Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 28/06/2019
[ Introduction ]
Super Mario Maker 2, is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed original Super Mario Maker on Wii-U and 3DS. And what a follow-up it is!
SMM2 comes to the party with an array of new ways to play and build! From the brand new story mode with over 100 levels, to the new ways you can build your own levels with new items and ideas, it really is everything and more I expected.
[ Gameplay ]
Story mode is a great new addition to the Mario Maker series. Seriously, you could truly have this story mode as a stand-alone Mario game. In the Mushroom Kingdom, all is well and Peach’s castle is looking great, that is until Undo Dog hits the reset button destroying Peach’s castle. In this adventure, instead of saving Princess Peach, Mario is tasked with rebuilding her castle. In order to repair the castle, Mario will need some serious coin to buy the parts and labour. Luckily, there’s a lot of levels that need beating that offer such coin.
In the beginning it may feel like a bit of a tutorial, showing off new items and new ideas, but this fits perfectly with the formula of the game. For me this was a great way to present the early levels, as you’ll be able take little pieces away from every level you play and put some of the ideas into your own creations. If you just love playing Mario games for the sheer platforming thrill, then you’ll be able to play in ways you’ve never experienced before in a Mario game. Every level seems to have a different idea and unique feel to it. You’ll never do the same looking level twice. One level may have that classic Mario platforming, another you may be in a kart darting at high speed through the course. There’s over 100 levels to play through, all varying in degrees of difficulty. The mode also offers you a great incentive to finish as you’ll unlock stuff for the Maker mode.
Maker mode is where SMM2 really earns its coin. To be honest, there were so many options and ways to design a level that I felt a bit overwhelmed initially. You would think it would be fairly straightforward to create a 2D level on a grid, but there’s so much more to it than that. If you’re like me and needed a bit of hand holding, there’s a tutorial mode available. This comes in the form of Yamamura’s Dojo. In the Dojo you’ll start of with basic tutorials on how to use Maker mode, and then in the intermediate and advanced ones you’ll learn more in depth details such as pacing your levels and the deeper ways of design. As well as the tutorial it’s one of the reason I was pretty thankful for story mode – I’d imagine a lot of people will be as well. By playing through the levels it gave me some ideas I could steal and try implement them in different ways. Once you get more confident with the tools, the creative juices will start to flow.
When connecting online you have the Course World where you can play courses that have been uploaded from other users. Here you can literally search for whatever your preference is. For example, if you like the aesthetics of Super Mario World that have puzzle elements, then you can search for just that. There’s a lot more options, but the full searching and playing of courses was a total breeze.
The other part of online is getting to play with other people. This experience was a bit hit or miss, in terms of connection issues. The lag was unbearable in some games, where it felt like stop motion. It still feels like Nintendo are still not on the ball with the online side of things, but hoping this issue can be solved with a patch at some point.
[ Visual and Perfomance ]
Visually, SMM2 still has the instant recognisable feel of a Mario game. It does well to keep the charm of all the older titles, but still keeping them looking fresh and new. One thing you can always ensure with a first party Nintendo game is a polished experience and SMM2 delivers on that front. I experienced no bugs or slow down in either docked or handheld mode. The same, however, can’t be said for the online part of the game. Sometimes it can just be far too laggy to play. I do believe this will eventually be fixed, but I still feel Nintendo really need to get their act together with their online systems.
As mentioned earlier, having the option to not use the touch functionality would have been welcome when in handheld mode. Not that touch controls are bad – I actually preferred them – just for those that are used to this way of controlling it.
[ Sound ]
SMM2 retains all the classic Mario sounds. Obviously the best thing about the sound design is the ability to record custom sounds for certain actions. Bet you’ll feel bad crushing those Goomba heads when they scream? Probably not.
[ Conclusion ]
Super Mario Maker 2, takes all the best bits from the original and makes it even better. You have great single player experience in story mode, that would be worth it in it’s own right. Create and share your own Mario experiences with the world or download a plethora of user created content to play through.
Overall this is one very satisfying Mario package. If you’re even a slight fan of the Mario games or 2D platformers, then go get this game right now. It truly is an amazing experience!