It’s more dynamic than the one in Super Mario 3D World (which mostly stuck to one angle), and it still gives you control. (The game opens up significantly after you complete the story.) There are coins and moons to collect, tucked away nooks to discover.
Three secret coins are hidden behind three stumps of wood right next to the cap store. One minute he’s a rampaging T-Rex, the next a limber frog, a stretchy centipede, a waddling Goomba, a Cheep Cheep fish – the cast is both long and hilarious. The kingdoms themselves are constructed, for the most part, according to the templates provided by past Mario levels and Star Wars planets.
This is Super Mario Odyssey, and there’s never been a game quite like it. In the snow kingdom you’ll need to toss your hat to clear away the piling snow, while in the city you can make your way up skyscrapers like Spider-man.
But while Super Mario 64 had a total of 120 stars, with each world hosting seven, Super Mario Odyssey many Moons.
Whereas throughout Sunshine, Mario was accompanied by a robotic backpack named FLUDD, Odyssey sees our hero use Cappy to defeat certain challenges. Then to top it all off there’s its score, which continues on from the precedent set by Super Mario Galaxy with its epic orchestral backing, complemented by the upbeat pop of its irresistibly catchy theme. There are even some built-in returns to Mario’s 2D heritage, daubing himself on a wall in pixel-art and bounding along as the rest of the world passes by.
The focus here, particularly when contrasted to Super Mario 3D World’s skill-based challenge, is of exploration. Though it adopts the open, non-linear level design of Mario 64 and adapts it into grandiose environments akin to Super Mario Galaxy, this is as fresh as the series has felt in years, and much like Breath of the Wild it’s evidence of Nintendo’s newfound confidence in its Switch era of games.
Nintendo has released Super Mario Odyssey update 1.0.1 for the Nintendo Switch (Amazon, 6.00) which includes several fixes.
A new Mario game needs some kind of new hook and while Mario can still double and triple jump, wall jump and so on, he’s also aided by Cappy. Keep checking back for more details on all the remaining power moons. A single level can have more than 50 Moons hiding in it. And these levels are big, each containing dozens of paths, secrets, and entrances to extra areas. Instead, the game is centered around a number of kingdoms that he spends a ton of time in. There are some large, fairly empty spaces to traverse – like expanses of desert or snowy fields – but they link together the tight, expertly-crafted platforming sections you’d expect from the series. Since debuting in 1981’s Donkey Kong, the Italian plumber has driven Karts, played tennis, raced against Sonic at the Olympics, been turned into paper, brawled against Samus Aran, shot hoops, and scored goals with Yoshi…
The Giant Bomb review was extremely thorough, touching on just about every aspect of the game.
While the octopus boss in Seaside Kingdom looks tough, it’s pretty easy to beat once you know how.
There are exactly enough world-specific coins in each world to buy all exclusive items, so prioritize buying costumes that help unlock moons..
Hello, Nintendo friends. I’m here to preach the gospel of split Joy-Con controllers.
Super Mario Odyssey is out now.
The game is also a great technical showpiece for the Switch. Shaking a Switch Pro Controller or both Joy-Cons docked into a grip is slightly better, but it has the potential to mess you up when you’re trying to fend off enemies while leaping from platform to platform. Rather than just defeating his foes, Mario can also become them. It’s intriguing and yet repetitive, cleverly structured but frustratingly constricting.
Super Mario Odyssey isn’t just some beefed-up version of Super Mario 64.