of previous Mario games, such as “Super Mario Bros.,” “Super Mario Bros. 3,” “Super Mario World” and “New Super Mario Brothers.”
Each style has a unique look that harkens back to the memories of old, while throwing new twists into the tried and true formula of the series.
Levels can be themed based on Mario staples, such as underwater levels, ghost houses, forest, sky and desert worlds, all containing their own unique elements and music.
Almost every aspect of a level can be played around with, as players choose what items (or even enemies) emerge from question blocks, where enemies spawn, how much of a level will be submerged with water (or deadly lava) and where Mario will go when journeying down a warp pipe.
The conditions required to complete a level can also be tampered with. Instead of just racing to the goal, players may have to collect a certain number of coins before reaching the end, or they may have to kill a certain amount of enemies to advance.
In addition to this, new methods to traverse levels such as seesaws, twisters, slopes, snake blocks and on/off switches are added to the toolbox of aspiring creators.
All of the game styles from “Super Mario Maker” return, and the newest addition, “Super Mario 3D World,” includes features that can’t be used in the other styles.
Some of these include Cat Mario, a power-up that allows him to climb up walls and best enemies with more powerful attacks, blinking blocks that disappear after a set time, clear pipes that add a new twist to getting through the level and a Koopa Troopa car adds speed to level traversal.
Once players complete their own levels they can be uploaded to Course World, an online hub for user-created content.
Those that explore these creations can make comments and download levels for offline use. Course World also offers the endless challenge, where a player will run an endless, randomly generated gauntlet of levels that only stop when they get a game over.
A major component of Course World is online multiplayer. Up to four people can jump into a random level able to work cooperatively or face off in a race to the finish. Nintendo boasts that this will change the strategy of making it through a level immensely.
The game has faced criticism, as only random people can be selected to play with each other in course world. Friend tags don’t work, and the only way for friends to play together is if they are in the same room, using the same Nintendo Switch.
The company’s reasoning for this is to keep the integrity of the leaderboards intact, but critics have mentioned the simplicity of creating a separate server where scores are not recorded.
Outside of Course World, two people can build a stage concurrently using the joy-con controllers or a pro controller.
For those playing alone, there is a story mode in which Mario must complete over 100 levels specifically designed by Nintendo to earn coins to rebuild Princess Peach’s castle. The story will also feature several new characters that will give side missions to Mario.
Most of these features were announced during a Nintendo Direct broadcast focused on the game released on May 15. The game features brand new music composed by Koji Kondo, a veteran of the series.
“Super Mario Maker 2” brings the cavalcade of creation to the portable Nintendo Switch, and allows players to let their imaginations run wild when designing courses for video games’ favorite plumber.