I hope everybody had a lovely Valentine’s Day, or a great Cheap Chocolate Day haul. I also hope Nintendo fans got a copy of Majora’s Mask and maybe the new Monster Hunter for the 3DS. My significant other is happily tearing through MM, while I got myself a different little treat: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for the Wii U! It’s way more fun than flowers and easier on the hips than chocolate (although, who am I to refuse chocolate?)
I haven’t completed the game, and I’m breaking my personal rule by writing about it already, but I am in love and had to announce it to the world like some cheesy, public proposal. For the uninitiated, Captain Toad was first seen in Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U. You know, the one where everything and everyone has a cat form. It is a pretty glorious thing to behold and another recommended title. Well, Captain Toad is a kind of mini game where the player navigates the grounded explorer Captain Toad towards a star. You have to turn the world around to see all of the angles in order to solve the puzzle. I guess the mini game was so popular, it demanded its own game, and I couldn’t agree more.
The game starts with you, Captain Toad, and your companion Toadette exploring an area, hunting for gold stars. After reaching your goal and having a moment of celebration, some massive jerk bird named Wingo not only steals your thunder, but also your star and Toadette. I’m chalking it up to curse versus incompetence to explain why she doesn’t just let go of the star, especially since she seems completely stuck to the star. Now you begin your grand quest to save your colleague, friend, girlfriend, wife, or whatever Toadette is to you. I’m not sure how Toadstool relationships work.
As you start, the puzzles seem very simple and straightforward. However, as you progress, there’s more observation required, and a little more brainpower to not only complete the stage, but find three diamonds and accomplish a hidden goal. These goals could be find a specific mushroom, collect so many coins, don’t use the easy way to finish the stage, etc. they certainly add a twist of challenge to the smooth drink that is Captain Toad.
The graphics for this game are very polished and have an established style from Mario 3D World and Land. The audio is very clean and suited well for the situation. Both of these fields are definitely something Nintendo has mastered in all of these years. The textures used on Toad’s clothing, the environment, and the enemies are all very detailed, and makes for a beautiful composition. It’s very cute, and a little squishy, but not to the point where your brain feels like melting from the adorableness.
One last thing I’d like to bring up about this game is more of a shout-out to Nintendo’s designers, the people who thought of a lot of the neat features in this game as well as the Wii U. When I started the game, I had Mario 3D World on my profile as well. This unlocked a bonus book of content. I love things like loyalty rewards, something I know still happens, but haven’t really seen since the PS2 era. I’m also enamored with the ability to play the game on the TV, or the Wii U pad. I can have the perfect cup of coffee, Captain Toad, and Bob Ross playing in the background for the trifecta of relaxation. Even better, when this concept is applied to a game like Hyrule Warriors, it’s no longer about split screen, but seperate screens. This allows for a whole new level of multiplayer that I can only hope is take advantage of fully in the future.
If you have the chance, give this game a shot. It’s not the hardest, or the most brutal of games. You might feel obligated to punch a wall from the cuteness, but I can’t help but think that this conflict of feelings is worth trying this game.