- Oct 25, 2017
If that's what drives you as a player, I can see why you might be let down, because it seems to me that SMM2 made deliberate steps towards covering those bases only to fumble the execution (while losing SMM1 staples like the events and the Mystery Mushroom sprite collection). You get to fill meters and unlock costumes in Endless, but as we all know, it's Endless; the level quality just isn't there to make it interesting, so it just feels like a grind. You get to fill meters and unlock costumes in multiplayer, but as we all know, it's multiplayer; connection issues are abundant, most levels just aren't a fit for it at all, the Multiplayer Versus tag doesn't seem to do anything, and letting players drive the organic separation of single-player from multiplayer levels by voting on them just isn't doing its job.It feels like Mario Maker 2 came out way longer than 2 months ago, the game's trajectory for me has definitely gone from 100-0. I think it's due to a combination of three interconnected things, the lack of unlockables, the lack of patches, and the lack of official levels. Those were the things that kept me playing Mario Maker 1 and I really hope they all return soon. Obviously there will be updates, but the radio silence since release is not promising. As much as I like playing good levels, that isn't the carrot that really keeps me playing; I need to fill up a meter somehow and feel like I'm accomplishing something, and Mario Maker 2 is a step back in that regard.
That's a big part of why I play Splatoon, the game itself is always fun, but I come back every month to try to improve my x rank, or to level up during the splatfests, or to fill the salmon run meter. Without those kinds of hooks, which of course have their own issues, I'm much more likely to burn out and lose interest. I sincerely hope that they approach SMM2 as a serious WIP and take a scalpel to it rather than just trying to add/fix it with bandages. It needs core fundamental changes/additions that do more to change the core experience than add to the items that can be used in levels.
I'm coming into this from the perspective of someone who loves sandbox engineering games (let's put it this way: one of the major casualties of Mario Maker and Fire Emblem taking over my summer has been that I haven't had any time to look at the 1.0 release of Oxygen Not Included, which is another game where my playtime is in the triple digits), so the main thing I get out of Mario Maker as a player is the pleasure of saying, "I didn't know you could do that" or "I didn't think of that." And my main motivation to make levels is to provoke the same reaction from others. So I really am looking for more additions to the toolset or major enhancements to bookmarks/playlists that allow me to share discoveries with others, whereas the dangling promise to add multiplayer with friends is something that doesn't matter to me at all. I think what you get out of filling meters is what I get out of slowly building a diverse portfolio, one sparse creation at a time.
As I've always observed, the Mario Maker audience is really many different audiences with different priorities and value systems that all happen to share the same space. Which is all fine and vibrant, but it does mean that we all have a whole mess of our own requests for what will keep us engaged.
For my part, I know that one of my top requests going into SMM2 was to have a social feed of my starred creators' latest courses, organized by Most Recent—and we have it, and it's a huge game-changer; the whole thing that makes taking breaks and coming back after a few weeks off not only viable, but extremely enjoyable. And yet here, too, there is so much outside the toolset that can be improved.