Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Switch) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Friday, July 20, 2018

Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Switch)

by Danny Bivens

The Captain is back at it again. 
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was one of those Wii U titles that got considerable praise. Unfortunately, with Nintendo’s last console being a commercial flop, not many gamers had a chance to check out Toad’s treasure tracking adventure. Given the popularity of the Nintendo’s new console and the success of other re-releases on the system, it made sense to bring this title to the larger install base of the Switch.

Captain Toad has players controlling Toad through a series of diorama-like stages with the goal of reaching a star to complete the level. Scattered throughout the levels are collectibles and secrets - diamonds, coins, gold mushrooms, breakable walls and more. While getting to the star might be enough for some players, trying to obtain all of the diamonds and an additional objective (you can see what these are after you clear a level) is where the real challenge comes. As in the Wii U version of the game, the Hide and Seek is also available without the need of a Toad amiibo. After clearing a stage, players can hunt for a carefully hidden 8-bit Toad in the levels. I didn’t have a Toad amiibo when Nintendo released the update to the Wii U version of the game, so I never had a chance to try it until now. Having the mode accessible in this fashion is better than locking it behind an amiibo paywall. Not only that, but it has been fun trying to find Toad with my wife sitting beside me helping with the search.
Controls in Captain Toad are pretty much what you would expect - spot on. Using the Pro Controller feels great, however, the use of gyro can sometimes feel a bit strange. In the Wii U version of the game, some levels required players to use the Gamepad touch screen do things like move platforms or turn levers. To accommodate  gamers playing on the big screen, Nintendo uses the gyro in the Pro Control to put a cursor on screen. Don’t get me wrong - it works just fine. It might take a little while to get used to for some and could feel a little bit awkward. It should be noted that in portable mode, Captain Toad offers touch based controls for these same segments.

The addition of multiplayer provides even more fun to the experience. In this mode, (which can be accessed on the fly very easily), one player controls Toad with a Joy-Con turned on its side while the other player controls the camera and the pointer with the other Joy-Con turned vertically. It’s easy to get into, but still might prove a little difficult for non-gamers who aren’t used to analog stick control.
Graphically, things look pretty similar to what they were with the original Wii U release. The Switch release runs at 1080p in docked at 60 fps and 720p at 60 fps in handheld compared to 720p at 60 fps on the Wii U. Even with that said, there isn’t a huge difference in visual fidelity here. Character models look sharp, enemies animate well and the stages themselves offer a variety of locations and visual flair.

If you played Treasure Tracker back on the Wii U, there really isn’t much reason to pick up this title. However, if you are like me and you just really loved it back in 2014, the game still remains as fun as ever. The visuals are fantastic, the gameplay is tight and the puzzles are engaging. Despite the removal of the Super Mario 3D World stages (replaced with the Odyssey stages), this is as close to an “ultimate” version of Captain Toad that you can get. If you have a Toad amiibo and the Wii U version, the only things you’re missing out on are those Mario Odyssey stages. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you can live without that.
Final Score: 8.5

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