Super Mario Odyssey is just about perfect for many reasons, most of which we addressed in our review. Something we failed to mention, however, is our favorite new friend among the myriad characters introduced.
It’s this extremely good pup who wears a tiny and extremely good hat.
We first encounter this beautiful Shiba Inu upon reaching the Sand Kingdom, otherwise known as Tostarena. Walking into the main square, there it is, traipsing around in poor bliss. And yes, it somehow makes a fedora look good; consider it the Indiana Jones of dogs. It also looks a lot like a Nintendog, too, which is nice for those of us (me) who miss the pet ownership-sim series.
There’s just one problem with Super Mario Odyssey’s beautiful Shiba Inu. There’s no dedicated pet button; Mario can’t bend down and give our best boy the head pat it so totally deserves. It’s disappointing that, for all of the changes Super Mario Odyssey makes to the franchise, this is one feature we still don’t have.
The good news is that the Shiba Inu does follow Mario around a bit, which is pretty darn cute. Mario can also throw Cappy, his trusted hat, to encourage the doggo to play fetch. Adorable.
The bad news is that, not only can we not pet it, we can’t possess it or invite it onto our ship either.
But perhaps your mileage varies on whether Mario’s inability to capture the dog actually constitutes as bad news, considering the ethical quandry that is Mario’s new possession power anyway. Thankfully, Odyssey is a sandbox-style Mario adventure, so we’re free to return to Sand Kingdom and hang out with this baby Shiba as often as we want to — and that’s enough of a pleasure on its own.