In Mario’s latest adventure, Bowser has done the unthinkable and kidnapped Princess Peach again! Rather than just holding her up in a castle, he plans to marry her, and Mario pursues Bowser across many kingdoms in an attempt to stop him. To help him along the way, Mario joins forces with Cappy, a ghost-like creature who possesses his hat and lends his abilities.
First I have to say that this game is pure joy and happiness! I had a smile on my face for every second I played it. If you don’t have a Switch, buy one for this game, and if you already own a Switch and don’t have this game, what are you waiting for?!?
Even just listening to the game’s main song “Jump Up, Super Star” fills me with happiness and is one of my favourite songs in any game.
Let’s talk about one of the best features of Super Mario Odyssey- Cappy himself! When Mario throws his hat at certain enemies and objects, he’s able to ‘capture’ them and take control. This is needed to solve problems, reach certain areas, and ultimately collect power moons.
There’s a lot of variety in what you can capture, with over 50 things you can take control of and each has their own abilities and uses. There’s your typical Mario enemies like Koopa Troopers, Goombas, and Lakitu that you can control.
It’s a very unusual feeling being able to play as these characters after decades of trying to stomp on their heads. Then there’s the more unique captures like zippers, manholes, and spark pylons.
My personal favourites were the Tropical Wriggler and Pokio, with both offering some fun and unique gameplay experiences. It’s always exciting taking control of something new and it just adds so much more fun to the game.
The many kingdoms that Mario travels to are all unique in their own way- from their colour palettes, their design, art styles, and to the characters/enemies you encounter. They range from cities, to forests, to even a kingdom made of food!
Setting foot on each kingdom for the first time always filled me with a sense of discovery, and I couldn’t wait to head off to see what the new kingdom had in store for me. Most of the kingdoms are generally small though.
There are some exceptions like the Sand Kingdom and Metro Kingdom, but their size didn’t matter because every world is cram-packed with things to do! I liked how each kingdom served a purpose in the story and they all related to Bowser’s plans for his wedding.
I know Mario games aren’t strong in the story department, but the fact that every kingdom felt relevant shows the thought put into each one.
You’ll find doors that lead to separate platforming sections which were all a joy to complete. Once you’ve finished these areas you’ll be rewarded with a power moon. Hidden within each one though is another power moon, meaning you’ll need to be thorough if you want to find them all.
These sections were never too difficult, but I think their was more emphasis on them just being fun. They do get more difficult much later on, but by then you will be ready.
There are also your usual yellow coins to collect, and they actually have more of a use this time around. You can use them to buy a health refill, power moons, and plenty of different costumes.
I particularly enjoyed buying the latest costume that fit the theme of the kingdom I was in. It made me feel just a little more part of that kingdom. Apart from yellow coins are the new purple coins.
There’s only a limited amount to find in each kingdom so they are hidden well and are used to buy more costumes, souvenirs and stickers to decorate your Odyssey ship. It’s always nice to be able to take a little piece of each kingdom with you as you journey along.
The goal of Super Mario Odyssey is to collect power moons to power up your ship known the the Odyssey. This allows Mario and Cappy to be able to journey to each subsequent kingdom and to continue to chase Bowser. There are an incredible amount of power moons to collect but you will find them fairly regularly.
I liked Nintendo’s strategy here, getting power moons at a faster rate means you get that satisfaction on a regular basis, which keeps the game fun and exciting at all times! There are many different ways to find these power moons- they can be hidden in the ground, rewarded to you at the end of a platforming section, or capturing an enemy to reach them!
It’s that constant variety of collecting each power moon that always keeps this game feeling fresh, as I don’t think it’s actually possible to get bored of it. My only criticism is the fact that you can simply buy power moons later in the game.
This didn’t make sense to me as Nintendo has always made their players earn the rewards. Sure, some people might want power moons quicker to unlock content that requires them, but there’s plenty out there to find anyway.
One of my favourite inclusions were the 2D sections that look like they were taken straight from the old 2D Mario games. Every time I saw those pixelated pipes, I got excited to jump into the 2D world! Sometimes they would lead to a power moon, or just simply lead you further into the kingdom.
It might not be the most challenging game out there, but this game’s main focus is exploration, discovery, and good old fashion fun! There are of course some very difficult moments (certain post-game challenges for example) but they are still few and far between.
It’s a game you can still relax and play without feeling much pressure and stress, but will still challenge you enough to give you that feeling of satisfaction. Luckily Mario’s movement is fluid and responsive, so you’re able to get Mario through any challenge thrown at him.
There’s so much originality and creativity packed into just one game. I can easily say that this is Mario’s best game ever! But not only is it Mario’s best game, Super Mario Odyssey is a celebration of the entire Mario series!
There are so many references to all of the main Mario games, and while this game cleverly uses nostalgia, at the same time Nintendo has created something brand new, refreshing and unique.
I feel like Nintendo are well and truly back in the game and their home console is no longer the ‘side console’ to Sony and Microsoft.
From a life long fan- thank you Nintendo! THANK YOU!!!