Nintendo Switch Presentation: Super Mario Odyssey trailer break down

By David Tan on Jan 13, 2017

Mario's journey around the world

Software sells hardware is what I believe. With the announcement of launching the Switch on March 3rd, several games had been showcased throughout the Nintendo Switch Presentation. A brand new 3D Mario game called Super Mario Odyssey, a  Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild trailer, a what seems to be a compilation of mini-games called 1,2 Switch, all and all they look promising for the future of Switch. No doubt the Super Mario Odyssey’s trailer is the biggest highlight of the whole presentation. With a 2 minutes trailer, Nintendo showed us fair amount of what’s in the upcoming game, enough for us to get excited about it. Let’s move on and take a look at what our old plumbers are trying to bring up to the table. This is my breakdown and opinion on the Super Mario Odyssey’s trailer.

3D Mario is back

The last 3D Mario we had was Super Mario 3D World, technically. But if we are talking about a fully-fledged solo campaign style Mario title with huge world ready to be explored instead of the stage-by-stage formula used in 3D World, it would have been Super Mario Galaxy 2 back in 2010, 7 years ago. Without a doubt, the announcement of Super Mario Odyssey caused the most excitement as fans has been waiting so long for another proper Mario adventure as grand as the previous 3D titles. “Super Mario Odyssey sees Mario leave the Mushroom Kingdom to go on a new sandbox-style journey!” as mentioned under the video description of the trailer itself. The adventure this time around seems to be surrounding the real world locations, as we can also see there’s a globe in the title screen itself.

Mario jumped out from a sewer to what seemed to be a replicate of New York City at the beginning of the trailer. Platforming around the area, we immediately noticed a lot of movement options can be performed by Mario. The city looks huge on itself, showing us briefly how the sandbox-style adventure will look like. Traveling on a weird looking ship, Mario visits many different environments other than the city, such as a desert, a forest and a ‘vege-land’… Let’s call it that before we get any more official info. The aesthetic of the environment looks gorgeous but somehow plain in sight. Understandable as the game is still very early in its development stage. Anything showed are still subject to change.

Cap mechanic

We were then being introduced a new mechanic that will debut with the game. By throwing Mario’s hat to the front, the cap will serve as a bouncing platform, allowing Mario to jump on it to achieve greater height. Now, part of the iconic design of Mario also serves as gameplay, which is a pretty neat idea. Seems like Bowser has its own hat tricks too, as he threw his white hat in a similar fashion with Mario, dress as a charming man ready for a prom night.

Bowser could ask Peach nicely for a hang out this time around since he dressed up, but he's going for a kidnap instead...again.
Bowser could ask Peach nicely for a hang out this time around since he dressed up, but he's going for a kidnap instead...again.

At the end of the trailer, 2 googly eyes popped out from Mario’s cap, indicating the cap itself has its own personality. A new comrade with Mario it seems.

It reminds me of F.L.U.D.D  (pronounce ‘flood’), the water jetpack Mario used in Super Mario Sunshine. The jetpack allows Mario to performed so many maneuvers with different variation of modes, such as hovering in the air, splashes water towards enemies, slide on the floor with high speed and so on. Can we expect the cap to be as game changing as F.L.U.D.D? Can’t wait to find out. Now before you get too attached to the cute little cap, I would like to remind you the ending of Sunshine and what happened to F.L.U.D.D… Now, moving on.

Possibility of changing caps

I hope my sharp eyes will do you justice. At around the 1:34 mark of the trailer, we can see Mario enters a shop named “Cagy Cap” (I hope it spells this way) in the dessert area. Why would Mario enters a cap shop, as if he can change its cap? A wild speculation from me, but I think changing cap will be a thing in this game. With that, different play style with Mario can be achieve just like F.L.U.D.D with in Sunshine! Imagine a ricochets from enemies to enemies, or a spring cap that allows the third jump in triple jump higher by landing Mario’s head to the ground? Probably not the best to present a jump in a family friendly game, but it is hard to imagine what a cap can do to change up the platforming.

Some things does not mesh well with Mario

The game looks gorgeous and all, but the aesthetic in general is much more bolder than any other previous titles has to offer. Some I might even say they are not suitable to appear in the Mario universe at all. First off let’s get to the biggest mood killer, why are there actual human models in the game? If the adventure this time around will be based on actual real life location other than Mushroom Kingdom, I still hope that Nintendo can come out with an idea to include humans a different way. Say, the squid kids from Splatoon is a great example. They are half human looking but their body shape keeps the cartoon-ish feeling intact. Again, the game is too early to settle everything down. If there are changes in the future, this is what I hope they change the most. Not ‘Sonic 06’ that degree of bad, but they are still a little hard to look at.

Mario is straight up 'foreign' in this screenshot.
Mario is straight up 'foreign' in this screenshot.

At the 2:14 time mark, I have another little nitpick. The boss-looking machine worm that appears in front of Mario looks out of place for me too. The design of the worm is a tad bit too overwhelming compare to any other things showed in the trailer. It is fearsome, killing intent overloaded, like it should be in some sort of sci-fi movie instead of a Mario game for sure. Compare him to the main villain of the series, Bowser is so much more tamer than it. Base on it movements and as a worm, it should be Wiggler, an enemy that appeared throughout several Mario games.

Mecha Wiggler will tear you apart. Run, Mario !
Mecha Wiggler will tear you apart. Run, Mario !

And so there you have it, my little breakdown of the trailer and some complaints I have with it so far. Speculation aside, I do see potentials of the game being good, and the reaction I had after watching the whole trailer was generally positive. What could go wrong with 3D Mario? In my opinion, none of the previous 3D Marios were bad, so I have high expectations for Odyssey for being another well-polished Mario title. The game will not be coming anytime soon however as in the video description, Nintendo mentioned the game will coming during the holiday season of 2017.

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David Tan
About the Author
Sometimes take video games too seriously. Passionate enough to write about them. Putting a little faith in the video game industry. Prefer indie games more as he couldn't afford to enjoy the formula of triple A's games. Due to that, his taste for games is a little eccentric.
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