Super Mario Odyssey and Childlike Wonder

black camera on white poster
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E3 was this week and Nintendo’s showcase reminded me of the first game I beat on my Nintendo Switch, Super Mario Odyssey.  The game was fun because it encouraged me to explore. It is a game for all ages and encourages you to let out your inner child and explore the world with a childlike wonder. I decided to talk about exploring the world by examining my top three favorite worlds in the game.

Cascade Kingdom

This is the first kingdom the game takes you to after finishing the introduction. The world was breathtaking to look at with the waterfalls and the sleeping dinosaur. You stay in this world for a little bit while you collect enough moons to move on to the next world.

As soon as I could, I took control of the dinosaur with Cappy, the hat that helps you transform into creatures. I felt like a kid playing with dinosaurs again while I explored the world as a dinosaur and broke open areas that I could not initially explore due to them being blocked by breakable rocks.

This section of the game also introduced the first retro sections of the game You have to go to other areas of the game by entering a pipe and playing Mario in a 2D landscape. It was fun because it felt like playing an old Mario game with the retro looking Mario and retro music and sound effects.

Seaside Kingdom

Seaside Kingdom was fun to explore because it was like going to the beach as a kid and it lets your imagination run wild. The beach area allows you to play a game of volleyball for a moon and it was like playing games in the pool as a kid.

The underwater area is really where the game gives you a sense of childlike wonder. Mario only has a little bit of time to hold his breath underwater so you must capture a fish. So, you basically get to explore the entire underwater section as a fish. It lets you imagine what it is like to swim as a fish and explore the world as a fish with all the little caverns to explore. It is like swimming around as a kid and pretending that you are a fish when you swim around at the beach.

Metro Kingdom

The Metro Kingdom is New Donk City which is basically modeled after New York. I was able to explore New York on my TV and on the go through the Nintendo Switch. I had been to New York twice before the game came out so it allowed me to revisit the excited feelings of seeing a big city for the first time. The game encouraged me to jump on all the skyscrapers and climb the highest skyscraper. It was fun for me as a kid to imagine flying around the skyscrapers and seeing what the top of a skyscraper would be like and I was able to do that in Super Mario Odyssey.

The game also features a festival where the game’s theme, “Jump Up, Super Star”, plays. You have to go through a retro 2D side scroller and beat Donkey Kong just like in the very first arcade game. I am too young to know the original arcade game, but it would have brought older gamers back to their childhood of beating Donkey Kong in the arcade.

It’s Not Over Yet

While I did beat the game and saw the credits, the game does not end there. Super Mario Odyssey still encourages exploration with post world content. The game wants you to continue feeling that childlike wonder as you explore more of the worlds you have seen and new worlds that unlock as you collect more moons.

My question for this week is what game worlds do you like to explore the most?