Super Mario Odyssey: Is my Daughter missing out?

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DrFat32

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#1  Edited By DrFat32

I don't get Mario, to be honest I don't get Nintendo, I never have.

For some context I live in the UK, I have played Video Games since the mid 70's (yes I'm that old) and I have enjoyed many different styles and formats of games and played on lots of different consoles but never Nintendo. Maybe its a UK thing but for me they were never about or struck me as good games. I never played them at the time, I have tried to go back and play them but no, they just dont do it for me. Be it a Mario or Zelda or anything from there cataloge. I just dont get it.

Now I hear this Nintendo Switch thing is quite the machine and as my young Daughter (6 1/2) is interested in games, she didn't really have much chance not to be, I am thinking it is maybe wrong to foist my misgivings about Nintendo on to her. She may love Mario and all his pals. The Switch might be the console for her playing it for years to come and become ensconced in the Nintendo eco-system.

So I ask the venerable Giant Bomb community, what am I missing about Mario and Nintendo. Should I expose my Daughter to Mario and Nintendo. Am I missing out on the Switch and what it has to offer. I have less and less time to play games, but I still enjoy them and want my children to do so too.

What advise can you give an old man you young upstarts you.

Thanks.

UPDATE.

Thank you all for your considered and kind responses. I knew if I asked I would get and answer.

In essence I get the feeling that I should let her decide, not that I ever wouldn't THB. I will maybe expose her to Dans' Quick Look assuming it's not to laden with profanities, ( I dont mind the odd cuss but she is 6 1/2) and see what she thinks, Im sure she will tell me if its something she would like to play. I might even try and search out a shop with a demo unit, as long as the speed runners aren't hogging it and have a go with her. Maybe it will turn me around on Mario and Nintendo.

Again thank you. You guys are the best.

DrFat32

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MindBullet

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I'm not sure I'd really say she's 'missing out' if she doesn't play Odyssey. It really depends on whether you want her to play games, or you want her to play games you like, or if you just don't want her to play at all. If you're into the idea of letting her play games at her age, and your only misgiving is that you haven't really enjoyed Nintendo games yourself... Maybe let her have a shot at it? Assuming you're cool with buying her a Switch, that is.

They're not for everyone, but I'd say they're some of the best games out there for kids. Mario games especially tend to be very colorful and whimsical, very intuitive and easy to pick up, and challenging without being overly punishing.

Ultimately it's up to you as her father, but I will say there are a lot of people out there (myself included) who love Nintendo and their games, and who grew up happily playing Zelda and Mario games and have many fond memories of them. It wouldn't be some great injustice if you didn't get her into it, but it also wouldn't hurt to let her try it out and decide for herself.

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Justin258

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#3  Edited By Justin258

Does your daughter play video games already and what kinds of games does she play? Are her friends playing Mario Odyssey?

Main Nintendo games (Mario, Metroid, Zelda) are very much about discovering the world around you and that's part of what makes them so attractive to kids and enduring as they grow up. That whole "Hmmm, is there anything in this little area over here! There is!" and "I see that thing but I do not yet understand how I can get to it, let's figure it out" thing.

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PeasForFees

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I think everyone can attest to liking games that were objectively terrible when they were younger, so i'd be surprised if she didn't enjoy them as a bunch seem great.

I will however say that if you tell her something is bad/not worth her time she will believe it long into the future. I like a whole load of sports but basically dislike rugby irrationally because my dad does too, i'm pretty happy about this, so i'd say these kind of things don't really matter too much really.

Would't be anything wrong with letting her make her mind up herself though, preferable even. But then you have to ask yourself is it worth 400 quid to experiment to see whether your child likes something you don't, although you might change your mind in the process too.

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Humanity

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I’m in the same boat as you, and coincidentally also was raised in Europe for the most part. I think Mario is alright but don’t really care one way or another and I actively disliked Zelda for the most part. That said I do think a lot of Nintendo games are uniquely tailored towards a younger audience. Your daughter might find a lot of fun games on that platform whereas on the PS4/XB1 it’s a bit harder to find compelling and fun titles for the younger gamer.

