Mario’s been to a lot of weird places, and he’s done a lot of strange things, but nothing compares to the surreal and bizarre world of “Super Mario Odyssey.”
“Super Mario Odyssey” is the next major flagship game in the classic franchise, from Nintendo’s world-class internal teams — and it’s nearly here.
With the launch of “Odyssey” coming up so soon on October 27, Nintendo pulled back the curtain a bit further in a massive new gameplay walkthrough video. There’s a lot to absorb, but we’ve pulled out some highlights below.
“Super Mario Odyssey” is a 3D Mario game, in the lineage of “Super Mario 64” and “Super Mario Galaxy.” That means it’s a sandbox-style game. The world is segmented into levels, but the levels are massive and open-ended.
Forget about flagpoles — in “Super Mario Odyssey,” you’re given free reign to go wherever you want within a world. There are no “beginning” and “end” points in “Odyssey,” in that sense. There is an overall story arc and a progression to the game, of course, but each world is open-ended in how you approach it.
New Donk City, for instance, is one of the game’s many locations. It’s set within the “Metro Kingdom” — one of several “kingdoms” Mario visits in “Super Mario Odyssey.”
You’re of course controlling Mario once again. But rather than collecting power-ups to, say, grow larger or shoot fireballs, you’ve got a seemingly magical hat.
The hat’s name is “Cappy” — it’s actually a ghost from one of the game world’s kingdoms. In cheeky Mario style, the place where Cappy is from is called “Bonneton.”
Mario and Cappy are working together because Bowser stole people they care about. Thus, their epic voyage begins aboard a flying ship named the Odyssey.
They need a flying ship, you see, because Bowser has a flying ship of his own. It’s a whole thing.
Anyway, what Cappy does for Mario in terms of gameplay is enable Mario to “capture” things — Mario essentially becomes whatever he captures. Here he is as a fry pan-throwing Hammer Bro.
Here he is as a Bullet Bill:
“Becoming” these things enables Mario to do lots of stuff he couldn’t normally. In this instance, “capturing” a human in New Donk City lets Mario control the R.C. taxi car on the ground.
It’s not clear how many worlds in total there are for Mario to explore — remember, these are large areas that are full of stuff to collect, puzzles to solve, and enemies to tackle — but Nintendo has thus far shown nine.
What you see above is “Mount Volbono” in the Luncheon Kingdom. Mario’s got on his kitchen whites and he’s carrying a massive golden radish, as one does.
Here are all nine areas Nintendo detailed in its recent video:
-New Donk City, Metro Kingdom
-Tostarena, Sand Kingdom
-Mount Volbono, Luncheon Kingdom
-Steam Gardens, Wooded Kingdom
-Bonneton, Cap Kingdom
-Fossil Falls, Cascade Kingdom
-Shiveria, Snow Kingdom
-Bubblaine, Seaside Kingdom
-Tropical island, Unknown kingdom
Moons power your ship, the Odyssey, thus enabling you to travel to new kingdoms. That said, there’s a ton of stuff to do in each area. Beyond the usual platforming and jumping on enemies and what have you, there are crazy-looking minigames:
The crux of the game, though, is using Mario’s magical hat to become things. The act of “capturing” in “Odyssey” lets you play as a ton of different stuff. This flying lizard thing, for instance:
How about full on T-rex Mario?
Or how about this….whatever the hell this is?
Point is, forget about getting one or two new superpowers in “Super Mario Odyssey.” You can literally become a Goomba, or a charge of electricity, or a fire-shooting Hammer Bro.
Some of the filters make these shots look like a completely different game:
There’s seemingly so, so much more to know about “Super Mario Odyssey,” but you’ll be able to find out for yourself soon enough as the game arrives on October 27 for the Nintendo Switch.