Title: Super Mario Odyssey
Available On: Switch
Genre: Action, Platformer
Official Site: Super Mario Odyssey
Release Date: October 27, 2017
Where to Buy it: Local Retailers, Nintendo eShop
I’ll be completely honest, I’m not entirely sure where to begin with this review. Much like most of the gamers in my generation, I grew up playing Mario, and it was my first introduction to the gaming industry. And Super Mario Odyssey is nothing less than a happy homage to its lifelong fans. Mario’s newest adventure holds onto the whimsical elements and challenging platforming from the past games, but it feels like our childhood hero has matured with us. All in all, Nintendo did everything right with Super Mario Odyssey. From the gameplay to the music, everything works together to create a remarkable experience that you won’t want to put down.
Bowser has yet again kidnapped Princess Peach, but this time he plans to marry the princess. Mario, and his new companion, Cappy, must travel the world and beyond to rescue the princess. However, Mario must use an airship to travel after the pair. To power your airship, you must collect various moons from lands full of dinosaurs, bunnies, and dancing skeletons. Along with the moons, Mario can collect dozens of hats and outfits throughout his travels. With these new hats comes a new responsibility: taking control of characters, objects, and villains in the game.
Mario’s new mechanics do come with a bit of a learning curve though. The use of the hat in Super Mario Odyssey definitely feels right for our mustached hero; however, it fails when it comes to the physical gameplay. The more intricate jumps are really difficult to master. Even after you have them down, it still isn’t quite clear how they work. And I had a few deaths result from issues with the motion controls. Despite these minor complaints, it didn’t even come close to ruining my time with Mario and Cappy.
Much like Nintendo’s earlier success in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, they did a wonderful job bringing a classic character into a more modern era while still holding onto to all of the things that made it a classic to begin with. Throughout the game, players will find throwbacks to the Mario titles that came before it. Whether with outfits, specific areas, or even taking Mario back to his 8-bit days, the attention to detail is really astounding. So, I would highly suggest that you remain observant while traveling through the worlds.
While it is totally possible to zoom through the main story of the game rather quickly, there is still plenty to keep you busy. The openness of the levels leaves plenty for players to explore well after the game is over. Most of the worlds have over 50 moons to collect, and these extra moons will open up new worlds, outfits, and hats. Some of these are pretty easy to collect while some will definitely take a bit of grinding. The game has a nice challenge for those looking for it, but it never stops being fun. While there is always a straightforward path to the moons, the game allows you to experiment and to play the game the way you want.
One of the best things about the game is the environment it creates. The music was by far one of my favorite things about Super Mario Odyssey, and “Jump Up, Superstar!” will quickly find a home in your permanent thoughts. How often I’ve found myself singing the new tune is almost scary. Each of the worlds has a very distinct feel, and the music is a big part of that. While the worlds vastly differ, they all feel at home in this adventure. From ruined, spooky kingdoms to kingdoms covered in sweets to kingdoms outside of our very planet, they each look beautiful in their own way.
If anything can be said about Super Mario Odyssey, it is that the game has style. Its attention to detail, the bosses and the associated battles, the music, the art, and the ambitious gameplay are all unique. This is an experience that will bring out your inner child while continuing to challenge you as an adult gamer. There’s something to be said for a game that continues to mature along with its audience, and this is where Odyssey shines the brightest. While this is far from the end for our plumber-turned-hero, Super Mario Odyssey has definitely made a place for itself in the series’ long history.
Verdict: Super Mario Odyssey is everything that you would want it to be. From the gameplay to the music and everything in between, this game blends beautifully together to create the ultimate celebration of Nintendo fans. Trust me, some of the more nostalgic areas of the game will bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eye; it is clear that the newest Mario adventure was made with all of the love and care it truly deserved. All in all, this is one title that you don’t want to miss this year. But, be warned; it is easy to get addicted!