Super Mario Maker 2
Switch version tested
The sequel to the game we’ve wanted on the console we adore, Super Mario Maker 2. My time spent with the previous title was too short considering I played it at a friends house. It’s a bit time consuming to sit by as your friend creates a level for you to play. Now I have the ability to create my own levels from home and share them online without the awkward standby hassle. In addition to creating levels, Nintendo has created a series of levels in a story mode for all to enjoy, basically giving us two games in one. It’s your mission to contract jobs from multiple sources to gain coins, and pay to rebuild the castle that has seemingly disappeared? No spoils there, you must play to find out! Use the story mode to your advantage and learn from the best, then hop into creator mode to utilise those influences.
After a cute introduction sequence showcasing the GOAT of all Mario games (Super Mario World, did I even need to say that?) the background screen is a playable stage! What’s more, is that once you create a level it will become that start screen stage, how cool! Even if you didn’t create a level yet it’s awesome, the game immediately begins without committing to either mode. Very clever and a lovely added touch.
The story mode has the objective to rebuild the castle through your coin pouch. Take on jobs from multiple sources and get paid to beat their levels. To speed up the process it’s important to collect coins in those stages because they are added to the running total. Once a purchase is made to recreate a part of the castle a progress bar is shown that will increase each time a level is beaten. The top left will showcase the player’s coins, and under that is the percentage of the castle that is complete. Explore the strip of land and talk to other characters to find new missions. I’ve found the levels to be creative and fun with some added difficulty on the higher starred levels. Admittedly I’ve skipped most of the 3D Mario games so the levels that utilise this graphic style tricked me a few times in a way that was fun to figure out. For example, travel through this pipe to obtain a star and return through the pipe in order to progress. Sounds pretty simple and silly but that’s not the play style I’m used to. BUT it’s great for me because it’s NEW, new and not the same old style I’m familiar with.
Difficulty is shown in stars allotted per level from one to four, the most stars being the higher difficulty. Five lives are given per level. In Nintendo fashion, they have added the option to give yourself help in level with “assist parts”. A mushroom, star, firepower, leaf, and some blocks are examples of what you may use in level to help get past that tricky portion. Prior to the start of each level they all have a funny description that will give guidance on how to navigate the level or just a hint of what’s to come. The payment in amount of coins is shown as well.
I really enjoy playing old school Mario games on Switch and that’s much to my surprise to be honest. The NES online Mario games have yet to be touched on my Switch but the Mario 3 graphics look and feel great to play. My favourite is definitely the Super Mario World levels. I’ve always felt Nintendo made a terrible move making Yoshi’s Island, the SMW sequel, and this is a bit of redemption for that. After being out of the Mario series for a while, Super Mario Maker 2 is refreshing to play and hearing my favourite old music is wonderful. My Wife enjoys listening to the tunes while she plays another game sitting next to me.
Course Maker mode is a lovely frustrating experience that is best enjoyed in waves. I’m sure just like me, many of you have this fantastic idea that you can’t wait to bring to fruition. Then, you start putting block by block together only to realise either A, you don’t quite have the understanding or experience to do so, or B that was just a rubbish idea. Plenty of your Twitter friends have been sharing their stage codes and loads of online stages are available to play. Two insane ideas I’ve seen was a shmup level, and a pinball level!
The amount of creative heads active in the Super Mario Maker 2 community is vast and it serves as a bit of motivation to push through your creative funks. Once I created my level and played it I found it was much less fun than I had imagined. To offset that, I’m in the process of adding an objective (“clear condition”) for the level to make sense and play out how I wanted it to. These range from clearing without taking damage, find x amount of coins, or kill x amount of baddies. Graphic style, level background, time to complete, terrain, and baddies are all creative tools at your fingertips. If you have a stylist I would recommend that because my fingertips are fat and clumsy.
It takes a very short time to hop into another players level which is appreciated. Check out the leader boards and play any number of levels from the best creators online. Choose to ‘Boo!’ or “I like it!” any level you’ve played, as well as comment if you feel the need. I love that the flag from every player’s country is shown next to their name, there are so many people around the world playing this game! Leaderboards are split into three categories: course makers, players, and versus players. You also have the option to follow the makers you like, that tab will show on the same screen.
Hopping in and out of story mode and creative mode, SMM2 is a lovely way to spend your time with our favourite characters. The story mode will give variety in its elemental variety of graphic styles and objectives, while course maker will test your patience and creativity. I’m taking my time with the game to fully enjoy it without flying through the story mode. Once I complete my first course I plan on sharing it and completing my friend’s courses as well. This game has brought people together on Twitter in a way that has invigorated the community with communication and positivity. Switch owners must check this game out – feel free to drop your course code in the comments and enjoy this gem.
TBG Score: 10/10
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 28/06/2019
No. of Players: 1-4
File Size: 2.8GB
Category: Action, Platformer
Download link: eShop