E3 2017: Super Mario Odyssey is a Much Needed Return to Mario’s Traditional 3D Roots

Super Mario Odyssey is Nintendo’s first visit back to their traditional 3D Mario setup since Super Mario Galaxy 2, complete with a variety of new abilities for Mario to use in brand new worlds. While the 3D titles for 3DS and Wii U were certainly great platformers, they didn’t give players that sense of satisfaction they get from collecting every last object found in a world to be rewarded with a Star, or in this case a Moon to power Mario’s Odyssey adventure.

In the majority of Mario titles, his main objective has always been to chase down Bowser to retrieve Princess Peach from his grasp. This time Bowser isn’t just holding Peach captive, he already has a wedding planned and it’s up to Mario to stop him once again. Fortunately, Mario has a new companion on his side by the name of Cappy, who can not only possess Mario’s classic hat but even many objects and inhabitants of the world in order to help solve various puzzles along the way. Aside from Bowser himself, Mario’s main enemy will be a crew of evil wedding-planning rabbits trying to get in his way. Throughout his journey Mario will have to take on these rabbits at various times in order to continue and be rewarded with multiple Moons. Each meeting with these rabbits will increase in difficulty as they are given more abilities to try and defeat Mario, but he will need to do his best using all his abilities in order to stop them and get to Bowser.

The key new ability Mario uses in Odyssey is with the help of Cappy, who he can throw to use a variety of attacks or even jump on as a bounce pad. That’s not the only trick up his sleeve, as throwing Cappy at certain enemies or NPCs will allow Mario to take control of them. While in control Mario takes advantage of their unique abilities, such as a Bullet Bill being able to fly far distances or blow up walls. This ability seems to take the place of Mario’s more traditional abilities seen in previous titles like the Fire Flower, but adds a new layer of creativity for the player as they experiment with all the new characters they can possess.

Each world in Odyssey offers the freedom to roam at ones own pace through gorgeous worlds, all while unlocking new areas along the way. The main item Mario needs to collect are Moons which powers his new flying ship and allows him to venture to different worlds. In addition to Moons, each world Mario visits contains 100 regional coins which are purple in color and have shapes corresponding to the area he’s currently in. These coins aren’t just for collecting either, as Mario is able to spend them in hat shops in order to unlock new outfits to help him gain access to certain areas within each world. Not all of these will be immediately obvious, so Mario will need to explore every nook and cranny in order to find every last hidden secret.

Players haven’t seen a traditional 3D Mario like this in several years, and it’s already looking as though it has a lot of potential with a whole new slew of gameplay mechanics it’s bringing. Odyssey seems to offer a great balance of difficulty for new and returning players to Mario’s 3D adventures, welcoming anyone who wants to give it a whirl on his next big adventure. With a charming appearance, large worlds to explore and plenty to collect, Super Mario Odyssey is looking to be like a great next entry into the series. Players looking forward to Super Mario Odyssey will be able to get their hands on it October 27.