Infinite creativity on display: Super Mario Maker 2 Review

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A tank in user Nabuz's level "Mario Joins The Army-o", made of objects such as pipes, saws and conveyor belts (Source: Mashable).

Nintendo’s Super Mario Maker 2, released last month, has put the power of creation back into the hands of the people. The game incorporates the solid features of the Wii U original, as well as new features such as multiplayer gameplay and level creation, and the ability to make levels in the style of 2013’s Super Mario 3D World.

I never owned a Wii U, but the original Super Mario Maker intrigued me. With Super Mario Maker 2 releasing on the Switch, I’ve finally been gifted the ability to make my own Super Mario Bros. levels, as well as play those of my fellow gamers – and let me tell you, it’s a real treat.

The level maker crafted by Nintendo is intuitive and easy to learn, though making a truly great level is more difficult. For me, the most fun to be had in Super Mario Maker 2 is in playing other people’s levels – the creativity of some creators is astounding. From simple platforms reminiscent of the official Super Mario games, to puzzles and musical levels, the possibilities truly seem endless.

Finding the most creative levels is now easier than ever. A new browser curates levels based mostly on player likes, between those deemed ‘Hot’, ‘Popular’, and ‘New’, with an additional ‘Detailed Search’ option which allows players to search with tags such as ‘puzzle solving’ and ‘speedrun’. This makes the most brilliant of levels in Super Mario Maker 2 just a button press or two away. You can also ‘favourite’ level creators with the push of a button and be notified when they upload a new level. All their levels will appear in your favourites section as well, marked by a star.

New tools such as ‘on/off’ switches that can affect blocks and conveyor belts, and slopes that Mario can slide down, provide new opportunities for level creation. However, Super Mario Maker 2 is not a perfect game. Co-operative level creation works well, but the playing of levels with others via the internet is often laggy and unresponsive – a problem plaguing many Nintendo games such as the Super Smash Bros. series. This can make races to the end of the level frustrating and, given it was flaunted as one of the most fresh and impressive improvements on the original Super Mario Maker, I think it needs some work to make it function as intended.

Nevertheless, despite some minor issues, Super Mario Maker 2 is a solid sequel and game in its own right. I give it 8 out of 10 stars.

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