After months of waiting, Nintendo has finally unveiled more details about the Nintendo Switch. In addition to providing information about the console itself, Nintendo revealed several games that are heading to the Switch after its release. Perhaps one of the biggest is the company's next Mario game, Super Mario Odyssey.
Featuring open-world sandbox gameplay in a variety of locales, Super Mario Odyssey has Mario exploring unknown worlds... including a world that looks surprisingly like our own. Everyone's favorite plumber is aided by a new hat, complete with googly-eyes, that he can perform tricks with such as throwing it to use as a platform or boost to reach new levels.
The first-look video released as part of Nintendo's Switch presentation showed off a number of different settings as well as a variety of new enemies. Mario jumps between skyscrapers, tries to avoid soup that's way too hot and runs along a rushing river in a jungle landscape. We see from the video that Mario is trying to stop an especially dapper-looking Bowser from marrying Princess Peach, which takes things a step beyond simply rescuing her after she's been kidnapped again. It also appears that Mario isn't the only one getting in on the hat-throwing action, suggesting that Bowser might have learned a few new tricks.
According to producer Yoshiaki Koizumi, the game features gameplay that can "only be experienced on the Nintendo Switch", which may mean that it takes advantage of the new HD Rumble feature that the console's Joy-Con controllers have. This could add a new dimension to gameplay, giving unique feedback from hat throws, power-ups and even taking damage. The open-world aspect of the game is reminiscent of the changes made in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and may be an indication that Nintendo is trying to branch out from its tried-and-true gameplay in an effort to modernize its properties.
While there's likely a lot about Super Mario Odyssey that we haven't seen, what's shown off in the first-look video is pretty amazing. It's like nothing that's been done before in Mario games, and it may very well be just what the series needs to stay fresh. There was some worry that the new Mario game would be just more of the same, but the reveal seems to have put those fears to rest.
Unfortunately, it will be a little while before we actually get to play Super Mario Odyssey. The game won't make the launch of the Nintendo Switch, and is instead going to be released later in the year. Fans might not get to play Odyssey this March, but at least they'll get to take Mario out on the town for Christmas.
Super Mario Odyssey is slated for release during the 2017 holiday season.