Super Mario Odyssey switches things up for Nintendo

The hats have eyes: Mario is coming to the real world on the Nintendo Switch.

It just wouldn't be a Nintendo event without Mario, and he sure made a splash at the Switch announcement on Thursday night.

Returning in a big open-world adventure, Super Mario Odyssey has Nintendo's mascot parkouring his way across a realistic cityscape, rather than the usual bright and bubbly Mushroom Kingdom. Of course, there are beanstalks and airships to go along with the bodegas, but it's very fair to say that this first taste of the game about "exploring unknown worlds" has piqued our interest.

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Photo by Nintendo

Nintendo also said it's the first time Mario has such a large sandbox to explore. We'll put aside our Homer-Simpson-in-the-real-world trepidation for now.

Taking a leaf out of the Rareware platform game playbook, Mario's trademark hat looks more like a sidekick than an article of clothing. In the short teaser video, it was used for boomerang attacks, hung in midair as a moving platform and sported enormous puppy-dog eyes. But hey, if it wants to borrow from Banjo-Kazooie, that's fine by me. While the specifics are still a little murky, Nintendo also said Mario's hat would have special features exclusive to the Switch.

Like most of the big titles teased at the Nintendo event, Super Mario Odyssey won't be available at launch. Everyone's second-favourite plumber (Luigi is clearly No. 1) will be reappearing in the 2017 holiday season.

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Photo by Nintendo