Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)
Super Mario Odyssey is not like either of the Galaxy games and that's a good thing. While it is a return to the more open nature of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, it finally fixes things that should have been tackled a long time ago. What am I talking about? If you collect a power moon in Super Mario Odyssey, you don't get thrown out of the world; instead you can continue straight away and go wherever you please. The drastic increase in power moons - more than 800 are in the game as opposed to the 120 power stars/shine sprites in previous titles - also means that there are a lot more points of interest than before. Something important could be anywhere. There are fun minigames and challenges all over the place.
What Super Mario Odyssey does so well is rewarding the player. There's not much playtime that feels wasted because the density of meaningful content is so big. The only real letdown is 100% completion because it requires too much money. This could have been avoided by handing out more triple moons for the more difficult objectives in order to reach 999 moons without having to buy so many duplicates. Similarly, the prices of the costumes didn't need to be so high. Furthermore, on additional playthroughs it doesn't happen on its own that you do enough jumps and attacks to fulfill all in-game achievements, so that's quite annoying too.
I liked the tiered hint system. You can ask a parrot for the names of missing moons or you can pay 50 coins to get a more precise hint with the location being displayed on the map. Alternatively, you can scan any amiibo to save the 50 coins and get the same hint after a short mandatory waiting period.
I find it rather tough to write in-depth reviews about amazing games because I tend to focus on the negatives in the body of the review as they have to be explained while saying "this is awesome and that is superb" doesn't seem to have much value for the reader. The outstanding feat of Super Mario Odyssey is that it successfully pulls off what Donkey Kong 64 failed at; the latter got really repetitive with its objectives, but Odyssey manages to keep things fresh and motivating despite its huge number of tasks to complete. A big part in that is that Odyssey gets actual platforming sections involved, unlike DK64 which had only half-baked ones.
Super Mario Odyssey may not be groundbreaking, but its level of execution is insanely high. In an age where 3D platformers are rare, this is a game that needs to be treasured.
|Controls||10||About the only troublesome moments are when the player
is without a double-jump ability, but that's a general 3D problem.
|Gameplay||Collectathon in more than a dozen varied worlds with
a lot of diversity in exploring and platforming.
|Story||The tale of Bowser intending to marry Peach is told
in a humorous manner.
|Single-player||It never ceases to amaze how much stuff is packed into
each of the game's worlds.
|Multiplayer||Actually haven't played this one, but it being an extension
of Super Mario Galaxy's multiplayer justifies the grade.
|Graphics||Certain worlds are more taxing on the hardware and it
shows with notable framerate drops. Excellent visual design.
|Sound||Each track fits the world it plays in. Not as much orchestrated
music as in SMG, but this gives Odyssey its own identity.
|Value||The basic storyline can be completed in 8-10 hours,
but there's enough to do for over 30 hours.
|Replay Value||This kind of game allows you to adjust the order of what you do.
Negative: Costumes and achievements require grinding.
|Score||9||Super Mario Odyssey is a collectathon 3D platformer that
feels fast-paced despite the huge volume of things to do.