Another Nintendo console, another "Mario" game. The loveable red plumber has hopped his way onto every console from the big N in some way, shape, or form and almost every installment has brought something new to the table.

"#Super Mario World" on the Super Nintendo introduced players to Yoshi and was the first 16-bit iteration of the series. "Mario 64" showed the world how 3D platformers were done. "Galaxy" explored platforming using spherical worlds and other complex geometries. However, after that, the series was more content to play it safe. "New Super Mario Bros U" and "Super Mario 3D World" were still well regarded, but didn't really innovate or elevate the series the way previous entries such as "64," "Sunshine," or "Galaxy" did.

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Fortunately, while the newest title, "Odyssey" doesn't look like it's going to change the face of gaming, it still adds some neat ideas to the formula and adds a new world, unlike anything Mario has gone to.

Living for the City

To my surprise, New Donk City, the New York-esque city featured in the game's trailers, was not a hub world. It was one of the two levels available to play at the booth. Both this and the desert level use the "64" design of exploring a playground filled with challenges and secrets.

Mario also controls very much like he did in that game with the addition of some new moves. Cappy, the sentient hat on Mario's head, can be used as a projectile that can smash object and allow him to posses enemies such as Bullet Bills and stone idols. Possessing these creatures is crucial to solving puzzles and finding secrets.

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Another notable addition is the many vehicles that Mario can hop on and ride. In New Donk City, Mario can use a moped to traverse through the city at a faster pace.

Old school charm

One thing that's sure to evoke nostalgic feelings is Mario's New ability to transform into an 8-bit sprite to traverse through pixelated pipes. Another callback to the original games is the return of Pauline, Mario's former love interest from his debut appearance, "#Donkey Kong." She appears as the mayor of the aforementioned New Donk City. The street names in the city are also named after characters from the "Donkey Kong Country" franchise.

A few major gripes I have included the level design and the characters. Whenever I collected a moon fragment (this game's version of power stars,) Mario then respawns back to a place that I didn't want him to. I would have preferred if the game let me carry on as I was like other platformers such as "Banjo Kazooie." Also, the NPCs of New Donk City just feel so jarring next to characters such as Mario or Pauline.

But these are just petty niggles in what is otherwise shaping up to be the title that breathes new life into this classic franchise. Look for it on October 27th for the Nintendo Switch. #Super Mario Odyssey