Review: Super Mario Odyssey

 
 

 

Nintendo’s golden boy, Mario, returns in Super Mario Odyssey for another adventure. A top billing for the Nintendo Switch, Odyssey is easily one of the greatest Mario games yet.

A 3D platformer, the game sees Mario tasked once again with rescuing Princess Peach from the evil Bowser. As with other Mario titles, Odyssey continues to push the boundaries, offering a fresh take on a beloved series with many new features.

Developer: Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development

Publisher: Nintendo

Platform: Nintendo Switch (Reviewed)

Release Date: 27th October 2017

 

One major shake-up comes in the form of Mario’s new friend: Cappy. When Mario throws this cap companion, he has the ability to embody whatever it lands on. This ranges from traditional enemies such as bullet bills, chain chomps, and goombas, to the likes of a frog, a tree, and even a dinosaur.  This bizarre ability often leads to hilarious and unexpected results.

The game also sees a departure from Mario’s home turf of the Mushroom Kingdom. Players traverse a colourful open world, visiting woodlands, urban areas, and deserts while battling bosses and collecting power moons. No two worlds are alike, with features such as crystal-clear waters, lush forests and sprawling sands being perfectly designed. The changing style of the levels keeps the game fresh and unexpected, while hidden secrets and collectables dotted throughout ensure the game is never truly over.

“As with other Mario titles, Odyssey continues to push the boundaries, offering a fresh take on a beloved series with many new features.”

 

Along with new locations, Mario even has the option to depart away from his renowned red and blue plumber’s garb, opting instead for an endless variety of new outfits including a pirate outfit, a business suit, and pilot costume.

Easter eggs from classic Mario titles can also be found throughout the game, including 8 bit-pipes which lead to 2D platform sections. This fits seamlessly in with the bizarreness of the game. Also featured are throwbacks to Mario’s earlier incarnations, such as posters and hidden character pixel art.    

“No two worlds are alike with features such as crystal clear waters, lush forests and sprawling sands being perfectly evoked.”

The game also makes great use of all the various Switch configurations, though it is the Joy-Cons which really provide the most satisfying experience.

Despite all of these changes, the one much-needed update that the game lacks is the plot. In a game packed with so much innovation, it is disappointing to see Mario tasked with rescuing Princess Peach. This damsel in distress plotline has long grown old, and is one blip in an otherwise thrilling game.

Packed with surprises at every turn, Super Mario Odyssey is a captivating adventure and a must-have for any Switch owners.

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