[Review] Super Mario Odyssey – Nintendo Switch

Super Mario Odyssey
Nintendo Switch

Developed By : Nintendo
Published By : Nintendo
Category : Action, Platformer
Release Date : Oct 27, 2017

It’s been half a year since our favorite plumber has made his solo-story debut on Nintendo’s newest console. Ever since Super Mario 64, Mario’s solo games have been hailed as amazing games each and every time. Sunshine let us play with paint, Galaxy brought us out of this world. Now, Super Mario Odyssey on the Switch sends us on yet another quest, with a companion at our side. None other than…Mario’s hat?

Bowser Strikes Again

As per usual, Mario’s adventure begins when his spike-shelled nemesis captures Princess Peach, intent on forcing her into a wedding because what else screams true love? With the help of his rabbit-like friends the Broodals, Bowser whisks his love away on his airship, with Mario following right behind. Before the wedding can happen though, Bowser stops off at the Cap Kingdom to kidnap Tiara because Peach needs to look the part. Mario gets dumped in the Cap Kingdom and his trusty red hat gets ruined. The world around him is filled with sentient hats, and he talks to one named Cappy to learn that Tiara was his sister. They move on to the next world, Cascade Kingdom, and find a broken down Odyssey ship that is sorely in need of Power Moons. Once they fix it up, the duo set out to go save Tiara and Peach, and ultimately stopping yet another of Bowser’s attempts to lay claim to Peach.

New Hat, New Moves

All the good mechanics are back from previous games. You can still triple jump, wall jump and climb poles. However, you get some cool new moves to try out as well. They’re really just ways of incorporating Cappy into the old moves, but they’re still a lot of fun. For starters, you can throw Cappy, to do a number of things. He can pick up coins, he can hold in place and act as a springboard for a jump. The coolest thing Cappy can do though is “capture” many things in the world. This let’s Mario gain the abilities of whatever creature or object it is because in essence, Mario becomes what has been captured. Piranhas let you swim without worry about how much breath you have, frogs let you jump crazy high up in the air. You can even find some dinosaurs that will let you break through big chunks of levels.

Cappy is also your main source of attacking enemies, most of which can be captured anyways. Use him to flip switches to gain access to new areas, and there’s even some platforming challenges and hidden secrets that you can do, but only if you use Cappy. All of these things lead into the one thing you’ll constantly be in search of while you play this game.

Power Moons

SM64 had Power Stars, Sunshine had Shine Sprites. Odyssey has you questing for Power Moons. When you first find the Odyssey ship, it needs a certain amount of these before it can be restored to a functional capacity. After this, to be able to travel to further worlds you’ll need to reach a new level of Moons collected.

The game’s story will get you a decent amount of these moons on your own, but it won’t be enough to meet the goal of travelling to a new world. There will be a few boss fights to deal with per world, and each of these fights nets you a multi-moon which is three in one. But, once you hit the end of the road and need to go on to another kingdom, it’s gonna be time to stick your nose to the ground and go hunting.

You’ll be able to find plenty on your own, and generally if you can see the moon it’ll be easy to determine what exactly you must do to reach it. If you run into trouble finding them, there’s a few options you have. Captain Toad makes an appearance in each Kingdom, and you can pay him a few coins to learn of a Moon location. There’s also Talkatoo, a rhyming, hint dropping bird that will point you in the direction of some Moons as well.

Plenty To Do

If you’re the person to go after 100% of a games items, there will be plenty to do in Super Mario Odyssey. As I mentioned above, just like previous games you won’t need every Power Moon to beat the story. You’ll have an in-game brochure that updates with each world you visit. On this, you can find details of some interesting looking places to visit, and a list of all the Power Moons you’ve collected. Unfortunately this won’t give you any clues to the ones you haven’t found, but what it does tell you are how many are available in each respective Kingdom. So you won’t know where to get them but you’ll at least know how many you’ve got left.

There’s the usual coins to collect, which can be spent in the shops on each world to buy either outfits for Mario, or items to deck out the cabin of your Odyssey ship. In addition to the coins, each world has it’s own specific form of currency. Your gold coins stay with you permanently, but these special ones can only be spent in the world you found them on.

Final Thoughts

Naturally, this is an amazing game. It’s a lot of fun and Cappy is a great addition to the franchise. It would have been nice to see him get one or two more moves outside of the capture that were specific just to him, but the way he can extend Mario’s current move base is a lot of fun.

While Odyssey supports all play modes, I actually preferred to play this one with the joy-cons loose. Some of Cappy’s moves can be further tweaked by flicking one of the joy-cons, moving him in a circle around Mario. This makes it easy to solve small puzzles or wipe out multiple enemies if you find yourself surrounded. You can still perform the same move with the joy-cons docked on either the Switch itself or the joy-con controller, but it is much easier using the motion flick.

The story itself is quite enjoyable, and it brings you to some pretty beautiful worlds with…very unique enemies to say the least. You’ll see some familiar ones, but a lot of new ones. Boss fights are always fun, even when they’re stressful. And my absolute favorite part of the game are these really short areas where you essentially get morphed into a wall for a 2-D platforming section. It’s a really cool throw back to the old days, and if you have any alternate outfits for Mario, they stay on him and become 8-bit.

Overall, Odyssey is a great and welcome addition to the Super Mario franchise that will leave you with loads of fun and hours on hours of gameplay. There’s even a 2-player mode where one person controls Mario while the other controls Cappy that just increases the enjoyability

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