One of the bigger surprises from last night’s Nintendo Switch reveal event was the unveiling of Super Mario Odyssey. Sure, we all kind of knew that a 3D Mario game was coming to Nintendo’s latest console, but seeing this was something else. Not only was it taking Mario to new places, it was also a return to the more open world style of play seen in Super Mario 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy. Apparently that was a very conscious choice from Nintendo and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, as he revealed on the Nintendo Treehouse that the developer has been going back and forth between hardcore and casual styles of Mario games.
Super Mario Odyssey, in case it wasn’t clear already, is aimed at the hardcore gamer, at least it’s aimed more at them than the last few Mario games have been. According to Miyamoto, Nintendo views the Mario series as having these two separate paths of casual and hardcore. Of course, it is still a Mario game, so everyone can play it, but sometimes they go a bit simpler on the controls in order to allow more players to enjoy it without worry.
Super Mario Sunshine was seen as a more hardcore title since it featured complicated platforming controls, and allowed players to manipulate the camera freely. Super Mario Galaxy was actually supposed to be more of a casual experience, as it took some camera controls away. The finished product was quite difficult in some areas though, so I think many hardcore gamers would argue with this. No one would argue with the more casual nature of Super Mario 3D World though, which was an amazing game, but one that was definitely more easy to control and manage.
“In recent years we made Super Mario 3D World, and even though it is a 3D game, it is more accessible to everybody,” said Miyamoto. “When we thought about making Mario for Switch we thought to make the game something more on the core side, something that people who like action games can really get into.”
Super Mario Odyssey moves away from this trend, giving hardcore gamers more control over the experience, and allowing them to use their action game skills more effectively.
Super Mario Odyssey hits the Nintendo Switch this holiday season.