So I say even though you personally won get much of a kick out of those games, your child probably will. As long as you won’t be gritting your teeth each time she asks you to put Mario in then it’s a good idea to consider the purchase.

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imhungry

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At this moment in time, I can't imagine a better console for a 6yr old than a Switch, unless you include the 3DS which may edge it out slightly. I'd say the games that Nintendo tends to put out are incredibly geared toward provoking the desire for discovery and exploration that kids generally have and on top of that are usually exceedingly good at teaching people how to play games in a mechanical sense.

On top of that, in my mind at least the current gaming landscape feels like it there isn't much for a young kid out on the PS4/Xbox. Toys to life stuff have all pretty much died out and the industry as a whole seems to have veered hard away from fun mascot characters etc.

Obviously every kid is different but in my mind I'd be hard pressed to name 5 non-Nintendo games that I've played in the past year that I'd feel totally comfortable letting a 6yr old play (though maybe that speaks more to my personal tastes than anything else).

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geirr

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#7  Edited By geirr

Your child will be exposed to Mario & Nintendo one way or another so it might as well start with the parents.

Also they make some really, really good games!

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bmccann42

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Never grew up with Nintendo, was a PC/Genesis family when I was young and a father who thought a "Nintendo" was a toy, so I missed out on all Mario games.

I'm terrible at platformers (and find them extremely frustrating), so I am unsure if I will pick this up, and am wondering if I am also missing out on something good.

Any thoughts duders?

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Mysterysheep

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Actual answer: Only if your daughter shows interest in it and you're cool with buying her a Switch.

That being said, if she's already into games, I can't think of a better gift for her right now than a Nintendo Switch. A lot of the games on the system are both child-friendly and incredibly well-designed games in their own right. Breath of The Wild, Mario Kart 8, Splatoon and probably this new Mario game are just plain, good quality games that lack a bunch of the exploitative bullshit that exists in other big titles on other systems.

This next part is a bit of a rant, so ignore it if you'd like...

I'll say this much, Super Mario 64 was the first video game I ever played, at age 3. Which is to say my first experience playing a game was also my first experience playing a 3D game. It blew my bloody mind! More than that though it made me fascinated in the very concept of what a video game is or could be. But here's the thing, I never played any of the actual missions in each level. I just wandered around the hub world experimenting with Mario's huge move-set and attempted to jump over hills, that actually served as invisible walls, hoping to explore more of the world. The moment I jumped into an actual stage, I had to complete an objective and suddenly I would feel restricted. It was the freedom of exploring worlds and moving Mario that hooked me, not completing arbitrary trials.

For all intents and purposes, Super Mario Odyssey seems like the spiritual successor to 64, more so than any other 3D Mario. It both retains his large move-set from 64, while also expanding on it, and it focuses much more on rewarding natural exploration than 64. In 64 you'd jump into a level from the hub, complete a task to get a collectible and get kicked out again, jumping back in to get another one. In Odyssey there is no hub world, but each level is massive and contains loads of collectibles that you can discover just by exploring the huge world. This seems like the game I wanted when I played 64 way back when.

As far as your opinion on Nintendo games, it's true that Nintendo wasn't as big in the UK as the US back then so it makes sense not to share as much reverence for them. If you're curious as to why Nintendo got so big in the US or even just what set their games apart from the competition, this guy on youtube does some great videos, both about the games and their historical context in America. Here's one on the original Super Mario Bros. but he also has videos on Super Mario World and has started to make some on 64 as well:

Loading Video...
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Cheetoman

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Breath of the Wild is the first time I enjoyed playing a Zelda game. Maybe if you play Odyssey this will be the first time you enjoy a Mario game.

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nicksmi56

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Well I can't tell you how to raise your daughter, so all I can say is that Nintendo games have consistently surprised me with how much pure fun they are.

