Review: Super Mario Odyssey

“Super Mario Odyssey” stars Mario as he travels across different worlds to save Princess Peach from Bowser and an unwanted marriage. Bowser kidnaps Peach and hops from planet to planet stealing items from these worlds to add to his wedding. “Odyssey” is a similar story that follows a familiar plotline from previous “Super Mario” games that will make fans feel right at home.

Gameplay is changed up in “Odyssey”, but not anything that makes it contrast to other “Super Mario” games. In “Odyssey”, Mario has the ability to possess other objects and enemies with the help of his friend Cappy, his new ally. Mario is able to throw Cappy in various ways; up and down, in a circular motion. and straight forward. This allows Mario to reach platforms that wouldn’t be obtainable with his regular move-set. Transforming Mario into a Goomba and stacking on top of other Goombas allows you to reach high altitudes, throwing your cap at a Bullet Bill will let you fly over long gaps, and throwing yourself at power cables in the city lets you zoom to other parts of the world in a matter of seconds.

Mario and Cappy are able to travel to each Kingdom by locating Power Moons, the new star system, and power up their ship, the Odyssey. Moons help to advance to the next kingdom of the game, requiring the player to complete narrative objectives in each world that leads to boss battles. Although some boss battles lacked creativity and felt lackluster, the ones that challenged the player to go out of their comfort zone instead of hopping on a boss’ head three times, was executed well. A favorite part of the game for me is the inclusion of 2-D levels in a 3-D game. When Mario finds the familiar green pipe and sinks into it, the entire screen converts into a 2-D old-school Mario platformer. What’s remarkable is how the music also changes to a retro 8-bit-styled tone when in these levels. The 2-D levels work well with the game that often times ends up solving a bigger puzzle and helping you acquire Power Moons.

Open world games have become the new rave in video game culture for the past few years. The sense of freedom and exploration that allows players to move at their own pace and take control of the game is what’s most attractive in the gaming market at the moment. “Odyssey” does a superb job in this category, allowing players to go off the traditional path and encourage them to explore the unknown of each world. Most collectables are simple enough to find, but it’s those that require a bit of thinking and work that are the most rewarding.

Each world in “Odyssey” provides a unique experience and environment that keeps the game fresh from beginning to end. From beach sceneries to a world full of recipe ingredients, there is a lot to see during their adventure to rescue Peach.

While there are around 900 Power Moons to collect in the entirety of “Odyssey”, purple coins, specific to each kingdom, are scattered throughout the game. Purple coins and gold coins allow Mario to purchase outfits and keepsakes that can be bought at every shop. Some areas in each world are locked off unless you dress up in that world’s outfit. This encourages players to find collectibles and the many secrets of “Odyssey”.  

Although Mario’s adventure may be quick to complete, with a phenomenal ending, rescuing Princess Peach from an unwanted wedding is just the beginning. After beating the main story line, more Power Moons are unlocked in each kingdom, allowing the player to go back and collect all Power Moons. This increases the number of hours players can dive into “Odyssey” and increases replayability.

“Super Mario Odyssey” is a new breath since “Super Mario 64” and “Sunshine” for the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo has once again captured the hearts of many fans with this new installment. With a great musical soundtrack, state-of-the-art graphics, and an enjoyable gameplay experience, you shouldn’t miss out on this game.

Leave a Reply