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Super Mario Maker 2 Direct Recap: story mode, night levels and more revealed

Super Mario Maker 2 will feature a 100-level strong story mode, new themes, nighttime levels and a lot else besides.

Super Mario Maker 2 might be a bit of a do-over of one of the Wii U's best games that didn't sell as well as it should've because... well, because of the Wii U, but it's no bare-bones sequel - it's adding a lot.

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Just how much is due to be added was detailed more fully in last night's Nintendo Direct (embedded to watch in full above), which was a fifteen minute broadcast dedicated entirely to Super Mario Maker 2. As well as confirming that basically all of the core features and elements of the previous release will be returning, a bunch of new features were also revealed. If you don't have time to sit through the full fifteen minutes, have no fear - here's what you need to know is now included:

  • There's a 100-level story mode included. The story mode features 100 levels crafted by Mario experts at Nintendo. The larger progression involves Mario & company rebuilding Princess Peach's castle - rewards given for completing levels will allow you to gradually construct the castle, and when built you can explore it to unlock more levels, encountering some deep-cut NPCs from titles like Mario Paint. Levels will aim to not only be fun, but also teach players about ways of using Mario Maker's various tools to build good levels of their own.
  • New settings, themes and enemies are everywhere. Of course, perhaps the biggest and most exciting addition to Super Mario Maker 2 are the extra options and settings for creating a level. This includes new themes like snow, desert and forest backdrops complete with new music from Koji Kondo, plus new level elements like custom auto-scrolling, moving blocks, slopes, on/off switches and raising or lowering water (or lava) levels. There are of course also new enemies, too - including the dreaded sun from Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • Stages can now have completion conditions. This means that you can set specific conditions for your stage of choice, giving you more options for measuring completion than just touching the flag. This can include collecting a certain number of coins, or finishing in the possession of a specific power-up.
  • A new toggle lets you play levels at night - and they change when you do. One major new toggle is the moon. When turned on, it switches each level type to a nighttime-themed backdrop instead. Play also changes at night, however - so certain enemies might have different properties at night, while nighttime levels underground take place entirely upside down with a vertical screen flip. The effect is different on each themed background.
  • There's a Super Mario 3D World theme, but it's separate from the rest. Whereas the other themes in Mario Maker (SMB, SMB3, World & NewSMB) are interchangeable, the new 3D World theme is so different that it's held separately from the rest. 3D world was obviously not merely a side-scroller, though the theme here aims to bring many of its features into the side-scrolling Mario Maker action. It includes things like Cat Mario, picking up and throwing boxes, warp boxes and trampolines as well as unique enemies. Because this is a separate theme, these can't be used in the other styles of level.
  • You can make and play levels cooperatively. Two players can work together to make levels together on one screen - simply hand the second player a joy-con and they can get involved on the action, creating simultaneously and hopefully leading to a sense of organized chaos in your creation. Once the work is done, you can of course test and play the world together.
  • Competitive play is in, including for online. As well as playing cooperatively, there are modes where you can race against three other players online through a level, with the first to finish the winner. This comes complete with a ranking system for online. Offline, you can link Switch machines together for this mode - and only the host player will need an internet connection.
  • A bundle will put together the game and a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. You can pick up Mario Maker 2 stand-alone, of course, but given how integral going online to either play with others or share your own levels is to the game, Nintendo is also releasing a bundle that includes one year of Nintendo Switch Online subscription. That'll cost $69.99 - $10 more than the standard game - or your regional equivalent. This stacks on top of existing subscriptions, too - so if you already have a year, you can buy the bundle to stack an extra year in advance for a discount.

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