Friday, July 14, 2017

2017: A Super Mario Odyssey (Pre-Release Game Discussion)

E3 has come and gone boy was it one of the biggest, especially for Nintendo. More to the point a lot of Super Mario Odyssey the newest Mario adventure coming out for the Nintendo Switch was revealed. I only really got to cover the trailer and a few other things during my E3 coverage but quite a lot of gameplay was shown off as well which is what I’m going to be diving into today. A lot of the gameplay was revealed during E3 as well as some people getting to play timed demos on the E3 demo floor and at certain other events. While I’m extremely jealous of the fact I have not had the chance to have hands on with this game (This would have also made writing this blog easier, oh well.) I’m going to be diving in and discussing what I’ve observed from as much Gameplay I can find. So in the words of the plumber man himself, lets-a-go!

When this game was first announced it was said to be an 3D adventure Mario game in spirit of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine but I never realized how open world Nintendo was making this game until E3. Super Mario Odyssey takes the feel of 64 and Sunshine and takes it into a new Odyssey. It appears Super Mario Odyssey will have multiple worlds with many levels and activities in each one. So instead of all the levels technically being inside of Peach’s Castle or Isle Delfino Mario will be traveling the world to many different locations to collect Moon Pieces, which seem to be this game’s Power Stars or Shines. These moons are found by completing platforming levels or quests for others in New Donk City, one of the worlds shown off during E3 and the Gameplay demos. This game might be a 3D adventure Mario similar to 64 and Sunshine but its Moon Pieces aren’t limited to specific level selections, no more jumping through paintings or graffiti this game is all about adventure and looking through every nook and cranny to find these Moon Pieces. You will be traveling to each world by the means of the Odyssey which is a giant Top Hat transportation device, because why not? Regardless I absolutely love how much more open world this game appears compared to Sunshine and 64 with each world being an open Sandbox with goodies around every corner and exploration waiting to happen.

Each world Mario travels too also have its own form of currency aside from the Golden Coins Mario Games are so famous for having. Why is that you say? Well prepared to be mind blown. In Super Mario Odyssey the coins are no longer just a score and collection system but you will actually be able to utilize these coins to purchase items! I’m not just on about usual power-up items either. No each world has its own currency with 100 coins (The return of the 100 coins? Sign me up for nostalgia.) planted in each world among it’s levels. This special currency will allow you to buy outfits to wear. Ever wanted to dress Mario up in a dress suit with top hat? Then this is the game for you. Each world will have it’s own unique clothing line. It appears these aren’t just for looks either these outfits will unlock special levels and events within each world. I also noticed something else really awesome about these outfits, some of them are actually based on outfits Mario has worn in past spin-off titles, such as his patriotic red, white and blue golfer outfit and the Super Mario Maker builder outfit which also serves as a throwback to Wrecking Crew. One last thing about the coins, instead of losing lives when you lose in a level you actually lose coins. Not sure whether it’s possible to get a game over once you run out of coins but it appears 1-Ups are no more.

Mario’s mechanics from 64 and Sunshine such as the Wall Jump and Long Jump all make their return to Super Mario Odyssey but it appears a few new tricks are coming as well. First up Mario can now roll! Yeah eat your heart out Link and Sonic because Mario has a sweet new rolling mechanic that you can use to, well roll around. Most importantly this game adds a brand new mechanic and it actually revolves around Mario’s hat. Every 3D Mario game has had some sort of unique ability in each of it’s games. 64 had the power up caps, Sunshine had F.L.U.D.D. and his nozzles, Galaxy had the Luma Spin ability and 3D Land/World brought back some power ups from Mario’s 2D days into 3D such as the Tanooki Suit. (Oh yeah and Cat Suits.) This time round Mario’s special ability comes from his hat, which ends up being possessed by a hat ghost named Cappy. Using Cappy you can fling your hat forward similar to the Boomerang Bro power up to attack enemies, grab items and… Possess enemies? Okay it’s not actually possessing as Nintendo has stressed but it allows Mario (Or is it just the cap?) to control certain objects, enemies, creatures and even a human being in New Donk City. While this is one of the most bizarre additions to Mario to this day there’s so much that can be done with this ability I can’t wait to see more of it in action. To add a Mario touch the item or object you control has a little Mario mustache along with the cap, which is adorable to say the least. Anyway this seems to be the center mechanic of the game.

