As the week of E3 2017 nears, I find myself thinking about one game over all the others. The headline gives it away, obviously, but that title is Super Mario Odyssey.
I start my consideration with the game’s screenshots, which you can dig through in the gallery below. It’s a stunner, and this Nintendo Switch exclusive could stand as one of the platform’s best-looking games.
Then I watch the reveal trailer from earlier this year. On loop. The music, the motion and, yes, even New Donk City are all enough to get me thinking about this thing in unreal terms. It looks seriously good. Here’s that trailer. Just for reference, this thing has been viewed more than 22 million times already. Clearly, I’m not the only one looking forward to it.
Now, the point of this article isn’t to defend the “Mario in Real Life” argument that those New Donk City moments conjure up. Personally? I don’t care, but I see how some find that juxtaposition of the plumber against “real people” is jarring. I’m okay with it, and I don’t think I’ll be annoyed, but I get the head-scratching.
I think I’m so quick to get over that because of how much this game looks like two of the best Mario titles we’ve had in a while.
First, the way Mario rides a ship from, potentially, place to place reminds me so much of Super Mario Galaxy 2. That game was easily one of the best to release for the Wii, and I’ll posit that it’s one of the best Super Mario titles in history. It’s easily the best in the 3D category, and I have no problem propping it up next to the likes of Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros. 3.
What has me jazzed about Super Mario Odyssey, and what makes me think it could reach that masterpiece tier of gaming, is that it seems like it’ll blend elements of Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Super Mario 3D World/Land together in wonderful ways. Those 3D titles for the Wii U and 3DS? They’re great, too.
Watching the trailer and cruising over the screenshots, it seems that Nintendo’s decided to take an open approach to the levels found in 3D World. They feel the same, sort of, only they’ve been blown out on all sides to look vast and packed with options. Here are a bunch of 3D World shots for comparison.
Here’s my big, bold and entirely ignorant prediction for this game: Super Mario Odyssey will be the best in the franchise. It’ll trump Galaxy 2, Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros. 3.
The grounds for my prediction are undeniably shaky, but I just get that feeling. I had the same feeling for Red Dead Redemption ahead of its launch, and I adored that thing. I also drooled over its trailers and screenshots for months and months ahead of its release. Which is what I’m doing now for Super Mario Odyssey.
If they delay this thing into 2018 at E3, I might cry.