Today we're taking a little break from theme parks to give you a review of one of the biggest games of the year, Super Mario Odyssey.
Just like he did with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild earlier this year, Josh is going to take you through the in's and out's of the game, no spoilers, we promise!!
Written by Joshua Condon
Around the time Super Mario Odyssey was close to being released I was excited. But generally I don't get as excited for a new Mario game as much as say a new Zelda game. I knew Mario Odyssey was going to be good, but I didn't think it would meet the level of quality and critical acclaim as Zelda.
Boy was I wrong.
To say that Super Mario Odyssey is good would be an understatement. It effectively takes what has worked in Mario's 30 plus years of being on top of the gaming world and seamlessly meshes it into one incredible experience, with a few very minor shortcomings.
The story is standard Mario procedure. Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach, now with the intention of marriage, and Mario has to save her. It's simple, but Mario has never had a super detailed story unless it's an RPG.
The only addition is that Cappy, Mario's new companion, has had his sister Tiara taken by Bowser as well. What follows is essentially a wild goose chase across all the different kingdoms as Bowser makes preparations for his "Royal Wedding."
Its simple but its a fun story to follow.
Speaking of the kingdoms, they are without a doubt the biggest worlds in Mario history and are jam packed with content. Everywhere you go there is something to see and do, something that feels like the development of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild had a hand in.
The sole factor that has kept Mario going for so many years is the game play, and that is no different here. Mario is as mobile as ever, he can jump, dive in the air, roll into a ball for speed, and throw his cap to get some extra distance.
It takes a little getting used to, but once you do, I feel absolutely confident in saying that this is the best Mario has ever felt. However, that new hat of his has a trick up its sleeve. If you throw your hat towards anything with a head, given that its not wearing a hat, you are able to 'cap'ture' it, meaning you take total control over it.
See an area out of reach? Just capture a paragoomba and fly away to it.
See invisible floors with the moe-eyes. Glide with Glidon. The possibilities are seemingly endless. It makes traveling around the world that much more fun.
Now with all those additions, there had to be a change to the 3D Mario formula. Usually, you select a level and a star you want to go after, and when you get it in most cases, you are sent out of the level. That is not the case here.
You select the kingdom, and you are free to get any of the collectibles, now moons, in any order you want, and you don't leave when you collect one. The structure feels like Nintendo 64 classic Banjo and Kazooie more than anything, and I love it.
Now, the game is not without issues. They are very minor and don't lessen how good this game is, I just thought I would note them.
The game is short, beating the game takes a little over 6 hours, which is actually normal for Mario games. Now that does not mean the game is short. More than half of the moons are locked behind the final boss.
There are a staggering 999 moons available to get in Mario Odyssey, but you can only get just under 500 before the final boss.
Its not a bad thing to have post-game content, but I just wish that they could've balanced it a little better. It does not at all make the game worse I just thought I would mention that. The game is also on the easy side, but there are challenges later on that more than make up for it.
Super Mario Odyssey shows that Mario is still Mr. Video Game, even after 36 years. It is truly a fantastic game, and the best Mario game in a long time, one that rivals the level of quality as Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario 64.
I highly recommend it to anyone that is a fan of Mario, and one that rivals the quality of even Breath of the Wild. Which one is better will vary from person to person, but that should show how incredible this game is.
Nintendo is back up on top once again thanks to the Switch.
Today we have a special treat from Joshua who has a look at all of the great Nintendo stuff at WonderCon from last weekend.
Our resident Video Game Expert takes a look at two upcoming games as well as the panel for the all new "Hyrule Warriors" game.
Written by Joshua Condon
Star Fox Zero
I played for one reason and one reason only: to see how the controls work.
Let me start by saying that the graphics are amazing and the music and sound effects are also great. The voice acting is very well done and sounds like the classic Star Fox 64, which is what they were going for. The controls are...weird.
To start off with a small nitpick because I'm sure you can change it in the game, but the demo didn't have inverted flight controls for the Arwing, so up was up and down was down. It took some getting used to honestly and when I did get used to it, I was done with the level I did, which was Corneria.
And now for the actual controls. You move the Arwing with the left control stick, and aim your shots by using the gyroscope on the Gamepad. You also shoot with the ZR button, re position the aiming with Y, and oddly enough, do all the acrobatics with the right stick.
So for example, to do a Barrel Roll, you have to tap it left or right twice. The controls are very awkward honestly and it'll take a lot to get used to if I get the game.
Metroid Prime Federation Force
Before I played it I was not looking forward to it. From what Nintendo had shown beforehand, it didn't look like Metroid and it just didn't look interesting. I played an entire mission and I have to say, I had a lot of fun with it. It really felt like a Metroid Prime game.
The controls were extremely easy to get into if you've ever played a Prime game, and there was the key point of Metroid: Exploration. There were very few enemies from what I could see in the mission I played, and it was awesome.
