I Played Super Mario Odyssey And Will Fling Cappy Till I Die

super mario odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey already feels like a classic. (c) Nintendo

I had a brief hands-on with Super Mario Odyssey in New York City, where I realized that if the full game game is as inexplicably rewarding, zany and magical as the brief time I had with it, Super Mario Odyssey will rest with Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and both Super Mario Galaxy games as another jewel in Nintendo’s crown of genre-defining excellence.

I was able to choose from two worlds: a desert world or New Donk City. Of course, I chose New Donk City. Immediately I found myself on a rooftop separated from the main world. I was able to check out the Odyssey, the ship Mario uses to travel between worlds. For the demo, all I could do in the Odyssey was change my outfit, but more functions will be available later.

There wasn’t too much to do on the rooftop but figure out how to get to the main world, so I flung Cappy into a stubby, flexible street pole that flung me out onto New Donk City. From there, the world was my oyster. I tried to fling my Cappy at everyone before me, but was informed that people wearing caps were immune to possession by Cappy. Boo!

I wandered into a public park, where I joined a game of jump rope. The jumps increased in speed as my successful jump count increased. At 30 jumps, something very cool happened: a Moon emerged, mine for the taking. Who knew that jump rope girls kept Moons in their back pockets?

Moons are what Mario collects to repair his Odyssey and move from world to world, so you definitely want to keep an eye out for opportunities to collect those. Super Mario Odyssey offers them at every turn. I scouted one later on in one of New Donk City’s cap shops and exchanged some coins for it; done and done. Of course, I’m sure not all Moons will be so easy to collect, but I loved how bold it was to just walk into a store and buy the fundamental item Mario is spending the whole game trawling these worlds for.

There are both purple and yellow coins scattered about for Mario to collect, which are used as currency in the Cap shops (though I don’t yet know what other use they will have). Sometimes, you’ll spot rats scurrying down alleys. You can hop a taxi (literally hop it by bouncing off of one like it’s a trampoline) and explore rooftops for glittering spots and secret items, or investigate the spaces between buildings, where you might find lines of coins. All the while, New Donk City is hustling and bustling around you. It truly feels like your very own playground.

It was also really fun to play with the JoyCons. Make sure the wrist straps are cinched in for safety, because a flick of your wrist will fling Cappy around and doing so is positively addictive. I spent about half of my game time flicking my wrist like wing-GAR-dium levi-OH-sa, sending Cappy careening into everything I could in a scramble to find out how many objects I could possess. Mario has a variety of moves as well as a number of ways to fling Cappy, but those will take some time to get used to.

Overall? I wish I’d had time to check out the desert world, which I’m given to understand was more of a straightforward platformer than the open-world feel of New Donk City, but I was really excited to check out Super Mario Odyssey in the first place. The densely packed, lively world felt easy and fun to move through. I can’t wait to see more.

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