I don't think I've ever seen Bowser look this snappy.

Now while 3D Adventure Mario games don’t have the most expansive stories in the world Mario games usually have a fun story behind them and I personally loved the stories in Mario games up until now, especially Galaxy 1 and Galaxy 2. Super Mario Odyssey’s story is similar to all previous Mario stories in the fact that Princess Peach is kidnapped once again by Bowser, only this time instead of locking her away in his castle it seems Bowser is actually arranging a marriage between him and the Mushroom Princess. It’s no hidden fact that the King Koopa has some hard feelings for the Princess which has served as a primary reasoning behind his kidnappings. Bowser has actually attempted a forced marriage before in an old but favorite Nintendo Power comic. To help his plan succeed Bowser has hired an ACTUAL wedding planning firm, I kid you not, to help. Problem for Mario is this firm, who call themselves The Broodals are super fighting ninja rabbits. Yeah the Rabbids aren’t the only rabbits Mario will be facing this year.

I’ve talked about the overall gameplay, mechanics and stories but I’ve not dived too much into the worlds that were shown off. First off we have the Metro Kingdom. Metro Kingdom’s primary location is New Donk City which is home to some really realistic humans for some reason. Yeah I’m not sure why the humans are really realistic compared to the Mario series’ usual art style. Humans were actually going to be present in Super Mario Sunshine but were taken out so maybe this is a leftover idea. New Donk City like the name might give away is based on New York City and is called “The City That Never Leaps.”. Now during the initial reveal and the E3 trailer I noticed a huge amount of Donkey Kong references in this city, even the name itself. Streets are named after Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Country characters such as Dixie Street, K. Rool Avenue and even a Cranky Avenue. The biggest Donkey Kong reference actually comes in form of a character who seems to be playing a significant role in the game, Pauline. 

Yes Nintendo is bringing back Pauline to a main series Mario game after all these years. For those not aware Pauline is Mario’s former girlfriend and damsel in distress from the original Arcade Donkey Kong games. She also made an appearance In the Mario VS Donkey Kong games for the DS and 3DS. It’s crazy to see Nintendo bring back a character like her and flesh her out even to the point of making her the MAYOR of New Donk City! According to NPCs around the city Pauline as well as Mario played a key role I restoring New Donk City after it underwent a massive disaster that damaged it. This made me really think and the first thing to come to my mind is this little theory, is this the original city and setting from Donkey Kong? That would be insane if it ends up being true and sort of bring the Mario lore (Trust me there is a lore.) full circle. In New Donk City Mario wall jumps around the buildings to perform quests and help Pauline builds up a band for a concert. Speaking of that apparently Pauline has a tremendous voice and you know that song from the E3 trailer “1-UP Girl”? Yeah Pauline is singing that, which is pretty cool. Finally another part of New Donk City I want to point out is the fact that Mario can ride a Moped similar to the Moped from Mario Kart, which is crazy. I wonder why the residents put up with a crazy mustache man running around. There seems to be a lot to do in this city, adding more to this game’s exploration feel. Seems like Nintendo is more interested in making exploring, sandbox like games lately huh? I’m definitely not complaining.

Bosses appear in this game too including this Mecha-Wiggle which seems to be an enemy In New Donk City. You have to take control of a tank to defeat it and it kind of gives me Super Mario Galaxy feels mixed with Star Fox and Bayonetta, for some reason.

Other kingdoms announced was the Sand Kingdom, which seems to have been attacked by a freeze ray as there’s ice everywhere. The residents are these Hispanic skeleton like guys who definitely look inspired by the Day of the Dead. There’s a certain point in one of the levels from this world in which Mario goes inside of a pipe only to turn into classic Mario from the original NES Super Mario Brothers. This happens a few times in this desert which is an incredibly awesome throwback while still being a part of the actual gameplay. The Broodals serve as bosses too with the female Broodal, Harriet being Sand Kingdom’s boss showcased during the Nintendo E3 Treehouse and damn is she insane, with an insane laugh to boot. Other than the boss there seems to be a lot to explore in this desert region as per tradition with deserts a lot is hidden. To make travel easier you can ride on this cool Sphinx guy dubbed the Jaxi, though it seems he’s hard to control at least he’s fast.

