I have returned to spread the good word of Super Mario Maker 2! Here in the first full week of August, I'm back with a brand-new collection of some of the finest levels I've played since launch. I like to offer a spread of courses for players; some of these courses will test your might, while others have some creative ideas to them. Hopefully, there's a course in here that strikes your fancy.
If you find something you like, share this week's collection with your friends and maybe take a look at the previous Man vs. Mario Maker 2 round-ups! And if you have a course you'd like me to try out for next week, drop it in the comments below.
Let's dive in with something that's a little on the difficult side. Don't worry, this course doesn't ask that you know about shell jumps or any techniques like that. Instead, it simply requires you to jump. Sure, there are a number of dangerous saw blades and unstable platforms, but it's remarkably straightforward. I wouldn't let the 7% clear rate worry you that much.
The Abduction of Mama Spiny
In this themed course, a giant Spiny has been kidnapped by some malcontents and it's up to you to protect her and her brood. This course is puzzle-focused, with each area requiring you to guide a spiny to an outstretched claw. There's not much threat to your chosen character in this one, until you get to the gauntlet at the end, and even there the course creator offers you plenty of firepower. Overall, this is just a cute and endearing course, especially once you get to the end.
This course is based around a quirk of Super Mario Maker 2's physics. The blocks turned on and off by the ON/OFF switch aren't meant to kill Mario, so if you're in the path of the blocks when they switch on, you're supposed to be pushed out. If there's no "out" available, you're simply stuck in place, frozen until you press jump to hit the switch again. (How that works I have no clue.) The level itself places you as a ninja, and the block trick allows you to "hide in the shadows," so to speak. You'll need this trick to survive, alongside some deft jumps. This one is on the harder side, because not everyone can become a ninja. You've been warned.
3D Maze House
This is such a unique concept, one that really shows off the kinds of things you can do with Super Mario Maker 2. Once you enter the house, it's presented as a first-person Wizardry-style dungeon crawler of sorts, complete with a mini-map. You get around in the 3D space through a series of doors and pipes, collecting key bits in order to find the house's secret. The creator also plays with perspective in a few areas, creating a cool level if you can wrap your head around it.
Bowser's Air Force: Sabotage
In honor of the action madness of Hobbs & Shaw, here's a level where you have to sneak into Bowser's floating airship and blow it up from the inside. This is one of those levels that could fit in a proper Super Mario title, with the exception of the bombastic finish. It's essentially an airship level, with cannonballs to dodge and jump on to proceed. Sometimes simple is better.
Slide & Jump 2!
There are a number of levels that try to ape the aesthetics of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, but they miss the feel. This slalom-type course captures the feeling of the breezier levels where you're just running headlong towards the finish. You need to slide to pick up speed and dispatch enemies, with the occasional jump to play on your timing. This is a hard course, and it's one that I think everyone can enjoy.
3G → 4G → 5G [POW] Run Run Run!!
We're finishing off this week's wrap up with a course that's definitely on the difficult side. The "3G → 4G → 5G" is a reference to the stage's ramping difficulty. You have to run and throw POW blocks in order to defeat enemies in your path. At 3G, this isn't hard at all. At 5G, your timing has to be much tighter to overcome the course. Luckily, the course creator put in proper checkpoints, so you don't have to do it all in one go. A great course for those who are beginning to tread into the deep end of Super Mario Maker.
Bonus Courses: Teck Talk
If you're like me, you can play Mario fairly well, but the courses of high-level creators like PangaeaPanga or Sunny YT elude you. Part of that is they're simply better players, but some of that is the fact that they can execute specific techniques to complete courses. YouTuber GrandPooBear has a series of two courses meant to teach people some of these Kaizo tricks. Both courses are low-stress: failing to complete a move doesn't mean death, it just drops you at a door that takes you back to the beginning of that section. It gives you time to learn the moves at your own pace. I've also include GrandPooBear's own videos on both courses, so you can get a full explanation of each move. This is your first step towards becoming veteran Mario Maker players!