There’s no doubt that Super Mario Odyssey was one of my favorite games of E3 2017. It’s weird, quirky and I loved every minute of it. There are a few things I didn’t know about the game until I was able to finally sit down, err, stand and play it.
Here are my top five favorite moments from playing Super Mario Odyssey.
Cappy is everything, everything is Cappy
We all know from seeing the videos and gameplay that Cappy is an integral part of Super Mario Odyssey. Cappy becomes one with Super Mario’s hat, allowing for numerous ways to interact with the environment. You want to bust up that question block? Throw your hat at it. Take out a Goomba? Throw your hat at it.
What you might not know is that you darn near throw your hat at everything. To enter Mario’s ship, the Odyssey, you throw your hat at the door and voila! Cappy can also be thrown at Bullet Bill’s to transform into the flying missile and navigate around platforms.
At one point in the demo in New Donk City, you see a man standing on the sidewalk driving a tiny toy car (you see the start of this mission in the official trailer for the game). To solve the puzzle you must throw Cappy at the man, taking control of him and the car. You can then drive the remote control car through the small maze and then under the gap in a cage to obtain the moon. Wa-hoo!
I wondered what route Nintendo would take when it came to motion controls. In games like Super Mario Galaxy, shaking the Wii Remote made Mario spin. This time around, shaking the right Joy-Con throws Cappy–but it’s so much more than that.
When you flick the right Joy-Con out, it sends Cappy in a line drive. However, when you wobble both Joy-Cons in each hand, Cappy encircles Mario. And, if you wave the Joy-Cons around enough, sometimes you’ll get an “L” shape line from Cappy, allow you to adjust mid-air.
Other moves include flicking both Joy-Cons in a downward or upward motion, making Cappy fly like a saw blade up or down.
New Super Mario Duds
Seeing Mario spending more time without his iconic overalls is a bit weird. Weird, but fitting. This seemed to tie into the overall theme of Super Mario Odyssey, simply because it’s kind of an odd Mario title. An entry much like what we saw from Super Mario Bros. 2 within the franchise. But I digress.
There are a number of different outfits for Mario to obtain and dawn. When you enter an area, there are two different types of coins to collect: Gold and purple. The gold coins are treated as general currency, while the purple ones are specific to that world. When buying costumes, the purple coins are exchanged for outfits specific to that area. So, like in New Donk City, the business suit and fedora can be equipped. We also saw a builder Mario suit like he dawns on the cover of Super Mario Maker.
There’s no doubt that each of these will be used to solve outfit-specific puzzles, but it’s interesting to see Nintendo explore more than a few power-ups and the traditional reds and blues.
*Side note, Mario has no lives. When he dies he loses 10 gold coins from the ongoing bank. Wa-hoo!.
Will you be the Shrine to my Checkpoint?
Probably one of my favorite features is the fast-travel. It seems a bit weird to be talking about fast-traveling on a map in a Mario game, but it makes total sense. Much like how you can jump to a Shrine location in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey will make use of a similar feature. This is important as, even in the two areas played, there was SO much to explore.
When you pull up the map in-game you will see icons for all of the checkpoints you have accessed. You can select different ones to jump to, that is unless you want to run across the map to get there. Again, with levels being so open, I can see both ways of exploration benefiting you through the course of the game.
Throwbacks, throwbacks everywhere!
There more than a few times where references to other Mario games showed up in Super Mario Odyssey. Right from the get-go I was introduced to one of the 2D, side-scrolling areas. Jumping a few buildings and running over to a rooftop revealed a pixeled pipe to climb into. Doings so flattened Mario, allowing him to scale the building side in 2D.
While 2D areas were known, there were a few other interesting things to find in the demo.
“Nintendo Switch provides everyone a ticket for a journey to new worlds and fun, exclusive experiences,” said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime. “This journey continues through all of 2017 and beyond, and it’s one that video game fans of all types won’t want to miss.”
During the demo, we were pretty free to explore New Donk City. When we entered a small building and began running around inside, there was a corner of one of the rooms that seemed like a place to search for hidden items. Running over to this corner revealed a 2D cat costume Princess Peach, a throwback to Super Mario 3D World, that was printed on the wall. This was, of course, another collectible.
The last throwback that I can remember was the fact that Pauline, some would regard her as Mario’s first love, was the mayor of New Donk City. So, we’ve got street signs named after Donkey Kong characters, New Donk City, and now Pauline? Hrm, looks like we may have a Kong running around somewhere.
Super Mario Odyssey continues to garner more attention with its unique and varied gameplay. There’s no doubt that it will be a must have for current Switch owners, and those who plan on buying the system in the future.
Super Mario Odyssey is slated for launch on the Nintendo Switch on October 27, 2017.
Check out Jason’s impressions from his own hands-on of Super Mario Odyssey.