One of the more divisive aspects of the original Super Mario Maker is that it gated its tools behind a waiting period, forcing players to gradually unlock them over the course of several days. While the reasoning behind this decision was to ease players into the game’s wealth of customization options, it put up a hurdle in front of those hoping to use specific enemies or items in their levels. Fortunately, Super Mario Maker 2 does away with this restriction.
GameSpot recently went hands-on with Super Mario Maker 2 at a demo event, where we asked a Nintendo representative if the game features a similar waiting period before players could access the entire tool palette. The Nintendo rep confirmed that “almost all” of the game’s tools will be available from the start, so you’ll be able to jump in and tinker around with most of Super Mario Maker 2’s new toys right from the outset.
One option that you will need to unlock is the nighttime theme. Super Mario Maker 2 allows you to change each type of level into a nighttime version, which will not only give it a starry backdrop, but also change some of the course’s properties; nighttime snow stages, for example, are more slippery than their daytime counterparts, while nighttime sky levels have lower gravity. Fortunately, unlocking the theme is very simple; all you need to do is place Super Mario 3‘s angry sun enemy in the level and change it into a moon. Once you’ve unlocked the nighttime theme, you’ll no longer need to place the moon in a level to access it.
Super Mario Maker 2 makes a few other welcome quality-of-life improvements. In the original game, you needed to shake certain enemies or combine items in order to change their form; for instance, shaking a green Koopa Troopa would transform it into a red one, while combining it with a Super Mushroom would supersize it. This time, however, you’ll be able to choose these different variants simply by tapping on the object and selecting them from the menu. The game also automatically populates the top toolbar with the items you most frequently use, and you have the option to pin certain tools there for easy access.
Super Mario Maker 2 launches for Nintendo Switch on June 28. The game features a load of new elements, including a story mode and online multiplayer. To play and share levels online, however, you’ll need to have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, but Nintendo is bundling an individual 12-month membership for the service along with a copy of the game for $70–a $10 savings off the typical price of a 12-month subscription. If you already subscribe to the service and spring for this bundle, the 12 months will be stacked on top of your current subscription. You can learn more in our Super Mario Maker 2 pre-order guide.