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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Super Mario Odyssey Looks Super Lit

When Nintendo revealed Super Mario Odyssey back in January, what I had seen was enough to make me want to get my hands on a Switch. We saw Mario running around in a realistic looking city, complete with realistic looking people and he was platforming off his hat. Good freaking stuff. Then E3 happens and at the very end of Nintendo's spotlight, we see a longer trailer for Super Mario Odyssey. All of a sudden, I (and many others) are salivating in anticipation over this game.

New Donk City, topside.
When I saw Mario running and jumping through New Donk City, I could not have been anymore thrilled. As a lover of cityscapes, I am eating up the design of NDC. I don't think Mario has ever really gone through a realistic looking city in a 3D Mario game, at least not one like this. I want to explore every inch of NDC. No corner or stone is going to be left unturned and that goes for all of the vast worlds in Odyssey. Nintendo has stated that this game will be more in line with Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine and I'm very happy about that. With the Switch, the worlds in Odyssey look bigger than they've ever been in any Mario game and I'm glad the sandbox style of gameplay is returning to the Super Mario series.

You wish your hat was as cool as Cappy.
Mario's new pal, Cappy, greatly intrigues me. At first I thought he would merely be used as another platform tool, but Cappy is soooo much more. When thrown, Cappy allows Mario to take control of just about anything it lands on top of. Bullet Bills, Goombas, Hammer Bros., the citizens of New Donkey City, taxis, a T-Rex. I'm wondering what can't Cappy possess? And I SO want a Cappy hat for myself now. I've seen people rocking that thing at E3 and I need that in my life! If I cannot posses anyone that I throw it on, I will be very disappointed.

A word I've frequently heard being used to describe Odyssey is "Weird." New Donkey City could easily pass for a real life city. The citizens, rather than being the same or roughly the same height as Mario are much taller than him and look like real world, everyday people. Even some of the enemies you encounter look like they don't belong in a Mario game. For frying out loud, we saw Mario on a freaking scooter and unless the game is Mario Kart, then that is a highly unusual sight.  And yet, no one is complaining. The Super Mario games have always been weird and that's something that I've always loved about them. They've never been afraid to embrace weirdness and Odyssey is going full tilt with it. Super Mario Bros. 2, the most oddball game of the series was originally seen as weird because it was so different from the original Super Mario Bros. but much of the stuff in that game ended up becoming canon. heck, Nintendo eve n acknowledges the American version of Super Mario Bros. 2 as a cannon entry to the series. And we've actually seen Mario jumping with a radish in Odyssey, a clear nod to the "black sheep" Super Mario Bros. 2.

The song that was played during the game's January reveal was very nice but that super jazzy beat that was playing for the E3 trailer? I don't think there was a single person that wasn't tapping their feet, bobbing their head, or snapping their fingers as that song was playing. I've already listened to that song more times than I can count. And Pauline is the one singing it. From damsel in distress to the mayor of New Donk City with a killer set of vocals. Mario's first lady love has certainly come along way.

Super Mario games are fun. I'd argue that they are the embodiment of an enjoyable video game experience. Of course some Super Mario titles are more fun than others for different reasons. Super Mario 3D World may not have been on the same scale or scope as the two Super Mario Galaxy titles, but the general opinion is that 3D World was one of the most fun Super Mario games in years. Oyssey looks like it's going to take the fun of 3D World and run full speed with it on a much, much greater scale than any other Super Mario entry. Like the rest of you, I cannot wait to do this Odyssey.

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