Blasphemy, right? Super Mario Odyssey is a title I gave a 10, after all. And if I’m being objective, I wouldn’t give Super Mario Maker 2 the same score. But as I think about it, I played and loved Odyssey, and beat it – and never returned. The genius of Super Mario Maker 2 is that it has not only some of the best Nintendo-designed side-scrolling levels (100 of them, to be precise), but it also has a limitless pool of additional content made and shared by the world. If there’s any downside to SMM2, it’s that there’s no good online option co-op or 2-player mode. The rest? Well, the rest is golden.
Imagine the very best and most clever 2D Mario levels you’ve ever played, and then top that. That’s what’s in the 100 levels the Nintendo team has crafted for the “Story Mode” of Super Mario Maker 2. You’re helping the Toads rebuild the castle after a dog accidentally destroys it. To do so, you’ve got to keep doing jobs for the Taskmaster, earning coins, and using them to rebuild the castle slowly.
There’s no overworld map, no grand adventure to rescue the Princess, and the levels will range from 8-Bit to full 3D in graphical styling. There’s no semblance of theme – no water world, no ice world, no desert world, etc. The theme is based on the job or task at hand, and it’s glorious, because you never know what you’re going to get and you can replay the levels to earn more coins for your castle.
And then, eventually, you’ll beat all 100 levels and in most Mario games that means you start over or put the thing down. In Super Mario Maker 2, you just keep playing. You play the creations made by the fans of the former plumbers, you pick what kind of challenge you want, and you go at it.
Even MORE? How about up to 4 player couch co-op and competitive play? You can even make the idea of creating a level a 2-player activity. Want to make something and play it with your kids or loved one? Go for it. Want to be sadistic and share with friends and watch them pull their hair out? More power to you.
There simply hasn’t ever been a Mario game this replayable, because the content is near endless. It’s not as broad as what you can do in a title like PS4’s Dreams or the Sackboy adventures from Media Molecule, but it’s the absolutely ultimate in Mario platforming. You need to have the Switch’s online service to download and share levels, but even if you can’t splurge for that chap add-on for the year, there’s still 100 of Nintendo’s best and brightest Mario levels to enjoy.
In short, I can’t recommend this one enough. And yes, I paid my own money for it this time. Cheers!