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LTTP: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

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LTTP or ‘late to the party’ pieces are opportunities for me to catch up and write about games I missed out on the first time around. They may contain spoilers.

Super Mario 3D World was a fantastic game. One of the many reasons why I enjoyed it so much was the inclusion of the Captain Toad levels. They served as a break in the traditional 3D platforming action but quickly became a highlight in its own right for its charm and methodical puzzles. Nintendo noticed the reverence for the little treasure hunter and decided to flesh out the little hidden gem into a full game.

I heard it was a little light on content for a $44.99 retail title so I waited for a sale to pop up. For $34.99? I was happy with what was on the disc.

The game’s levels were split into four books. The first book consisted of straight forward puzzles but subsequent books steadily ramped up the complexity and demands of the bonus objectives. It’s the same approach that Nintendo implemented in its platformers; the challenge lies within the extras whereas the main course remained attainable.

I was a little surprised to discover that the Wii U Gamepad was required to play this game. Early on it simply mirrored the TV; I had forgotten about the other gimmicks found in Super Mario 3D World.

Using it as a view port to aim and fire turnips with was harmless fun. I was tolerant of the touch screen oriented levels but I was annoyed with the levels that asked me to blow into the mic. Asking me to blow into the mic to move platforms while darting across platforms surrounded by lava was awkward and cumbersome. I lost too many lives while trying to complete the challenge objective for “Magma Road Marathon”.

Treasure Tracker was best tackled in chunks. I could have finished a book’s main courses in a single sitting but I would have felt underwhelmed by the lack of challenge at the end of book. I found it more satisfying to taking on each challenge objective immediately after an initial run.

It’s tough to get upset over Treasure Tracker because it’s such a charming title. The cutesy mannerisms of the Toads and the expressions of Shy Guys and Charging Chucks were given such an incredible level of craftsmanship that I forgot that I was playing a Wii U title. The relatively limited scope allowed Nintendo to give each asset the five star treatment that we’ve rarely seen up close. It’s easily one of the best looking titles regardless of platform.

After Batman: Arkham Knight, I needed a palette cleanser to take my mind off the rainy grime found in Gotham. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker fit the bill perfectly. It wasn’t the most challenging or inventive of titles but the puzzles exercised the methodical part of my brain that I appreciated. “Okay. I need to manipulate this and that, then do this.” Working my way through those levels was relaxing, gratifying and put a smile on my face which is all I could ask for. You could say I could have achieved the same feelings through a mobile game like Hitman: GO or Monument Valley but there’s something special about playing a quality Nintendo game on the big screen.

I love it

Ratings Guide

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