The random number generator has decided that I should write about a relatively new game called Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for the Nintendo Wii U gaming system.
Now, when I say that this game is new, what I mean is that it was released in America almost 2 months ago at the time that this post was written. It’s the most recent Mario game (at least the way I define them). The game is relatively short and was thus sold at the lower than usual price of $40, but it’s still pretty fun despite its length. One thing that reviewers don’t seem to mention is that this game also gets very difficult for anyone trying to reach 100% completion.
The gameplay of this game was inspired by the Captain Toad levels introduced in Super Mario 3D World. Basically, because Captain Toad’s backpack is heavy, he cannot jump, and so all of the platforming requires at least some amount of forethought. It’s more similar to a puzzle game than what you would expect from a classic 3D Mario game. For most of the game, the objective is to find and obtain all three jewels hidden in each level, complete the challenge objective for the level, and get the star at the end of the level. Like the New Super Mario Bros. series, these requirements do not need to be met at the same time, so it’s never too hard to complete a stage 100%. There are a fairly large amount of stages though.
This trailer will give you a sense of whether or not you would like the game.
The day Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker came out, I drove to the mall early because I realized that I had forgotten to pre-order my copy. Luckily, it seemed that nobody else wanted to buy the game that day (at least nobody who wasn’t either at work or school the moment the store opened), so while I felt like I had to rush to the store, it was completely unnecessary. Once I had my copy, I went and ate some Chinese food before returning home to play the game.
The game is divided into 4 parts. The first is Toad’s story where the objective is to save Toadette. At the end of just a small set of levels, you save Toadette and reach the ending credits. When this happened, I knew that the game couldn’t be that short, and sure enough, I had simply unlocked part 2 of the game.
In part 2, you play as Toadette whose objective is to save Captain Toad. When this is finished, part 3 is unlocked.
In part 3, levels that feature Captain Toad take turns with levels featuring Toadette. Their objective in the story is to look for each other while (as always) collecting treasure on the way.
As I found out by the end of the third story, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a direct prequel to Super Mario 3D World, in that the last scene of Captain Toad is the first scene of 3D World. I think that this was done to introduce beginning players to Super Mario 3D World after they become proficient enough to finish Captain Toad Treasure Tracker’s story.
http://youtu.be/CB-jj1Kx5UA?t=4m45s (Final Scene of Treasure Tracker)
There’s a final section of the game containing bonus levels. This is what I call part 4, and it is by far the most difficult part of the game to complete.
Because my Wii U contained save data from Super Mario 3D World, some special levels were unlocked for Captain Toad that came directly from 3D World. Those levels had originally been designed for Mario, Luigi, Peach, Blue Toad and Rosalina to run and jump through, so ladders were added into Captain Toad’s versions of the levels so that Captain Toad, who doesn’t have the ability to jump, would be able to get through them. I thought the inclusion of a few of these levels was pretty neat.
There are a few levels that involve the Toad Brigade. Some of you might remember Captain Toad’s first appearance as the leader of the Toad Brigade in the really awesome Super Mario Galaxy series.
Speaking of spinoffs, I think that Waluigi should get some kind of single player game. Luigi has a few games and so does Wario, but what about poor Waluigi? If you have a chance, please bother Nintendo about that. Tell them we need a “Waluigi’s Circus” or something. He kind of looks like he could run a circus, but honestly, I’m not picky. Give him any game at all.
There are some other challenging bonus levels, but none of them come close to the final level called “Mummy-Me Maze Forever”. While I took about a day to finish every other level, this one took me several days. It’s a cavern that has 50 floors, and you must survive to the end while mummified Toads chase after you copying your exact steps but alternating like clockwork between lagging behind and almost catching up to you. The additional objective is to obtain 50,000 coins, but there are a ton of coins on the non-dangerous 50th floor, so the real goal is having something like 3 and a half thousand by the end of floor 49, which is not really a problem.
I tried this level for days and had very little progress. It reminded me of the final level in Super Mario Galaxy 2 called “The Perfect Run”. What made this level difficult for me was the necessity to adjust your camera angle to not only avoid running into unseen enemies but also to avoid running into a wall and getting hit by the Mummy-Me that is chasing you.
The other thing that made things difficult for me was my stubbornness to not use touch controls to stun enemies. I have always felt since I played Super Mario 3D World that using touch controls against blocks and enemies (besides when required) was equivalent to cheating, since 3D Mario games have only rarely had that ability. As I had more and more trouble with this level, I looked online for people who had succeeded in completing the level. I found two different people on Twitter who had, and asked them for their opinion on the subject of using the touch screen. Both of them had used it and considered those abilities to be legitimate. This level had been stressing me out a little bit, so upon reflection, I decided that sometimes, I need to let go of my pride in order to have fun. Games, after all, only exist for the purpose of having fun. So I decided that Toad was definitely “The One” within the Matrix.
Using the powers of touch controls, it only took me a few more tries until I was lucky enough to complete the level, and at the end I earned a crown for Toad. I thought that crown was pretty neat, and a quite fitting reward for 100% completing the game.
Now, although I have certainly finished this game, there is additional visual content for this game that will involve Nintendo’s Amiibo toys. There will be a Toad Amiibo (The first Amiibo that will not work in Super Smash Brothers) and connecting it to the Wii U when playing this game will allow 8 Bit Toads to be hidden in all the levels. Nintendo has made a habit of hiding 8 Bit Luigi in levels, and with this feature for the Toad Amiibo, Nintendo has made a way to add content to a game without forcing people who already completed it to come back to it.
I’m getting a Toad Amiibo, but not because of this feature in Captain Toad. I’m getting it because I think Toad is a good character. If one of my friends plays the game, I’ll let them use the Toad Amiibo to unlock the 8 Bit Toad easter eggs, but that may be about all the technical use I’ll get out of it, and that’s okay.
Now that the Captain Toad game is over for me, the next Mario title coming out seems to be something called “Mario Maker”. I’m not going to get my hopes up for it being good though. I guess we’ll see eventually. Until then, I’ll be beating all the Kirby games unless I actually beat all the Kirby games in which case I might work on completing the Mario RPG series or something.
Until next time, Thanks for Reading! =)
Edit (July 17, 2015):
Last night, Nick told me that the game keeps track of the Pixel Toads you find in each level when you use the Toad Amiibo. I was previously under the impression that they appeared simply to be noticed sometimes like the Pixel Luigis.
Apparently, it’s a challenge you can complete. It wasn’t too difficult, but it did take me a few hours. I started last night and finished this morning before work.
There is one toad per stage for the first 3 episodes of the game (There are none in the Bonus episode), and a distinct noise can be heard whenever Captain Toad is standing near one, making the task much simpler than it would have been otherwise. It can be a little tricky to find some of the Pixel Toads because of how unexpected their hiding places can be.
This challenge may not have been there when I initially played Treasure Tracker, but it did give me an excuse to play the game with Toad and Toadette wearing the coveted “I beat the game” Crown.
Anyways, Thanks for Reading! =D