I was kind of in the same mindset about Nintendo in high school after being forced to stick to Nintendo for pretty much my entire childhood. I thought the main Nintendo franchises were pretty much just wastes of time besides the party games like Mario Kart and Smash, so I went and bought myself a PS3 to play the "mature" games everyone else was playing. Then my friend bought me Super Mario Galaxy and lo and behold, I became a Nintendo addict pretty much all throughout college, to the point that my backlog now almost entirely consists of PS games.

And no, I'm not using this topic to bash on PS games. I love them. But Nintendo games have that sense of wonder and non-mechanical exploration that a lot of games simply don't have anymore. Games like Mario and Kirby go right on that line of easy enough to complete as a child, but packing plenty of difficulty for those who look for it. And what I love is that they make me think of solutions on my own instead of slapping a marker on every collectible and telling me to walk there. The moment to moment gameplay is pitch perfect most of the time and there's not really much in the way of that gameplay, because that's the whole point.

I don't wanna go on too long, so I'm just gonna end with this: if the amazing gameplay and worlds of Nintendo games can turn around someone like me, who was dead set on avoiding them, I'm sure they'll have an impact on your daughter too. And if she's having fun, that's what really matters, right?

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Casepb

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Never grew up with Nintendo, was a PC/Genesis family when I was young and a father who thought a "Nintendo" was a toy, so I missed out on all Mario games.

I'm terrible at platformers (and find them extremely frustrating), so I am unsure if I will pick this up, and am wondering if I am also missing out on something good.

Any thoughts duders?

If you don't like platformers don't bother with it. I really doubt you would enjoy it. Although maybe you're thinking along the lines of Sonic? Was Sonic the only platformer you've ever played because then I would fully understand your frustration with them. Sonic is the main reason I've always avoided the Sega consoles when I was younger. It was the first video game that taught me I can hate some games lol.

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younggryan

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Meh. I don't think she's missing out. If you have never dealt with Nintendo save yourself the frustration of their constant nickel and diming you for peripherals and content. And don't forget the constant new versions of systems coming out. If you buy a switch now a new updated version will come out in a few months with better specs and peripherals and cheaper. Stay away from Nintendo at all costs. I will probably have to get a switch because my 2 kids love Nintendo and don't care about the above problems. But man I wish I hadn't introduced them to it. I grew up with Nintendo and never knew about these cheesy gimmicks that they had. Now as an adult I find nintendos business practices to be sleazy and abhorrent.

That being said they have quality games but maybe only 6 or 7 per generation. So buyer beware.

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Rejizzle

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Honestly, yeah. Your daughter would probably really like Mario Odyssey. It's a beloved franchise, especially by children who are drawn to it's sense of discover, colourful graphics, and whimsical style. It's about the best present a 6 year old who likes games could ask for to be honest. Then again, there're a lot of cool platformers like A Hat in Time and Yooka Laylee that have just come out. Could always give those a try too.

At any rate, I think we can all agree that it's better she learn about Super Mario from her parents than on the streets.

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Redhotchilimist

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I think she is, Nintendo games are pretty phenomenal at their best, and the 3D Mario platformers are kings of their genre. If you like gameplay-focused, intuitive, stylized, character-heavy and approachable games, then Nintendo has got that in spades, essentially as a house style. And maybe that's not your jam, or they don't make your sort of genres. But I bet it would appeal to your daughter, and kids in general.

But realistically, people like all sorts of different games. Some only grew up on point & click PC adventure games. I think that sounds bad, but if that's what you're raised on, odds are you're gonna love it, whatever it is. You're in a position here to raise a kid that only likes Mount Your Friends-style qwop games, or anime fighting games, or terrible FMV games, or games for the Nintendo 64 exclusively.

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kcin

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Your daughter deserves a Switch, and she deserves Mario.

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Slag

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@drfat32 said:

Now I hear this Nintendo Switch thing is quite the machine and as my young Daughter (6 1/2) is interested in games, she didn't really have much chance not to be, I am thinking it is maybe wrong to foist my misgivings about Nintendo on to her. She may love Mario and all his pals. The Switch might be the console for her playing it for years to come and become ensconced in the Nintendo eco-system.

