At the Hyper Japan Festival 2017 this weekend I got the chance to play ten minutes of Super Mario Odyssey. Okay, okay it’s not a long time but it was great to get hands on with it and get a feel for how the game might play.
I had option to explore the Metro Kingdom or the Sand Kingdom and I felt like I should shake it up a bit and try the Sand Kingdom level. The part of the Kingdom I played was a fairly linear, traditional platforming level.
It felt great to play. It reminded me of the joy that the original 3D Mario on the N64 gave but with a cleaner aesthetic. Think Sunshine and Galaxy but with little details that elevated the game to a whole new level. Mario was reflected in windows, there were gorgeous little ripples in the water and all these little details were wrapped up in a Mario game – what’s not to love.
When I started the level, I was shown that the end goal was to collect the Moon Sprite (think Shine Sprite but a Moon instead) on top of a tower. It was completely up to me to figure how to get to the Moon Sprite and I realised that there were multiple different ways to do it. At one point I was presented with platforms to jump across to reach another area but instead of jumping across them I possessed a Bullet Bill by throwing my hat at it and just floated straight over the gap.
At another part I needed to climb a part of the tower but there was no obvious way up. I walked around the base, found a standard Mario green pipe which was sticking directly out of the tower and went through it. At this point I thought it would transport me inside of the tower for a climbing challenge, well I was right but not in the way I expected. I went INSIDE the wall of the tower and become a little 2D pixel art Mario. I had to platform my way up the tower like this and it was so quirky and interesting.
I collected the Moon Sprite eventually and moved on to the next part of the level. After chatting to some NPCs a bit of general exploring, I came upon some stone heads right out of Easter Island. I threw my hat at them POSSESSED one and was shown so many collectibles that I couldn’t see before. I had to remember their location and try and find them by memory.
Sadly, that was when my time was up. Overall my first impressions were really positive. Mario has never looked or played better. It will please old fans and newcomers alike and I’m personally really excited for the game to release.
Super Mario Odyssey releases worldwide on 27 October 2017.