Tag Archives: Mario

E3 2017 Impressions – Super Mario Odyssey

mario odyssey

Happy week of E3, everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying the new game announcements and demo reels. It’s easy to be cynical about today’s video games, especially during E3 week (arguably) the industry’s biggest event each year, but I still find the multiple days of press conferences and game reveals to be exciting every time. I thought it’d be fun to take a moment to write here about a few of the games that impressed me the most so far from E3 2017, starting with the latest adventure from Nintendo’s biggest mascot.

mario hat buddy

 

  • SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY

 

Yeah, I don’t think anyone is surprised to see this game listed here among my most anticipated. I’ve been a Mario fan for most of my life, and the plumber’s latest adventure looks better every time I see it. The latest trailer showed off the game’s “capture” mechanic, where Mario tosses his cap (see what they did there?) at an enemy to temporarily take control of them. If the goomba mask in Super Mario 3D World was a sign of things to come, then fully controlling goombas in Super Mario Odyssey is the next great step in Mario’s bid for complete control of the mushroom kingdom.

goomba mario

The possibilities to gameplay that the capture feature offers has me even more excited to play the game, especially now that it’s confirmed that Mario can take control of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. If that isn’t a solid way to sell a game, then I don’t know what is. Filling out a list of enemies, objects, and NPC’s that Mario can control in the final game should be a fun diversion from the expected platforming challenges.  

Mario Dinosaur

In an unexpected move, Nintendo appears to have removed the “lives” system that has been present in every 3D Mario platformer up until this point. From what I could gather watching the E3 gameplay demonstration, the coins collected during Mario’s adventure are tallied up across levels and spent on customization items. When the player dies, they lose a set number of coins as a result. The number of lives that Mario had in his 3D platforming games always felt like a redundant feature, so it is good to see Nintendo finally putting coins toward a better use.

 

It appears that Super Mario Odyssey is pretty much feature-complete at this point. When the confirmed release date for October 27, 2017 popped up during Nintendo’s stream, I was not surprised but still very pleased. It follows Nintendo’s previous claims of the game releasing by holiday 2017, and while things can always change at the last minute, I have little doubt that the game will make it to store shelves on time. I’ll be there day one for Mario’s next big adventure! I cannot wait to explore new worlds, stomp on new enemies, and selfishly take over animals in Mario’s desperate bid for Peach’s hand in marriage. Man, the premise gets weirder every time I think about it. And now there are evil bunnies? Sure, why not.

mario odyssey rabbits.jpg

The tune that played during the E3 trailer is amazing and deserves every bit of attention. I’ve listened to this at least five times now, it’s extremely light-hearted and uplifting. Give it a listen! Also, the woman that is singing that song is totally Pauline from the original Donkey Kong, as hinted by the mentions to Mayor Pauline in the E3 gameplay coverage. It’s been literal decades since we’ve seen her in a Mario game, aside from some referential nods as a collectible trophy in Super Smash Bros. titles. I’m excited to see how Mayor Pauline will contribute to Odyssey’s story, if she does at all. The spotlight will most likely be placed squarely on Bowser and Princess Peach, as it always has, but I hope we see a cameo from Donkey Kong and Pauline, as neither have shown up in any previous single-player 3D Mario adventure. 

bowser and peach wedding

That’s all I’ve got for now. Feel free to share what your favorite E3 2017 games are, or how I could improve my writing. I’m always looking to improve. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading!

 

  • Matt

THOUGHTS ON: Nintendo Switch – The Lead-Up to Launch

Hey everyone, hope all of you are doing well. I have to admit, after writing my last blog post, I felt relieved to get some of my personal thoughts off my chest. I don’t often share that sort of stuff, and I think writing it down helped me a lot, so thanks to anyone who read it.

Anyway, let’s get moving on to the next topic! This one is all about the Nintendo Switch.

switch

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the huge blow-out event for the Nintendo Switch recently aired, showing off plenty of new information about the system. We got to hear about the launch line-up, system price, future software, and system features. However, I’m not going to go into the general specifications here, because plenty of other outlets have already reported on it. Instead, I’m just going to provide a few of my thoughts on the system and its potential in Nintendo’s future.

