Mario is not an icon of video games just because he is a friendly and brave guy, but because he is the face behind some of the best platform games of all time. Nintendo has carefully taken care of its adventures for decades, but in 2015 something different happened. Big N gave players the tools to create and share scenarios in Super Mario Maker, on the Wii U. And the Mario we knew acquired a new dimension.
Mario is no longer a hero who jumps and calms. And it became a thick crust of speed demon, a bold figure who defies death while being forced to cross insubordinate scenarios built by evil geniuses who knew each of their jumps and movements like the palm of their hands.
With the Mario Maker versions of Wii U and 3DS abandoned by Nintendo, Super Mario Maker 2 for Switch It brings us back to those impetuous times of some years ago. The game is quite familiar, but the more you play and believe, the more you realize all the small additions included and appreciate the way they increase the creativity potential in new ways.
Mario Maker 2 is a robust phase creation tool and a fantastic and open platform game that will undoubtedly stimulate a new era of competition between players and creators. And so far, it's great to see what the right people can do with the means to build Mario's world.
The intuitive drag-and-drop system is back. However, you don't have the luxury of always having a touch pen in the Switch. So consider including one in your shopping list, since the use of your fingers can cause the loss of objects. And you can even create with your Switch docked in the dock, but surely this should be your last option. Even without a touch pen, everything is faster and easier in portable console mode.
Selecting and positioning the ingredients for their phases, or simply drawing a wide range of terrains, is an easy and painless process. And there are intuitive ways to copy, paste and undo your work as needed.
Once again, you will have components from Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros. U, as well as various enemies, objects and mechanisms. You select one of the games and work within your toolkit, but it is easy to switch to another and keep most of your work. Only a few occasional items are nontransferable.
The big exception is the new game based on Super Mario 3D World, which can only be used in isolation. And although the "3D" suggests that you will run away from the two-dimensional stages, you will not. You only have access to unique elements of that game, such as the always strange object that turns Mario into a cat.
But that is not the only notable addition. The total sum is too numerous to be listed here. It's just that Cat Mario is up there with the skills of creating earrings, custom scrolling for each stage, and determining the conditions to overcome the scenarios, such as some of the most shocking additions to the Mario Maker formula. Of course, even the smallest variable can have a cascading effect on the right hands. Only time will tell which middle element will become an evil weapon by the most skilled builders.
For beginners, of course, there is an opportunity to feel overwhelmed by the amount of options available to them. But that's where the Yamamura Dojo comes in. Yamamura is a dove, but a very wise and perceptive dove. If you need help to understand the basics of conceiving and creating a phase, Yamamura is your bird.
Its catalog of 45 lessons (divided into Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced) accompanies you in absolutely everything, from the positioning of pieces of land and Goombas to the most philosophical side of the creation of phases, even navigating the side of the goal of being A creator sharing your work for others to judge.
These lessons will help a beginner keep up with everything, while more experienced designers have no restrictions from the beginning, which was a smart move by Nintendo. The developer community has made some really impressive stages that take advantage of the robust Mario Maker 2 toolkit, and the general level of logic inherent in a Mario game remains the same (for example, you don't have to get tangled up under the hood to rewrite the traditional rules of cause and effect), but the spirit of Mario Maker 2 flourishes when family elements are combined by expert players. And often in a way that Nintendo would never use in a traditional Mario game.
Until now, this unexpected creativity has manifested itself in eccentric scenarios filled with an exorbitant number of enemies, diabolical tests with platforms that require superhuman reflexes and ingenious gadgets that move Mario and important objects from one side to another using calculated chain reactions. Not all phases are perfect, but since the controls and fundamental elements of these worlds are all tested and true, it is rare to find a creation that really pisses you off.
In the end, dozens (soon hundreds, if not thousands) of alternative stages are a few seconds away, which is a great convenience. It is not a euphemism to say that the speed with which you can navigate, download and play new scenarios is one of the main reasons that make exploring Mario Maker 2 so easy and enjoyable.
The discovery factor plays an important role in what you will find. In addition to the basic lists of popular, new and trending stages, there is a detailed search function that allows you to reduce the search for attributes such as subject or difficulty. You can also sort the results by labels that indicate the type of stage, either an automatic scrolling or a puzzle-centered challenge. After playing, you can leave your comments for other players to read, a simple but meaningful way to contribute to the community and learn from your teammates.
All this to say that the online phase selection of Mario Maker 2 is organized and served to the broadest player base. It is not necessary that you get involved in all aspects if you only want to play a handful of random Super Mario scenarios, but it is fantastic to see that you can get deeply involved with your fellow creators if you wish.
One of the most disputed features before the arrival of Mario Maker 2 was its online multiplayer mode, which is presented in cooperative and competitive formats. Nintendo's initial plan to limit these modes to random matchmakers caused the anger of some fans who reasonably hoped they could play with their friends. Since then, Nintendo has made it clear that this feature will arrive, but that it was not ready for the game's release.
And as things stand, the delay present in most multiplayer sessions (in which matchmaking takes place automatically) ruins the experience. Mario, and especially the scenarios created in Mario Maker, revolve around precision. When you cannot trust your character's movement or control input, it is better not to play. If something testifies now against Mario Maker 2, it is the current state of online multiplayer mode.
On the other hand, the most positive is that the other great addition to Mario Maker 2 is an appropriate story mode, a campaign with 100 scenarios created by Nintendo. The plot is that same Mario thing set in a world full of NPCs and some fun surprises, taking the model a few steps ahead of The Super Mario Challenge, the 3DS by Mario Maker. This is not a fantastic addition to the light of the endless scenarios created by other players, but it is a nice alternative if you prefer a more coordinated campaign.
There is a small missed opportunity to give the player creative tools as a way to solve puzzles with a purpose – a way to learn by getting their hands dirty – but they only appear as an option to cross stages in which you repeatedly fail.
Seriously, Mario is worthy of all the admiration he receives. In addition, Super Mario Maker 2 is an excellent tool to dismember it while pushing your enemies, mechanisms and Mario himself to his limits. I still have to create my own phase that I think is worth sharing with other players, but I promise to get it. Whether it's about exploring the full potential of a single item or throwing things at the wall to see what gets stuck, it stings me when I join the developer club.
Mario Maker 2 has an intuitive and enjoyable learning process. But the most important thing is that it allows amateur and professional designers to share their creativity with the world. The community started well, and I'm glad the fun is starting.