The world rejoiced when Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe morphed into Super Mario at the closing ceremony of the Rio Olympics last year, and now another sighting of the moustachioed plumber has sparked similar delight among gaming fans after it was confirmed that he would star in a new release this October. Not only that, but it looks like this new title could be the game to complete a remarkable turnaround for Nintendo.
There were doubts about whether Nintendo could compete with Sony and Microsoft in the console market as little as a year ago, following the failure of the Wii U to make any sort of impact. The new Switch barely set pulses racing when it was released, and many industry experts were predicting a bleak future, but there has been a swagger about Nintendo at this week’s E3 in Los Angeles and one of the main drivers of that confidence is Super Mario Odyssey.
Perhaps inspired by Mario’s virtual appearance in the real world in Tokyo and Brazil last year, the new game features our eponymous hero venturing into a lifelike city based on New York, as well as spending time in various other stunning kingdoms and springing around with the sort of boundless energy which belies his portly frame.
Players can roam around and undertake their own tasks or continue with the main mission, and there are some great new features to enjoy whilst you immerse yourself in the adventure. The Switch’s dual-motion controllers can be utilised to full effect to help Mario fling his new ‘Cappy’ hat to defeat enemies.
A full assessment of Super Mario Odyssey will have to wait until it comes out on 27th October, but for Nintendo to come up with this type of creative game is nothing new. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, was the first big release for the Switch earlier this year and has gone on to be both a commercial success and a huge hit with fans. Nintendo also announced plans at E3 for Metroid Prime 4 and a ‘new core Pokemon RPG’ for Switch.
Super Mario Odyssey is another reminder, therefore, that while the Switch may lack some of the capabilities or processing power of other consoles, there is no substitute for innovation, and the publishers at Nintendo are almost in a league of their own. The Switch has already defied its critics, and new games such as this will only increase Nintendo’s share in the console market.