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Fancy yourself a better game designer than Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto? You’re probably not, but Super Mario Maker 2 certainly isn’t going to stop you from trying.

The original Super Mario Maker on Wii U offered an almost overwhelming cavalcade of classic Mario bits and bobs with which to craft your own creations. From the simple to the alarmingly convoluted, they were then let loose upon the world to be their judge. Super Mario Maker 2 ups the ante.

Additions are probably as good a place as any to start. As well as having four old school Mario game styles to fiddle with, Super Mario 3D World has now been added, although here it’s decidedly 2D. It sits in its own separate universe, however, so there’s no mixing and matching with its predecessors. Still, with the addition of its slicker graphics, various new styles of blocks, a motley crew of new nemeses and, in particular, furry fave Cat Mario, it’s pretty special to get busy with. That’s without mentioning the absolute awesomeness of the Koopa Troopa car, too.

Co-operative or versus play is a thing, either local or online. New themes have also been added such as desert, forest, ice and sky – plus, in classic Duran Duran style, there are night versions of them, which bring new play styles into, erm, play. More technically, there are increased options to control scrolling, better sound effects and also the joy of slopes and vertical levels. Unlike the original, most every tool is at your disposal from the get-go, too – no pesky daily unlocks!

Super Mario Maker 2

Best of all of for those who feel like playing rather than creating? A complete story mode. Playful pup Undodog has gone and hit reset on Peach’s newly-constructed castle. So, it’s up to tradie superhero Mario and his merry band of Toads to get a new one happening – and, if they have any brains, lock up the mutt so that he doesn’t break everything again. This happens via completion of 100+ increasingly challenging Nintendo-made levels, which earns coins. This currency is then exchanged for labour and castle components in order to make castledom great again. The added side effect of these levels is that they go to town demonstrating just what wonders can be accomplished with this release’s editor.

Of course, if you’re more prepared to chance your arm on checking out community-created content – and you are subscribed to Nintendo Switch Online – you can go to town (or desert, or forest, etc) downloading and playing the work of others. From our sampling, as expected there’s greatness awaiting – and a lot of not-so-greatness. To be fair, the game has only just been released though, so once people dig deeper we’re confident that there will be a wealth of wonders at our disposal.

“…there’s greatness awaiting – and a lot of not-so-greatness.”

Speaking of creation, working in TV mode can be a bit of a chore – the Wii U certainly won on this front (it had to win somewhere!) with it’s dual display system. Creating in handheld mode on the Switch though feels more natural, although the small screen can make some things a little fiddly to accomplish. Also, the creation mode provides an option to get some assistance when first entered. If you’re new to all this then we strongly suggest accepting it, otherwise you’re pretty much on your own working out a potentially bewildering array of components for concocting your own Mario challenges.

If you just can’t get enough of that wonderful Mario stuff, then it’s hard to walk, run or even jump past Super Mario Maker 2. As well as housing a bunch of challenging instant gratification, with a bit of creative effort you theoretically have endless play options at your disposal.

Super Mario Maker 2 is available now for Switch.star 4 and a half

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