Back in January, the first Nintendo Switch games were revealed, with the two killer apps being Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. Odyssey is slated for a late 2017 release and looks to be a return to the more ‘open’, exploration based format of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. In the trailer, Mario is seen running and jumping around a city that is probably based in New York (‘New Donk City’ is the in-game name). It seems strange seeing Mario in a world filled with realistic looking people (a bit similar to Sonic but hopefully not as bad). If Odyssey isn’t delayed, we can expect it to sell many Switch units over the Christmas period. Let’s take a look at how it’s shaping up.
Odyssey is meant to take inspiration from Super Mario Sunshine and its more open, story driven template. For all the criticism Sunshine received at release, its mechanics were fun and it was a pleasure exploring the tropical Delfino island. Then we had the critically acclaimed Super Mario Galaxy which although it had a hub (which was scrapped for Galaxy 2) was a much more linear experience. The platforming was excellent, but for me, it didn’t have the same freedom as Super Mario 64 and Sunshine. After the Galaxy games, we had Super Mario 3d Land and its sequel, Super Mario 3d World. These games were kind of hybrids between the 2d and 3d Mario games. Odyssey seems like it is more of an exploration based adventure where Mario goes to different, varied environments on his cool looking airship. The trailer shown back in January was short, but let’s see what the key points are we can take from it.
The four areas in the trailer are a forest, a desert, a volcano, and a city. The levels seem sandbox like and open-ended, which basically means there’s no predetermined way through the level, they’re there for you to explore! Four levels seem a little lightweight, so I’m guessing there are more levels that haven’t been shown yet. Also with the realistic humans, is this game set in the mushroom kingdom or our world? At the city level, there are many curious nods to the Donkey Kong games, the name of the city being the least. Will Donkey Kong make an appearance in this game, perhaps not as an enemy but as a friend? There’s also an unusual number of references to hats. On Mario’s sky ship, the exhausts are shaped like hats and Mario even jumps on his hat in the trailer, so this will obviously be a theme in the game.
Anyway, the game looks amazing, let’s just hope it doesn’t get delayed into 2018. It’s already been confirmed to make an appearance at E3, and I’m hopeful it’ll be playable. Breath of the Wild was amazing, will it get a game of the year rival in the form of Odyssey? I’m just hoping Professor E. Gadd makes an appearance!