Super Mario Maker launched in 2015 as the Wii U spiralled into a forgotten abyss. While it received a ton of fanfare, it never quite reached its full potential simply due to the underwhelming platform it launched on. A Nintendo 3DS port arrived in 2016, but it was missing some key features. Ever since the Nintendo Switch released in 2017, Nintendo fans have clamored for Super Mario Maker to make an appearance on the hybrid console. In the February Nintendo Direct, Nintendo dropped the surprise Super Mario Maker 2 announcement and that it will launch on Switch on June 28. Nintendo revealed a ton of new information about the sequel during the most recent Nintendo Direct. Here’s everything we know so far.
For those unfamiliar with the original, Super Mario Maker let players design, share, and play their own 2D Mario levels in the style of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U. The sequel uses the same four games as visual style templates, as well as enemies, items, and obstacles from Super Mario 3D World. You can switch between play and edit modes with the press of a button. All levels have a style (game), theme (level type), and time limit.
After creating levels, you can upload them to the server. Super Mario Maker got its legs from the constantly growing library of user-created levels, which you could download and play on your console. Super Mario Maker 2 will figure to do the same. And with more tools to play around with this time around, Super Mario Maker 2‘s library of levels should prove to be even more dynamic.
Because the Switch doesn’t have dual screens like the Wii U (or 3DS), editing is understandably a bit different. When editing, you can click on a magnifying glass to pull up a searchable field and wheels filled with objects. The wheels are separated into categories. By default, your recently used objects will appear at the top of the screen. You can choose favorites and pin them to the top of the screen, though.
Arguably the biggest addition in Super Mario Maker 2 are themes, items, and enemies from Super Mario 3D World. New themes based on Super Mario 3D World levels include: Desert, snow, jungle, and ground. You cannot, however, design 3D-oriented levels as seen in Super Mario 3D World.
The reveal trailer and the most recent Nintendo Direct offered loads of details about what to expect in the Super Mario 3D World style. Certain elements, like Banzai Bills, can move outward toward you from the back of the screen, giving courses the 3D feel seen in the Wii U game without actually letting Mario travel on a 3D plane. Of course, he can don the catsuit with the power of the Super Bell to crawl around, warp through clear pipes, and climb flagpoles. Here are the enemies we spotted in the reveal trailer and Nintendo Direct:
- Piranha Creepers
- Fire Bro
- Cat Bullet Bill
- Meowser (Cat Bowser)
3D World terrain elements such as clear pipes, crates, rock blocks, on/off switches, snake blocks, and trampolines can also be seen in the trailer. Item-wise, you can place standard coins, multiple denominations of Gold Coins (10, 20, and 30), and Pink Coins on 3D World-themed levels.
Super Mario Maker 2 lets you change the style and theme of any level, whenever you want, during the level creation process. However, this doesn’t apply to Super Mario 3D World-style levels, simply because of the unique assets that don’t translate to the other templates.
Slopes are perhaps the most useful addition in Super Mario Maker 2. The first game didn’t have them. Super Mario Maker 2 lets you make slopes, and it will be a game-changer for creators.
While slopes steal the show, there is also another key Mario sidescroller feature coming to Super Mario Maker 2: Auto-scrolling levels. Whether you love them or hate them, auto-scrolling levels have been in 2D Mario games for decades. You can add auto-scrolling to both horizontal and vertical levels. Yes, that means you can create vertically oriented levels this time around, too. You can change the speed of the scrolling and implement scroll stops to prevent players from seeing what’s next.
Two other major additions are the night theme and wind gusts. Nintendo expanded on the night theme during the Nintendo Direct. When it’s nighttime, it doesn’t just get darker outside, enemies and terrain start to act differently. For instance, when playing on ground theme courses, Goombas will float at night. Deserts will be swept up by sandstorms, and forest waters will turn poisonous. The night theme can be unlocked through play, but at first it will be activated by interacting with Moon objects placed in the levels.
When designing a level, you can set a bunch of different clear conditions beyond just reaching the flag at the end. You can force players to collect a certain amount of coins or interact with certain objects.
Nintendo added four new course themes as well: Desert, snow, forest, and sky. Water and lava levels can be further adjusted throughout each course, allowing you to increase the speed at which they rise and fall. With the new themes come new sound effects, which can be placed to increase tension at particularly trying sections of levels.
One of the quirkiest new additions is the ability to put on a Dry Bones shell. You can collapse into a pile of bones to temporarily shield yourself from damage.
Super Mario Maker 2 has a full story mode. It fittingly sees Mario repairing Peach’s castle. Nintendo designed more than 100 levels for the story mode. As you complete levels, you’ll gain access to more parts of the castle (the overworld), where you can talk with Toads and other Mushroom Kingdom residents.
A Nintendo Switch Online subscription is required to share and download courses through the online service. Dubbed Course World, the online hub has a variety of different game modes. First and foremost, you can upload your own courses for others to play. Then you can search popular courses and by using tags and categories to find user-created courses to download. All downloaded courses can be played offline.
In Course World, you’ll create an online avatar (looks like a Mii). When users rate your courses and leave comments (pre-set messages with pictures, basically memes), you’ll earn Maker Points. Maker Points can be redeemed for new outfits and accessories for your avatar.
Course World also has an “Endless Challenges” section where you see how many courses you can complete without dying. A leaderboard system will be available at launch to show you how you compare to the rest of the world.
Super Mario Maker 2 also has online multiplayer, both competitive and co-op. In competitive mode, you race up to three other users across user-created courses. Co-op multiplayer lets you and three other players work together to get to the finish. If one player reaches the flag, the whole team wins.
The multiplayer footage showed off Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Toadette. It’s unclear if more characters will be available. In the original, linking with Amiibo unlocked new characters to play as, but Amiibo support hasn’t been confirmed for the sequel.
During the Nintendo Direct, Nintendo confirmed that Super Mario Maker 2 will feature co-op. While offline, you can design courses cooperatively with another player. Each of you uses one Joy-Con and can make changes to the course simultaneously.
Local wireless co-op for up to four players is also included. Each user needs their own Switch, a copy of the game, and one user needs to be connected to the online service to play.
Super Mario Maker 2 launches on June 28 on Nintendo Switch. The standard edition costs $60, or you can buy the $70 edition and get a year subscription to Nintendo Switch Online ($10 savings). The year will stack onto your current subscription if you’re already a member.
Nintendo is also introducing a “Game Voucher” program for Nintendo Switch Online members. You can buy two vouchers for $100. The vouchers work on select first-party Nintendo games (digital editions), including Super Mario Maker 2. So you could save $20 overall on your next two AAA Nintendo game purchases.
No pre-order bonuses for North America have been announced, but U.K. and Japanese customers will get a Super Mario Maker 2 stylus. Other box sets. The Nintendo Official U.K. Store is taking orders on various bundles that include dioramas, drawing pads, and Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions. The fact that some of the U.K. bundles include Nintendo Switch Online suggests that a subscription is required to upload and download levels.
It would be strange if North American users don’t have the opportunity to purchase the bundles or get the stylus as a pre-order bonus. As of now, though, these goodies are only available for the U.K. and Japan.
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