E3 2017: Hats off to Super Mario Odyssey — one of Nintendo's best

Mario takes on new heights, new forms, but the same moustache for his newest outing on the Switch.

Mario's hat plays a huge role in his new adventure.


Mario's hat plays a huge role in his new adventure.

I think I uttered a ‘wow’ about a dozen times during my demo of Super Mario Odyssey.

The first time was when I threw my hat at a bullet bill – and suddenly I became a Mario version of the bullet, flying through the air, complete with a little moustache.

The loudest wow came when I went through a warp pipe, only to re-appear as a 2D sprite, exactly like the first Mario Bros. game, projected onto the side of a tower. I climbed the tower in 2D, and re-entered the 3D world once I reached the top. It was the easiest part of the demo, because it’s that classic gameplay everyone knows so well.

Then there were little wows. Instead of sliding down a wire, for example, Mario turns into a ball of electricity to travel.

Odyssey is very open world too. There are multiple ‘moon’ pieces in every level, essentially giving you freedom to explore and tackle the massive areas in any way you please.

One half of the demo put me inside a New Donk City, a cheeky reference to the original Donkey Kong game, where Mario saved Pauline (this is before Princess Peach) from the grips of Donkey Kong.

Pauline actually makes a comeback, as the mayor of New Donk City. She enlists your help to find four jazz musicians around town to play at a concert. Some are playing on the street; how that trumpeter ended up on a skyscraper I’ll never know, who exploring and finding a way up there was a blast.

At times, Mario returns to his 2D roots.


At times, Mario returns to his 2D roots.

The key to combat in this game is Mario’s hat, which has it’s own voice and personality. You can throw it like a boomerang, swing it around you, and most importantly use it to take over and control key enemies (who all seem to grow an awesome moustache when taken over).

Every nook and cranny of the demo was brimming with personality, from fun animations to genuine surprises.

Like when I switched out of my classic Mario overalls into a pinstripe suit and fedora.


Super Mario Odyssey is due out for the Nintendo Switch in October.

Metro's Aaron Chatha is reporting from E3 in California this week, one of the biggest conferences for the video game industry.

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