Jumping out in a big way, Super Mario Odyssey is looking like a Mario game I never knew I wanted from just this reveal trailer alone. Taking inspiration from the more recent “Super Mario 3D” titles in terms of presentation, it seems the game carries more of the spirit of Super Mario 64 and Sunshine while maintaining the kind of production and a few other bits that stood out in Mario Galaxy titles for good measure. With large, open environments and plenty of areas and architecture for Mario to explore through, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a look at what we know about what is now one of my most anticipated Switch titles.
Starting off in what looks to be called “New Donk City,” we see Mario looking a little fresher. While maintaining his iconic look, the overalls have some more detailed stitching and his cap looks a little more stylized, but it doesn’t make him feel less like the plumber we know and love. While it’s a bit strange seeing him run around “normal” people in terms of proportions and designs, Mario looks right at home bouncing off car hoods, swinging on traffic lights, and hitting the streets of what looks to be inspired by New York and other well known metropolises. With some familiar wall jumping in tight alleyways, he takes a rooftop leap to really drive the scale of this environment home.
Speaking of home, Mario appears to have an airship-like base of operations that he can ride from area to area. The globe on its small platform shows the focus on world traveling that Odyssey seems to be striving for, and the checkpoint flag is a nice touch. Taking off, Mario then touches down in a desert-like environment that was seen in the Switch reveal video back in October. Featuring some Samba de Amigo-esque imagery, it’s a whole new type of place for Super Mario games to explore. We also get a look at a massive forest environment. Featuring tall trees, streams, growing flower paths, and what look to be more industrial elements it really looks like the team behind this one is striving for variety.
Keeping that spirit, we get a look at a very polygonal area that seems to be inspired by food and cooking. It’s the strangest looking spot by far, but definitely has me curious. Everything looks angular and crystalline, with a few exceptions like Hammer Bro and Spiny. It makes me wonder if the area hasn’t been textured yet or is just aiming for something extremely stylized.
Next we get to see how Mario interacts with the environments, and it’s all too charming. For example in the desert environment, he’ll shiver through the cold nights while in New Donk City he can take some time to jump rope with locals. The forest area gives him a chance to dance with watering can-like rusted robots, and the crystal cooking area has him taking a curious look at the utensil like characters populating it. Underwater areas are back, as is the ability to enter doors. I also want to point out that the little skull fellow dancing outside of the Crazy Cap store shown is one of my new favorite characters of this or any game and the world needs more of them.
Speaking of headgear, a bit later in we get to see Bowser sporting an all white suit and matching top hat which he then throws at Mario. Peach has got a lovely looking tiara as well, though the circumstances for these wardrobe changes might be a little troublesome for the Princess. The Koopa King’s not the only one tossing his hat though, as Mario can throw his like a short range boomerang for a few types of techniques. It can be used to attack enemies for one, but more interestingly it can be used as a jumping point to get to otherwise unreachable heights or to cross gaps. This kind of platforming skill has me excited to see what late game challenges Nintendo will cook up for the feature. Next up we spot Mario riding a statue-like lion at high speeds through the desert, and some old and new enemies that’ll be giving him trouble.
Back to Bowser and Peach though, it would appear they have a bit of an engagement on their hands. See, Mario comes across a large poster advertising their Royal Wedding, with Bowser obviously interested (and styling) but Peach kidnapped once again to set off the adventure. Some new faces come up in the form of four rabbit-ish characters on an airship, looking to serve as some sort of boss encounter. Whether it’s as a quartet or separately across the game isn’t known, but we also see a large, flying, chicken-like character in a chef’s hat. Could these bosses be guests or staff for the wedding, adding a theme to the encounters Mario will have to handle across the game?
With a few more breathtaking shots of areas and bosses, we come to Mario himself tossing his hat and revealing the game’s title and logo. Definitely an exciting trailer, but there’s one last bit to share. Once he puts the hat back on, it sprouts a pair of eyes. It seems that hats will be at the center of the game, with the mentioned Crazy Cap stores serving as places to get new abilities or techniques. It’s still too early to tell for a lot, but the trailer has me eagerly awaiting Super Mario Odyssey’s launch, coming Holiday 2017!
Admire the trailer again in its entirety: