Back in 2017 The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild was coined Video Game of the Year based on the people’s choice. Super Mario Odyssey secured the second spot. The Nintendo Switch had an amazing launch year in 2017 and at the time of writing this the Nintendo Switch sold over ten million consoles world wide. For a video games console that hasn’t one been out for 12 months that figure makes my head spin. 2018 is set to be just as good of a year for the Nintendo Switch with some prominent Nintendo Wii U games launching on the console within the first six months.
Having spent a lot of time with Super Mario Odyssey over the last couple of months I feel I’ve got a lot to say about Mario’s latest adventure. In fact I would go as far to say that Super Mario Odyssey should have taken him the title of Video Game of the year (2017). You might not agree but I urge you to read the remainder of this blog then let me know your final thoughts in the comments. Now before we go any further we have to note the Breath of the Wild is a masterpiece. I am a huge fan of it despite initially feeling sceptical. In fact I was also sceptical about Super Mario Odyssey. Some of the earliest footage I saw was with Mario running around a city approaching business men! “This is not a Super Mario game!” Fast forward to now and I can honestly say that I was wrong to judge. Super Mario Odyssey serves up a beautiful 3D experience of ploughing through bustling kingdoms and moon hunts. Odyssey offers up a tasty menu of new characters too with Cappy being the most notable. Cappy amplifies Super Mario’s abilities within the kingdom’s enabling him to jump higher, morph in to enemies and leap to the highest ledges. Super Mario feels more super than ever before. Again I was apprehensive about Mario’s new top man but Happy really does add a lot of value in to Super Mario Odyssey.
Repetition done well
Super Mario Odyssey adopts the same roots as previous Mario games. It is up to Mario to save Princess Peach from the evil clutches of Bowser. Along the way, there are many dangerous lands our friendly plumber must traverse in order to rectify the wrongful kidnapping. Now usually in video games I always prefer new stories to unfold but in the case of Mario the notion of him rescuing Princess Peach - again - seems to bode well in my gamer brain. Super Mario Odyssey is not really pushing a story but instead Odyssey is a revelation in its own right. Besides it is the first 3D Mario game since Super Mario 3D in 2011.
Super Mario Odyssey has something for everyone. Did you grow up with the NES like me? Did you grow up arguing with siblings over who’s turn it is to try and beat the next level on Super Mario Bros? Well you can expect a slice of retro 8bit Super Mario in Odyssey. The seamless warp through an iconic green pipe will take you right bak in to a Super Mario Bros-esque kind of level; equipped with 8bit sound effects and all. Nintendo we salute you because this was an gorgeous touch of finesse that makes Super Mario Odyssey feel more polished that ever!
Whether you are collecting rings in a Sonic game or coins in an older Mario game; video games have many challenges. In Super Mario Odyssey you can expect hundreds of quirky little challenges. In fact 880 of those challenges involve collecting Power Moons. Power Moons vary in colour depending on which kingdom you are in. They are used to power up the Odyssey and to unlock various other parts of the game. Collecting all 880 Power Moons (additional moons can be purchased) unlocks a painting in the wedding hall…but we won’t spoil that. Now 880 seems like a lot but it’s not. I love the challenge of being able to travel backwards and forwards to different kingdoms and being able to hunt for more moons.
Easy on the approach
You can literally take off in Super Mario Odyssey. Aside from flying from kingdom to kingdom in the Odyssey; Super Mario Odyssey suits players of all abilities. You can jump in without having to learn too many complex moves or controls. Once you have your timing on jumps and learn how to launch Cappy correctly you are pretty much set. My six year old nephew picked it up in no time. Nintendo have always seemed to adopt a knack for creating games where people can adapt really easily. This may seem like a small point to make but when I saw early previews of Super Mario Odyssey I was worried about it being overly clumpy. How wrong was I? Odyssey feels like a breeze to play through. Even the boss battles are setup up with the classic three hit to defeat format! There are no hidden agendas here in Super Mario Odyssey. Thank you Nintendo.
Perhaps you haven’t played a Mario game for years? Does this matter? Super Mario Odyssey feels familiar very early on in the game. Take the Cascade Kingdom for example. When I first met the Chain Chomps a huge smile erupted on my face. Why? The Chain Chomps have been popular in many other Mario games. It was this feeling of nostalgia that made me feel great. I wanted to continue playing Odyssey to find out what other nostalgia trips I could take.
What would a 3D game be without the 3D camera right? Well it’s kind of obvious that it would be a 2D game. At times the camera motions can seem like a minor hinderance. In my play-through there were times (on water levels especially) where the camera would get stuck on a wall mid-rotation. This was my only gripe too. It’s certainly worth noting but I don’t feel the camera rotation will adversely affect your experiences in Super Mario Odyssey overall. I’ve seen a few other reviewers mention this too but how have you found it?
Super Mario Odyssey is a gem of a video game no matter what your age, gaming ability or experience. It is packed with old and new surprises that will make you want to continue on your quest to save Princess Peach over and over. If you chose not to play Super Mario Odyssey then you are missing out on one of Nintendo’s greatest games of all time. Super Mario Odyssey is a masterpiece for many.
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