Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

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JaySevenZero
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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Post by JaySevenZero » January 13th, 2019, 1:00 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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Suits
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Re: 358: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Post by Suits » January 17th, 2019, 1:14 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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Re: 358: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Post by Toon Scottoon » January 22nd, 2019, 3:32 pm

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, at least on Switch, demonstrates the famous Nintendo polish as well as almost any other title. It’s as if the stout citizens of the Mushroom Kingdom took off their kerchiefs and buffed everything from the button clasp on Toad’s backpack to the knot atop Dragadon’s head to a high shine. Toad, and the rest of the cast deserve this sparkle after so many years toiling in the background of Nintendo’s main franchise, but it is the individual levels themselves that benefited most from this glossy lacquer.

If you go into the little warp pipe at the bottom left corner of the title screen you will see the iconography of Super Mario Brothers done up as a garden sculpture or walled off like a gallery painting. This makes sense as the experience of strolling a museum and spending as much or as little time as you want considering a particular image was similar to how I felt rotating the gorgeous 3D maps in Treasure Tracker. This coupled with that satisfying jigsaw puzzle snap that came with finding a gem or prodding Pixel Toad with my index finger made Captain Toad the first game I ever intended to 100 percent. After all, who starts a jigsaw puzzle of Michelangelo’s David and goes, “I’m going to leave out the hands.”

Unfortunately the final bonus level, where the game changes from an environmental puzzle platformer to a procedurally generated maze runner was beyond my skill level, and so I suppose I have a David missing one key part, a secret shame if you will. Perhaps I can put a fig leaf over it? This is a Toad game after all.

Three word review

Polished Nindiana Jones

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Re: 358: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Post by ErikBergman » January 23rd, 2019, 1:08 pm

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a good example on how Nintendo are able to turn something seemingly absurd into something magically joyful. A Mario game without the ability to jump seems like it could never work, but here we are. What strikes me the most about this game is how well the devs have managed to opimize the limited space of the game's many tiny levels: Captain Toad being purposefully clunky and slow is not an issue at all with such brilliant level design. It's kinda the opposite of open world games with so-and-so many square kilometers of empty fields to "discover".

Three word review: No space wasted.

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Re: 358: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Post by seansthomas » February 4th, 2019, 6:56 pm

From the moment I played Captain Toad's inventive, diorama levels in Super Mario 3D World on Wii U, I was a fan. There weren't very many of them, but they were such a welcome change of pace and so charming they became my personal highlight of the game.

So when they announced Toad was getting his own title, I was delighted.

I loved that it was a budget release on Wii U and didn't outstay it's welcome. I breezed through the main campaign in a handful of hours but I loved these little worlds so much, that in a rare exception to the norm, I replayed it all to hit each levels bonus objectives.

A few of those gold mushrooms were verging on plain unfair, and I did need to Google a couple of the invisible ones, but on the whole I adored tackling some of those levels knowing it could be done in 5 moves or that the answer was there somewhere.

There was something incredibly pleasing about turning those little microworlds around on the Wii U gamepad as if they were mini terrariums and finding hidden doorways, lifts or objects hidden in plain sight. It is really solid to control too. Because of the lack of jumping or inertia, it all felt grounded and the Toad family responded exactly when I needed them to.

I also loved that the storyline flipped halfway through and you took control of Toadette. She seemed to control identically but it felt refreshing for a Nintendo game at the time not being about a 'boy saving a girl' and to veer away from the handful of core licenses the company repeatedly return to. The Wii U era was barren at times but Captain Toad, along with Splatoon and Mario Maker, showed that a new generation of Nintendo talent were starting to make their mark and bring new ideas to the table, and it's why I hold it so dear to my heart.

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Re: 358: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Post by Simonsloth » February 18th, 2019, 7:47 pm

My experience with Captain Toad was overwhelming positive but part of me wished that the difficult curve wasn’t so much of a flat line. Until the last few levels I didn’t feel remotely challenged or taxed which isn’t necessarily a bad thing sometimes. However my favourite levels are the ones I failed and had to redo usually needing a combination of careful thought and sharp reflexes. An honourable mention must go to the blowing mechanic which never got old.

I don’t want to be overly critical as i think it hits the bullseye with what it is trying to achieve but I was personally left wanting more.

3WR: not blown away

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Re: Our next podcast recording (22.2.19) - Issue 358: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Post by PocketCircuitFighter » February 19th, 2019, 8:31 pm

I picked up Captain Toad on whim as it was bundled with this very cute Toad Amiibo. This was my first Amiibo ever and led me down a deep dark path where I now have 80+ Amiibos. I mention this because this is lasting positive memory I have of this game. I found its levels very charming but mostly too easy. There was the classic ‘Mario’ difficulty spike that I found frustrating and jarring during this mostly relaxing and easy game.
There is one level in particular where Toad is asked to run on speed pads and you need to blow on the Wii U microphone to move platforms while controlling him. Any errant movement and Toad dies. I found myself replaying this level for an hour and a half and getting repeated ‘Game Over’ screens as I tried to complete the challenge of collecting all the coins.
Even on the easier levels, I found these post level reveals of extra challages frustrating and at odds with the relaxing pace of the game. I despise when this mechanic is employed in tactics and puzzle games. The game hides the challenge from you and you spend your time on every level checking every nook and cranny, defeating every enemy, collecting every coin, and in the end, you find that you just needed to not destroy any block (despite the fact that it’s quite enjoyable to play as Toad in ‘pickaxe’ mode).
By the end of the game I was rushing to get through my initial playthrough of the levels done as quickly as possible to reveal the challenge. Then I would replay with the challenge and get 100%...but for what reason? I spoiled my enjoyment of the game because I found the second playthroughs of the levels boring but I knew I needed to do them in order to unlock those bonus levels from a 100% playthrough.
That’s where I’m left with Captain Toad. The developers pushed me in a way that soured my enjoyment of this potentially fun and pretty game. I loved the characters and the music from Super Mario 3D World, but I feel like this is a lot wasted potential.
Three word review: Ruined My Adventure!

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Re: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Post by Suits » March 12th, 2019, 6:28 pm

DLC drops on Thursday, which is a shame as I'll be at the football but I'll be all over this Friday 8-) .

Also, Nintendo were running a weird sort of incentive where if you opened the game via the news channel it gave you 99 lives.

Not that this game is hard but I wonder if its because of the new co-op feature potentially chewing through lives as people get used to it.

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Re: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Post by ratsoalbion » March 12th, 2019, 10:19 pm

Huh, I saw the news item but didn’t clock the built in ‘cheat mode’!

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Re: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Post by Suits » March 16th, 2019, 11:09 am

I finished the DLC yesterday, it didn't take long and was fairly straight forward - although there are a few final things I have to do to 100% the final book, I've certainly taken the meat off the bones on this DLC.

It's OK, with only a few 'new' levels the rest of the book is made up of old levels with different tasks.

Primarily, a new goal where you're required to chase a gold crown around the level in a sort of time trail/obstacle navigation sprint, which honestly, to me, dosent feel as fun as the original exploration theme of the base game.

All in all it was pleasant though and for the cost of DLC(£5.75) was probably worth it for fans of the game.

If there was to be another DLC down the road, based on the same content and theme, I'd probably get that as well - make of that what you will I suppose.

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