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I never got to play Super Mario 64. It was a bit before my time. Apparently, it was one of the most mind-blowing games of the time, along with Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I didn't have a Nintendo 64. Video games were seen at the time as still a "boys" thing to do. I did have a Gameboy Color, though, which I was able to convince my parents to get me because it was so cheap in comparison. Pokemon Yellow was my first Nintendo game, and I never looked back.
Fast forward to 2002. I had managed to convince my parents to buy me my first home game console, the Nintendo GameCube, after playing Animal Crossing at a friend's house and loving it. Enter Super Mario Sunshine. This game completely blew me away as a kid. I know a lot of gamers aren't HUGE fans of Sunshine like I am, but I loved it.
I spent way too much time just messing around in the game's hub world with all the tools I had unlocked. A lot of the levels were too hard for me as a kid, so I never completed the game. But that didn't matter to me. This game was so much fun no matter how many times I saw the dreaded "Game Over" screen.
That was really what set me into my love for 3D platformers and Mario games in general. Despite this, I never picked up Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii when it came out, despite also loving that system. As much as I love space, the gravity gimmick of the game made me a little nauseous after trying it out. I also, like most people, never owned a WiiU, so I didn't get to try out Super Mario 3D World. That game looked so boring to me anyway though. It just felt like 2D Mario games, but in a 3D space. There wasn't anything unique about it besides the weird cat thing. I'm sure it was a good game, like all Mario games are, but nothing about it appealed to me enough to get a WiiU.
The Nintendo Switch
Just over a year ago, on October 20, 2016, Nintendo revealed their new home console/handled hybrid, the Switch. I instantly loved the idea of the console, and preordered it. It's sitting nicely under my TV right now as I type this. But there was something in this trailer that really peaked my interest besides the console itself; a very, very brief look at what looked to be a new Mario game. Was he in some kind of Mexican-inspired place? I wasn't sure, but I knew I was definitely interested. It didn't look anything like 3D World. It looked vibrant and unique. I needed to know more.
At their January event, they had another trailer for the game drop. It looked amazing! Mario got to wear costumes, he was running around in all these different worlds, and it looked so open. That was what stood out to me more than anything. All the nostalgia I had for Sunshine came flooding (FLUDDing? No? I'll see myself out.) back to me. No longer was the world 3D linear; it was big, open, and begging to be explored. I was sold.
And then the E3 trailer dropped.
This trailer was unlike anything I had ever seen. Mario could possess the bodies of, like, literally everything?! His enemies, actual humans, traffic cones, cars; nothing was safe from Mario's grasp. I actually cried a little bit after seeing this trailer at the end of Nintendo's E3 presentation because everything about this game was so beautiful. Everything about it blew me away. IT JUST LOOKS SO GOOD. No wonder there were so many trailer reactions to this put up on YouTube after this. Nobody could have expected this. The world Nintendo looked to be creating was bright and colorful without being childish, and was on a scope that none of us could have ever predicted.
I think the reason I latched onto Nintendo games as a kid was that they were always just so... fun. I wasn't quite girly enough to enjoy things that were "for girls," but not tomboyish enough to play games that were violent. And I'm still not; as a pacifist, the only game with guns in it that I've ever owned has been the Mass Effect trilogy. A lot of games seem to me, especially in the more recent years, to be less about fun and more about K/D ratios and graphics. I never cared about those things, though. I just like games that are fun, wholesome, and well-made.
That's the essence of Super Mario Odyssey and why I'm hype as f*** for this game. It looks like pure fun. It's a game I think literally everyone can and will enjoy. Sure, I'm disappointed there's no hub world like in Sunshine, but the funny thing is, I barely care. I'm so excited for everything else about this game that I can't even be bothered. I know I'm going to love running around with Mario and Cappy, messing around in each world individually that I won't even need a hub world. I can waste time doing nothing like I did in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and have the best time of my life. I get to relive the joy of just having fun like I did when I was a kid.
The resolution isn't confirmed yet, but even if it's only the reported 900p, it doesn't matter. The confirmed 60fps will make the actual experience of playing very smooth, which is very important for a 3D platformer. I actually got a chance to play the demo for Super Mario Odyssey at Target and ooohhhh does it play beautifully at those 60fps.
But most of all, this game will bring me, and many other players, a sense of pure joy. I fully expect this game to replace Sunshine as my favorite Mario game of all time; heck, it might become my favorite overall game of all time.
The game comes out this upcoming week on October 27. I know I will probably be exclusively playing this game for, like, two or three weeks after its release. I hope to write a review but I'm not even sure how long it'll take to get a review written because I'll be so busy playing! I haven't even played this game yet but if you're curious about it, just get it. You'll love it, I know you will.