Nintendo gave the world with their latest console in March. If you were like me, you probably knew that this meant we could expect our favorite jack-of-all-trades to be donning his overalls soon for another adventure. It didn't take long for the announcement we all wanted to hear. Super Mario Odyssey is coming to the Switch.
From his relatively humble beginnings as Jumpman in Donkey Kong, Mario has scaled his way to the top of the gaming castle. After television shows, a movie, and even gaming cross-overs, Mario has a rabbid following. With Super Mario Brothers, we got the classic run and jump experience that would define Mario's motif for decades. In fact, he set the standard for what would become the modern gaming protagonist. Plus there was always something satisfying about ending a level by running into a castle. Even though the princess was never there, I still felt like I had accomplished something. And now you can arrive in style. Mario captains a flying ship, the Odyssey on a quest to save the captured Princess Peach from the clutches of the evil Bowser. While this premise sounds familiar, I promise you the 3D world that Nintendo has put together is anything but.
Tossing His Cappy in the Ring
It has been said that clothes make the man (most recently in a Matthew Vaughn movie I believe), and this has always been true for Mario. It seems he has an outfit to match any environment. His best (in my humble opinion) usually involve animals with coordinating skills (I'm looking at you bear and frog suits) but sometimes just a color change can spell effective new upgrades. Super Mario Odyssey clearly is taking a page from this creative direction, but Nintendo is doing it in a rather exciting new way.
Cappy is a new ally for Mario in his quest to save Princess Peach from Bowser, who has matrimonial plans in mind for his captive. Cappy is a hat with eyes and a mind of its own. He can be thrown at or even on different characters or roadblocks in the world with some surprising results. Trailers and gameplay footage have teased some pretty exciting transformations, including taking control of a frog, a fish (it seems jumping and swimming are definitely still in vogue), a Bullet Bill, a Chomp Chomp, and most excitingly (to me at least) a T-Rex! It seems all these captures have a functional purpose in the game to either make your way through the game environments, discover secret areas, find hidden items, and of course to defeat enemies. I'm excited to give this a go, but if you've got a friend who wants to play cooperatively, hand over a Joy-Con, and let them control Cappy for you.
Old School Meets New
A modern Nintendo gaming experience isn't complete without an amiibo or two, and Super Mario Odyssey has you covered. If you want to look as dapper as you've ever seen Mario, check out his white tux. Bowser and Peach are similarly decked out in their wedding-day best. In case modern isn't really your thing, make sure you look for special areas in the world around you that can transport you back to moments of 8-bit glory. I love that Nintendo is giving us these great throw-backs. We need a modern game, but we still want those components that remind us why we fell in love with this franchise to begin with.
I'm excited to play Super Mario Odyssey, and I hope you are too. Look for a late-night opening at Best Buy and be among the first to play.