November 29, 2019 at 2:49 PM #1150
Super Mario Odyssey
Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding
One of the best platform games that deserves to be the sequel of Super Mario 64
I loved Super Mario 64 and I always thought that a sequel to that game would have been a blessing from the gods. Long story short, it happened, I got hyped and got the Switch a year later.
So let’s get on with the review!
Skies above Peach’s castle, Mario and Bowser do a head to head combat on an airship but this time Bowser wears a wedding outfit and what seems to be a marriage in plan(see where this is coming?) By having Peach captive alongside a crown that looks lively. Bowser manages to get Mario out of the ship and crushes his hat leaving with an evil laugh…oh and Mario’s hat gets all torn down. Now that part is kinda edgy for a Mario plot.
Anyways, Mario lands on an unknown area only to find a strange ghost called Cappy who also has a thing for Bowser as he has kidnapped Cappy’s sister Tiara(the lively crown Peach recently wore.) Obviously, Bowser shouldn’t marry Princess Peach so the two decide to stop him by powering up Cappy’s ship called the Odyssey and start their journey.
The plot overall is nice and almost on par with Super Mario Galaxy. I say almost because as unimportant the plot is to the overall game, there are some flaws to it.
For one, Bowser is never seen until very late of the game. In the 3D Mario games(well ok except Sunshine but that’s more of a surprise), you always get to see him and face him time to time. He’s Bowser the main villain of the game and you don’t see him appear that much in the game. Sure, he wrecks havoc on areas that you visit but you don’t actually encounter him in those places.
And then the characters in the game don’t have enough backstories to reveal their pasts although some of them have their charms like the Sphynx for example. It would have been nice if they had the same feel like how Super Mario Galaxy was done.
But overall, a nice plot for a Mario game
Platform games always tend to have vibrant colors and solid animations to make them look stunning and this game is no exception. Words cannot express how gorgeous this game looks and I honestly can’t find anything that looks bland in this. Mario’s animations are also top notch and he has idle animations that he does depending on where he is. If he is in a cold area, he’ll freeze but if he’s in a hot place, he’ll sweat and that is something that is so deep that has ever happened in a Mario game.
Even the classic parts of the game are so authentic that they capture the nostalgia parts of Mario’s legacy enough to make you smile. And to top it all, the game runs at smooth 60 frames per second. Sure, there’s some mild hiccups but who cares? Its still polish looking.
Overall, a fantastic looking game
Before this game, Super Mario games always had Audio that just couldn’t be on par with the music coming from the Sonic games because Sonic games always experimented the music more frequently than Mario’s who was always stuck with tunes that are just small and catchy…that is until this once showed up and boy I love every single track of this game.
Every song in this game is catchy, pleasant and memorable to the point that Mario is now on par with Sonic interms of music. There are even songs that are based on Mario’s past games that are remixed well enough here.
I really love Jump Up Super Star as it is some of the best songs ever written for a Super Mario game. Overall, a game with great Music.
And now we head into the ultimate slice of the game..which is its gameplay. As of the title of the review states, it is the true sequel of Super Mario 64.
For those of you who haven’t played Super Mario 64, I’ll explain it as briefly as possible. Instead of going to a flag pole to complete a level in any 2-D Mario game, you get a Star by finding it on the area that you venture into. You move Mario freely in a 3-D environment by doing jumps and tricks that you can’t do in 2-D Mario games and using that, you get the Star thus completing the level which is more or less an objective. You will encounter some roadblocks occasionally that require you to collect more Stars or Shine Sprites inorder to make further progress.
Odyssey pretty much follows that except with some few things to note. For starters, Mario now has Cappy who can be thrown so that he can attack enemies, can be held so that Mario can jump on him for extra height while midair or can capture an enemy to control it on some occasions while using the enemy’s ability and then release the enemy. The good thing about this is that with some minor exceptions, there is no limit on how long the capture lasts so you can use them as long as you want.
Then comes the collectables and there are of three types. Coins, Regional Coins and Power Moons. Coins are this game’s life meter. You heard that correctly, there are no lives in this game. So everytime Mario’s health reaches zero or goes offscreen, you lose only 10 coins and then you respawn from the last point. You also use them to buy various things like Heart booster, Power Moons and various costumes which range from cheap to being quite costly.