(Editors Note: I hadn't played any of the Metroid Prime games but did do the demo and within a few minutes I was able to pick up the controls fairly easily)
Before the mission, I equipped modules of sorts for Super Missiles and a Fire Shot thing because the level was ice. So I did a lot of damage to the second boss in it. The first boss took a while which I was fine with because it was very involving and then I started using charge shots and it became way quicker. Also, there's two stages of the charge shot and the fully charged seems to always do 200 damage because it shows the amount of damage you do.
All in all, I really enjoyed the demo of it and I can't actually wait for it to come out now. Also, I didn't play the multiplayer, I played the single player. This just shows to not judge a game before you play it.
The highlight of WonderCon for me was the Nintendo panel where the Producer and director of the game that came out a day before that, Hyrule Warriors Legends, would be talking about the game. This made me extremely excited as I'm a huge fan of Zelda and really enjoyed Hyrule Warriors.
In the Panel, they started off with some concept art of Link to make him look more like a character from Dynasty Warriors with a mix of the classic Green Tunic from the Zelda franchise. It's always interesting to see how different developers put their own spin on a character that is very well known, but also staying true to the characters roots.
They then went into the new character Linkle and how she was thought of. There was this one piece of concept art in the Japanese art book that showed a female Link and people got really excited about that, so they made her a character. I think Linkle is really cool from her story which I won't spoil because the character isn't even a week old. Her weapons are Crossbows which were based off of Links Crossbow Training, a game that was basically a tech demo for the Wii Zapper, but the Wii Zapper in and of itself didn't really have many other games. She's very acrobatic with them and her attacks cover a lot of range. She's very fun to play as.
Next they went into new character Skull Kid, Toon Link, Tetra, and King Daphnes aka King of Red Lions. The first being from Zelda: Majora's Mask and the last three being from Wind Waker. They detailed the weapons each use and just from what weapon they use I could tell that these characters had a lot of time and effort into them.
Finally they announced another new character Medli, also from Wind Waker, as a playable character. She was announced a little earlier but that still doesn't change the fact that she looks really cool. They stated that Medli is free DLC which is always nice.
Which led into the announcement that the next few DLC packs will be focusing on handheld Zelda games, like Links Awakening and Link Between Worlds for example. This made me super excited because I love the handheld games just as much as the ones on home consoles. After that, they announced that the character Marin from Links Awakening will also be playable in the game. Even though there wasn't any gameplay shown because it's still early in development for her, I'm always happy to see Links Awakening get some love because it's one that was overlooked because it was between Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time games and those games are fantastic in their own right and considered the best Zelda games.
Overall, I really enjoyed the Panel. The people in the Panel had fun with it, which in terms of games, nobody does that like Nintendo. If it was Sony or Microsoft, sure there would be a few jokes, but the tone would be more serious. Which is one big reason why I love Nintendo and their series, especially Zelda.
Thanks again to Josh for taking the time out of his "busy" Spring Break to write about his experiences at WonderCon. We'll have much more from WonderCon next week.
During Star Wars Celebration there were a few things that were pretty major announcements. One was obviously the new trailer, the Star Wars Rebels premiere would be another one.
But right up there was the panel and trailer for the all new Star Wars Battlefront game coming in November from EA/Dice.
Written by Joshua Condon
The panel on Friday morning was probably the 3rd most sought after panel of the weekend after the JJ Abrams panel on Thursday morning and Mark Hamill on Saturday night. The fact that this was in a smaller room didn't help matters and it would have been better had this been in the large arena.
That issue aside, what we saw was the amazing trailer (below) as well as some of the talented people who worked on the game, and it's quite clear that their passion for the franchise is up there with most of us crazy fans, so Battlefront is in good hands.
I was a huge fan of the games on the PS2 so I'm really looking forward to this new game ... so much so that I'm finally going to have to bite the bullet and buy a PS4. So Sony can thank EA/Dice for that. =)
So before we get to the panel, let's check out the amazing trailer. This is in-game footage, not a trailer created just to show stuff off.
Looks pretty amazing right?
So lets get to the panel itself.
We were one of the lucky ones and got our spot at the front of the second section for the presentation.
Once the panel began it was revealed that not only did the game designers get some amazing access to the Lucas Archives to scan all of the props from the movies themselves, but they actually visited the locations where the movies were filmed.
Checking out the AT-ST
In addition to the amazing panel, on the show floor they also had another game demo that was in Dolby Atmos as well as some additional information about the game. We were unfortunately not allowed to get pictures/video of the second trailer, but as you can see below, they went all out for the demo. The line for this was one of the longest over the entire weekend.
They really went all out for this presentation.
And this was the last picture we could take.
The second trailer was even more amazing gameplay footage that showed how the game can be played in the first and third person, and even more awesome Darth Vader footage.
Star Wars Battlefront will be released on November 17.
There is also DLC of the new planet, "Battle of Jakku" that is released on December 8, ten full days before the new movie comes out. BUT ... if you pre-order the game, you will be able to download Battle of Jakku on December 1.
We're really looking forward to seeing what other information comes out about this amazing game at E3 this year.
Hope you enjoyed this quick look at what could possibly be game of the year. What do you think about the trailer and the care they are putting into this game? Are you excited for November?