E3 2017: Super Mario Odyssey is the ultimate Mario 64 successor

Super Mario Odyssey
If you’ve been following E3 news, chances are you’ve already heard about how great Super Mario Odyssey is; it’s even been dubbed Game of the Show by most media outlets. So why is the estimated 1,280th Mario game considered one of the greatest titles shown off at E3?

I was able to get hands-on with both demos on the show floor, the Sand Kingdom, a desert with a Mexican-themed town and Aztec-themed ruins, and the Metro Kingdom taking place in New Donk City. I was encouraged to play with the Joy-Con Controllers separately rather than with a pro controller to try out the optional motion controls. There isn’t anything too complicated, just small stuff like shaking the right Joy-Con to throw Mario’s hat. Why would we want to throw his hat, though? For possession, of course!

In Super Mario Odyssey, Mario’s hat was crushed by Bowser and replaced with a sentient being called Cappy. With Cappy’s powers, Mario can throw his hat on any NPC or enemy not wearing a hat to take control of them. I took control of Bullet Bills many times during my playthrough because their speed and flight make for speedy traversal throughout the huge levels.

Possessing NPCs will also help for solving puzzles. For example, I possessed this strange Tiki creature with sunglasses on; these sunglasses revealed the position of invisible platforms for me to jump on. There was also a man in the Metro Kingdom not wearing a hat and trying to control an R/C car. I simply threw my cap onto his head and used the R/C car to collect the moon. Cappy can also take control of inanimate objects such as street poles or electric wires for easy traversal.

Both kingdoms in the demo were designed differently from one another. They’re both open areas akin to the ones in Super Mario 64 and Sunshine, but with a greater emphasis on exploration. The difference between the two is that the Sand Kingdom, while still having vast open environments, has a path you can follow to collect all the Power Moons, which are the main collectibles in this game. The Metro Kingdom however is designed in a less linear fashion, having you look around the city in search of the Power Moons. Every stage has checkpoint flags that double as fast-travel points, making for less-monotonous travel.

Each world also has Crazy Cop shops, color-coded in Yellow and Purple. In the yellow shops, you can use the common yellow coins to buy new outfits such as Builder Mario from Super Mario Maker. Purple shops, on the other hand, allow you to buy unique items and gear using the purple coins found in the specific level. For once, the yellow coins aren’t totally useless!

Super Mario Odyssey was indeed a huge hit at E3 and rightfully so. Not just because it gives us a 3D Mario game akin to 64 and Sunshine, but because it offers a whole new way of play with Cappy and his dark powers of possession. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on more Super Mario Odyssey news between now and when the game comes out on October 27 for the Nintendo Switch!

Check out our E3 2017 coverage here.

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