Super Mario Odyssey’s Graphics Are “Subject to Change,” Donkey Kong May or May Not Be Involved

E3 is a consistently wild ride year in and year out, and 2017’s show (despite its inordinate crowds) is so far no different. Still, when wading through a sea of games that seem determined to be as similar to Tomb Raid and The Last of Us as possible, a brand new 3D Mario game is, without fail, a truly refreshing experience. I spent 10 or so minutes demoing Super Mario Odyssey earlier today, and beyond its wealth of surprises that I’ll detail in a fleshed-out preview coming soon, I uncovered a number of interesting tidbits while playing and chatting with the Nintendo representative standing by.

First off, I wanted to know immediately whether or not the graphics in the game are final. The reason isn’t because the game doesn’t look impressive; in fact, quite the opposite is true, as its sandy and urban demo stages respectively both look vivid, colorful, and instantly come alive. Still, at this point in time Odyssey‘s fidelity doesn’t far eclipse that of Wii U’s Super Mario 3D World, a gorgeous game achieving visuals that probably shouldn’t have been possible on its host hardware.

I asked the Nintendo representative overseeing my demo if the graphics in the game are final, to which he responded uncertainly at first, following up with an assertion that “everything is subject to change.” This is notable given the game’s impending October release date, as major elements of blockbuster titles are often finalized months in advance of release. Can we expect a final layer of graphical polish to be applied to the game between now and then? According to my quick inquiry, it seems entirely possible. It’s not unprecedented either; upon initial reveal Super Mario 3D World didn’t look much better than its 3DS forebear 3D Land, only to be spruced to near-perfection in time for its 2013 Wii U release.

What I wanted to know next is whether or not Donkey Kong will appear in the game – after all, one of its main destinations is “New Donk City,” containing streets named directly after Donkey Kong Country 2 characters Cranky and Dixie. While it appears Pauline is the city’s acting mayor for the time being, I was told regarding Donkey Kong to “stay tuned to our [Nintendo’s] website for information if we decide to talk about that.” It’s no confirmation, but if Nintendo’s main Kong isn’t in the game, then what would tuning into Nintendo’s website accomplish? If I had to guess, “Donk” himself may end up being involved somehow, but only time will tell.

Either way, Odyssey both looks and plays wonderfully in its current E3 form, so keep your eyes peeled for my full hands-on preview in the very near future. Super Mario Odyssey launches on Nintendo Switch October 27th of this year, ahead of holiday brethren Xenoblade Chronicles 2 shortly thereafter.