My first feeling after the presentation concluded could be described as disappointment. The launch day software was thinner than I anticipated, and the pricing of accessories to compliment the Switch appear more expensive than any of us had imagined. I still hold these same feelings of disappointment on accessory pricing, but the price of the system itself is pretty much what I expected. I’m still impressed at the sort of technology that Nintendo was able to cram into the device. My thoughts on the system overall have remained positive. If the software that Nintendo promised for 2017 remains on lock to release this year, then we have a strong first year coming to the Switch. Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, Arms, Xenoblade 2, and more titles in addition to these making their way to the system in the first year would be a huge gain for Nintendo. I’m very happy with the software that has been shown to be coming soon, but it all depends on if Nintendo stays true to their word and releases these games on time.

nintendoswitch_supermarioodyssey_presentation2017_scrn04_bmp_jpgcopy

More than delaying these games until a later date, there is something else that worries me about the Switch. It isn’t the hardware pricing, the lack of free online multiplayer, or a drought of software; it is the potential that Nintendo will decide to create another dedicated handheld device. Until the presentation’s debut, the Switch had been marketed extremely well by Nintendo, and made many of us believe that this new system would replace both the home console and handheld system line for Nintendo’s future. This is a move that I’ve been waiting years for; no longer do people have to shell out money for multiple systems in order to play Nintendo’s newest software. All they would need is a Switch purchase, and boom, they’ve got a nice lineup of Nintendo’s catalog available. However, if Nintendo feels that the Switch is not selling well enough, they may feel tempted to come up with a secondary system, one that focuses exclusively on handheld games, as opposed to the Switch’s capabilities as a home console and a handheld system. In my opinion, this would be the worst decision that the company could make with the Switch. Although I still plan on purchasing a Switch day one, (I have a pre-order locked in) I would still feel annoyed if a new system were to be introduced, after Nintendo’s heavy messaging that this system is the best of both worlds. With all of Nintendo’s efforts focused on the Switch (and for some months to come, the 3DS) the company would be able to direct all of their team’s’ efforts toward developing games on that system, instead of dividing software between a handheld and home console. In theory, this would give the system a steady stream of new software, convincing more people that the Switch is worth purchasing, and reassure them that they don’t need to buy a second system in order to enjoy all of Nintendo’s offerings. It’s too early to tell if Nintendo will double down its efforts on the Switch, foregoing their traditional handheld offerings, but I certainly hope they remain solely focused on the Switch and bring even more compelling games to the system.

zelda-botw-wallpaper-5

The slow trickle of information since the presentation’s conclusion has made the wait for March 3rd all the more difficult, but it won’t be long now. Despite some of the negativity in this post, I am looking extremely forward to launch day. Right now I’ve only got Zelda and Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth + planned for purchase, because, well, the other launch day offerings don’t cater to my interests. Still, if there’s any game that I’ve felt is worth buying a system day-one for, it’s Zelda. Binding of Isaac is also a nice plus, because I never got around to playing the latest two expansions. Having sunk many hours into both original Isaac as well as Rebirth, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s new.

How do you feel about the Switch? Plan on picking one up soon, waiting for the game software to grow, or never plan on buying it? Feel free to let me know! Thanks for reading, guys.

  • Matt

About Me, Nintendo Switch, and What I’ve Been Playing

Hey folks, Matt here. I realize I’ve been absent from here a little while now – that appears to be becoming the norm! Hopefully that won’t be the case this time. However, I wanted to elaborate on why I tend to disappear from time to time. In a bit of a selfish way, it’ll also be a cathartic experience for myself writing about my past and present.

 

I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember. I’ve visited multiple therapists, each one providing a growing experience for me as I’ve found it easier to talk about my personal thoughts and feelings. I think a lot of people underestimate how difficult it can be for others to open up about their personal issues – it isn’t always a simple thing to do, because people are complex. There’s a lot of stuff that goes on in our minds; some of it is triggered by external events or difficulties in life, and other times, people just feel upset or stressed out for seemingly no reason (myself included). These are difficult things to deal with, but therapy and prescribed medication has brought me a long way since I first started seeing my most recent therapist.

 

My lowest point was a few years back, with what feels like a lifetime ago. In 2014, I lost nearly every friend that I had made during my time spent away from home at university. I had worked hard to maintain friendships that I thought would last for years to come because of how strong they felt, but it all came crashing down in the early months of 2014. Without going into detail, to put it simply, I felt I had been betrayed by the people I spent many days laughing and confiding personal thoughts with. I began failing my courses, consumed with an overwhelming feeling of dread and sadness in the state I found myself in. Where I once felt I belonged in a community of people who accepted me, I felt isolated from nearly everyone I had come to know.

 

There were a couple of people who stuck with me, despite my low point, and I won’t soon forget what they did to help me. I wish I could again express my appreciation to them for their support during my rough point. If you’re reading this, I hope you know who you are!

 

A quarter of the way through the Spring semester, I decided to drop out of university, because I did not want my grades to suffer. My family was very supportive of this decision, and I have lived at home since then, slowly gaining a stronger feeling of confidence and working hard at giving myself a better mindset. I have accepted that the people I once knew will most likely not show up in my life again, and embraced it. Making new friends is challenging, but I know there are assuredly people out there that are willing to get to know me, as I would for them. It’s all about finding the people you can connect with, and sticking with ‘em.

 

Anyway, to wrap this up, I still deal with anxiety and depression, but I have significantly improved since my days away at school. I’ve held a couple of stressful jobs that have built character, dealt with loss and betrayal, and grown in more ways than I expected. All I hope is that the coming days will provide even more growing experiences with plenty of opportunity around each corner.

