Reviews - Updated on April 9, 2022

Relevant for platform: NSW

Nintendo continues to rescue exclusives from the sunken ship called Wii U, creating their updated versions or immediately moving on to sequels. The latest novelty is Super Mario Maker 2, a level builder that, for the second part, has acquired several additional modes and a lot of interesting innovations. The result is a game that can captivate for hundreds and thousands of hours, as happened with its predecessor. And it is not at all necessary to look into the local editor, although it is very difficult to resist and not try to make something.

Work force

One of the main differences between the second part and the first is the presence of a full-fledged story campaign. This is not a set of levels, but a simple seven-hour story about how Mario and colorful Toads rebuild Princess Peach’s ruined castle. The reconstruction of the building requires a lot of money, and you can earn it by completing tasks, of which there are more than a hundred. All these are levels made in completely different styles, the main task of which is to show what can be roughly piled in the local editor.

Nintendo was quick to showcase new features that could inspire players to create their own challenges. When hitting a sloping surface, you can hold down “Down”, and Mario will roll down the slope, knocking down opponents standing in the way. Using the ON and OFF switches, you can influence the visibility of certain blocks. Grabbers on chains periodically hang in the air, which are able to hold both Mario and various objects. And rocking chairs tilt if someone is standing at one end.

There are few unsuccessful levels, the vast majority are funny and even inventive entertainment that you pass with great interest. Particularly memorable are the levels at which specific goals are set – this is another innovation that greatly affects the variety of content created.

If earlier there was only one task – to get to the end alive and unharmed, now you can be asked to reach the finish line in a certain suit, collect so many coins or never touch the ground after the first jump. In the “plot” there are such levels and episodes where you need to drag a heavy stone to the finish line, with which Mario moves more slowly.

Super Mario Maker 2 game review

Everything is translated into Russian, including history, training and editor interface.

Whether to buy Super Mario Maker 2 solely for the sake of the story is a difficult question. There is no replay value as such, there is no need to replay levels for the sake of hidden coins or other bonuses. When you complete the next task, you receive money for its completion, which you then invest in the construction of the castle, and after that there is no point in returning to the old tests. If, after seven hours of campaigning, you plan to pull out the cartridge and leave the game for good, it’s better to take the usual platformer – New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe or Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.

Everyone is talented in their own way.

But if you are interested in other modes, you can get stuck in the game for a very long time – almost for several years. Switch is many times more popular than Wii U, and if there were a lot of creative people on the last Nintendo console, then there will be many times more user levels here. Probably for this reason, Nintendo does not allow each user to download more than 32 levels – sad news for those who like to sit in the editor (especially with paid online), but subsequently the limit will certainly be increased.

In the first part, there was a challenge with a hundred “lives” that were given out to complete a small pack of levels, and it was called 100 Mario Challenge. In the sequel, they decided to get rid of this by offering the so-called “Marathon”: it also has a limited number of attempts, but new levels can appear indefinitely if you do not die and go through everything. Personally, the option with a hundred Marios seemed more interesting to me – there was always a feeling of completeness when passing the chain of levels. And if some stage turned out to be damned difficult and already took 30 “lives”, you could continue, lose the same number of attempts and after completing it, you would still end up as a winner.

There are still four difficulty levels in Marathon, but now they give five lives on easy and normal, 15 on hard, and 30 on extreme. unsuccessful attempts by other players. Due to the small number of “lives”, you begin to appreciate the coins laid out by the creators and the mushrooms hidden in the blocks more, and you also try to touch the top of the finishing flagpole, just to get bonus attempts and last longer in the “Marathon”. As soon as you beat a personal record in it, the game reports your position in the world leaderboard.

Super Mario Maker 2 game review

With switching blocks, you can come up with a lot of interesting puzzles.

The early press version didn’t allow for player-created levels, but Super Mario Maker 2 already has a lot of great, original, and fun (and not so) challenges from all over the world. Someone prefers to create classic levels with simple obstacles and a minimum number of enemies, someone is a real sadist, placing tons of traps and stuffing 15 Bowsers into one cramped room. There are puzzles using new mechanics, there are all sorts of “guessing games”, levels with mathematical equations, speed tests with a lot of dangers – every time the community manages to surprise not only with the ability to unusually use the given tools, but also with the desire to make their levels as beautiful and rich as possible.

