In my review, I said that Super Mario Maker 2 could've just been a port, but Nintendo added and changed enough to make a proper sequel. Well, with the full release of the game, the veteran Mario Maker community has finally gotten the chance to dive in and see what those changes are. In terms of mechanics, Super Mario Maker is entirely like past Mario titles, but in contrast, Super Mario Maker 2 isn't entirely like its predecessor.
If you're a more casual player, you might not notice these specific changes. A number of these mechanics matter for veteran course makers, however, because they're key to so-called "Kaizo" levels. Based on the old ROM hack Kaizo Mario World, these are very hard levels that require precise movement and unique tricks to overcome. These tricks included grabbing objects in a spin jump, or engaging with certain objects in mid-air after throwing them. Kaizo course makers and connoisseurs know all of these tricks by heart, and in Super Mario Maker 2, some either do not work, or work differently.
In the latter category, players have reported that a number of mid-air object jumps still work in Super Mario Maker 2, but the timing is different. These moves require players to be holding an object, jump, release the object, and then interact with it in mid-air. This includes mid-air P-Switch, Spring Block, and POW Block jumps. They're key for some high jumps, or continuous movement while activating a P-Switch or POW Block. The timing on these moves in Super Mario Maker 2 has changed, but they're still doable.
One thing that's not doable and is key to some Kaizo levels is the Spin Jump Grab. This allowed Mario to spin jump and still grab an item in mid-air. The spin jump is important, because it allowed Mario to touch and bounce off of objects that would normally kill him. Combined with the mid-air moves above, this allowed Mario another odd way to get through levels. Unfortunately, the spin jump grab is gone completely, according to streamer PTKen, who also tested a number of other mechanics.
Another change is the ability to jump off objects in lava. In the previous Mario Maker, you could drop an object in the lava, and before it sank completely, you could jump off it. In Super Mario Maker 2, you instead fall right into the lava; the object essentially ceases to exist once dropped in lava. This change was confirmed by streamer and speedrunner David "GrandPOObear" Hunt on Twitter.
No Jumping off things in lava pic.twitter.com/q2uDOhFoui— GrandPOObear (@GrandPOOBear) June 26, 2019
There are several other mechanical shifts as well, including the fact that Galloombas no longer bounce back when thrown against an object, players can't fly with the Mario World Cape inside a Drybone shell, and Mario is no longer pushed out of walls. The Poodoboo trick, which some course makers used to put objects in-between grid spaces in the Course Maker, also does not work in Super Mario Maker 2. Basically, there are a whole bunch of techniques and mechanics that Super Mario Maker course makers and players relied on, that operate a lot differently in the sequel.
All this on top of issues like the 32-course limit for uploading, which hits the avid course makers the hardest, or the inability to edit downloaded courses from other players. Many in the community were expecting a smooth transition from one game to the next, with the sequel not changing mechanics, just adding more features, themes, and items on top. Instead, Nintendo has changed the feel and mechanics in several places, meaning course makers have to shift and remix their concepts for the new game.
Perhaps these changes are in flux though. Nintendo has already promised the ability to play with friends in online multiplayer in a future update, so perhaps some of these mechanics and missing features can be amended in a later patch. As it stands, some course makers are still looking longingly at Super Mario Maker on the Wii U.
If you're not a long-time Mario Maker community member, you might not miss these changes at all. For everyone else, Super Mario Maker 2 is still a fantastic experience, even if you only play by yourself. Super Mario Maker 2 is available on Nintendo Switch today, and we look forward to diving further into it in the coming weeks and months.