Super Mario Odyssey is the latest in a long line of Mario games that takes the series back to the 3-D sand box days of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. I got to say before we get started I was a little disappointed with this one especially upon completion, and that really stung because I grew up on Mario games so I was very hyped for this one. As always no game is without its flaws so let’s get into it.
Odyssey uses the tried and true Mario plot of Bowser kidnapped Princess Peach and you got to go rescue her, only this time he’s trying to force her to marry him, and Mario’s got a talking hat with eyes. It sounds weird on paper but it makes for an interesting enough premise.
Now its time to talk game-play which nearly perfects the Mario formula. Emphasis on the nearly. The platforming, level design, mini-games, boss fights, and most of the characters are really well done. No my biggest gripe is the controls, no it’s not the motion controls that everyone’s been complaining about, (I thought the motion controls were really well done) the actual movement itself is where my problem lies. the movement feels way too slippery to make the precision jumps that it expects you to which often led to me dying over and over again. Some would argue that it’s just the momentum and that I just need to get good, to which my response is that I’ve played a ton of games (including most previous Mario games) with similar mechanics and never had this issue, hell Mario 64 had better momentum. Now for the good of the game-play, the new possession mechanic. Mario can now use his hat to possess various creatures and objects found throughout the kingdoms leading to some truly clever puzzles.
Before we get to the good I’d like to cover a bit more of the issues I had with this game. To start off I found the new bosses, The Broodals to be very generic and forgettable. While the actual mechanics of fighting them are fun and well designed It’s the characters themselves that just felt forgettable. Another issue I had was that the ending felt like it had zero payoff. Sure there was a cool sequence which I won’t spoil but other than that the final boss felt very been there done that, and the story ended the same exact way that Mario’s been ending for decades, peach gets rescued Bowser’s defeated and you get absolutely squat. It just feels like we should have moved past this by now. You also think Nintendo would move past the damsel in distress story by now but I guess not.
As for the good I think I just about covered it in the game-play section.
Super Mario Odyssey is a joy to play albeit one that feels very hashed out. For cool, unique moment, there’s always two more that feel very played out which drag the game from being the masterpiece every other site is making it out to be. I Highly enjoyed my time with Odyssey I just think it could have been better.
I rate Super Mario Odyssey an
B- or 8.0
UPDATE: I feel like I may have jumped the gun with the review and as you can tell above felt very conflicted about it. So I went back and played through it again to see exactly what everyone else liked about it and I enjoyed it much more the second time. I realized the game wasn’t trying to reinvent the Mario formula, it didn’t have. The game largely succeeds because it let’s you play your way and forces you to explore a densely packed world littered with secrets. I am going to rerate Odyssey an A or 9.6.