Rebuilding Nostalgia


Game: Super Mario Maker 2 Platform: Nintendo Switch Rating: E for Everyone
Price: $59.99

Super Mario Bros could quite possibly be the perfect concept for a video game. Created during a time when home computing consisted of little more than harsh colors and shrill beep and bop sounds, the little red plumber revitalized an industry with its simple yet fun gameplay design. Now, all these years later, Mario is looking to set another standard by allowing players to create their very own worlds in Super Mario Maker 2.

Rebuilding a legend

Mario titles aren’t known for their intricate storytelling or mind-bending plot twists. The tradition isn’t broken here. The narrative is a throwaway tale in which Princess Peach’s iconic castle has been destroyed and is in need of rebuilding—that’s where you come in. It’s up to Mario to collect coins and complete levels in order to earn enough money to reconstruct portions of the palace. Each stage has a difficulty level, starting off easy before slowly growing more challenging. While the story made deliveries a fun time, it’s truly nothing more than an appetizer, which helps gamers get the hang of the mechanics they will be using during the main course.

From a Plumber to a Builder

The 2D Mario games can be thought of as obstacle courses: the player must make it from one end of the level to the other while dodging pitfalls, falling objects, and a variety of enemies. As more games released, the developers behind the franchise managed to conceive of even more creative ways for players to run the so-called obstacle course. Now after all these decades of running the developers’ obstacles, the keys to the mush-room kingdom have been placed in your hands. This game is all about making and sharing your very own courses, while also playing and rating those created by others from around the world.

Creating your own levels is both fun and easy. You simply select a back-drop and then tap the Nintendo Switch’s touch screen to place any object into the game world. It can feel a little finicky at first—you will undoubtedly accidentally place the wrong item or a cluster of multiple items—yet after about ten minutes or so you will be building your stage like its second nature. After naming and uploading your level, other players can then play it for themselves, and even rate it and leave a comment informing you and other players how much they enjoyed it. There are some down-sides to this, however. Every time you want to find a friend’s creation you must type out their maker ID which is, inconveniently, a long string of numbers. Also, the main objective when completing levels online is to finish them as fast as possible. I have never enjoyed games on a time limit and therefore would have liked to see more stats kept for each level such as most coins collected, or most enemies defeated rather than just who completed it the fastest.

A Collective History

While perfecting your creations, you can choose a generation style in which to set your world. Everything from the pixelated Super Mario Bros and the more colorful Super Bros 3, to Super Nintendo’s Super Mario World and the more graphically impressive New Super Mario Bros U and Super Mario 3D World. It is this wide array of choices that make the experience so rewarding. There is nothing like pouring time into a level for others to enjoy. The lack of the ability to play with friends online is a disappointment but in usual Nintendo fashion, it is a breeze to play and even offers levels in couch co-op mode. Super Mario Maker 2 is a dream come true for Mario fans and an enjoyable ride for all others as well.