Yeah I know. This review took a lot longer than I originally planned. And I don’t blame everyone for wondering what took me so long to write it. But what can I say about Mario Maker 2 that hasn’t been said by everyone else already?
I will admit one thing though when it comes to this game. I’m not a very creative person, and I have not made many levels in the game, nor have I updated anything to the servers. But I will say that I have spent many hours playing all the community creations that many other Mario fans have come up with, and the creativity I’ve seen from them is just astounding!
And that’s where the huge joy of Mario Maker 2 comes from: its community. By providing a near infinite number of stages to play, it’s safe to say that this game has unbelievable value. While most of the levels can be selected via the menus, there is also the Endless Mode which picks random levels based on their difficulty in a near survival mode style of gameplay. I will however say the easy mode is a bit too easy, as no matter what I do, I still end up with nearly 99 Marios in a short amount of time.
I recommend starting on at least Normal difficulty to face a good challenge, Then there are the Expert and Super Expert courses that reach the point of insanity in how difficult they are. I can only imagine how many people will want to speed-run those courses.
In addition, to get a feel for the mechanics of Mario Maker 2,there is a Story Mode to walk you through the game. The plot involves Mario trying to rebuild Princess Peach’s castle after canine companion Undodog accidentally destroyed it. It’s a fun simple tutorial that leads up to what the meat of the game shows.
Fans of all the Mario games will be happy with the environments that are available. Sure we have the classics ranging from SMB1, 3 and World, as well as New Super Mario Bros, but new to Mario Maker 2 are settings from Super Mario 3D World, including its Cat Mario powerups. They feel just as if you are playing them on your NES, SNES, 3DS or Wii U and are a real treat for Mario fans.
But sadly I can’t say the same thing about the Network Play feature, which suffers from severe lag. Hopefully it will get fixed real soon because it is one of the biggest issues holding back an otherwise great game. The other huge issue is for those who love to update stages, as only 32 levels can be loaded per person. The limit was raised to 64 stages, but hopefully more will be added soon because the more stages that come out, the merrier.
The basic version of Mario Maker 2 retails for $60, but for those who don’t have Nintendo Online yet, I strongly recommend purchasing the Deluxe Edition, as it includes a full year of Nintendo Online. Considering a full year normally retails for $20, getting it for half price is quite a good deal.
Let’s just face it. We can never have enough Mario levels to go through, and Switch owners have waited long enough. Mario Maker 2 is just what they needed in a fun little package. It’s definitely a title I will load up for a quick go at some fan created treasures and be left wanting for more. I’m also curious to see just what the speed-running community will think of the challenges ahead of them.
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Pros: Thanks to the community creations, there are a near infinite number of stages to play, with TONS of innovation. Story mode does a good job in showing off all the elements of the game. Endless challenge is an absolute blast. Deluxe Edition includes a one year subscription to Nintendo Online.
Cons: Network Play has lag issues. At first only 32 stages can be uploaded, but thankfully that was updated to now allow 64. The single screen of the Switch removes some of the creation accessibility that both the Wii U and 3DS versions enjoyed.
Ethical Disclaimer: This review was done using a digital copy of the Deluxe Edition of Super Mario Maker 2 on the Nintendo Switch purchased by the reviewer, and is in no way influenced by Nintendo of America, or anyone at GiN. Majority of the game played in Endless Mode and Story Mode (to completion.)