Mario fans have been waiting a long time for another sandbox Mario adventure. While Mario Galaxy and Mario 3D world are fantastic games there is something to be said for playing a non-linear Mario game. Being able to choose your own path in each Kingdom that you explore provides a sense of excitement not capable in linear games. Do you choose to go straight to the objective or do you wander off to explore? Odyssey doesn’t shy away from being imaginative in its world designs but is it a true successor to Mario 64 or does it fall short of its delivery?
Mario is once again out to save Princess Peach from Bowser. This time Bowser is planning to marry her and the storyline hook is surprisingly engaging. Mario eventually stumbles upon Cappy, a hat that has a mind and eyes of its own. While in previous Mario games the game might be centred around a certain costume or weapon, such as the cat costume in Mario 3D world or FLUDD in Mario Sunshine, in Odyssey there are dozens of characters that you can control and play with as Cappy, who has the power to possess certain creatures and “objects” when thrown at. This is one of the big appeals of Odyssey and it doesn’t disappoint. While we won’t spoil any of the unique costumes not yet seen in any Odyssey trailers, it’s somewhat satisfying to be able to swim around as a Cheep-Cheeps, walk around as a Goomba or throw hammers as a Hammer Bro. Cappy can also be thrown around to grab coins or even jumped on to reach a ledge that might seem too far out of reach.
As you work with Cappy to rescue peach you fly around in the Odyssey, the name of the ship that Mario flies around in, and collect power moons to power up the ship and fly to the next Kingdom. There are hundreds upon hundreds of power moons to find and they can be hidden in the unlikeliest of places. You will find moments in the game where you are supposed to get to your destination but get distracted on the way as you see a power moon out of the corner of your eye. It is so satisfying to be able to reach that power moon using the environment around you to get it.
As is typical for gamers we tend to like to nitpick a game for the sake of nitpicking. Odyssey is so perfect in its execution though that it wouldn’t do the game justice to bring up any aspects of the game that might be considered a hindrance. Some might complain that there isn’t a hub world but that doesn’t really take away from the experience of the game and the Odyssey acts as a great gateway between Kingdoms. Watching Mario press up to his face against the glass window as he sees the Kingdoms below had me anxiously awaiting the next Kingdom, and boy were those Kingdoms creative.
Mario games always have the most creative worlds seen in any platforming game but Odyssey went over the top. You’ll be exploring a jungle populated by tropical wrigglers and a desert with an upside-down pyramid but by far the star of the Kingdoms is New Donk City. This Kingdom is supposed to emulate New York City with Taxi’s speeding around, lamp posts, fire hydrants, skyscrapers galore and humans! It is a bit odd to see Mario stand beside human since Mario himself is supposedly a human (albeit from the Mushroom Kingdom) but these are the types of quirks that make the Kingdoms fun to explore.
Super Mario Odyssey had me grinning from ear to ear nearly the entire game. It was a joy to play and another classic in the already classic filled Super Mario lineup. This was the true sequel to Super Mario 64 that Mario fans have been waiting for and a game that you will surely be coming back to again and again. Odyssey’s dazzling new worlds, quirky and fun possession powers and engaging storyline are reason enough to give it a perfect score but it does so much more. This is a must-have for switch owners and one of the best 3D Mario platform games ever created.
Guest reviewed by Theodore Nanos
Super Mario Odyssey
- Each world is beautifully crafted and fun to explore
- The added mechanic of the possession power adds a fun layer to the game
- The storyline is surprisingly engaging for a Mario game
- Mario controls great with tons of new movesets
- The soundtrack is incredible