Platform reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Also available on: –
Here we are, my very first game review on the Nintendo Switch! And what a better way to start my ”career” on the platform than playing with our favourite Super Mario! I do not think that there is any person in the world (even my mother..) who does not know this ”Italian” plumber who has been managing for over 30 years now to surpass insurmountable odds in order to defeat his main antagonist, the enormous reptile called Bowser, and save his beloved one, princess Peach. From what you can guess, the same plot formula has been applied on this one as well: In the beginning of the game, you are thrown out of an airship by Bowser, who wants to steal Princess Peach from you in order to marry her. Mario, accompanied by a magic cap, sets off on a very straightforward yet fun journey in order to defeat Bowser once again and reclaim Princess Peach. For a 10 year old kid, this plot is serviceable but for the rest of us is too simple to create any form of immersion.
Super Mario Odyssey incorporates cartoony graphics that are a true treat for the eyes. A lot of attention has been given by the developers to the main protagonists who by the way have very fluid animations. The expressions on their faces reveal their feelings accurately. Environments are extremely varied and expertly designed as well; you set foot on floating islands, a desert, a huge metropolis, a forest brimming with all sorts of flora, something that looks like ancient Atlantis and a lot of other places. I never was fed up by what i was seeing. Everything on these stages is created with passion and care, that suits the ”childish” and humorous character of the game. The only think i did no like was that NPCs are not crafted with such detail and i expected a bit attention to them.
The soundtrack of the game is varied. Depending on the stage you are in, there are fitting original tunes playing in the background that go along well with the pace. Sound effects are also pretty good with a humorous tone that add to the charm of the game. Characters do not actually speak (since they speak through body language), they just mumble some words in a ”fantastic language” like the one used in The Sims games.
The game in this department truly shines. Initially, any platformer, in order to be successful, requires responsive controls and in this case, Super Mario Odyssey passes this test with flying colours. In no time, you can make Mario run, jump, swim, throw his cap etc. Mario’s move set is surprisingly big and almost all his moves can be performed easily by using one or two buttons or even motion controls.
Talking about the cap, there is a very interesting mechanic involved here: Mario’s cap can be thrown to enemies in order to stun and afterwards assume direct control of them. You can pretty much transform into everything you see. Mario can become a rocket that covers long distances in the air, a tank that shoot at enemies and objects, a caterpillar that stretches itself and the list goes on and on.
In every stage, there are shops, where Mario can use in-game currency in order to purchase new costumes and gain access to secret areas. Furthermore, there are a ton of cosmetic items to purchase again with in game currency, which is atrue gift for completionists.
The purpose of each stage is to find power moons, a form of fuel for your spaceship. When you find a certain amount of power moons in one stage, you replenish your fuel tanks and you can travel to other kingdoms.
Here, i should also mention the 2D sections of the game. By entering some pipes, the game shifts perspective from 3D to 2D, and the graphics and sound design become that of the 8 bit era. This will undoubtedly strike a chord of nostalgia and it will surely remind you of the Super Mario games you played when you were young. However, i wish they were a bit more complex ”gameplay-wise” than just jump on enemies and collect coins.
Regarding the gameplay, there are only 3 things i did not like; 1st, the game is extremely easy (apart from some platform sections that require reflexes and bit of thinking), 2nd most bosses can be exterminated in 3 hits resulting in non challenging encounters and 3rd, i wish there was a bit more freedom in flying the spaceship around the map, instead of just go from point A to point B.
Value for Money:…..7
Super Mario Odyssey is a 1st party game and (obviously) a console exclusive, but this does not justify the 60 Euros price tag. Surely there are a ton of unlockables and an abundance of content for Mario enthusiasts, but let’s be clear; for all other more experienced gamers there is nothing innovative here or something we have not seen before. Nintendo did not take risks on this one, resulting in fun but very simple game. The fact that it does not require that much of thinking makes it ideal for playing on-the- go or prior to going to sleep.