So! Moving that personal stuff to the side… I watched the Nintendo Switch presentation last night. It started at 11PM EST for me, as I live in the tri-state area.

switch-dog

Some quick thoughts: Overall, I feel a bit disappointed. The Switch still looks to be a compelling piece of hardware, with some solid hit games on the horizon (Mario Odyssey and Splatoon 2 are some of my biggest anticipated Nintendo titles) but I’m concerned about the lack of compelling launch software. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild almost makes up for other compelling games at the system’s release, and I’m very surprised and pleased by the March 3rd release date, but I was hoping we would see Mario Kart 8: Deluxe show up alongside Zelda, or possibly Arms make its debut sooner than Summer of 2017. Despite this, I still feel somewhat tempted to grab a system Day One, and thankfully I was able to secure a system pre-order at my local Best Buy earlier today. I don’t yet know if I’ll go through with the final purchase, but we’ll see how I feel leading up to launch.

 

The price of new joy-con and the pro controller is disappointing, and the news that Nintendo will begin charging for online multiplayer is something that I was most afraid to hear. I fear that Splatoon 2’s online community will suffer because of the forced paywall to access the online portion, but only time will tell if people are willing to cough up more money to play online.

 

Thankfully, other Nintendo games like Mario and Zelda don’t appear to require online multiplayer capabilities to be enjoyable, so they won’t rely heavily on the online connectivity as much as Splatoon 2 most likely will, from early indication.

 

So, to summarize:

 

Pros:
– Cool future software (Mario, Splatoon 2, Arms)

– Earlier release date than I expected

– Zelda hitting Day One

– $300 price point is about what I expected

 

Cons:

– Eventual online multiplayer paywall

– Lack of compelling software beyond Mario, Splatoon 2, and Arms (where is Pikmin, Metroid, Retro Studios’ new game, or other new IP?)

– High price of additional peripherals ($70 for a pro controller $80 for a new set of joy-con sounds a bit absurd)

 

Overall, it was an okay presentation, not as great as I was hoping. At least we have a city in Super Mario Odyssey named New Donk City. I enjoy the silly names that Nintendo gives their in-game locations and characters.

 

Bye for now! I hope to post again this weekend.

 

Oh, almost forgot to mention. I’ve been playing a lot of Final Fantasy 15. The music is super good. Fun game so far, I’m on chapter 11, and look to finish it very soon. I’d like to write a review upon finishing it.

Oh yeah, and I continue to be engrossed by Titanfall 2’s multiplayer portion. I’m up to my eighth regeneration. Help. All right, bye now, for real!

lego-titanfall

  • Matt

NEW LOOT – New Nintendo 3DS XL

Today was the launch of the New Nintendo 3DS XL, yet another upgrade in Nintendo’s 3DS family. In some bizarre way, I hadn’t yet bought my own 3DS, so today I went out and picked up a New 3DS XL. Seeing as I live in the US, I had to settle for the XL, otherwise I’d have most likely bought a regular sized New 3DS. The only color the store had in stock was a red one, so I snagged it since I previously had a black Nintendo DS Lite, and wanted to change up the surface color.

Red new 3DS

So far, I’m happy with my purchase! The system has a lot of great games that I’m eager to download and play. For this system I plan to download most of my titles, so as not to worry about switching cartridges while I’m out using it. I’ve never gone fully digital before, so this is a bit of a step in the future for me. Unless I find a killer deal for a hard copy of a 3DS game that I can’t pass up, I’ll stick mostly to Nintendo eShop purchases for this machine. Moving on!

I’ve owned a PSVita for the past couple of years, so I’m a bit spoiled by the OLED display on that system. The 3DS XL has a nice display, and I’m enjoying the improved 3D effects over previous 3DS models. I was never able to find the “sweet spot” for 3D visuals in past systems while playing my friend’s 3DS, so seeing that Nintendo has improved the 3D capability for this new system has me pleased. I still can’t play with 3D on for longer than 20ish minutes, otherwise my eyes will hurt. Still, it’s a nice improvement.

The system feels solid, built with a solid cover. Downloads are rather quick, in my experience so far, and updates have installed very swiftly.

I’ve only picked up Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, but I downloaded Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and received Super Mario Land from Club Nintendo some time back. Super Mario Land was one of my favorite Gameboy games back in the day, so it feels great to be revisiting a classic!

Zelda Link Between Worlds Vista

I’ll have to spend more time with the system, but so far I’m pleased with it. I wish I could download applications while browsing among other apps, and I also wish the battery life was stronger (seriously, I’ve had to recharge this thing three times today) but I’m looking forward to seeing where the system heads next. Plus, I’ve got a decent backlog ahead of me.

How are you enjoying your 3DS, new or old? Any favorite games?

Thanks for reading!