Super Mario Maker 2 has a new mode for experiencing player-created stages. It’s called Endless Challenge. It gives you handful of lives and tasks you with beating as many stages as you can before getting a “game over.” It’s similar to the last game’s 100-Mario Challenge. The difference is that it’s about setting a high score instead of getting to the end of a world map.

And when Super Mario Maker 2 launches June 28, I expect people to spend most of their time in the Endless Challenge mode (when they’re not making stages, that is).

Nintendo is putting a lot of emphasis on Endless Challenge and the leaderboards. The publisher even cited the leaderboards as the reason it wouldn’t let friends team up online for 2-player Endless Challenge. It said that those people would have an unfair advantage. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show, however, Nintendo did say it was planning to change how that matchmaking with friends works.

For now, however, I’m playing solo in preparation for my review. And I think Endless Challenge has a lot to offer, but I don’t think it’s going to turn into the next esport.


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Skipping levels

Endless Challenge has no limitation on skipping levels. Even on Super Expert, the hardest difficulty, you can skip has many levels as you want without penalty or restriction.

This means that if you get to a tough stage, you can just skip it.

Now, a lot of people are worried about this. The assumption is that people will just skip until they find a level that they are good at. But I’m not sure it’s going to work that way.

Every Super Expert level is challenging. And once Super Mario Maker 2 is live, it will have so many stages, that it’s unlikely you will get one that you are familiar with. And if people are going to exploit the system, I don’t think that’ll come from skipping levels. It’s going to come from using a hacked Wii or from practicing a level on another account and then coming back to your Endless Challenge once you’ve learned it.

What I want from Endless Challenge

I think the bigger issue with Endless Challenge is that each person who plays it is going to get a different assortment of stages. Nintendo could address this by introducing a Daily Challenge mechanic instead.

With a Daily Challenge, each day Nintendo could give players the same exact experience. Here are the Super Expert stages that everyone will have to play through.

Maybe you get three skips — or maybe even unlimited skips. That doesn’t matter because everyone will have the same options on the same levels. And then you can see where you stack up against the global leaderboard and your friends each day.

For now, however, the Endless Challenge seems like a more casual experience. That’s not to say that I’m not really into it. I find myself wanting to grind out more levels to improve my rank. And once the game is fully out, I expect to spend most of my time doing exactly that.

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