Normally I would talk about the games featured in Nintendo’s E3 digital event. If it weren’t for that trailer at the end, I would be gushing about Kirby and Xenoblade 2 right now! But… Wow. I normally don’t get all that excited for 3D platformers, but in the two and a half minutes of a SINGLE trailer, Super Mario Odyssey has stolen my heart. Okay, make that body, since stealing hearts is the Phantom Thieves’ jobs.
Super Mario Odyssey is the latest mainline game in the Mario series. Unlike the few games before it (3D World, 3D Land, Galaxy 1+2 to an extent), Super Mario Odyssey takes after Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine‘s gameplay scheme, where you have multiple areas in the world to explore. Completing missions or tasks can earn you the collectible of the week, which gives our beloved Italian plumber access to more levels, and eventually the obligatory boss battle.
However, Super Mario Odyssey takes those formulas up a notch. As in, the worlds you explore are ENTIRE SEPARATE KINGDOMS from the Mushroom Kingdom. And the areas they’ve shown this far look amazing.
New Donk City is one area that is pretty damn cool in my eyes. So, basically, it’s a expy of New York. That much is obvious. But there are loads of shout-outs and nods to Donkey Kong! Not just the Country series Nope! They reference the most iconic game in the Nintendo library the original arcade version of Donkey Kong.
And for the first time in I-don’t-know-how-many-years, Pauline appears in a mainline Mario game again! This time, she isn’t getting kidnapped by Donkey Kong- Nope. She’s running the city on her own, and even sings part-time! It may be minor, but I love this detail about her.
Plus, it’s an urban environment! Those are BARELY seen in 3D platformers. A common complaint with Mario games is that some of the worlds are pretty bland for video game standards. You’ve got the grassy world, the desert world, the ice world, the sky world, the lava world… Etc.
But this time they have large urban cities! A desert taking inspiration from Egyptian and Mexican culture, WITH ICE! A really pretty forest area! And who knows what’s next? There were many areas in that one new trailer ALONE.
I love the new mechanic they introduced Capture. By using Mario’s hat (which is now
Ezlo from The Minish Cap inhabited by Cappy, a mysterious hat-shaped spirit), other than extra jumps, you can use it to take control of your foes and random NPCs! This mechanic is so damn clever. It adds to the variety of gameplay to the game, which has already proven to be well-done.
Plus, there’s a lot of stuff I can already think of doing with the ability. This game seems like one destined to be messed with, and I can’t wait to explore the worlds with this ability on my hands!
I have a lot of fun with taking advantage of enemies in video games. From blowing up enemies stealthily in Breath of the Wild to abusing the weapons triangle in Fire Emblem Heroes, it’s very satisfying when you do that.
There’s also going to be a lot of dumb ways to die in this game too. I think. That’s going to be fun. I mean, Nintendo’s been on a “Dumb Ways to Die” spree lately, with Breath of the Wild‘s many ways to die, so with the Capture mechanic and the like, there’s going to be a lot of cool stuff to do and see and die for!
The story is clearly the typical Mario fair You know-
- Bowser kidnaps Peach yet again for the trillionth time. (Apparently he’s trying to marry her- Even though last time that happened, the universe nearly ended.)
- Mario goes on an exciting adventure through the worlds to save her.
- Blah blah blah
- Yadda yadda yadda
- Luigi’s in there at some point
- And Peach is saved and Bowser is doomed. Again. Only to come back. Again.
The only Mario games that are main series that DON’T follow this basic plotline would be
DokiDoki Panic! Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario 3D World.
However, the presentation is clearly making up for it. From what I can tell, each Kingdom has a mini-plotline built within it. With the desert area suffering from a cold season to New Donk getting ready for a concert. All of them are pretty simple, but I do like this detail. It reminds me a bit of how the Paper Mario series handled its main game, with “Chapters” being plotlines that focus on the hijinks the protagonists get into while on their quest to stop the evil force trying to take over the world of the week.
I’m curious about Cappy’s role in all of this. Sure, he’s
like Ezlo the one giving Mario access to his new powers ‘n stuff, but where does he play in all this? The developers did say that he plays a crucial role in the story as the second protagonist, so there’s that.
So yes! I’m clearly excited for Super Mario Odyssey! It looks like a unique, fun, and awesome experience as a game! I can’t wait to play it when it comes out on October 27th. Anyway! What are your thoughts on Super Mario Odyssey so far?