The E3 Spotlight reveal for Super Mario Odyssey looked fantastic, but the twinned characters of Mario and Cappy also open up the possibility for something beyond just being thrown as a weapon and letting you possess all manner of creatures and objects in the game. This is one of the few Mario platformers to allow for real co-op play.
We’ve seen co-op in the past, with Super Mario 3D World featuring four player multiplayer and Super Mario Galaxy letting player two use the Wii’s motion controls to assist Mario by collecting coins and shooting stars to stun enemies. Super Mario Odyssey sits somewhere between those two extremes letting player two take control of Cappy.
There’s a number of interesting points about this, which make co-op perfect for Switch and for novices to join the play. Firstly, player two’s Cappy can just fly off in any direction within a certain radius of Mario and simply hover around. Most importantly, Cappy is also invincible and damages enemies, picks up coins and so on. When Mario is carrying items like seeds, he can’t throw Cappy, but that’s not a hurdle in co-op with Cappy’s independent movement.
It can be played simply with the two Joy-Con the Switch comes with, but that does mean you have to compromise on the camera controls. To move the camera in co-op, either player can press a button that lets their analogue stick move the camera. It’s not ideal, but turns camera control into something that you need to co-operate over, possibly with player two tweaking and making sure the camera is well framed for the platforming challenges Mario faces.
Super Mario Odyssey is out on 27th October for Nintendo Switch.