After passing, you can give the level an assessment (like it or not), as well as leave a comment: write something in text, draw or use one of the pre-prepared pictures with the words “great” and “difficult”. The creators themselves can not only post long descriptions of their projects, but also use tags to make it easier for users to search for atmospheric, classic or high-speed levels. Everything is done quite conveniently, outside the “Marathon” there is always a list of new, popular and gaining popularity levels, and if you want to share your tests with friends, you can always tell them a short code and let them evaluate your creativity.

Young Builder

Surely one of the biggest challenges for Nintendo was to make sure that the level editor was equally convenient in both stationary and portable modes. The developers succeeded, although it is difficult to imagine who and why would want to create on a console connected to a TV. In this case, a cursor will appear on the screen, and with its help it will not be possible to place objects on the map as quickly as in the “portable”, where everything is done by pressing. At the same time, it is not necessary to buy a stylus – yes, from time to time you will draw extra blocks with your finger, but you can get rid of them with an eraser almost instantly.

For convenience, the workplace is divided into squares, and all useful buttons are scattered around the edges of the screen. At the very top is a strip with recently used objects and a button with a magnifying glass, where landscape elements, objects, enemies and interactive elements are divided into several categories. On the left, you can choose one of five styles – in addition to those familiar from the first part of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros. U have Super Mario 3D World style. Fully 3D levels cannot be created with it – everything is still shown from the side view – but with it there are objects that are not available with other styles, such as a super bell that dresses Mario in a cat suit, a Koopa corpse car and much more.

Super Mario Maker 2 game review

Before publishing a level, you still need to complete it first.

The list of level themes has also been updated – now there are 10 of them, including desert and snow, and a full-fledged night theme is now available. If you want players to not linger for a long time, you can turn on auto-scroll – either slow or fast, or adjust your speed. A timer is set in the adjacent menu, a passing condition is selected next to it, and if you are bored doing it alone, the special Build Duet button will launch a cooperative version of the editor, for which two Joy-Cons are enough.

An ocean of options

The number of possibilities far exceeds what the first Super Mario Maker offered not only at the start, but also after all the updates, and for sure Nintendo will not stop there. Many fans hope that someday there will be another, sixth style – it’s not just that the section with a single 3D World is called “Other Styles”. Of course, a large proportion of players will mock the rest and “troll” them with absurd tests, of which there were many in the first part, but people managed to create enough good things.

It’s also great that Nintendo has added dozens of tutorial videos to the game. They not only explain basic things like using blocks, coins and other objects, but also give useful tips related to the pace of the game and the implementation of your ideas. Experienced Mario Makers will hardly find it useful, while beginners will be interested in learning how to make their level fair to the user, how to creatively use elements, and what to do if at some point you hit a dead end.

Finally, the last important component of the sequel was the multiplayer. Firstly, you can go through all the levels in local co-op with a friend, but for this you will have to download each of them – the most inconvenient system. Secondly, there is an online multiplayer for four – you either try to complete a random level together with everyone and become winners if someone gets to the finish line, or you compete with each other, and only one becomes the winner. Here you can even fill a separate rating for victories. It’s a pity that a large part of the matches I played lags a lot, apparently due to the load on the servers.

With new elements, the levels have become much more dynamic.

***

All in all, Super Mario Maker 2 is a great sequel to a great game that offers a lot of long-awaited and unexpected innovations. The story campaign does a great job of introducing players to all the possibilities. The extensive editor includes many interesting tools, thanks to which both creators and those who only want to pass other people’s levels benefit. Well, as a bonus, there is a fun, but so far not without problems multiplayer – here you can’t even play with friends until the patch is released. It turns out an impressive kit that can give tens, hundreds, thousands of hours of enjoyable gameplay thanks to an endless stream of user levels.

Pros: a full-fledged story campaign with hundreds of fun levels; dozens of training videos for those unfamiliar with the editor; many new interesting options for creating your own levels; user-friendly interface; fun multiplayer; the game will live and develop as long as the Switch does not lose its relevance.

Cons: you need to download levels to play in co-op; “lag” matches in multiplayer.

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