‘Super Mario 2’ hands-on: What a delight

Super Mario Maker 2 is so much fun.

I only played about an hour of Super Mario Maker 2 for the Nintendo Switch at a preview event, jumping between the course creator, story mode, and course world, and every time I had to switch between modes I was bummed out that I didn’t have more time to mess around in the previous one.

That’s a fantastic sign.

I never played Super Mario Maker for the Wii U or 3DS because I didn’t think I would be into the tedium of laying down platforms, item boxes, and enemies, and I felt like I absorbed enough of the custom levels by watching other people play them online. Boy was I wrong.

When I played Super Mario Maker 2, I realized the course creator scratched a creative itch that has lain dormant in me since I last developed video games in college. Once I got a handle on the controls in docked mode, everything around me fell away as I switch the art style to Super Mario World and began crafting a treacherous platforming level suspended over a pit of poisonous liquid.

And then playing through the course world levels (designed by Nintendo employees) and trying to beat their record times was a blast. There’s an indelible quality to the styles of each 2D Mario game (and the 2D-ified Super Mario 3D World style) that is impossible not to love.

The colorful levels alone are intoxicating.

The colorful levels alone are intoxicating.

Even the chaos of multiplayer course world was a lot of fun as I worked together with three other players to get through puzzle-filled levels and race to the finish line.

Although they are packed with new features that allow for more creativity than ever before, the course maker and the course world are nothing new. The biggest new feature is story mode.

Story mode is a campaign of sorts that allows players to enjoy levels that are made for Super Mario Maker 2 by Nintendo. It’s basically a brand new 2D Mario game tucked inside of Super Mario Maker 2 built from the styles of Mario games throughout the decades.

If course building isn’t your thing, or you just need to switch things up, story mode is a great option with a fresh spin on the usual level progression, requiring players to collect coins to build new parts of Princess Peach’s castle and unlock new levels.

Whoa.

Whoa.

Super Mario Maker 2 arrives on Nintendo Switch on June 28.

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