Big Game Preview: Super Mario Odyssey

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It’s been a big year for Nintendo.  In March, they debuted their revolutionary mobile console, Nintendo Switch, to much acclaim.  So much so, it has become big news when a retailer has stock of the system, though that may say more about Nintendo’s lack of inventory than profit.  Accompanying the Switch was, the even higher-acclaimed, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild which earned the first-ever perfect score on our ratings system.

Later, we were introduced to Nintendo’s fighter ARMS, followed by Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.  The summer saw the release of Splatoon 2 and then Pokken DX Tournament.  However, the best may still be yet to come.

This Friday, Nintendo will finally release a brand-new Mario adventure, the likes of which we’ve never experienced.  When they first announced it, during the Nintendo Switch presentation, we were wow’d by the sheer idea of a new Mario adventure.  The more trailers and hands-on time we had, with the game, the more it became apparent that this will be a special Odyssey.

If you own a Nintendo Switch and you saw this trailer, chances are, you don’t need any more convincing to buy Super Mario Odyssey.  However, for all the others who are still on the fence or just like hearing about how the game is, here are some thoughts after demoing Super Mario Odyssey for 10 minutes.

  • While still a classic, linear game, Super Mario Odyssey feels like the biggest of the franchise.  The different locations, accompanied with diverse characters and side-activities, make it feel like anything is possible, while still maintaining the integrity of a classic Mario game.
  • You’ve never seen Mario like this.  Sure, we all had a good laugh when we saw that Mario has nipples, (I’m still snickering at them) but this statement goes beyond Mario’s chesticles. Super Mario Odyssey hosts incredibly gorgeous graphics, with character models that look and feel smooth.  No doubt, this will be the kind of game where you just stare in awe.
  • Mario has more powers than just going big or small.  If you’re just seeing this trailer for the first time, Mario now has the power to possess enemies and (formerly) NPCs.  Oops, did I say “possess”?  I mean, “take control of” using his, now, sentient cap.  For the first time ever, players will now be able to experience what it’s like to have the powers of iconic enemies.  For instance, the bullet is so much fun to use!  It can boost, explode, and become a great way to avoid obstacles!
  • More variety of attacks!  Classic Mario gamers are used to using the jump and stomp method to defeat foes.  While that’s still accessible, Mario’s new cap can be used to knock out foes with a single thrust.  Speaking of thrust, you can use buttons to throw the cap but Nintendo has integrated the joycons to use directionary throws.  Meaning, you can throw the cap in a curve with the right kind of thrust or spin it around you for a bigger area of effect.  There is even more that’s possible with the joycons but you’ll have to discover it all this Friday.
  • What may be the coolest part of Super Mario Odyssey is that it blurs the lines of classic 2D with today’s 3D standard.  By that, I mean Nintendo has taken the classic 2D gaming from Mario’s past and integrated it seamlessly into Super Mario Odyssey.  Certain puzzles will require 3D Mario to have to jump into a tube and become that classic 2D version from the NES days.  Once completed, a simple jump will immediately switch Mario back to 3D to continue the adventure.  Suffice to say, I nearly fainted like a southern bell when I played through this.

10 minutes of a demo obviously isn’t enough to know how a game will be, but it’s enough to know that this game has promise.  Plus, it does have a stat going for it.  In 2016, The Legend of Zelda won the Cinelinx Best of E3 award and became the highest rated game ever produced.  In 2017, Super Mario Odyssey won the same award.  If history repeats itself, Nintendo could have two of the highest rated games come out in the same year.  A feat, practically, unheard of.

We’ll find out if Super Mario Odyssey is all its cracked up to be this Friday, October 27, 2017!  Look for our official review to come out just a day or two after!