Super Mario Odyssey Review

Odyssey allows players to take control of a T-Rex and rampage through levels early on, setting the fun tone for the rest of the game.

This October marks the release of the first traditional 3-D Mario Brothers game since 2010 on Nintendo Switch. Super Mario Odyssey, as it is called, doesn’t fail to make the wait worth the while.

That is not to say that Super Mario 3D World, released in 2013, was a bad game, but many Nintendo fans, myself included, have been eagerly awaiting a new 3-D Mario that uses the style of gameplay created in Super Mario 64. 

The game has had a strong release, selling two million copies in only three days, according to Nintendo’s own financial reports. This is equally impressive when one considers that there are only seven million Switch consoles sold so far.

Odyssey is also averaging an impressive 97 out of 100 on the review aggregate website, Metacritic.

Super Mario Odyssey, like its predecessors, is a 3-D platformer where the goal is to collect “Power Moons” to open new levels where you can continue to collect until you reach the final level.

Power Moons can be earned through completing platforming challenges, defeating enemies, completing puzzles, helping various characters you find in the levels, as well as scouring the levels for the many hidden moons they contain.

Unlike previous Mario games, Mario is also able to throw his cap at various creatures to “capture” them (their pun, not mine). Each of the 50 plus things to possess, from classic Mario enemies to giant slabs of meat, all have their own move sets and mix up the gameplay.

Each level contains a unique adventure aided by the openness of the levels, and the sheer number of power moons there are to collect. The game has around 10 levels (more if you count smaller levels), and each level is vast and a treat to explore, densely packed with power moons and other collectibles and secrets to find.

Players will often deviate from the game’s main objectives because it is so easy to stumble upon another power moon to earn.  It is the kind of game that is easy to get lost in and just have fun.

As for the plot of the game, there is not much beyond Mario adventuring out to rescue Peach. But the game does not need much more. Rather than tell a story, the game gives you an experience as you travel across the globe to each level.

I feel like I experienced my own story with the game–a vacation spanning an entire globe, aided by how the game lets you choose your own path at many points and lets you explore the levels in any way you like.

In terms of the presentation, the game is delightful. Each level has its own visual and musical style, with no two levels really feeling alike, which I enjoyed.

As far as faults go, while not really a fault, more experienced players might find the game a bit too easy. I cleared the main story in under 15 hours. However, the game would take much longer to 100 percent clear, and some of the post-game content can be challenging.

On the other hand, this makes the game very accessible for anyone, new or experienced; inexperienced players can easily get through the main story, but experienced players can complete the game.

The game is also filled with references to older Mario games, making it a nostalgic experience for many.  I felt a lot like I did when I was first playing Mario 64 some years ago, which was nice.

Overall, Super Mario Odyssey is a game I can recommend to about anyone: it is a really fun, well-crafted experience that works as both an introduction to Mario games, and fanservice for longtime Mario fans.

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