Super Mario Odyssey Review: Read Before You Buy

Super Mario Odyssey Review

It’s hard to avoid the entertainment titan that is Mario. Even those with no affinity for gaming whatsoever are likely to recognize the familiar red plumber. Since his creation Mario’s stature has gone far past that of a video game character, sailing to heights no one ever dreamed when Super Mario Bros. released in 1985. 

About Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey is an action platformer developed and published by Nintendo, and released for the Switch on October 27 of 2017. Upon its release it was showered with praise from fans and critics alike, with many citing it as the best Mario game ever made. As of April 26, 2018, the game has sold over ten million copies and gotten 9 and 10/10 scores from all of the twenty-one reviewers listen on VG247.

Super Mario Odyssey: Story

As with most Mario games, the story adheres to the KISS rule (Keep It Simple, Stupid). Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach and is bent on forcing her to marry him, and Mario has to keep that from happening. To accomplish this he must follow Bowser all over the world, visiting new and strange lands with dangers to be overcome and discoveries to be made. It’s simple, it’s unobtrusive, and there’s nothing forcing you to move it along. If you so desire you can bypass it entirely, though you will reach a point where you have to go back and finish the plot-based challenges.

Super Mario Odyssey: Gameplay

As fantastic as the visuals are, which I’ll cover in a later section, the gameplay is as close to perfect as I’ve seen. Mario controls like a dream, jumping, running, and rolling with a perfect mix of weight and airiness. The player is free to explore the map in any way they choose, and there is often more than one way to reach each power moon. In addition to the base controls we’ve come to know and love, Mario’s newest companion adds some spice to the mix. Cappy, a sentient hat, gives Mario several new abilities, each of which mixes up the gameplay without damaging that classic mario vibe. Mario can throw his hat to hit enemies, use it as a trampoline, or use it to capture enemies. This latter mechanic is one of the places the game shines brightest. When mario captures an enemy, he essentially takes them over and gains their abilities, something you shouldn’t think about too deeply. Each enemy gives Mario a fun and unique ability that is suited to the area, such as not slipping on ice or being able to throw fireballs. Or you can be a T-rex.

Super Mario Odyssey: Multiplayer

In multiplayer mode you can play with a friend, but one friend only. They control the sentient hat named Cappy, Mario’s newest companion and an integral part of the Super Mario Odyssey experience. The two of you can play simultaneously, working together to beat challenges and accomplish supreme acts of acrobatics. Or, if you’re so inclined, you can try to kill each other.

Super Mario Odyssey: Quest/Mission System

The power stars Mario fans have spent decades collecting have been confined to the post-game content, now replaced with power moons. Aside from this fact, the game’s progression is essentially the same. When you collect enough moons, you can advance to the next area. You are also free to explore at your leisure, since collecting a moon no longer sends you back to a predetermined start area. That being said, once you’ve unlocked every area you’re only about halfway done. If my memory serves me correctly there are about eight hundred moons, and you only need roughly five hundred to unlock every map. There are also special coins in each area that unlock collectables and costumes. The collectables are displayed aboard Mario’s new ship, the Odyssey, and the dozens of costumes are able to be worn anytime, any place. Whether you want Mario to be an astronaut or a cave man is up to you, so long as you find the right coins.

Super Mario Odyssey: Graphics

Mario has never looked better. Not only is there a new level of detail in the models, but the colors and composition pop like never before. Every world has had a great deal of thought and care put into how it looks and how the player maneuvers through it. The races you find in each kingdom are fun and memorable, and with so many moons packed into every corner of every map, the world is brimming with life.

Super Mario Odyssey: Price

As with most Switch games, Super Mario Odyssey retails at $60, though this comes with all present and future DLC included. This includes Luigi’s Balloon world, where players around the world hide coin-filled balloons for each other to find, and over a dozen new costumes for Mario to wear on his travels.

Super Mario Odyssey: Final Verdict

Super Mario Odyssey is a 9/10, without a doubt. Everything about it is just shy of perfect. The music is memorable, the gameplay smooth, fun, and rewarding, and the visuals are in a league of their own. But its greatest achievement is something less tangible, something unquantifiable yet nevertheless important. That ethereal quality of fun.

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Eve has been a gamer ever since she got her first PC back in the year of 2000 and loves a good strategy game on a rainy day.
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: RTS
Currently Playing: Xcom 2
Top 3 Favorite Games:Prison Architect, Tropico 5, Sid Meier's Civilization V