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When Nintendo announced that they’ll be popping out another version of the famous Mario Builder, everyone was psyched. I mean, what’s not to love about a game with an unlimited number of gameplay hours where you can be responsible for the gameplay? This new addition to Nintendo’s longest-running franchise has everyone from the kids playing Mario Kart to the, ahem, senior citizens who have been playing Mario since he was called “Jumpman” talking about it, and since it’s finally been released, we decided to jump into the fun. Mario Maker 2 brings in so many new elements that were not there in the first game, but you’ll also find some hardcore fans pointing out things that Nintendo missed, or simply changed in ways that were not intuitive. So, let’s take a good look at all the hits and misses!

Mario Tells A Story…

The most noticeable change, or should I say, addition, is the addition of a story mode. This addition entirely transforms the game from being yet another Mario Maker that a creator would use to build levels to being a normal game that a normal person playing Mario would play. Technically speaking, it’s not a Mario Builder game with a story mode slapped on. If anything, it’s the other way around. It’s a fully playable Mario game that also happens to have the biggest ever Mario Maker integrated into it. Now, this isn’t to say that the story is mind-blowing. If anything, it’s kinda generic. Princess Peach has her castle destroyed and Mario needs to go around fixing it, as usual. I’m not going to go into the details but long story short, you have to go through over 100 levels to get enough budget to rebuild the destroyed castle, and this is the star of the show.

While some levels may appear boring, most of them are extremely fun to play and have been built with a stroke of genius. People who love to play Mario will enjoy playing this and people who love to create Mario levels can take inspiration from it, so it’s a win-win.

And The Other Big Thing Is…

Multiplayer! With local multiplayer, you can play in areas that you created and bring along a friend with you. But if you’re terrible at creating, you can just download an area that has already been created and play away!

This is a huge step up since it means you can have unlimited gameplay hours but with friends this time around. For some unknown reason, however, Nintendo seemed determined to make sure that you had a hard time getting to the local multiplayer, making you go around multiple menus before finally getting your LAN party up and running. Sure, the steps to get there aren’t hard to follow, but Nintendo certainly could have made it a little easier for us.

But local multiplayer isn’t all you can do. You also have online multiplayer! Yep, you can now pull up your own custom levels and play it with… a totally random stranger. Unfortunately, right now you can’t play online multiplayer with your friends which is quite a bummer, so Nintendo better get to fixing it soon. But this isn’t the only problem with multiplayer. Since every level created can technically be used for multiplayer, you end up playing multiplayer in levels that were simply not meant for two people. Anyways, while there may be issues with multiplayer, it’s great that it’s there, to begin with. The improvements can come later.

AaandThere’s This One Other Big Addition

Most other video game developers would have introduced two big things into the game and called it a day. But not Nintendo. Nintendo decided to go ahead and add 3D into Mario Maker 2. You now have a whole range of 3D models you can push around to make your own Mario game in 3D. But it isn’t just the 3D that comes in, you also have some exciting new game elements that come along with the 3D. When you jump around, Mario now executes flips and kicks like a professional gymnast. You also have the catsuit which allows you to clamber around walls and generally move like a cat, increasing the number of possibilities that could go into a single level.

In addition to this, you also have something you never knew you needed: a Koopa Troopa Car. This car is ridiculously fast and can do a whole range of things you would normally not be able to do on foot, such as get from point A to point B within seconds. It can also take out enemies and is extremely fun, so if you’re planning on making your own levels, make it a point to have the car in them.

What Did It Miss?

Considering that there have been so much added, nothing has really gone “missing” per se. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t certain aspects of the game that players would have preferred if Nintendo had kept unchanged. One of these things is making levels. The mechanics that go into this are not as efficient as it was in its predecessor. It’s really hard to make any visually outstanding levels on docked mode. Instead, using the touchscreen would be the best way for you to go.

However, if you want to achieve the best results, a stylus is recommended. The thinner the tip of the stylus, the better the results. Another huge drawback you might experience while creating levels is that although you have been given the ability to draw both 2D and 3D levels, you can only draw one particular type of level in any given session. Once you switch from 2D to 3D or vice versa, whatever you been building in the other dimension gets wiped off, meaning that you have to commit to whichever style fully. In addition to this, the 3D world is missing some stuff that makes the 2D world interesting, and this goes around both ways, with the 2D world missing some of the 3D worlds’ features.

The user interface also seems a bit crowded and there is a lot of other stuff that veteran builders find annoying, but the fact that there are these small issues does not depreciate the value of the game. There is still far more content than there was before, and so much fun to be had!


So, final verdict? It’s a pretty great game. If you’re a player who is interested in building Mario levels, then this is the game for you, thanks to the huge new options Nintendo has made available for players. If you’re a hardcore creator, you might find somethings that you wished Nintendo kept as it were, and some things you would like to be better, but you can trust that Nintendo will make them better with time. Mario Maker 2 is a step up from the first game, and there is so much more content to play around with. So, either as a builder or player, you’re bound to love it!

About the Author

Ramesh Radhakrishnan is the content lead for OffGamers. An avid gamer, Ramesh is keen on exploring digital worlds and the world behind the scenes.

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