The first thing that came to mind when I realized that I would review Super Mario Odyssey was how the hell I should stay objective? Just like many of the ‘older children’ reading this, I grew up with Mario and I hanged out with him and Luigi ever since they showed up (and I learned how to hold a controller). A couple of decades later, we have another 3D title with our favorite plumber, who debuts on the Nintendo Switch console with Odyssey.
Bowser Wants to Marry Peach!
The opening scene of the new game makes you remember why you were trying to defeat Bowser in all previous installments of the series. Why it’s our favorite Princess Peach! Despite the fact that the Bowser evidently likes her, he has not been a gentleman, what with capturing her dozens of times. He has made a step forward because he now wants to marry the princess! At the beginning of Odyssey, you see Mario trying to fight the villain and stop him, only to fail after Bowser knocks him off the airship.
It’s at this point when the game implements a new hero named Cappy. He is a creature that saw our plumber suffering a defeat, but he knows that Mario can turn the tide of the battle and win in the end. The little guy has his interest in defeating Bowser, considering that he also kidnapped poor Cappy’s sister, Tiara. The only logical thing to do was for the duo to team up, acquire a ship by the name of Odyssey and stop Bowser in his effort to set up the wedding.
It’s 3D Mario Once Again
It was Super Mario 64 that first added the 3D world to the equation and took the franchise to the next level. From then, we evolved to the point where we get the opportunity to play in a vast open-world that Odyssey features. You have a variety of kingdoms to explore, but the progression stays a bit linear. Each time you land your ship in one of the areas, you need to collect moons to advance to the next kingdom.
Fortunately, that is not a tricky task since moons are pretty much everywhere. Some of them will just lay there waiting for Mario to collect them, but for other, you need to defeat bosses or solve puzzles. The main change to the gameplay is that you don’t get automatically taken to your ship once you secure the required amount of moons. This time you just get a notification, but you are free to continue exploring the area as long as you like. The only time this pattern is broken is when there are some crucial story points to be explained.
A Fair Trade: Coins for Costumes
There are over 500 moons for you to find in Super Mario Odyssey. That is a handsome amount, but what is a Mario game without coins? Don’t worry; you will also collect them during your adventure. Aside from the regular gold ones, you can now find purple coins that bring special rewards. You can use them to purchase different costumes for Mario. Most of them are cosmetic upgrades, but you will occasionally need some to collect moons.
My New Best Friend Cappy
As for the gameplay, Mario can perform a variety of familiar moves, as well as a bunch of new ones. Making the use of the fact that you have a companion with you is the most prominent change to the gameplay mechanics. Cappy acts as the hat that Mario loves to wear. You can use it to inflict some damage to the opponents, as well as reach spots on the higher ground.
But the most exciting addition is the fact that you can use Cappy to possess people and animals, including your enemies. That plays a significant role in the game, considering that you will need to use possession to find a solution for some puzzles and defeat certain bosses. Besides that, it is an incredible boost of creativity and adds a lot of variety to the tasks you need to perform.
The Co-Op Mode
You will love every second you spend with Super Mario Odyssey. Each step our hero makes is incredibly fluid, as well as all other moves at your disposal. We already mentioned that you could use Cappy to reach higher places. Turning your hat into a trampoline can be done by holding the button you use for throwing. After that, you just jump and reach that moon you need for progress.
Now, are you ready for a big surprise? The game also offers a co-op mode for an even more exciting adventure! You can control Mario, while your friend can hop in as Cappy. The other player is also able of roaming freely throughout the world to help you defeat foes and collect coins.
The Beautiful In-Game World
I guess it has to do with the fact that the company that designed the console also developed the game. But Mario has always had a top-notch visual presentation, and the new Switch game is no different. The bright and colorful kingdoms are back once again, as well as some classic tunes that you will quickly recognize despite the fact that they had been remixed. After reaching a certain point during your adventure, you will also be able to choose the music that fits your mood.
Super Mario has an incredible legacy. That is why creating each new sequel requires proper care and effort from the developers. It’s nice to see that Nintendo isn’t taking this for granted. Super Mario Odyssey manages to strike an appropriate balance between keeping the familiar Mario concept and implementing the required freshness and new technology perks. We are used that the games starring the plumber are among the most played on every Nintendo’s console and we are sure that Switch will be no exception. The developers didn’t make a single mistake, which is why every fan of the series will be thrilled to embark upon another adventure to stop the evil Bowser.