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What We Know About Mario’s First Nintendo Switch Outing

The Nintendo Switch has been out for about a month now and if you own the machine, you’re most likely playing Zelda. Or maybe you’re playing Snipper Clips or 1-2 Switch, if – you know – you want to be different.

With a new Nintendo console, it makes sense that everyone’s favourite fat plumber gets a new title as well. Cue Super Mario Odyssey. The trailer dropped at the Nintendo Switch conference in January 2017, and in typical Nintendo fashion, they are none too hasty to give further detail. Logically, more will come at E3 2017 in June, when Nintendo presumably want to top up on fuel for the hype train. But let’s not stop thinking about what we already know, because despite the trailer only being two minutes long, there’s a lot to look forward to.

DONK CITY, BITCH, DONK DONK CITY, BITCH

Perhaps the most glaring aspect of the trailer is that Mario has been taken out of the Mushroom Kingdom, where for the last thirty years he has stomped goombas, kicked koopa shells and battered King Bowser’s offspring so many times that social services are well overdue a welfare visit. It makes sense now to take Mario out of his comfort zone and drop him into the real world. Well, kind of. It’s called New Donk City, like New York City, but – well you get the picture.

In the trailer, we’ve seen Mario swinging from lampposts, bouncing of taxi bonnets and platforming between skyscrapers. The trailer also showed off desert inspired levels, a level themed around food and dark, foreboding forests. Super Mario Odyssey looks to give the series a much-needed revitalisation and bridge the gap between a purely fantastical setting and one based a bit more in reality.

HAT

It’s fair to say that the tropes of the Mario franchise are well known. Initially, you could eat a mushroom to grow larger, a flower to throw fireballs and a gold star to grant temporary invincibility. Since then, they’ve innovated with power-ups by giving us a bigger mushroom to, you know, make you even bigger, an ice flower to throw balls of ice, a propeller hat, the Tanooki suit, a leaf item which gives you a tail and can make you a statue for, well, reasons. The list is extensive and for the sake of time, I won’t list them all. But I can imagine it must be difficult for the series’ creators to come up with new ideas.

Imagine the scene. A bunch of Japanese game developers sitting round a table. The room falls silent. They eye each other nervously.

GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT

Super Mario 3D World was good – great, even. But it wasn’t quite the spiritual successor to Super Mario: Galaxy 2, Mario 64 or Sunshine fans had been waiting for. The consensus was that it was too easy. That it presented little in the way of challenge and didn’t offer the level of exploration that fans wanted. They will be pleased to learn then, that Super Mario Odyssey is being directed by Yosiaki Koizumi, the mind behind Super Mario Sunshine and the Galaxy series. They will also be pleased to hear that, at the Nintendo Switch presentation Super Mario creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, said that the game will go “back to its roots,” and appeal to the core-gamers, as opposed to the “casual-friendly” iterations of the last few years. As such, this is the most promising news of receiving a Mario 64-like game we’ve had for a while.

WII U, OR WII WON’T

It seems obvious, but given the cross-platform release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey will not be getting a Wii U release. That is, unless Nintendo pulls a surprise out of their sentient hats and decides, for some reason, to release the game on a now dead console. But that’s unlikely. So yeah, if you held off on the Switch as you could get Zelda on the Wii U, it may be time to pack up the old boy and get hold of a switch if you want to play Mario’s newest adventure. Get the shovels out, guys, time to dig the Wii U a grave. Or just trade it in. Whatever you want really.

THE STORY

The trailer doesn’t give much away, but I’m going to hazard a guess that Bowser kidnaps the princess and Mario goes on to rescue her. Although the trailer does imply that Bowser tries to force Peach into a shotgun marriage. Though with Mario games, the story always takes place to the platforming puzzles and the variety of bizarre power-ups and, given what the trailer has shown already, there is much to look forward to.

WHEN CAN I PLAY IT?

Super Mario Odyssey is currently slated for a holiday release in 2017, but Nintendo President, Reggie Fils-Aimé, has said that players will be allowed a “hands on perspective of the game,” at E3 2017. Although nothing has been confirmed, we can also expect a Nintendo Tree House presentation in the same vain as they did for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

It’s all up in the air now and we’ll have to wait for Nintendo to provide more information, but I’m looking forward to getting to seeing more of the game at E3 2017, and on its eventual release. Maybe living in New Donk City, Mario will naff Daisy off and set up as a self-employed plumber, shafting clients by completing half-assed work and receiving poor reviews on Trust Pilot. Now that would be a game changer.