Today, Nintendo held one of its Direct presentations, but this one was focused exclusively on Super Mario Maker 2, which was originally announced earlier this year. Not much had been confirmed so far in regards to the game, so the presentation shed light on a lot of details fans have been wondering about.
One of the biggest additions to the game is story mode, which should make the game appealing even if you're not into the community aspect of it. In story mode, Mario is helping rebuild Princess Peach's castle and needs to beat stages in order to receive coins, which can then be used to pay for more of the work that needs to be done. In addition to the main quest, there are characters that can introduce side quests in story mode. Nintendo says there are over 100 original courses in this mode, which is a significant amount of content to start with.
But Super Mario Maker 2 is, of course, still very much focused on creating, sharing, and playing levels created by other members of the community. Nintendo has some big news in that department as well, with the addition of multiplayer support for both creating and playing through levels. In creation mode, two players using the same console can collaborate to create a level, which should help create stages faster.
Playing through stages also supports multiplayer with up to four people, and it even comes in two modes, co-operative or versus. As the names indicate, in the co-operative mode players will need to work together to finish a stage, and in versus mode, it becomes a free-for-all to see who can finish first or get the furthest in a stage.
These modes can be played locally on the same console or in local wireless mode, and only the Switch system that's hosting the game needs to be connected to the internet to access the levels. But, most importantly, for the first time in a side-scrolling Mario game, it's possible to play with other people through an online connection, which is pretty big news for fans of the franchise.
Accessing the community-created levels is done through a section called Course World, and in addition to sections such as "Popular" or "New", you can manually search for courses. For this, Nintendo lets creators add tags, such as "Autoscroll", "Puzzle-solving", or "Multiplayer Versus", so that it's easier to find the courses you're looking for. You can also look for courses that use your preferred game style, like Super Mario Bros., Super Mario World, or Super Mario 3D World, filter for your preferred setting, and more.
Other online features include the ability to download courses so you can play them when you're not connected to the internet or leave comments in courses to warn others of potential dangers, for example. There's also an Endless Challenge mode, where you can select the difficulty level you're aiming for and play an endless set of stages to see how far you can go.
There's a ton of smaller changes in the game, including new items and enemies that can be placed in courses. These include slopes of varying degrees, the Angry Sun from Super Mario Bros. 3, snake blocks, on/off blocks that can change certain conditions in a stage, and more. One of the more interesting additions is that stages can be shifted to night mode, which distorts the normal physics of the stage in a number of different ways.
As previously showcased, there's also a new game style based on Super Mario 3D World, and it includes a lot of elements that aren't available in the other game styles. Clear pipes, the Cat Mario power-up, and a Koopa Troopa car which makes it easier to breeze through levels are some of the elements that can be used in this game style. This is also the only game style that isn't compatible with the other four, so if you're designing a stage, it'll be cleared if you switch to or from this style.
Nintendo had previously revealed that the game is being released on June 28, and it's available for pre-order now for $59.99. It will also be available in a limited edition with a 12-month subscription to Nintendo Switch Online, which you'll need in order to share and play community-created levels in the game, and that costs $69.99. The subscription will stack on top of your current one if you already have it, so you can basically get one year of the online service at half the price.
Nintendo is also introducing its first exclusive discount for members of the Nintendo Switch Online service in the form of Game Vouchers. These vouchers cost $99.99 for a set of two, and each of them can be redeemed for a Nintendo Switch game from a selection of titles. Most big releases on the Nintendo Switch usually cost $69.99, so one set of vouchers could save you $19.98, as long as you don't mind buying games digitally. Pre-orders for Super Mario Maker 2 are already compatible with this offer, which is why it's being announced today. You can buy them from today, and check the list of compatible titles to see if they're useful for you.
If you're interested in learning more about the smaller additions to Super Mario Maker 2, you can watch the full 15-minute presentation here.