So I ask the venerable Giant Bomb community, what am I missing about Mario and Nintendo. Should I expose my Daughter to Mario and Nintendo. Am I missing out on the Switch and what it has to offer. I have less and less time to play games, but I still enjoy them and want my children to do so too.

If she wants to game and you want her to game, I would without hesitation.

Nintendo games are high quality and appropriate for and appeal to kids. There is no other publishers games I'd rather have kids play than Nintendo games.

I'd say their stuff beats all the alternatives, especially for her age bracket. Nintendo doesn't exploit children like the Toys to Life stuff and mobile iOS games do.

I'm not a parent, but if I were I don't think I'd let my kids game on PS4 or PC until they were a lot older. A lot of the cool stuff there is too adult for them and the ecosystem is wide open so it'd be hard to monitor.

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#18  Edited By TravisRex

Im so intrigued that you have no nostalgia for nintendo games. If you ever felt like doing so, i would really love to read a blog about that time in your life. Something like what you were playing instead. Were there conversations with friends where they were talking about the nintendo and you were like "naw, no way." That would be amazing.

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FrodoBaggins

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Yes, your daughter is missing out. Do her a favour and buy a Switch and Mario.

You'll be her hero.

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Shindig

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@drfat32 said:

Now I hear this Nintendo Switch thing is quite the machine .....

You either sound like a policeman buying drugs or a BBC reporter who drew the short straw. I'm in the same boat, though. I grew up on Vic-20s, CPCs and an Amiga. My cousins had Mega Drives almost exclusively. I finally got to Nintendo with a Gamecube some years back and, without the seed of nostalgia there, it's not the same. Your child will have that whatever you put in front of them.

ChaseHQ was my Mario.

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Humanity

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@travisrex: IF he is anything like me, he was basically playing PC games instead.

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I think it really depends on how much your daughter would want a new Switch. If she really wants it, than yes I think Super Mario Odyssey can be a solid first game to give her. She'd probably love the system for letting her play games like Odyssey on the go too. However if she isn't showing that much interest in the Switch in particular, I wouldn't sweat it getting her a Switch just to play Mario.

Though if your daughter wants a Switch but isn't into Mario, there are still plenty of kid friendly games out for the system for her to play. There's ARMS, Splatoon 2, BOTW (maybe), Pokken Tournament Deluxe (if she likes Pokemon) and so on. Plenty of those games also have local multiplayer so you can play those games with your daughter as a way to spend time with her. You could give her a non-traditional Mario game instead like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, another game with local multiplayer. But again, this is only if your daughter really, really wants to plays those games on the Switch. If not, the PS4 could be a solid alternative to let her play kid friendly games without that Nintendo catalogue.

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disco_drew22

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To me, it's like exposing a child to Disney. It's a cultural touchstone that you should at the very least present them with at some point. They might not have much affinity for it, but at least they can be aware of it and whether or not it is for them.

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avantegardener

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#24  Edited By avantegardener

I'm 38 and Irish and get your perspective being this side of the pond. Its the 'Disney of Video Games', although not for everyone, there is sort of unbridled joy associated with Mario and Nintendo products, they are generally very well polished and well presented. Having played Mario Odyssey for about 4 hours, I can tell you its something special.

To borrow the parlance of your time, I think your Daughter might dig it, and so might you :)

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Vasta_Narada

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#25  Edited By Vasta_Narada

I'm with other people in saying your daughter, if she's into games, should probably play a Mario and Zelda game at some point in her childhood just to have that frame of reference. If you want to see if she'd actually be interested in it, you could try having her play A Hat in Time first; it's a love letter to collectathon games, but it's certainly got the same whimsy as a Mario game and controls similarly.

Jumping straight to a Switch+Odyssey could be fine too, it's just an order of magnitude more expensive. Plus then you could get her Breath of the Wild.

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DrFat32

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Yes, your daughter is missing out. Do her a favour and buy a Switch and Mario.

You'll be her hero.

Not a problem. She is a very bright and intelligent Girl and knows that her dad is a Hero..... I am very very lucky.

