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Nintendo offers new Super Mario Odyssey details and demo of Square's intriguing 'Project Octopath Traveler'

Nintendo offers new Super Mario Odyssey details and demo of Square's intriguing 'Project Octopath Traveler'
From TechCrunch - September 13, 2017

Nintendo announced a few items today to hold gamers over until the holiday seasonand to appease would-be SNES Classic buyers. It announced a few details of its most anticipated upcoming games and even a demo (remember those?) of a throwback title from Square Enix that caught everyones eye way back at the Switch launch event.

After a warm-up with some bones thrown to the hungry 3DS crowd (some Pokmon updates and a new orange and white variant of the handheld), Nintendo moved on to the main event.

First was a nod to retro gamers with the Arcade Archives: Mario Bros series, a collection of arcade games including, of course, the titular one, but also Balloon Fight, Ice Climber, Pinball Something, Clu Clu Land, Punch-Out! and a few others. Theyre all true to the arcade versions (as opposed to the original NES ports in the 80s) and support multiple players. Ill definitely be getting it.

After a few other small announcements and a lengthy overview of the new Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which looks great, if rather involved, the Nintendo Direct video moved on to the still awkwardly named Working Title: Project Octopath Traveler.'

This RPG blends contemporary and retro ideas and graphics techniques with, it has to be said, considerable panache. The sprites and backgrounds are very clearly derived from Final Fantasy VI, which some (including yours truly) still consider the pinnacle of the series. But the nonlinear structure suggests newer ideas in the actual gameplay, while 3D lighting and camera effects spruce up the beautiful and unapologetically 2D art.

As a pleasant surprise, the game has a demo now available on the Switch eShop, which Im downloading as I type this. It seems like kind of a beta test, as players will be polled on various aspects of the game. Hopefully this means they just want people to get involved, and not that theres some kind of conceptual directionlessness.

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