Emma Kent looks into 3 reasons why video games cause so many 'moral panics'Written by Emma Kent on 22nd October 2017
EGX | Hands On: Super Mario Odyssey
Jack Cooper goes hands on with one of his most anticipated releases this year, Super Mario Odyssey
Nintendo look set to continue their 2017 winning streak with the upcoming release of Super Mario Odyssey. In a year that has seen them release multiple consoles and games to critical acclaim, such as the Nintendo Switch, SNES Mini and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Nintendo have got a lot right, and, if the EGX demo of Super Mario Odyssey is anything to go by, Nintendo look set to have got one more thing very right.
Unsurprisingly, Super Mario Odyssey puts you in the shoes of Mario, who must save Princess Peach after she has been kidnapped by Bowser (who wants to marry her and take over the mushroom kingdom). Where the game deviates from the traditional ‘Mario’ plot is through the introduction of Cappy, a hat shaped ghost that accompanies Mario and, among other abilities, allows him to possess other creatures and objects.
The demo available at EGX gave players fifteen minutes to explore either New Donk City or Tostarena Town, both previously announced worlds. I chose to explore New Donk City as it seemed to be a world full of things to do. I was not disappointed. Not only have Nintendo masterfully utilised the Switch’s graphical capabilities to produce stunning areas brimming with colour, character and creativity, they have also packed the world full of Power Moons (the game’s collectables) that can be found by completing objectives, challenges, and exploring hidden areas. In previous Mario games, obtaining one of the collectables booted you out of the level and forced you to re-enter the stage if you wanted to continue exploring; this is now a thing of the past, as Super Mario Odyssey allows you to carry on after you have collected a moon. Showcasing the game’s focus on player exploration and experience.
With such a focus on player exploration, it’s a good thing that the game is an absolute joy to play. Travelling around levels is fantastic thanks to Mario’s ability to curl up into a ball and roll around (surprisingly quickly!), and Cappy’s ability to let Mario possess power lines, taxis and everything in between to get around. The games controls also add to the incredible experience as the Joy-Cons can be used as motion controls (that actually work!) or just regular controls to get Mario to throw Cappy at enemies, in a circle or as a boomerang.
Super Mario Odyssey is, in every sense of the phrase, a next-generation Mario game. It looks absolutely stunning on the Switch (both Docked and on screen); the levels are wonderfully designed and are a treat to explore; the game combines all the best features of 64, Sunshine and Galaxy to create a masterpiece of gaming and, to put it simply, it is ridiculously fun to play. Super Mario Odyssey lands on the Switch on October 27 and, even though it is less than a month away, after the amount of fun I had at EGX on the demo, I can hardly wait.