Super Mario Maker 2 does something new by giving people a mode where they already have built-in levels. For the first time, this series has a story mode. Given the nature of the Mushroom Kingdom, which is under constant assault by Bowser, it isn’t surprising that Princess Peach’s castle is often in need of rebuilding. Such a thing happens at the outset of the adventure. Following an unexpected reset, Mario must raise the funds to help rebuild the castle. Along the way, people get a number of things that make the endeavor about more than a job well done. You are also frequently rewarded.
Some of the Super Mario Maker 2 story mode rewards are more obvious. You keep playing, and that unlocks more “jobs” for you to keep doing. There are over 100 levels made by Nintendo. Many show off new and returning mechanics. Getting more assignments from the Toads, Undodog, Partrick is its own reward, as it is giving you courses that aren’t taking up some of your valuable download slots or don’t require you to be online to play.
But the other rewards require a little more effort. Essentially, they can mean going through a number of different levels or taking the time to rebuild Peach’s castle. The easier of the two to collect is very likely the Superball Flower. This power-up is earned by getting about 30% completion rate for the castle, then going to the right to talk to a Purple Toad. The character will ask you to defeat “POW Block Wake-Up.” After that Yellow Toad wakes up, you need to complete the “Buried Stones,” “Cat-Scratch Stone,” and “Stone from the River.” Once those three are done, Purple Toad will have the levels “Piranha Creeper Squash” and “Spiny Shell Smashers.”
The last one will give you the chance to get the Super Mario Land Superball Flower power-up to use when going with the Super Mario Bros. style. It’s really unusual and unique, in that it sends out a more permanent ball that has more staying power than a fireball and can careen across the screen. In these early days, people might see folks using it to make Alleyway-inspired levels. A great example of this is “Break Out, then Breakout” by realtrash. You can find it at FW3-707-1LF.
The Super Hammer is the other unique element. This is found in the Super Mario 3D World style, but you have to completely rebuild Princess Peach’s castle first. This means getting the Foundation built, then the Main, East, and West Halls floors. You also have to get the roof for each completed, add their doors, add cannons on the East and West Halls, then pay for Stained Glass. Once the castle is considered rebuilt, you can take on the “Let’s Go, Builder Mario!” level to see the Super Hammer power-up. This level is really one of the best ways to test out and see the ability in action, as it shows how the hammer can break through most kinds of blocks and enemies or Mario could spawn up to five blocks at a time to help access new areas or solve puzzles.
Then, there are the outfit parts for your Builder. As Peach’s castle is restored, other people may appear around the area or you could get quests that are a little unconventional. For example Undodog will lurk around with a few quests, and others might unlock after you seem to have completed everything. Going through these additional quests can get you new accessories, like a Reset Dress. They’re cosmetic items, but still little ways to say “Kudos!” all the same.
The Super Mario Maker 2 story mode is about providing reasons to keep going, so you can keep learning and growing as a player and maybe a builder. Constantly giving us new levels, offering the extra power-ups, and getting Builder clothing items all help with that goal.
Super Mario Maker 2 is available for the Nintendo Switch.