What's new with Super Mario Maker 2? So very much. The sequel is packing not only a story mode with 100+ Nintendo-made levels, but also online multiplayer – including co-op and versus modes – and adjustable win conditions. We got a bevy of details in a 15-minute Nintendo Direct presentation.
Story mode revolves around rebuilding Princess Peach's Castle and we saw some wild new characters during today's showing. The gist: Beat Nintendo's levels, earn coins, and rebuild. As for multiplayer, we're looking at four-player versus – a race to see who can clear the course first – and co-op. I would've bought Super Mario Maker 2 for these upgrades alone, to say nothing of the new playthings.
There's too much ground to cover, but in terms of elements with which to fill out your levels, there's:
- Slopes, including gentle slopes.
- Super Mario Bros. 3's Angry Sun. I hate him.
- The floating Snake Block, which you can plot out by tracing its flight path.
- On/Off Switches for red and blue blocks and conveyor belts.
- Swinging claws.
- Adjustable rising water and lava levels.
- Custom side-scrolling camera movements, including settings for trajectory and speed.
- Vertical sub-areas.
- A way to stop the camera from showing stuff outside the current room. (Ideal for secrets.)
- Dry Bones Shell, which lets you surf on lava.
- Big Coins, which can be worth up to 50 coins.
- Diagonal conveyor belts.
- Red Yoshi.
Aside from cooperative course building, another feature I'm stoked about is the ability to download courses and play them offline, on the go. Then there's this bombshell: the new course themes are desert, snow, forest, and sky, and there's accompanying music from famed composer Koji Kondo. What's more, Super Mario Maker 2 has a nighttime variant that can, say, turn water poisonous, and there's a moon equivalent to the sun that'll clear out all on-screen enemies once touched.
The Super Mario 3D World style has its own elements that aren't used elsewhere, like Cat Mario, Clear Pipes, Warp Boxes, Spike Blocks, Exclamation Blocks, Blinking Blocks, Track Blocks that follows a path you draw, the Mushroom Trampoline, Piranha Creeper, Skipsqueak, Koopa Troopa Car, Charvaargh, Pom Pom, Banzai Bills that can fly at the screen toward you, the player, and of course Meowser.
In terms of online browsing, you'll be able to filter and search for specific tags (like "speedrun"), customize your creator profile with your Mii character, and leave comments on other folks' creations.
Nearby Play is nice, too. "If up to four players each own a Nintendo Switch system and the Super Mario Maker 2 game, one can set up a virtual room that the others in the same location can join to play together on their own systems. Only the player setting up the room needs an internet connection."
What else? Nintendo announced the Super Mario Maker 2 Invitation 2019 tournament for June 8. Really, it's a thing! And the Direct presentation was heavy on promoting Nintendo Switch Online. You can nab a $70 bundle with the game and a one-year membership, which amounts to a $10 savings.
This is a game built to last, and the hint of DLC opens the door even further.