Super Mario Maker 2 is just nine days away and while the Nintendo Direct released back in May covered an awful lot about what the game has to offer, there are perhaps some lesser known features and areas I thought I’d go over that gamers may not be aware of. This is a Mario builder so we know what to expect there but what smaller additions and changes have Nintendo made?
1. Luigi Lends a Hand
The story mode acts as a brilliant way to see some of the game’s new items in action but also to simply just have some fun and play a range of Nintendo-made levels. While things might start out relatively simple, some
of the later creations do become rather difficult.
Fear not though as Luigi will lend a hand if you find yourself struggling, supplying you with a limited number of power-ups and blocks that you can place anywhere in the stage you like. If a particular jump is proving too devilish then simply add a couple of blocks in the middle. Having trouble dealing with some nasty Hammer Bros? Even the playing field and throw a fire flower into the mix. It’s totally optional but definitely a great little helpline that can make a stage easier without turning it into a total cakewalk.
2. Checkpoints and Clear Conditions Don’t Mix
Checkpoints make a return from the original Super Mario Maker but can’t be used when adding a clear condition to your stage. While this may initially seem like an odd restriction it starts to make more sense when you think about some examples.
Say you created a level that required the player to carry a shell with them to the finish but didn’t include any Koopa Troopas beyond a checkpoint – one where it’s also impossible to backtrack from. If the player should die past this checkpoint there is no possible way for them to grab a shell and complete the level’s clear condition. I can imagine it being mighty frustrating to play through to the end of a stage only to realize you actually needed something you can only get by restarting entirely.
It’s not just carrying shells that would a problem either. Finishing levels with a certain power-up or collecting coins could all be affected if checkpoints were involved. While it does make levels tougher I’d rather that
over frustrating ones.
3. How To Change The Default Character
A small feature this but an appreciated one nonetheless is the ability to change who you play as when creating levels or playing someone else’s. Simply hop over to the settings and you’re then able to select Mario, Luigi,
blue Toad or Toadette. This means even those playing on their own get the chance to choose as opposed to being limited to multiplayer.
4. There Are Level Limits
A bit of a less exciting reveal this but something players will likely want to compare with the original Super Mario Maker. Counting the empty spaces in the Coursebot it appears you will be able to save 100 of your own levels in Super Mario Maker 2 while there are 60 separate spaces for you to save other creator’s levels you’ve downloaded from the Course World option. As for uploading of levels? Well out the gate you’re able to upload 32 of your own levels online. I’ve yet to see this number increase as my levels receive positive feedback from others (similar to the system in the original Super Mario Maker) but perhaps this will change the more levels you upload and the more medals you receive.
5. The Differences Between Handheld And Docked
So, my biggest question going into Super Mario Maker 2 was how it would translate over control-wise from the Wii U’s gamepad especially playing in docked mode with traditional controls. I’ve created levels using both the handheld and docked options and it should come as no surprise to learn that the latter is easily the better method.
Nintendo has included some smart shortcuts sure, such as flicking the control stick in a direction to hop into one of the toolbars – among other things – but overall it doesn’t offer the flexibility and intuitiveness that a touch screen does. In fact, I found the touch screen to work great overall whether I was using a stylus or even just a finger. It was so much easier having everything I need literally a finger swipe away as opposed to moving a cursor and juggling buttons.
In terms of time taken to create a level, I made two of a similar size and scope – one in handheld and one docked – to see just how much quicker it would be to use the former method. Granted the differential will likely shrink the more I play with a controller, but at least in the first few weeks, it’s taken me anywhere between an hour and two less using the touch screen. This definitely feels like a game where playing is best done on the big screen while creating is better suited to handheld mode.
6. The Super Mario 3D World Style
It’s something I didn’t immediately notice but did the more I experimented with the new Super Mario 3D world style. While this new theme has some neat unique features such as the Koopa Troopa Car, blinking blocks and trampoline mushrooms there are some items that haven’t carried over from the previous four themes. For example, while the ON/OFF switch is featured, the disappearing and reappearing block that link are not. Grinders and Skewers are also absent. It does make the 3D World theme feel like it’s very own thing but it is still a little odd to see some of these enemies and obstacles removed entirely.
7. I Wish The Mii Costumes Were Real
Pimping out your Mii with a whole range of Mario themed attire is great, gradually unlocking more of your wardrobe as you reach certain milestones. I do wish some of these designs were turned into the real thing. If future content is coming to the game post-launch then this will undoubtedly be where we see stuff being added.
Super Mario Maker 2 will release exclusively for Nintendo Switch worldwide on June 28th.