Ahead of Super Mario Maker 2's launch on Switch next month, Nintendo has outlined - courtesy of a brisk 15-minute Nintendo Direct - a whole host of new features that its 2D-platformer creation tool will bring. It's a big list!
Without further ado, Mario Maker 2's new building block options include everything from much-requested features omitted from the Wii U original to the kind of random stuff that no-one would likely have ever dreamed of asking for. Builders can, for instance, now use slopes (with various gradients available), or even plop down Super Mario Bros 3's iconic Angry Sun.
There are on/off switches that can be used to swap red and blue blocks, to change moving platform tracks, or to switch the direction of conveyor belts; there are snake blocks whose direction can be determined by free drawing in editor mode; there's a grabber claw that can swipe Mario up and be swung from to gain jump momentum; there are see-saws that tilt left and right, falling icicles, twisters, diagonal conveyor belts, large coins worth 10, 30 and, 50 points, Dry Bones shells, slow-falling parachutes, new sound effects, and more.
There are new enemy options too, with creators able to place the likes of Boom Booms and Banzai Bills, with red homing variants of the latter also available. And you can expect new course themes (specifically, desert, snow, forest, and sky), plus new music from Koji Kondo.
Additionally, it's possible to freely set water levels (and even adjust levels over time, with three different speeds available), or create custom scrolling stages by setting a start point, scroll trajectory, and speed. It's even possible to fashion vertical courses, and to set up scroll stops that hide areas from view to create secret rooms. And then there are options to create custom win conditions, so that a stage might, for instance, be completed by collecting all the coins, defeating all enemies, or finishing as Super Mario.
All of these elements, incidentally, can be used while solo building, but Mario Maker 2 also throws in a local two-player co-operative creation mode, meaning it's possible to craft devious platform death traps (or, you know, whatever) with a friend.
Also new to Mario Maker 2 is the previously revealed Super Mario 3D World theme, and this, it turns out, offers a range of special features not available in other courses. Players will, for instance, have access to new moves including wall climbing, sliding, and scratching, and 3D World stages bring exclusive new building pieces too.
There are clear pipes, crates that float on water, warp boxes, blinking boxes that phase in and out, exclamation blocks that extend when hit, spike blocks, track blocks that follow preset paths when activated, mushroom trampolines, Piranha Creepers, a Banzai Bill variant that can fly toward the screen, a Koopa Troopa car, and more.
Additionally, all stage sets have new nighttime variants that offer a twist on default play. Some courses might develop low gravity at night, for instance, extra-slippery snow, or waters that turn poisonous - and all these can be used in your own stages once unlocked.
Elsewhere, Super Mario Maker 2 features a brand-new story mode, which sees Mario setting out to rebuild Princess Peach's castle after some sort of Mushroom Kingdom mishap. Here, the moustachioed one (and you) select tasks from the resident Task Master, which in turn require the completion of pre-created courses to earn coins and expand the castle. Nintendo has created over 100 of these stages, each showcasing new features and tools.
Rounding things off is Mario Maker 2's online mode which, as you'd probably expect, requires a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, and is broadly similar to the previous game's internet offering. Here, players can explore a depository of stages shared by creators around the world, which can be browsed based on creation date and popularity, or by searching tags such as "puzzle solving" and "autoscroll".
Once you've found a level you like, you can play it and leave a comment, or download it to play later; creators, meanwhile, can earn points if others like their courses, and points can be used to unlock new avatar hats and styles.
There's an option to choose a difficulty level and have the game randomly string together creator stages in order to see how long you can last, and there's a new network play mode, enabling up to four people to tackle stages together online. Here, players can take part in Versus Mode, attempting to be the first to complete a stage's win criteria, or co-op mode, working together. Nintendo notes that multiple players can also attempt the mode locally, connecting their consoles to a single Switch that's able to go online.
And that's pretty much everything that's been revealed so far. Super Mario Maker 2 will be available in standard edition form when it releases on 28th June, and there's also a limited bundle which includes 12 months of Nintendo Switch Online.