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The difficulty is exactly where I want it to be as well. Most levels weren't hard enough to halt my progress in the story, but A ranks or higher take some practice that is addicting and satisfying to master. The game is still in early access and new content is still being developed, and I can tell the later level packs are starting to get more challenging. I was disappointed to learn the game isn't complete, but there's a plethora of content already available including five story acts, bonus collab levels, story-based minigames, a level editor, and even a two-player mode.
I loved almost every moment of this game and really have nothing to nitpick. At the time of this review, it's been in early access for almost two years and it seems like it may take another two years for the full release to be ready. If the final chapters and story continue the quality of the rest of the game, this could easily be one of the all-time greatest rhythm games.
I loved both the variety in level designs and also the level types—the latter is not something I've seen explored as much in previous 2D Mario games. Aside from traditional platforming, there are puzzle levels, badge challenges, combat arenas, and other fun distractions. They serve well to break up traditional gameplay, even though the platforming levels themselves are already unbelievably unique and varied.
The online multiplayer is my favorite multiplayer Nintendo has ever done. Working together in real-time with random online strangers to solve puzzles or save each other from death is wholesome and satisfying. It's amazing how communicative people can be with four emotes and a little crouch spamming. It definitely makes the game too easy at times, but it's so fun that it felt lonely to play with those features turned off.
The local multiplayer is a little less desirable, especially with more than two players. Ceding camera control to one player completely is annoying and I prefer how the older games handled it. It gets too chaotic with more than two players and becomes more of a party game than a serious platformer. The boss fights leave a lot to be desired given how varied the rest of the game is. And finally, the music wasn't as memorable as other Mario titles. It's still great and it was married well with the gameplay in several of the levels, but it's a high bar to clear and left me somewhat disappointed.
I hope the next Mario title continues Wonder's expressiveness and variety of level designs and animation. And if it doesn't, I will happily continue showing this game to people and replaying it myself for years to come.