Super Mario Odyssey (Switch) review

This review, like all the reviews on Tired Old Hack, contains no major spoilers. The only plot mentioned takes place during the game’s intro, and any worlds or items mentioned are limited to those previously revealed in official promotional material (trailers, screenshots etc).


Nintendo / Nintendo EPD
Nintendo Switch

“It’s cute listening to you playing that game.”

When I reviewed Super Mario Galaxy a decade ago for Official Nintendo Magazine, and Super Mario Galaxy 2 three years later for the same publication, I was on my own.

Sitting at Nintendo UK’s headquarters, I was essentially left to my own devices in a room with nothing more than a Wii, a television and a copy of the final code freshly emailed over from Nintendo’s Japanese office.

This time, reviewing Super Mario Odyssey in the comfort of my own home, I’m not alone. My wife Louise has been sitting in our wee home office, using our PC while I’ve been playing on the living room TV next door.

Back then, the Galaxy games felt special. I could tell I was playing something out of the ordinary, something that connected with my inner child in a way that was nothing short of pure joy.

I felt it again with Odyssey. But this time those feelings were reinforced by Louise saying to me after my second night with it:

“It’s cute listening to you playing that game.”

Usually when I’m reviewing something I’m pretty much silent, save for the odd “fuck off” when I die. But Odyssey has me spontaneously laughing, giggling, whistling along to the music and gasping as I play, to the extent that my wife hears the difference.

This game is a Galaxy challenger. This game is a Galaxy beater. Continue reading “Super Mario Odyssey (Switch) review”

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch) review

Nintendo / Nintendo EAD
Switch

For most games, selling 8 million copies would be considered a huge success. Much whooping and hollering would take place, and both publisher and developer would metaphorically and physically kiss each other on the lips at a job well done.

Mario Kart isn’t most games though. For it, 8 million is quite an underachievement. Considering the DS, Wii and 3DS entries sold 23, 36 and 14 million copies respectively, a ‘mere’ 8 million has to go down, bizarrely, as a disappointment.

This was the fate that befell the appropriately named Mario Kart 8, which failed to hit octuple figures through no fault of its own. Indeed, most people who played it considered it the greatest Mario Kart game ever made.

The reason for its relative sales funk, of course, was that it was released on the Wii U, a console that – as genuinely great as it was – ended up being about as popular as an Al Jolson cosplayer at the MOBO awards.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, then, finds itself in an interesting position. It’s essentially an enhanced version of a game that, despite already selling 8 million copies, is set to be experienced by a whole host of new players for the first time. Continue reading “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch) review”

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe hands-on preview

mario-kart-8-deluxe-boxThe reaction to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has been oddly tepid so far.

Maybe there’s a slight sense of disappointment that while Splatoon gets its own proper sequel, Mario Kart 8 instead gets an enhanced re-release.

Or maybe it’s just the fact that this is the first time in Mario Kart history that Nintendo has dipped back into the same well rather than offering a brand new helping of tracks, characters and gameplay mechanics.

Whatever the reason, I don’t share the same indifference. I believe Mario Kart 8 is the best game in the series, so getting the chance to play it wherever I want in the world is something that would excite me even if it was a straight carbon copy of the Wii U game. Continue reading “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe hands-on preview”

Super Mario Run is hardcore as shit if you give it a chance

smrs_marioSatan is ice-skating to work, pigs are getting their pilot’s licences and Mario is on the iPhone.

Yes, after years of ‘expert’ analysts saying Nintendo should make mobile games and Nintendo fans saying it shouldn’t, it’s finally actually happened.

The result is Super Mario Run, a game that’s split more people than a Hollywood divorce lawyer, with some saying it’s amazing and others claiming it’s a disaster.

Let’s break down why that may be, and why – cards on the table right away – I think it’s bloody brilliant. Continue reading “Super Mario Run is hardcore as shit if you give it a chance”

World exclusive – A look at all the Sonic characters in Mario & Sonic At The Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Mario_Sonic_-_Rio2016Mario & Sonic At The Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the fifth game in the Mario & Sonic series, is released in Europe on 8 April, which coincidentally happens to be my birthday.

The last Mario & Sonic game featured 20 playable characters, ten each from both the Mario and Sonic universes.

Recently Sega dropped a bombshell by revealing that another TWENTY characters would be added to the Rio game, on top of the 20 already there.

Naturally, this has led to some wondering what Sonic characters are left, considering the previous game had fucking Vector the Crocodile in it.

Well, here at Tired Old Hack I can finally bring to you this world exclusive look at every character in Team Sonic, thanks to Sega who gave me unprecedented access because of the whole birthday thing or something.

Enjoy, and remember where you saw this first – for future news bombshells, keep it tired and keep it old. Continue reading “World exclusive – A look at all the Sonic characters in Mario & Sonic At The Rio 2016 Olympic Games”