Speaking through a translator today on a Nintendo Treehouse livestream, Miyamoto said that over the Mario franchise’s 30-year history, the difficulty level and target audience of Mario games has bounced around. Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine were aimed at the core crowd, Miyamoto said, while Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel were made to appeal to a wider audience. Odyssey will return to the 3D Mario franchise’s roots in that it’s “a little more on the core side.”
“So we’ve been making Mario games for over 30 years, and through that process, we’ve made changes to the games. Some games tended to be a little bit harder, and a little bit harder to play, and then so we teeter back to make it accessible to all kinds of gamers, and then we go back the other way,” Miyamoto explained. “It’s been kind of a give and take in that way.”
Some of the Mario games that followed the Galaxy series, including Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Run, were “casual games” in a way, Miyamoto said. But with Odyssey, Miyamoto said Nintendo “wanted to make it a little more on the core side, something that people who like action games can really get into.”
Odyssey is set in a sandbox world, not unlike Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. As you can see in the reveal trailer above, Mario sails to all manner of different worlds, including one that looks like New York City, populated with human-looking characters. Mario can throw his hat, able to use it as a platform to jump to new areas. Also, his hat has eyes, so it might be alive. We don’t know.
Odyssey launches for Switch this holiday.