The 10 Best New Features In Super Mario Maker 2
By Phil Myth
Nintendo dropped a Super Mario Maker 2 Direct on us almost out of nowhere today, and it was absolutely jam packed with cool new features that are coming to the much anticipated follow up. The original game back on the Wii U saw some hilariously chaotic creations, and with new additions including everything from slopes to scrolling to Koopa Troopa Cars and Angry Suns, we can’t wait to see what the community cooks up this time around.
So without further ado, here’s our pick of the best new features making their way to Super Mario Maker 2 when it arrives on Switch next month.
This is one that the community was crying out for last time around, so it’s little wonder that it formed the central pillar of the initial reveal trailer back in February. The 90 second trailer hinged entirely on the portly plumber sliding on his backside to wipe out enemies and rack up high scores. Ok, so it’s not the most mind blowing feature on its own, but the possibilities it opens up for level design is endless. There’s even multiple slope angles to choose from too, so lord knows what dastardly combinations players are going to cook up!
So we probably should have seen this one coming given how much the Switch is orientated towards handing off a JoyCon to a friend, but it didn’t make it any less special. Being able to concoct levels with friends and loved ones should mean you can come up with all sorts of weird and wonderful creations.
Collaborating on stage design means these levels will end up with combinations of ideas that one person alone may just never have thought of. Of course, there’s always the risk of your little brother ruining your carefully planned and constructed ghost house puzzle level, but it’s a risk we’re willing to accept.
Perhaps the biggest - and best - part of the multiplayer offerings though is the ability to jump in and play levels with your friends. Not only that, but the ‘race to the finish’ versus mode (and the ability to tag creations as multiplayer levels - more on that later) makes this a must-buy all on it’s own. Mario Maker levels are chaotic enough when you’re just playing on your own, but with three other players running around, all trying to screw each other over, they’ll be positively bonkers!
Similarly the co-operative multiplayer will add a new element to level design too, as only one of you has to reach the goal in order to succeed. There are so many obstacles designers can throw up where you may have to sacrifice three of your team mates in order to reach the goal pole. Putting up obstacles in versus that forces competing players to work together momentarily will add some huge twists too.
This addition alone is enough to produce some incredibly fresh and interesting courses over and above the original game. Bring it on.
3. Super Mario 3D World
So the lead-off on this one was, admittedly, a little disappointing. The fact you can’t just switch between the other styles and 3D World without wiping everything you’ve created struck us as a bit of a bummer. But when Nintendo then explained just how much stuff they’re cramming into the 3D World skin, it makes much more sense. Cat Mario. Clear Pipes. Moveable Crates. Warp Boxes. Spike Blocks. Blinking Blocks. Track Blocks. Piranha Creepers. Koopa Troopa Cars. Charvaargh. Banzai Bill. Cat Bowser! The list goes on and on, and there’s plenty of those that just wouldn’t translate to the other art styles.
It means that 3D World stages are almost going to be a subgenre all of their own, with unique twists and challenges that players will have to figure out and overcome.
4. Water Level
While the original Wii U game had underwater stages, there was no way to have hybrid levels that featured both underwater and dry land sections. This addition again adds another interesting twist to level design, not least because you can have the water level rise over time. There’s multiple speeds for filling up available too. Plus, with the ability to have the level fill up with lava as well as water, you’ll be able to add a whole other level of tension to your Bowser’s Castle stages. We’re getting anxious just thinking about it…
5. On/off switch
The possibilities that the On/Off Switch opens up are endless. Not only can it be mapped to standard blocks that act as platforms, but it could be used to open ‘doors’ for shells, powerups and enemies. They can be mapped to tracks that mean Mario has to hit a switch to keep his moving platform headed in the right direction. And they can also be used to switch the direction of conveyor belts.
Again, another agonisingly simple feature that opens up a myriad of creative possibilites.
6. Custom scrolling
I don’t know about anyone else but this seems like one of those additions that will just add to the authenticity of certain levels. Airship ones in particular. But, being able to adjust the speed at different points in the course means players are really going to have to be on their toes if they’re not going to mistime a jump.
Again, a simple addition, but one that should add a whole new vibe to certain levels.
7. Vertical courses
Another feature that’s so simple and yet opens up a plethora of new possibilities when it comes to course creation. Anyone who played around long enough in the original game soon found a few frustrations with the lack of verticality available. Thankfully, in Super Mario Maker 2, we’ll be able to construct stages that run from bottom to top as opposed to left to right. With all of the enemies and puzzles that could be thrown our way during these auto-scrolling stages, there’s yet another Pandora’s box of hair-pullingly frustrating challenges on the horizon.
8. Clear Conditions
This is huge. It’s no longer just about getting to the end. It can be about killing a certain number of enemies. Or collecting a set number of coins. Or who knows what else. There’s an endless supply of puzzles that can be constructed with these goals in mind. It finally gives a decent reason for placing coins in your level as well (bar guiding players). You just know that there’s going to be one dastardly so-and-so who constructs a stage with a single coin you have to get that’s going to be agonisingly out of reach. I can’t wait to see what puzzles people set up with these stipulations attached.
9. Course Themes
Adding new themes in allows for players to really get across the aesthetic of what they’re trying to create. With the addition of Desert, Snow, Forest and Sky themes, there should be some incredibly cool vibes encompassing some of these levels. Just think of a pyramid in the desert that needs to be looted for a certain number of coins. Or a sky level that sees you avoiding bullet bills and hopping on and off moving clouds. Plus, with new music written by Koji Kondo, these are sure to be an absolute delight. Especially considering how they work in conjunction with…
The moon! Changing the time to night is cool enough, but the fact that adding in this item (or subsequently just selecting ‘night mode’ from the creation menu) messes with the rules of the theme makes it even more exciting. The lights will dim in the Ghost House meaning Mario has to be extra wary of where he’s jumping. Underground levels get flipped entirely upside down, adding a certain Super Mario Galaxy vibe to them if you ask us. The snow levels freeze over giving Mario even less traction than before (a Penguin suit would come in handy!)
Plus, with certain items and powerups changing too, it extends the toolbox to ridiculous proportions.
Bonus: Course Tags
We couldn’t do an article on the best features in Super Mario Maker 2 without mentioning the Course Tags. The biggest problem the original game had when it came to the levels people had created, was discoverability. Especially amongst the sea of auto-play levels that cropped up. It was incredibly difficult to find gems that were worth playing without hunting for community pages online.
Being able to tag your stage with what kind of level it is - puzzle, speedrun etc, should help address this problem to no end.
Frankly, these 11 features barely scratch the surface of all the new additions that have been incorporated into Super Mario Maker 2. The first game offered an infinite amount of possibilities in terms of course creation, but with a toolbox this big, the scope becomes unfathomable.
We can’t wait to get our hands on the game when it launches on June 28. We’ll obviously be creating and sharing our own stages with you all. Plus, right here at Nintendo Village, we’ll be highlighting not only our own creations but some of the best we’ve seen out there in the wild too! So feel free to send us your favourites, and any creations of your own your particularly proud of. We might just feature them on the site!
Phil is the co-founder and editor of Nintendo Village, and also writes, hosts and produces P Myth Gaming. He has been a Nintendo fanboy for as long as he can remember and owns every home console bar the Virtual Boy (one day... one day...). His favourite game is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.