Release Date: October 27th, 2017
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Mario is back! That’s actually a little misleading since Mario really hasn’t gone anywhere. Somehow Nintendo has been able to capture magic in a bottle again and again with the main Mario series ever since the original NES title. Each subsequent game has been able to add in a new mechanic that has kept the series at the top of its game for each and every entry. Super Mario Odyssey continues this tradition by giving a new twist to his classic cap and giving us a return to the sandbox style worlds of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. There is a reason why every Mario title is cherished so dearly and Super Mario Odyssey lives up to every hope we could have had for it.
Story wise, not much has changed since the original title. Bowser has once again captured Princess Peach, just this time with the attempt to forcibly marry her. On Mario’s quest to save the love of his life, he meets a new friend, Cappy, whose sister was also taken by Bowser for his wedding plans. Turning into Mario’s trusted cap, Cappy adds new abilities to Mario’s classic moves, such as the ability to throw him at enemies and to posses them. That’s right, almost every enemy, bosses excluded, can be possessed. You can slip Cappy on classic enemies like a goomba or turtle, or even frogs to a T-Rex, and control them for new abilities in your quest. It really is a great new addition that keeps the game fresh as you search for all the hidden Moons, the game’s replacement for Stars.
Beyond the addition of Cappy is the return of sandbox style worlds. Many of the worlds are based of classic Mario themed worlds of old, but a few new takes are added in such as New Donk City which sees Mario interact with the real world, or as close to it as he ever has before. Of course you will have your epic boss fights in every world as you slowly make your way towards the inevitable showdown with Bowser. Each world is bigger than any we’ve seen in a Mario game before, filled to the brim with enough Moons to keep you busy for quite some time.
However, Moons are not the only collectibles this time around. Each world also features a shop where you can buy new souvenirs for your ship and plenty of brand new costumes for Mario to wear. You can deck him out in just his boxers if you really want, or you can put him in a costume based on the theme of the world. Every costume in the game can be unlocked at a certain point, but certain ones can be unlocked faster by using certain amiibo, such as the new wedding themed ones, or some classics like Luigi or Wario. It adds a nice customization twist to add an extra layer just for you depending on how you want your Mario to look while playing.
Best of all, Super Mario Odyssey has that extra layer of polish on it that makes it an instant classic. Everything has been handled with love and care to ensure the best Mario game Nintendo could give us. It mixes in just the right amount of challenge to satisfy newcomers and longtime Mario fans. As it all comes together, it plays flawlessly in handheld or docked just as you would expect for an amazing experience at home or on the go.
The Switch has already been off to an amazing start and Super Mario Odyssey is set to secure the system for an amazing holiday. Not only that, but Super Mario Odyssey is easily going to be a top contender for Game of the Year. It gives us everything we could have wanted from a new Mario game and more. It’s a game that even after you’ve grabbed every Moon you will still want to go back for more. It shows us once again why Super Mario is one of the best series you can possibly play for any generation.