Super Mario Maker 2 does something incredible that’s never been done before in a 2D Mario game: it includes online multiplayer with people, both cooperative and competitive. Now, does the multiplayer actually work as it was promised? Not exactly.
The network play feature in Super Mario Maker 2 is limited to two different modes: Multiplayer co-op and Multiplayer Versus. These modes allow you to connect with up to three other random players (you can’t play with friends yet) and be thrown into a random user-created course and complete the course objective.
When you play the competitive mode, the goal is to finish the course first, netting you more points in the process. In the co-op mode, the four of you must work together and as long as one person completes the course, everybody wins.
It can be fun to be thrown into some of these wacky and random stages that have been created by the community, but like other online-centric Nintendo games, the lag is real and it’s been pretty bad for some players, including myself.
Doing well in 2D Mario games requires perfect hops and a certain precision that just cannot be replicated online. Any sort of input lag, even a little millisecond could mess up the core gameplay of Mario.
Add in three other players that seemingly live far away from you, and you got yourself a very messy and online system.
I can see why Nintendo has never tried this before with the New Super Mario Bros. series or with the previous Mario Maker title because the only way for the online play to work flawlessly would be if all players had a pristine internet connection and happened to live in the same region as you.
The lag is immediately apparent as I started playing most of the online matches, with some of them being as bad as this players situation down below.
In the competitive mode, all four players are trapped in a cage of dashed lines, trying to get ahead of the game by constantly jumping on each other’s heads. If the connection isn’t up to par, you’ll end up with situations like these two down below:
Now, not every multiplayer match is going to be as bad as those two videos above, but since people are paying for Switch Online to encounter these issues, it’s just not fair for players to have to deal with this.
Since there isn’t a region-select choice for Super Mario Maker 2, there’s no way to decide if you want to play with people close to you or far away from you.
When you go online and play a match with others, you just have to rely on dumb luck that the match will play smoothly. There are even times when I would jump into a gameplay session, only to be thrown into a course that’s definitely not meant to be played with more than one person.
This, in turn, creates madness since everyone is attempting (and failing) to complete a specific task over and over again, with the time usually running out before anyone can achieve it.
Most of the time this was just annoying and had me cursing at my Switch screen, but I’m not gonna lie: the insanity and madness can be a little bit fun and even comical at times but once the lag hits, it’s literally unplayable at times.
Considering that Nintendo usually supports their online-centric titles for quite some time (Splatoon 2, Mario Tennis Aces), I just hope that they implement future patches and options that allow players to have a smoother online multiplayer experience.
Nobody wants to jump into Super Mario Maker 2 and deal with issues like these: