358: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

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358: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Post by JaySevenZero » January 13th, 2019, 2:00 pm

Here's where you can contribute your memories and opinions of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

Friendly reminder to all that where feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but self-editing (brevity) is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mainly reading. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.

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Re: 358: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Post by Suits » January 17th, 2019, 2:14 pm

I promise, I’ve tried to keep this as short as possible but hopefully there’s a point or two in here which will help the discussion along or highlight something ;) .

I’ve played this to completion on both the Wii U and the Switch,

The Switch version I achieved 100% (eventually). All books. All Stars. All Diamonds. All Pixel Toads. All Challenges. One of the par time trials.

Once you hit that 100% you get a cool little bonus for your toad.

I’d tried and failed to achieve 100% when it first came out but when I saw this listed for Volume 8, I dug the cart out and committed to finally completing that last challenge.

It’s pleasing to say that I will never have to play Mummy Me Maze Forever again in my life.

I’d already played through 3D World, so was familiar with the concept and was keen to see what a full-fledged game was made out of this side game.

The charm is off the scale, the movement, the noises, the expressions all make this one mightily charming Nintendo game.

The graphics are good, they are very much taken from 3D World’s assets, which is fair and something I wasn’t really burnt out on anyway and wasn’t even aware off until I thought about it preparing this.

Water looks stunning and the clockwork nature of the levels and environment all come together to give a micro world, with routine, separate areas, nooks with crannies and secrets. I suppose that’s the very nature of that ‘Hakoniwa’ that they are trying mimic.

I love it.

Toad and Toadette’s chirps and squeals are delightful, the Biddybud’s whimpers and moans are cool - if a bit annoying but overall, I think the sound is good, its what it needs to be and the title theme is a solid one, which is instantly recognisable.

T&T’s Movement is slow, sometimes a little too slow I feel, there is a sprint button but its minimal at best, the turnip pulling is satisfying and dropping onto nasties is solid. You also get a nice ‘pop’ feeling when you land a vegetable onto something.

The turnip shooting is snappy, fresh and feels good to control, whether its from the minecart levels or the mounted cannons it feels fun to do and satisfying to do. The sound effect is like a little tap/pop which just adds to the satisfaction of spamming turnips into a gaggle of Biddybud’s or blocks.

The runner levels are a happy break also I feel. Initially they feel maybe too hard or tricky but once you get used to the layout and timing, they are fun and require a good amount of thought and reaction skill to master.

Boss fights are maybe the weakest part. Dragadon and Wingo are a pain if truth be told, for me anyway. I understand that they are a means to an end and because of that I sort of accept them as being a key part of the experience as such.

Generally, they are just timed multi-stages, jumping from area to area.

They aren’t particularly bad in terms of design or delivery, more fit perhaps. I’d have preferred something a bit more puzzle based, as opposed to a timed chase or multi-stage battle. I t would have been fitting to the theme I think.

The touch controls are clever and feel natural in terms of how they are used to move the environment for Toad or Toadette.

They don’t feel natural for actual input though.

I’m a fan of touch controls in general, but mostly when they are committed to fully. Kid Icarus Uprising, Pikmin 3, etc…. having to take your hands away from the controller and having to use your finger to move a block or rotate a wheel feels clumsy and un-natural. It’ worse on the Switch and it’s not that much better on the Wii U Gamepad.

One advantage that the Wii U had over the Switch in terms of input is the Microphone, allowing you to blow into the GamePad to raise the platforms, this is simply changed to taping with your finger on the Switch. Believe it or not, simply raising the GamePad to your face feels much better than taking your hands away from the controls to finely touch something on the screen.

amiibo functionality is mild at best, on the Wii U The Toad amiibo (which was added some time after launch) unlocked the pixel Toad mini game, the other functionality simply gave the player extra lives.

The process of unlocking the pixel toads was a laborious process, it would involve scanning in Toad on each page of each book to activate him in the level, then once you’d done that you could go in separately to the main levels goals and hunt the pixel toad.

These begin to get quite hard in places, often I’d be left with the only option but to listen out for his calls and cries once you get close to his location. Quite often he would be hidden behind a moving platform or leaping out of lava at a precise time once you were in a certain location. Again, it was something that was a welcome break or, just something else to do once you’d finished a level.

Anything that encourages more time spent with these delightfully crafted Hakoniwa inspired levels should be welcomed.

The Switch/3DS amiibo functionality differed slightly as the Pixel Toad hunt was unlocked from the start and now scanning in Toad would grant invincibility to the player. If you scanned in one of the three Odyssey Wedding amiibo this would unlock the Odyssey levels early.

The books were cool, the pages were nice, the presentation was on point, it really felt like a journal that you were progressing through and fulfilling. Seeing the pages fill up with the tasks getting completed was fun and flicking through the pages gave a nice feeling. Once you’d 100%’d a level you’d get a little travel stamp in the top right of the book that you could see in previous pages as you progressed.

Then, once you’d done that, you’d unlock a par time for the course, which was always the quickest time to do the level. In my experience you literally couldn’t put a little foot wrong in these challenges, it’s a proper second tight race to the goal. I managed to beat the first level of the first book in this – and left it there.

Scattered around the levels, in no apparent sort of order from what I can ascertain are pixel characters in the same style of the pixel Toad amiibo challenges. There’s a Mario, Luigi and Peach. When you find them, if you tap on the screen, they garnish you a slew of coins, which is nice.

The same goes for the posters scattered throughout the levels, if you pull down the posters of Wingo they give up coins and sometimes also reveal hidden holes with goodies.

The constant motion icon on the Switch’s screen is annoying. There’s no way around it unfortunately. I’d gotten used to moving it to the edge of the screen and fixing it there with R3, its still there bobbing about but its better than having it slap bang in the middle of the screen all the time.

Playing it handheld is fine but it’s better on the Wii U – the console it was designed for.

Also, the level interactions that require you to turn the wheel are maddening on the Switch. You have to wind the wheel with your finger on the screen, having to take you hand away from the controls to do so, masking the screen and generally causing mayhem. Some of the latter levels, especially boss fights require confidant inputs and tight timing, something that this type of touch controls spoils and often jeopardises success. It’s not a serious issue but is clearly a hangover from being on a different Nintendo platform.

The Odyssey levels are a nice addition, although I don’t feel like they are necessary and I think they could have come up with something better, something original than using the Odyssey themes.

Having spent a significant amount of time in these Odyssey levels already playing them in a Hakoniwa style didn’t really do much for me other than, oh, look how they’ve done that.

If I’d not played the life out of Odyssey I may have enjoyed them more, as it stands I feel this was a missed opportunity to include some extra content or the Switch port that really added value to the game, rather than a few cross pollination levels, that said – this is a cross pollination game at its roots after all.

Captain Toad 2 please.

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