Regional coins serve no purpose other than to purchase certain costumes that are required to get certain Power Moons.
And lastly, the Power Moons which are this game’s main collectable and are required to collect inorder to make progress. There come in very large quantities and are hidden somewhere in every kingdom. Every Moon has an objective that must be completed. Some are straightforward that you can easily see them, some are found by doing fetch quests which often require you to find a certain item and bring it back to either owner or to plant a seed into a flower pot, Some display an art that describes where the power moon is within the art, some are found in challenging levels, some are found through a course of minigames and of course, some are obtained by beating the boss which usually gives you three of them.
With this, you can tell that there is a lot of variety of how the power moons are obtained. Now this may seem scary due to how massive the levels in this game are, but there are things that compensate this.
The levels in this game are brilliantly designed in the sense that getting power moons can be done in a matter of minutes. So for example, if you start in a brand new kingdom, it won’t take you very long to get 20 power moons if you time is one hour per playtime because the game’s open ended level design naturally lets you to collect more than what you initially thought you can obtain.
If this somehow doesn’t work out, there is a parrot called Talkatoo and a Blue toad who give you hints on where the Power Moons lie. The Parrot tells you the objective of the Power Moon while the Blue Toad gives you the destination of where the Power Moon is. Navigation is also easier because you can always warp through checkpoints upon landing on them once.
I should also stress that if for some reason, you can’t seem to play the game right, there is the assist mode which helps to make it easier for you to make progress although it ruins the challenge of the game. There is no downside to using this only except that every power moon you collect, the assist mode label is seen.
Each Kingdom offers a ton of variety that makes it unique. The first kingdom for instance lets you capture an actual Dinosaur! There is one Kingdom that lets you ride a scooter as well! Its because of this that makes each kingdom fun and memorable. Everything about the game is simply fun that it does enough to satisfy both the core fans and new comers.
So with that said, why is it not a perfect score? As amazing of a game as it is, it sadly has some flaws.
For one thing, the game constantly advertises the use of motion controls. Now this would not be a problem if the game actually makes use of it and in truth some abilities do require them but they are not required for the overall experience of the game and are almost not required to 100% the game even and even so, only about 2% of them require it and that’s it. This just keeps being annoying everytime you start the game.
Then comes its replay value which is a mix bag. Once you get a certain amount of power moons and beat the main game once, you can still venture for more because new paths get unlocked which allows you to find for more power moons. This is a flaw because you have this open world to explore but you do a roadblock of it and force the player to complete the main game first. This kind of limits your freedom as only once you beat the main game, that’s when you get the true freedom the game has to offer.
Then you get to a certain point that you unlock everything that the game has to offer and after you complete it, if you decide to still 100% the game after that, the game sadly does not reward you enough in doing so. Some may argue that its the experience and the journey that counts more than the reward but considering that this game has so many things to collect, it kind of hurts that you almost get nothing out of it. Atleast in previous 3D games, there were less to collect despite giving a similar experience than this. I get where they are coming with this because you have this game worth of 60$ so you have to have content to justify that price and it does do that but then on the other hand, there is no incentive unless you enjoyed the game enough for what it offered you at first hand. I mean, I personally found some of these power moons cryptic and some are tedious to get but to each their own I guess.
And finally comes the difficulty. This is slightly easier than Galaxy 2 simply because there are no powerups with limits and despite health being almost scarce, its easy to obtain in shops and in hidden areas. The bosses are terribly easy even the final one at that since they don’t have much of challenge to them. And on top of this, even if you lose all the coins, the game doesn’t punish you enough making it all the more easy.
But darn it, it comes so close to being on par with Super Mario 64 and for that reason, its still a very solid platform game just like any other Super Mario game out there. The other issues I have with it are just nitpicks that aren’t even worth mentioning it here in this review.
It is a must have. It is worth every penny and it is in my opinion, the true sequel to Super Mario 64. The only real problem here is that it will take Nintendo another 20 more years to make a game like Super Mario Odyssey. But let’s hope that we get another 3D Mario game like this one now shall we?
Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding
Product Release: Super Mario Odyssey (EU, 10/27/17)
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