Yoshiaki Koizumi is a seasoned Nintendo veteran. Known for his work as Assistant Director of Super Mario 64 and Director of Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy and finally, the producer of all Mario titles going forward, Koizumi's track record is quite prolific. Unsurprisingly, he's heading up Super Mario Odyssey as well, and with so many titles under his belt, he took the time to compare the latest title to its predecessors.
Speaking with GamesMaster magazine, Koizumi mentioned that Odyssey is connected to all previous titles in a special way.
"I’ve been involved on pretty much all the 3D Mario titles since 64. And as you design and develop those games you’re constantly making discoveries about what works in a 3D Mario game, so I would say they’re all kind of connected. It’s like Super Mario Odyssey has the DNA of all of those in it."
But does this just mean they'll be using design practices they've used in previous titles, or will we be seeing callbacks to previous Mario titles? Who are we kidding, it's Nintendo. Of course, it will be full of nostalgia that hits so hard, you'll probably tear up remembering the sweet innocence of childhood.
Koizumi also talked about the importance of Mario's travels in Super Mario Odyssey, which really explains why the game is subtitled 'Odyssey'.
"One of the main themes of this game is travel. You’re traveling to a place for the first time and you encounter people or inhabitants there that have characteristics you’ve never seen before, so it’s surprising. Creating those new characters and new enemies was a really important part of the overall game design.
When Mario is in New Donk City, he’s quite a lot shorter than the real people that live there, but that’s something I’ve also felt in real life when traveling. You know, the differences in the size of people is something that makes you feel, ‘Oh yeah, I’m abroad now’."
With some of the teaser videos out there, we've seen Mario switch out his classic costume and hat for different ones that fit the world he's in. Mario is an outsider to the worlds he visits, but he makes an effort to blend in. He must be aware of the phrase, "When in Rome [New Donk City] do as the Romans [New Donkians] do."
Lastly, Koizumi touched on the Switch-specific features of Super Mario Odyssey. Being both a console exclusive and the Nintendo flagship series, Mario games are expected to take full advantage of what makes the Nintendo console in question unique.
"One of the first things that I showed to the Odyssey development team were the Joy-Con. And I said to them, ‘Please make sure you make use of the Joy-Con when designing the game, the fact that you can hold them in both hands separately, the HD rumble.’ All the functionality, I asked them to take it into consideration."
Super Mario Odyssey will release on October 27 alongside Assassin's Creed Origins and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. On a slightly related note, that's going to be one heck of an interesting sales day with so many juggernaut releases. In other Super Mario Odyssey news, we learned more about Mario's new sentient hat, Cappy, as well as some multiplayer features appearing in the game.