Super Mario Odyssey Review
Mario is at again. After fighting Bowser for the gazillionth time (Error, not a number) while travelling on his ship – the Odyssey – he is stranded. The objective remains the same – save the princess before Bowser marries her. I won’t comment on the story, anno 2017 it may appear a little dated even for a simple hero vs. villain set up. Nonetheless, Super Mario Odyssey is the first full-fledged Mario game on Nintendo new console. The question is can the developer rise up to expectations in a world of Destiny 2, Assassin’s Creed and Unchartered?
Mario is not alone in his quest to stop Bowser and rescue Peach. Throughout the game he can rely on Cappy, a ghost hat (yes, that rights) that Mario can use to take on any and all obstacles. Together they must fetch the necessary number of Power Moons to travel to each kingdom. Travelling from kingdom to kingdom is easy enough, there is not central kingdom like in Super Mario 64. Instead a lot of effort has been made to make all the kingdoms open and accessible.
Strong visuals + immersive gameplay
The visuals of Super Mario Odyssey are nothing short of fantastic. I was constantly surprised by the diverse environments, attention to details and the graphical prowess of the Switch. I guess I was expecting an improvement over Super Mario 3D World, but there is so much more. In fact you need to play the game on large screen practically with your nose in it to not miss out on certain details. Each of the kingdoms has its own distinct visual style and gameplay. Mario even goes back to his roots in 2D mode.
The main campaign of Odyssey is not too long, but it has a nice heft to it. That said, there is plenty to after Mario’s mission is over. Super Mario Odyssey is an open-world and it pays off to revisit each of the kingdoms. In fact, the game was designed for a life after the main campaign. There is more than plenty to do such as collecting every last Power Moon – without it feeling like a chore. And though I know I have finished Mario’s mission, I enjoy the feeling that I can revisit the kingdoms whenever I want.
As good as Odyssey is it is not perfect – despite some of the scores from other reviewers. Sometimes the game can be too hard, with sections feeling distinctly out of place. The otherwise smooth controls can also hamper progress. The gesture controls are a major issue, they take a while to get use to. To perform them you will have to detach the Joy Cons and play like you would with the Wii. I don’t like this part, but I got used to it.
Super Mario Odyssey was put together with too much effort. Too much time was spent in getting the gameplay just right – while taking huge risks trying to be innovative. The open-game world looks just fantastic, I almost want to use the word gluttony in describing the exciting esthetics. Nintendo, it’s all too much. What would you guys do if people expect every game to be this good?
The price of a Switch
So, is Super Mario Odyssey worth the price of a Nintendo Switch. Well, I don’t think one game is ever worth the price of a console, but I must admit Odyssey comes close. I played Zelda: Breath of the Wild a lot, but I was unwilling to commit to yet another open-world game that would suck up my time. If you like both game franchises you probably already own a Switch. But I need to have a better idea of the games the Switch will receive.
It is exciting to hear that Doom will arrive soon with Wolfenstein 2 to follow next year. Yet, I already played both on the PC. The question is can the Nintendo Switch survive on a few classic franchises and a boat load of indie games? So far it has been doing better than the Wii U, but certainly the heydays of the GameCube have yet to be emulated. So far the Switch has had no Star Wars or triple A racing games. With so many Switches sold that may change, or the console will just be collecting dust. So where does that leave us? Well I might end up buying the Switch to play Skyrim (again) and for the hope that Metroid Prime 4 won’t suck. But if I do get one, Super Mario Odyssey will be purchased along with it!
Now I have to collect more moons before I have to hand this console back to its rightful owner.