Last week, I discussed my thoughts and concerns on the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Today, it’s Mario’s turn for some scrutiny, as we were just recently introduced to the next major Mario game, Super Mario Odyssey. Let me start by saying that I’m not the biggest Mario fan out there. The games are great and all, but they’re not exactly at the top of my list. Nevertheless, I think the new Mario trailer may have possibly excited me even more than the Zelda one.
Considering I am a massive Zelda fan, I had to ask myself why this was, and it didn’t take me long to come up with an answer. While Breath of the Wild signifies a major departure from the Zelda series, Odyssey marks a return to the Mario games I loved most. Super Mario 64 and Sunshine gave us large, open worlds to explore, while Galaxy was linear and New Super Mario Bros. were traditional sidescrollers. In short, I have been waiting for a Mario game like this for over a decade, and I couldn’t be happier!
Not only does Mario have a large world to explore, the locations shown in the trailer look really detailed and amazing, as well. These are the graphics I’ve been waiting for from Nintendo. This is the level of polish I expected to see from their newest console. In addition, I like that this game looks like it will feature some interesting places. A lot of platformers employ the same types of locations. Ice world. Forest world. Fire world. That’s all well and good, but I’ve always preferred it when developers gave them a different twist or, at the very least, really focused on making these locations detailed and beautiful. This was one thing Rayman Origins and Legends excelled at. Instead of featuring just another fire world with lava and volcanoes, we had a fiery kitchen filled with dragon chefs. Rather than present us with another set of boring, old water levels, we were tasked with navigating the ocean’s depths, where we avoided claws that tried to grab us in the dark, all to the tune of some of the most beautiful music known to gaming kind. And it really helped that the art style was fantastic, as well.
I feel like Super Mario Odyssey is kind of a Mario version of Rayman Origins because the locations are not just beautiful to look at, but they display a level of creativity not often seen in platformers. I’m not saying I saw anything truly groundbreaking in the trailer, but I still liked the Day of the Dead-themed level and the land of giant fruit. It looks fun. It’s a video game, and it looks fun. End of story. The video also opens with a New York City-inspired level called New Donk City (I’m sure they’re going for Donkey Kong, though I have to say the name of the city might be the worst thing about the trailer), which is interesting, but at the same time, it more or less gives me a Sonic ’06 vibe. A cartoony video game character running around a bunch of regular people. It’s rather odd to me. No big deal. Just odd.
You know what, on second thought, I think odd is a perfect word to describe this new Mario game. I don’t mean odd in a bad way, but…don’t you think some of the things shown in the video were a bit…out there? Giant fruit. Weird, spinning robots in the forest. And…what’s this? Mario’s hat has eyes? Bowser’s dressed in a weird tuxedo and top hat? Evil bunnies? Evil bunnies!
Bunnies can’t be evil! They’re bunnies!
Okay, yeah, no doubt you noticed that Mario now has the ability to throw his hat and…use it like a spring. I’d say this is rather strange, but then again, so is a grown man running around dressed like a raccoon. Okay, it’s a tanooki suit, but still. It’s weird. All joking aside, I’m interested to see how this new mechanic will change how we control the world-famous plumber, even if I can’t say I’m happy that his hat may have actually been upgraded to the status of an actual character. I can only imagine his recently sentient hat will become Mario’s guide on his new adventure, kind of like FLUDD in Super Mario Sunshine. If this is the case, I’m naming it Henry if it’s a boy and Harriet if it’s a girl. (Notice how I did not name it Hattie.) Henry the hat. I like it.
Bowser himself appears to have gotten a far more drastic wardrobe change than our hero, as he now looks…I didn’t want to say it, but there is no other way to describe him. He looks like a pimp. There, I said it. Bowser is a pimp now. That’s what Nintendo’s done to him. Which bothers me almost as much as it amuses me. And it looks like this time, rather than just kidnapping Peach and waiting for Mario to show up and save the day, the old Koopa King’s decided to finally ask…I mean force Peach to marry him. I guess he figured that since it worked so spiffingly in Super Paper Mario, he might as well try it again. Oh, and it appears as if his cohorts are evil bunnies.
I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a Mario game before, and it will make the prospect of resisting the Switch until I can more easily afford it quite difficult (I just bought a PS4, which means no more consoles for me for a long time). I can’t tell you how happy I am that Nintendo is finally making another open-world Mario game. Every time I say I’m not buying Nintendo’s next console, something like this always happens. Sigh, goodbye money.
The Duck Will Become Mario’s New Hat…I Will Sit on His Head and Tell Him to Do Stuff