Nintendo revealed a lot about Super Mario Maker 2 in their most recent Direct focused on the game. In just over 15 minutes, we learned that there is so much to this game that the original is essentially old news by this point. Needless to say, creative minds, Mario fans, and even those looking for a new 2D Mario game will get their fill when Super Mario Maker 2 launches next month.
With all the new additions revealed in the Direct, we're taking a look at 5 features we're most excited for and 5 that we're not quite as stoked about. There was a lot to unpack.
Sharing courses was a bit of a tedious process in Super Mario Maker on the Wii U. Courses could only be searched for using their specific numbers and that was it. This was an issue because sharing courses was part of the fun.
However, Super Mario Maker 2 is making the process easier, including search filters and easier ways to share. Seemingly taking a few pages from Super Smash Bros Ultimate's content sharing, scrolling through popular and well-designed courses is going to be easier than ever before. These updated features also help make the Nintendo Switch Online that much more enticing to those who haven't purchased a membership yet.
There are several new assets players can use in Super Mario Maker 2, but some were definitely more exciting than others. On top of new enemies and obstacles, players can use big coins, which reward those who grab them with 10, 30, or 50 coins (based on what we saw from the Direct).
With coins being so arbitrary in Mario games (particularly in Super Mario Maker as well), there isn't a lot of incentive to use these in your own levels. The game is attempting to make coins more worthwhile with the new Story Mode, but with so many levels already built with that mode in mind, big coins probably won't be a big hit.
While there were several new course themes added in Super Mario Maker 2, that number has essentially doubled thanks to the new Night Mode. With the help of a new moon asset, players can change any course from day to night.
This is more than just an aesthetic shift, as it adds a few changes that make each version stand out. Some themes will force players to run the course upside down. Snow themes have added ice physics in the nighttime. Touches like these communicate that Nintendo is going the extra mile with this game and wants to make it a major release.
With so many new features revealed in the Super Mario Maker 2 Direct, it was a bit surprising that Nintendo didn't talk about any new or returning Amiibo costumes or costumes in general. Costumes were a major part of Super Mario Maker, including support for all existing Amiibo and then some.
Because the sequel is throwing more content at the games, it would only make sense that support for Amiibo would be sustained as well as have more exclusive costumes on the way. Sadly, no such feature was even discussed in the Direct, leading us to wonder if it will be a returning feature at all.
Because Super Mario Maker 2 is creative-focused, some players might not be enticed by such a game. There are those who would rather play through a standard Mario game for some inspiration first. Thankfully, Nintendo thought of those people as well.
Super Mario Maker 2 includes a story mode in which Mario must collect coins to rebuild Peach's Castle. This is done by playing through levels designed by Nintendo staff. Seeing what the developers came up with is going to be exciting as well as test the limits of what players can do in the game. There are over 100 levels designed by the developers, too.
The newest game theme in Super Mario Maker 2 is based on Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U. This brings the cat suit, Meowser, and all sorts of other crazy assets to the game. However, there is one significant downside to it.
Because there are so many new and exclusive features in this style, levels created in it cannot carry over and vice versa. If you're building a level in any of the other game styles, you can't flip them to Super Mario 3D World. The game will clear your entire course, meaning that if you want to use that style, you have to commit to it from the very start.
There were a healthy amount of course themes in Super Mario Maker, but now players have almost every theme from the classic games in Super Mario Maker 2. On top of the standard themes, there is an added desert, forest, snow, and sky theme. These are all inspired by the classic Super Mario games and used as backgrounds, so it's exciting to see more added to the mix.
Furthermore, these themes can be used across all of the classic games, meaning that they had to be designed for games that never used them in the first place. Desert levels were nowhere to be found in Super Mario Bros, but now they're a reality.
There are people still on the fence about Nintendo Switch Online. Because the company hasn't put much effort into selling it, there are plenty of people who still don't have it. That's why it could come as a bummer that some of Super Mario Maker 2's best features are only for those with a Nintendo Switch Online membership.
Sharing courses, downloading others, and playing online with others all requires a membership. Some of these are core features to the game, and it will likely have some people irritated that they'll have to pay for a membership to have access.
Co-op is a big deal in Super Mario Maker 2. Not only can two friends work together to design levels, but up to four people can play those levels as well. Two people creating levels will likely be a well-used feature, promoting this as a game that not just one person can enjoy at a time.
As far as online multiplayer goes, four people can play through levels and compete to reign supreme. Better yet, every player will have their own screen, meaning that co-op play won't feel as frustrating as it did in New Super Mario Bros Wii or New Super Mario Bros U.
As far as online features go, Super Mario Maker 2 gives players some incentive to post stages online. If other players like their courses, they'll earn Maker Points, which can then be spent on your Maker Profile. You can customize your Mii with all sorts of Mario-themed outfits and hats.
It's a cute addition, but not a feature that we would recommend getting the Nintendo Switch Online for. It can be difficult to get courses noticed with such a big game like Super Mario Maker 2, so we're not sure if it's even feasible to try and obtain Maker Points. We'll have to wait for more info.