Nintendo hosted a packed showcase for Super Mario Maker 2 yesterday evening. The 17-minute Nintendo Direct was focused solely on the upcoming platformer and its in-depth creation suite.
Details on Super Mario Maker 2 were a little scarce, with just over a month to go until its release. Nearly all of the questions have been answered now though, and Nintendo really has gone above and beyond in delivering a package that’s leaps ahead of the Wii U and 3DS originals.
Of particular importance for those who aren’t overly keen on the creation and level sharing aspect is the confirmation of a 100-level story mode in Super Mario Maker 2. These levels are designed to showcase the possibilities of Mario Maker 2’s creation tools, and we’re expecting them to be a little wackier than your usual 2D Mario levels. Progression ties into a larger overall story mode in which players are rebuilding Princess Peach’s castle, unlocking more rewards and gradually exploring the areas you build. It definitely sounds like a nice value add, even if it’s not necessarily the main event.
It’s the creation tools which have been given the most loving for Super Mario Maker 2 though. Players now have an immense array of options at their fingertips for level creation. There are dozens of new settings, themes, items, and enemies to place into levels, including the ability to use the Super Mario 3D World theme to build advanced 2D levels. Players can create auto-scrolling levels, elevator slops, raise and lower water/lava levels, add nighttime features, and dozens more things including bosses, programmable moving blocks, switches, vertical levels, and more.
Completion of these stages isn’t just restricted to getting to the end flag either. Players have total control over the parameters of completion, whether that’s collecting a specific number of coins, killing certain enemies, restricting the time limit, or earning a specific power-up.
Anything that’s created can then be shared online, with a rating system and the ability to download other users’ maps for offline play. The big catch here though is that a Nintendo Switch Online subscription is required for any online component. That includes sharing your own level creations, downloading custom levels, or playing online with other players. Which, er, sucks. Talking of the online though, Super Mario Maker 2 adds multiplayer to the franchise. Maps can be designed for co-operative play or competitive first-to-the-finish races. There’s even a ranking system so you can see where you stand in the pecking order of Mario speedrunners.
All in all, it sounds like a fantastic package, albeit very disappointing that some basic key components such as stage sharing require an online subscription. Online multiplayer is one thing, but paying to share maps you've made? Seems a little absurd.
Anyway, if Super Mario Maker 2 takes your fancy then it’s on track for a June 28th launch on Nintendo Switch.