Super Mario Odyssey: Luigi’s Balloon World

Today marks the release of the new downloadable content for Super Mario Odyssey, Luigi’s Balloon World.

To unlock balloon world, you must first complete the game, then it’s as simple as finding Luigi in each of the kingdoms. When speak with him, he mentions he created a new game where you search for balloons hidden all over the world. If you play; your score, nickname and profile icon show up in other people’s games.

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If you choose to hide a balloon, you start at a central point and have up to 30 seconds to reach a location to leave it. Players can then choose your balloon, and have a similar time limit to locate it for a coin prize.

As the seeker, the more balloons you find, the more you rank up and receive coins for successful completions. Some worlds are easier than others, for example Mushroom Kingdom is fairly open, while New Donk City is sprawling and has much more 3D space to navigate. So it’s really up to you how difficult you want the mini-game to be.

At times, it can get a bit tedious. There were instances where I had three pages of balloons sitting on top of Peach’s Castle in Mushroom Kingdom, or I missed out on a ‘hidden’ balloon in a tree because I just wasn’t on the right side of the trunk.

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There’s also a rotating kingdom coin bonus that’s been worked in. For example, at the time of writing this, there is a coin bonus for playing the Luigi’s Balloon World in Mushroom Kingdom, whereas this morning it was elsewhere. Gives a small incentive on switching up the kingdom you’re playing in.

A few more picture filters came in as well, which can be fun if you’re into that sort of thing.

Also included with this DLC, are three new outfits; Sunshine Shades & Outfit, Musician Hat & Outfit and the Knight Helmet & Outfit. While I think it’s a fun idea to keep releasing outfits like this, similarly to how they would release featured levels in Super Mario Maker, they made them extremely expensive.

To acquire the new outfits, you’ll need to amass 14,000 coins. As someone who loves Odyssey, it feels more like a requirement to farm for this amount of coins rather than them coming naturally through game play. This was also the case when it came to the 9,999 coin Skeleton Outfit.

In retrospect, it’s not terrible because the outfits are free and the idea from Nintendo’s perspective is the more you play the more rewards you obtain. But I think something can be said about asking a bit much from players in certain situations, or causing the player to play in a way that isn’t entirely a positive experience; farming in this case.

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Despite the coin cost, I hope that Nintendo keeps releasing new outfits. It’s a good opportunity to keep getting press for an older game, and could also promote new games that get released. New Kirby game? Give Mario a ridiculous Kirby outfit. Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze re-release in May? Sure, here’s a surfboard and shades to look like Funky Kong.

Nintendo is still pretty new to the DLC scene. I believe that most fans can get behind little additions to the game like this as long as they’re free, optional, and don’t give an advantage towards the main game. I would like to see if Nintendo is planning on releasing more kingdoms to play through in the future. The way they set up Odyssey really lends to that structure.

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