I know the Wii U was kind of a disaster for Nintendo, but I still miss its self-contained social network, Miiverse. Mind you, I miss it in the same way someone might miss having a pet rattlesnake they stowed under their bed as a kid. That doesn't make my longing for those weird, wonderful messages any less real.
Miiverse was especially fun paired up with 2015's Super Mario Maker. Players left designers encouraging comments and helpful messages about potential tweaks (in addition to the occasional note declaring "My dad left us" just to keep things interesting, I guess). Like its predecessor, Super Mario Maker 2 is all about building, sharing, and communicating. How does Nintendo intend to fill the pit left behind by Miiverse's closure?
I saw for myself when I attended a Super Mario Maker 2 hands-on event in New York City last week. There's a network in place that's much like Miiverse, albeit self-contained. Players can write notes, draw pictures, and even utilize a new selection of Super Mario Maker 2-themed stamps. These full-color notes feature art of Mario and company dishing out simple comments and bits of advice, e.g. "Look out!" or "Hot stuff!" and other messages that you sometimes find on the backs of candy hearts.
Super Mario Maker fans should be happy to know robust communication is back on the table with Super Mario Maker 2. Moreover, the game's search function has been refined with the aid of hashtags. Tags make it easier for players to search for very specific level requirements, whether it's "I want a snow level at night," or "I want an airship level" or "I want the Angry Sun to hurt me, please." You can add hashtags to your own level, and players can also tag them for you. No word yet on what role Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram will play in the distribution of Super Mario Maker 2's levels, if any.
Take a look at our Super Mario Maker 2 guide for everything else you need to know about the game before its June 28 launch date.