Just when you think you know what Nintendo is going to do, they blindside you. E3 2017 has been a fantastic example of this. Whether it’s the two Metroid games, the absurdity of Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, or the nonchalant method in which they announced that a mainline Pokemon game was coming to the Switch … Nintendo does Nintendo. To that end, Super Mario Odyssey is a fantastic example of what happens when Nintendo isn’t afraid to take a new idea and just roll with it. Nintendo’s latest Mario game looks primed to be the successor to Super Mario Sunshine, and that makes me very, very happy.
Super Mario Odyssey features most of the maneuverability of Super Mario 64, alongside the central new cap mechanics. Mario’s new cap, Cappy, can be thrown a variety of ways; it can be used as a vault to jump higher than normal, spun in a circle around you to attack as an almost defensive ability, and most importantly used to take control of whoever you throw your hat onto. The demo I played required me to take control of Bullet Bills throughout the level in order to progress, as well as to use the sunglasses that another specific enemy wears to find the hidden platforms over a pit of deadly poison, all while collecting the fragments of a moon.
Several portions of the level had Mario entering a retro-styled pipe, causing him to go A Link Between Worlds style, and traverse a 2D section through a structure’s wall. Mario can now practice his best Sonic impression, rolling up into a ball and dashing through a level at a high speed. Of course, his roll’s trajectory is determined by whatever slope he’s rolling on, and you can’t simply roll up a wall. Although I didn’t find where the mount was, players are also able to use a Sphinx in the desert area to traverse the area at a much faster speed. While I didn’t play the cityscape demo, the person in front of me in line did and I managed to get a solid look at some of the mechanics exclusive to it; unlike the more wide-open desert environment, the city was much denser, and offered many more methods for Mario to traverse the iron jungle.
Super Mario Odyssey releases exclusively for Nintendo Switch on October 27th, 2017.
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