Another kingdom by the name of Wooded Kingdom was revealed during the E3 Treehouse. While at first glance it seems to be one big jungle this place has some high tech integrated into it and the residents are actually these cool, but apparently anxiety-ridden robots. Seems some swimming mechanics are prominent here though I hope they aren’t as difficult as a certain Super Mario Galaxy. I have to point out that it seems coins do not refill your health in this game unlike previous installments nor do they fill up you breathing limit, that could become quite difficult in certain situations. They revealed that you can actually take control of enemies such as a Fire Bro during this as well, which is pretty sweet who wouldn’t want to be a Fire Bro or Hammer Bro? The annoyed becomes the annoyer!

There are some other kingdoms floating around that have been announced such as the colorful Luncheon (A new Eevee evolution?!) Kingdom, the Cascade Kingdom and the Cap Kingdom in which I assume Cappy is from. Not much has been revealed about these yet and we haven’t seen them in action.

Seems Amiibos will play a part in some shape or form, without being required of course. There's three Amiibos coming out exclusively for this game in the form of Wedding Outfit Mario, Wedding Dress Peach and Wedding Outfit Bowser. Hmmm, Wedding Outfit Mario? Are we going to be gatecrashing Bowser's wedding only for Mario to finally end up marrying Peach? That would be a sweet ending but not sure how that would affect the main series Mario games. (Bowser tries to get Mario and Peach to divorce? No idea.)

All in all this game looks like an incredible sandbox open world adventure taking the gameplay style of Super Mario 64 and super charging it into a brand new Odyssey, a Super Mario Odyssey. To make it even better this game is absolutely stunning graphic wise. There seems to be so much to this game that I still haven’t yet discussed every nook and cranny. It would be incredible to get hands on of this game to show you guys before the game is released but who knows what will happen between now and the October 27th release. I’ll be discussing more about this game even more as we head towards the release date so stay tuned!

To watch some gameplay check out these links below!

Nintendo's E3 Coverage:

GameXplain's "Super Mario Odyssey - Full Tour of New Donk City's Streets & Inspecting the Brochure (Direct Feed)":

RichAlvarez (The awesome man and crew behind Stupid Mario Brothers.)'s "

Super Mario Odyssey - 10 Minutes of Gameplay! - E3 2017 (Nintendo)"

Kotaku's "Super Mario Odyssey gameplay (edited, with commentary)"

Nintendo World Report's "Super Mario Odyssey Super Mario Maker (DIRECT FEED)"

There are a load more gameplay videos floating around Youtube but these are the guys I went to for this blog.

Before I go I have a FREE knitting pattern to share, per tradition. I don’t believe I’ve shared this pattern with you guys yet but I’ve had this sitting in my Ravelry library for a while now. This is the “Goomba Hat” by Pam Fear.

Yeah it’s actually a Goomba, but in beanie form. Perfect for the upcoming Christmas and winter season too! This would make a wonderful Christmas present to wear while you’re playing Super Mario Odyssey. This is a colorworks pattern with specific colors so unless you’re knitting Goombella from Paper Mario you’ll want to find colors similar to this in Worsted weight. Really all you need is a typical brown, white and black. This is actually more of a knitting chart then a knitting pattern, the beanie is completely standard vanilla while the Goomba face is knitted while using this colorworks chart included on the pattern. Not to point faults in an old pattern but apparently the mouth is done using a piece of string, though you could easily just knit using black yarn one row under the teeth and it would still look right.

Anyway you can find this pattern by going to Pam’s Blog: .

With that said I’m heading out be sure to check out the new short film I uploaded yesterday featuring my trip to an ever growing, local Sunflower field.

This was ZAK Entertainment, See You on Monday! 

[Photo Credits Belong to Nintendo, Super Mario Wiki and Pam Fear.]

1 comment:

  1. Mario's all effects earn him his princess, perhaps.The adventure to get her was a worthy experience. Informative piece, thanks for sharing.