Developed by: Nintendo EPD Published by: Nintendo Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
Since the launch of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has had stellar first party titles releases for the Nintendo Switch all within the first year. These include titles brand new IPs like Arms, sequels like Splatoon 2 as well as updated ports such Pokkén Tournament DX to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. We can’t forget the incredible gorgeous open world adventure game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. With the year nearing the end, Nintendo still has one more to give us. Everybody’s favorite iconic plumber is back in has latest adventure, Super Mario Odyssey.
Super Mario Odyssey is a 3D platformer. You’ll play as Mario traveling on the ship known as the Odyssey to different unknown worlds called Kingdoms, which are explored in a open world like setting much like Super Mario 64. Before visiting other kingdoms, Mario meets a new friend named Cappy. Cappy will assist Mario on his adventures by adding a new gameplay element to Mario’s arsenal. Once again it’s Mario job to stop Bowser as he has kidnapped Princess Peach and has hired a group of five evil rabbits known as the Broodals. His plan to to marry Peach all while evading Mario from kingdom to kingdom.
The first time I played Super Mario Odyssey, it instantly took me back to the nostalgia feeling of playing Super Mario Bros 3 on the NES, Super Mario World on the SNES, and Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64 for the very first time. Those are some of the very best Mario adventure games. Playing those games gave me the feeling of excitement and joy while growing up; Super Mario Odyssey delivers on that nostalgia feeling I had years ago while keeping the series fresh while adding new gameplay mechanics. This makes for addictive gameplay experience you can’t get enough of as it always make you want to search for one more power moon, collect a few more special coins, or see if you can reach a platform off in the distance. Each kingdom is unique and different from one another with an incredible sense of wonder and exploration. You’ll never really find yourself bored with any of the kingdoms. With a focus on exploration, there is a lot to experience within the kingdoms. Never did I feel the kingdoms were too big or too small and thought they all felt perfectly balanced.
One of the element of gameplay I absolutely love about Super Mario Odyssey is the way they pay homage to the 8-bit era of Mario. In certain areas of the kingdoms you can find areas called “Flat Zones”. They are usually reached through green pipes on a flat surface of a wall or floor. They’ll instantly take you from 3D to 2D, 8-bit vintage Mario platforming. It’s a perfect way to mix old school gaming to new school gaming all in a couple of minutes. It’s so awesome to see Mario in different outfits you can purchase at shops and then wearing them as you enter a flat zone; the outfits transform from 3D to 8-bit 2D. With Cappy traveling along with you, Mario has the awesome unique ability to take over an enemy and acquire their skill set. This done by simply throwing Cappy at an enemy so that enemy is wearing Cappy while Mario is in full control. This helps big time in certain areas like the underwater sections where you can’t breathe for long unless you possess a Cheep Cheep; now all of a sudden you can breathe underwater and swim faster as a fish. For all the people that like to play on the go, Super Mario Odyssey looks and runs just as well as if you’re playing via TV mode. I didn’t experience any hiccups at all. I found the portability factor made it nice to hop on, find a few Power Moons, and discover special specific level coins for an hour. Then I could put the game in sleep mode and go on about about my day.
If you can only afford a certain amount of games a year, Super Mario Odyssey would easily be one of the first games I would recommend a Switch owner pick up. If you’ve been holding out on buying a Nintendo Switch, Super Mario Odyssey is worth every penny and is a justifiable reason to pick up the console. With a unique story for a series that been around for 30th years, Nintendo still find ways to keep Mario fresh with innovative gameplay ideas and immaculate level designs. The main story will take you anywhere from 15 to 20 hour to complete depending on how much time you spend finding collectibles. There are tons to collect, even after the main game is over. The only negative thing I have to say about the game is, at time, the game can feel a little too easy on normal play. Boss still only takes three hits to defeat with numerous way to take bosses down. Still, compared to what the rest of the game offers, this isn’t too concerning and can be overlooked. This is hands down Mario’s greatest adventures to date and it will be very interesting to see how Nintendo tops this one. If you don’t already own this game, do yourself a favor and go get it now as it’s one of the best games of 2017.