Today, Nintendo hosted a live Direct on Youtube with Shigeru Miyamoto (Mario’s creator), showing a sneak peek of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan. It is set to open to the public on February 4, 2021, and with attractions such as the Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge race, Yoshi’s Adventure treasure hunt ride, and a series of Power-Up Band Key Challenges, the hype surrounding this new world at Universal is already at max capacity. With the preview in this Nintendo Direct at your fingertips, prepare to have all your expectations of this new adventure in the world of Nintendo be absolutely blown into epic proportions.
Miyamoto walks you through the Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Japan, showing the entrance of the park, several activities throughout it, and hints of other activities that we will have to wait to learn more about. To start off, the entrance to the park takes you walking through a life-sized warp pipe.
As we walk out of the warp pipe with Miyamoto, the first thing we see is the lobby of Peach’s Castle — complete with the classic Super Mario 64 music– which includes animated photos on the walls that show off different aspects of the Mushroom Kingdom.
The park is full of many activities both large and small. While there are main rides, there are also mini activities, and even secret activities, which can be accessed through the purchase and use of a Power-Up Band. The band not only grants you access to these activities, but other secrets around the park. The Power-Up Bands come in six different options, record your activities for you around the park, can be linked to a smartphone app, and can even be used like amiibo, working for you even after you have left the park.
Inside the park, you can see Mount Beanpole with a flag flying on top, as well as Yoshi and a Goomba Tower (both of which feature the same movement as they do in the games.) There are so many moving characters and parts, some of which are interactive.
These interactive parts of the park are where the Power-Up Bands really come into play. The bands can be used to play games by punching (and by punching we mean bumping the band on your wrist against) the blocks in the activities to activate them.
The bands keep track of coins and keys that you collect through activities along the way. They enable you to fully experience every aspect of the park. Plus, through your playing of the activities, if you manage to collect three keys, you can move on to the final activity of the boss battle with Bowser Jr.
Miyamoto walks us through many activities in the park, and shows us demonstrates some briefly, like a Piranha Plant activity, and a giant Bob-omb activity that he hints at, but doesn’t tell us more about… for now.
As mentioned, there are also hidden secrets around the park that can be seen through using the Power-Up Bands. Miyamoto mentions the notion to keep an eye out for Mario icon marks around the park, and to hold the band against them to reveal secrets.
He also shows off an awesome feature of the underground maze section of the park, where the blocks making up the maze become larger as you move through it, to make you feel like a Mini Mario.
There are also sneak peeks into the gift shop and restaruant of the park, named “1-UP Factory” and “Kinopio’s Cafe” respectively. The gift shop is home to some merchandise that can only be purchased exclusively at the park, including a special Tokotoko Mario toy.
Kinopio’s Cafe is designed with animations of Toads running the kitchen, including a Chef Toad who welcomes you into the restaurant. The dishes are indicative of the Mushroom Kingdom, including the Mario Burger and the Super Mushroom Pizza Bowl.
If you’re looking for snacks outside of the restaurant, you can also pick up a few choice flavors of popcorn in a star-shaped container. The flavors are Caramel Peach and Mushroom (interesting options, certainly very memorable in flavor and game-related meaning).
And, of course, the park wouldn’t be complete without the famous characters themselves. Miyamoto bumped into Mario and Luigi for a photo opportunity.
The adventures of the park culminate at Bowser’s Castle, which is the location of the Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge ride, where you ride along against team Bowser. The ride took six years to develop, to make sure it felt exactly right.
Also displayed in Bowser’s Castle are the many trophies from Mario Kart, as well as the trophy for the ride.
Throughout this Nintendo Direct, Mi hints at many parts of the park that we haven’t seen yet, and he lets us know that for those of us who aren’t in Japan, and who cannot get there currently because of COVID-19, there are plans to bring Super Nintendo World to Universal Studios in California, Florida, and Singapore in the future.
From everything we have seen of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan, it looks as though walking into the park will feel exactly like walking directly into the Super Mario games. The attention to detail that went into making this park do not go unnoticed, whether travel to Japan when it opens on February 4 or later on (COVID-pending), or you wait for one of the other parks to open at another Universal location, it is clear from this that this Super Nintendo World park is absolutely worth the wait.