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Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - Special Episode (Nintendo Switch)By Sasari At 18.04.2019 21:11

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Toad and Toadette have trekked across a ton of lands already, so many that they are returning to some of them here. There are 18 new challenges to take on in total; however, 13 of them are recycled - new, fresh takes on existing stages from the original. The remaining five are all wholly new levels. Regardless of whether playing the original stages that have been given fresh life, or playing through the brand new stages, each one falls into the familiar mould of the originals. There are the standard exploration levels where Toad traverses little 3D isometric worlds, avoiding signature series enemies and utilising the 3D aspect of the world to view each challenge from different angles. Then there are Indiana Jones-style mine cart levels where Toad becomes a turnip-tossing machineā€¦ and some original stages have taken a dark twist, becoming a Luigi's Mansion style ghost-busting Boo stage.

As with the original, there is little real challenge in just completing these levels, as it's easy enough to tear through each of the 18 in less than an hour - although the five new stages up the difficulty slightly. In particular, the 'Spinning Starmaze,' a huge, revolving, double-sided maze, actually requires some real thought; the 'Goomba Galleon' has one of the best designs in all of the investigation stages; and 'Flip Panel Panic' introduces the titular panels from their stages in Super Mario Galaxy, setting Toad to sprinting across vanishing paths.

The free update that recently introduced multiplayer co-op to Captain Toad has given fresh life to the game. It is a simple addition but it works so very well. This plays a big part in some of the new stages, and for those who want to take this on solo, there are the old Double Cherries; items that when picked up spawn a second Captain Toad that is controlled in tandem. Two Captain Toads can take out Boos twice as fast, and in a particular new hedge maze stage they have to be used to press switches at the same time, requiring some smart manoeuvring. For the best experience, though, for the original game and all of these new stages, it really is best experienced in multiplayer.

While these new stages offer up a little extra difficulty compared to the renovated ones, the only real challenge comes in the extra objectives on each stage. First up there are three gems to track down. These are best implemented in stages where time limit crowns appear. Here, the crystals often appear far away from the next spawn of a crown, requiring fast responses to reach the crystal, and then the crown. Sadly, though, there's no need to reach both. Picking up a gem instantly saves it to that level, whether Toad dies or reaches the next objective. It makes the extra objectives too easy.

The final aspect to offer up a new challenge is the bonus objective. Upon the first completion of the game, a bonus objective is revealed; however, this is often something that was already completed incidentally just through the first completion. These objectives consist of things like collecting a certain amount of coins, making it through the stage without getting hit, or finding a secret golden mushroom. This low difficulty ceiling lowers the fun factor a little for the more experienced puzzlers, but it opens the game up to a wider audience, so the trade off is worth it. In addition, there are a handful of stages, like the finale, which offer up a truly tricky bonus objective that even hardcore players will find difficult.

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Final Score
The Wii U was filled with some absolutely wonderful releases, many of which were criminally underrated and missed out on by so many fans. Seeing them return on Switch is wonderful, and the on-the-go functionality of the system allows for even more ways to play. For its current low price, [i]Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - Special Episode[/i] is well worth it. The initial description of recycled levels sounds a little off-putting, feeling that this could be a cheap, low-effort tack-on. It isn't. The new levels are filled with fantastic designs, while the remakes are complete overhauls, almost indistinguishable from their originals.

8

/10

User Comments
#1 Adam Riley (News Editor) - on 29.04.2019 at 20:35

I still love this game - so cute, and yet harder than you'd expect in some levels!

#2 RudyC3 - on 30.04.2019 at 11:38

Adam Riley said:
I still love this game - so cute, and yet harder than you'd expect in some levels!

That 100-floor dungeon for the big golden crown...


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