The Nintendo Switch and the Making of Mario

by James Dobbs

If you ask anyone the definition of Mario, you may get mixed answers. You may hear that he is an Italian man, a plumber, a brother or even a hero. To me, the definition of Mario is summed up by one word, childhood.

I have been a gigantic fan of Nintendo since I was a child. I have owned many consoles, game boys and have played hundreds of Nintendo titles. I currently own the Nintendo Switch and understand why it is becoming one of the biggest consoles of all time. Since its release on March 3, 2017, the Nintendo Switch has outsold the PS4 and Xbox One four out of the six months from March to September. It is projected to surpass the PS4’s first year of sales.

The Nintendo Switch is a revolutionary console. It can be played at home, or it can be taken off its dock to be played on the go. It can be played alone or with up to eight friends. It is the perfect console for travel.

Mario is one of, if not, my favorite Nintendo character. He is Nintendo’s biggest success and its mascot. Since 1981, we have been able to find him in hundreds of titles including: Tetris, sports, fighting and puzzle games. He was originally the hero in the Donkey Kong arcade game. The game was so popular that they started giving Mario his own titles.

Mario is normally a platform game. Meaning, it is set up to go through different levels to reach a goal. Though, Mario is not always in the platform format. He is featured in games such as Mario Kart, where Nintendo takes some of its favorite characters and puts them in race cars to have them compete against each other. Another game that takes Mario out of his element is Super Smash Bros. It is a fighting game, where again, Nintendo takes its most beloved characters and pits them against each other.

He has also made some amazing accomplishments in his life. He went from being a carpenter, to a plumber, to a teacher, to a doctor and eventually received a chance at gold in the Olympics.

Now, Mario gets to travel around the world in a giant hot air balloon in the newest Mario lead adventure, Mario Odyssey. Peach gets taken by Bowser, which if you are unaware, is the norm in Mario games, and Mario has to save her. Peach is the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom, Bowser is an evil dragon-turtle that wants to marry her and Mario is the savior who tries to gain the Peach’s favor by saving her (or because it is the right thing to do).

After Mario is bested by Bowser, he meets a nice Ghost-hat named Cappy. Cappy can possess other hats and give them powers. He takes it upon himself to help Mario and possess his hat. Cappy also needs to save Tiara, his little sister, who has possessed the tiara atop Peaches head.

Cappy is one of the most important characters in Mario’s journey. Cappy gives Mario the power to transform into any being that his hat lands on. You can become a chain chomp, a piranha plant, a goomba, a fish, a tank, a T-rex and even Bowser. There are over 50 different forms Mario can take as you work your way through the levels.

You travel around in a hot air balloon collecting power moons to increase the size of the balloon. While in the balloon, you ride in a hat-shaped basket and chase Bowser to different worlds as he collects artifacts to marry Princess Peach.

There is a single-player mode and a two-player mode. In the single-player mode, you control Mario. In two-player mode, the first player controls Mario, and the second player controls Cappy. It is not like normal, two-player games where the two players fight together to beat the enemies. It is more like the first player is the star, and the second player is the support system that helps them complete their quest.

Mario Odyssey is a fantastic game with plenty of challenging content. It matches up with the other great 3D Mario titles: Mario 64, Super Mario 3D World, Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Sunshine.

Mario Odyssey is one of the best, new games for the Nintendo Switch. I give it a nine out of 10 rating. The only complaint I have about Mario Odyssey is that it isn’t long enough. Nintendo is coming out with free downloadable content (DLC) for Mario Odyssey. So, hopefully it will add length and more fun adventures to the game.