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DrFat32

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Im so intrigued that you have no nostalgia for nintendo games. If you ever felt like doing so, i would really love to read a blog about that time in your life. Something like what you were playing instead. Were there conversations with friends where they were talking about the nintendo and you were like "naw, no way." That would be amazing.

I think it is a UK thing as others have said, probably better than me. I was never exposed to it. It was early pong boxes, ZX spectrum, Commodore 64, early PC's. than Sega Master System, Megadrive then Sony PS1 and then the PS2 just blew everything away. From there its been more modern consoles: PS3, Xbox 360 and PS4 (no Xbox one though) and PC so no exposure to Nintendo other than I knew they existed. I have never played or even touched a Nintendo product not even a Gameboy.

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TravisRex

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@drfat32: what was your favorite game as a kid? I wanna try it

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@drfat32: You never had famiclones in UK? I am from Poland and my only contact with Nintendo was Pegasus - cheap NES clone. I am much younger than you (mid twenties) but share the same perspective. Also, I tried to emulate Mario Galaxy and gave it to my 7 years old cousin and he loved it, but the game was a little too hard for him. He would play for 5 minutes and pass controler to me out of frustration.

@travisrex: If that's weird for you I remember conversations with friends about Gothic 2, first two Call of Duty and NFS: Underground. Hell, I remember discussing how different our playthroughs of Witcher 1 were. People know Mario, mostly from 2D games. They probably heard about Zelda, but have no idea about Link.

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DrFat32

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@travisrex:

My favorite early game as a child was Manic Miner on the ZX Spectrum. We only had monthly magazines then and the chatter around the school playground was always about the ZX Spectrum games in the early 80's. The tapes were passed around and copies made (they never worked as well) it was my 1st golden game period.

Although i enjoyed the Sega game consoles, Sonic was always a favorite, the best period was PS1, Colin McRae Rally was always be special and Metal Gear Solid just blow my mind at the time.

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s-a-n-JR

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If you have any friends that own a Switch + Mario, maybe ask to let your daughter try it out for an hour or two and see if she wants one after that.

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MachoFantastico

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So Nintendo was never really a thing for me as a kid either (from the UK to), myself and my friends were pretty much always Sega and Playstation and I knew only one person who owned a SNES at the time. It wasn't until the Game Boy Colour that I even owned a Nintendo product. So I haven't always had the nostalgia for Mario and Nintendo that many folks have. Even though I have come to respect Nintendo's many contributions to the industry over the recent years.

That said, Super Mario Odyssey is a bundle of absolute joy and one of the few games I can remember leaving me with the biggest smile ever. I still have much to play, but its a delightful game and totally deserving of praise. I think personally you should let your daughter decide for herself, maybe find out if you could borrow a Switch from someone and try it out. Heard the co-op is pretty fun to if you were interested. But I can't think of any other game right now that's as good as Odyssey to introduce your daughter to gaming with.

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I'm biased as fuck when it comes to Mario. I don't remember the first time I played a video game, but it was most likely Mario on NES. He was a huge part of my childhood and playing Mario games was a huge thing I bonded over with my early friends. Do I think she can have that too? Maybe, kids still love Mario and Splatoon proves they are still making new franchises that young ones care about.

Nintendo has made some bonkers choices over the years, but they have never stopped making great games and innovating. Always putting fun gameplay ahead of anything else.

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Captain_Insano

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I don't know that a child is necessarily 'missing out' on a video game.

That being said, I've been playing Mario Odyssey with my 2 1/2 year old son beside me. He has an unused Xbox One controller that he can simulate hitting buttons on. Mostly he just watches the game, but whenever I get a new moon revealed, or ready to get the moon, I count down three, two, one and he hits the 'A' button on the Xbox Controller. I press my button at the same time to make Mario jump/move to get the moon. He really enjoys seeing the connection between his action and the excited feedback on screen. The other night we were playing and it got to the point where I actually felt kind of worn out from playing and led us to stop.

So yea, seems to make a cool impression on kids.

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In case you get her Mario, be sure that it's set to 'Assist Mode' and not 'Normal Mode' (it asks at the start). It's a great mode for someone to get into 3D games.

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