Super Mario Maker 2 has online co-op, a story mode, and so much more
Well well well. Nintendo promised a tonne of new info for Super Mario Maker 2 in this morning’s Direct, and boy did they deliver.
In a 15-minute presentation this morning, Nintendo showed off an absolute truckload of new features in Super Mario Maker 2. There’s way too much here to list it all, but we’ve put together a list of what we think is the most interesting.
There’s a lot of new features that don’t really fit into a category, so we’re sticking them here.
- The On/Off blocks previously shown off in the Super Mario World style are available in every style, which is pretty neat. Aside from simply turning red/blue blocks on and off, they can also be used to change tracks in a level, make conveyor belts change directions, and more.
- Vertical courses are now a thing, so you can build upwards to your heart’s content. All the fancy screen-scrolling options shown off are available here too, so the only limit is your imagination (and the block limit).
- There’s a new Dry Bones Shell, which… is the shell of a Dry Bones. You can hop into it and surf on lava, or play dead to become invincible. It’s a small addition, but it’s kinda cool.
- There’s a tonne of new sound effects, and new visual effects to go along with them. We imagine most of these will just be spammed to the point of frustration in most levels, as they were in the first game, but there’s a lot of potential for cool applications here.
- Custom clear conditions! This is pretty cool — basically, you can set the win condition to be something other than hitting the flag pole. This can include collecting a certain amount of coins, killing a certain amount of enemies, killing a certain amount of a certain kind of enemy, the list goes on.
- New music from legendary Nintendo composer Koji Kondo. Because it wouldn’t be a new Mario game without him.
This was a bit of an unexpected surprise. Super Mario Maker 2 will feature an all-new story mode, which will take you through over 100 courses. These courses are specifically designed to teach you the application of course elements, so you have a better idea of how each element can be used and — perhaps more importantly — how they can be used effectively.
There are a few more course themes than the first game, including desert, snow, forest, and sky themes (for airship levels, of course). Perhaps more interestingly, all of these themes can be switched to Night Mode, which can change allllll sorts of things, like gravity, how items and enemies behave, and a host of other things that we don’t have the space to mention here. It’s going to be a lot of trial and error to figure out exactly what this does to each course element, but it seems fun.
Super Mario 3D World
We’ve seen a lot of this before, but yup, it sure is Super Mario 3D World. This level style is so different to the other styles that, upon switching to it, all previous elements you had set up get cleared. That means you can’t seamlessly switch between, say, Super Mario World and Super Mario 3D Land, like you could if you were switching to Super Mario Bros 3. The trade-off is a shipload of fancy, exclusive features, like clear pipes, exclamation mark blocks, Cat Mario, and Meowser. God bless Meowser.
Before we get started on the new online features, yup, you’ll need an active subscription to Nintendo Switch Online if you want to share levels. Pretty much everybody expected this, but there’s your confirmation.
Now into the good stuff. Much like its predecessor, Super Mario Maker 2 features a Course World. And much like its predecessor, you can scroll through a list of popular courses, new courses, or search specifically for a course using its course code (yup, those are still around too). Unlike its predecessor, however, Course World allows you to tag levels for easy searching. For example, if you wanted to find a long list of puzzle levels, there’s a tag for that. You want a music level? There’s a tag for that. Short and sweet levels? You guessed it, there’s a tag for that. It’s a fantastic addition.
Players will also be able to leave comments in a level, in a similar way to how Miiverse was integrated into the original Super Mario Maker on the Wii U. There’s a bunch of stickers you can use to quickly get your point across, or you can draw out a message yourself. Please remember to comment responsibly.
Courses can, of course, be downloaded, much like in the original game, but now you can take them on the go and play them offline. It’s a small, obvious addition, but it might be perfect for that super-tough level you just can’t put down until you’ve beaten it.
And, finally, 100 Mario Challenge returns… in a way. It’s been rebranded to “Endless Challenge,” which is exactly what it sounds like. You pick a difficulty level, and you’re served up a never-ending stream of courses to play, and play until you get a game over.
Perhaps the most exciting new feature, however, is…
It’s here! It’s finally here. As many folks predicted, Super Mario Maker 2 will feature full online multiplayer for up to four players, bringing online multiplayer to a platforming Mario game for the very first time. It works a lot like New Super Mario Bros U (don’t worry though, it’s available in all styles), four players get thrown into a stage, and they all try to get to the finish line. That said… it is broken up into two styles of gameplay: Versus Mode, and Co-op Mode. Versus mode is a race to the finish line, with the victor getting all the glory. Co-op Mode, on the other hand, is a little more friendly. Here, you’re not competing, you’re working together to get to the end of the stage, in any way you can. If any one of you gets to the flag pole, you’ve all won! Isn’t that nice?
There’s also co-op level creation, but that’s not online — it’s a couch co-op affair. You and a friend can grab a joy-con and make or test levels together. It’ll probably be a bit chaotic, but hey, what’s a little chaos between friends?
There’s so much here that we didn’t have the time or the space to list them all, so if you’re interested in checking it all out, you can watch the full presentation below.
Super Mario Maker 2 launches at retail and on the eShop worldwide on the 28th of June 2019.