We’re all super stars!
For me personally, there are two big marquee games that defined the Nintendo Switch’s explosive entrance onto the scene this year. First was a right-straight with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, followed by an uppercut later with Super Mario Odyssey. Both of these games brought about this classic sense of school yard gossip and sharing. Did you know you can do this? Have you tried that? Did you see so-and-so?
One of my favorite aspects was the picture sharing feature that spread everywhere with the game’s launch. Everything from funny memes, references to other games, even pictures displaying an existential dread of everyday living allowed everyone to experience the game vicariously through others. In fact, here on Destructoid, the pictures were so ubiquitous that the mods decided to put their foot down a bit when it came to spoilers. Still, there’s something special about getting a nearly naked Mario to sit next to a grown-ass man in a business suit, then coming to the realization that Mario is the one who has figured out his life.
So what did the community think of Super Mario Odyssey? I love meme’ing it up but many community members had more complex opinions on what Odyssey did right and wrong. To be sure, expect some amount of spoilers ahead, so read on only if you don’t mind!
GoofierBrute puts this thing neck and neck with Breath of the Wild:
It’s not a perfect game, and while it’ll never replace Super Galaxy 1 and World as my favorite Mario games, it’s easily in the top five. The music is fantastic, the non-linearity to each kingdom is great, the music is fantastic, it strikes a nice balance with its nostalgia, New Donk City is amazing, and oh my God the music! Not to knock 3D Land or 3D World (both are great) but I haven’t felt this way about a Mario game since Galaxy, and if Breath of the Wild hadn’t come out earlier this year, I’d proudly declare it the best Switch game.
Mike Sounders makes a grave accusation:
It’s the best Switch game. No question here. Everything is very refined, it’s extremely hard to find an issue that may divide the player base experience over other than MAYBE the art direction and overexposure of New Donk along with the challenge levels, but that’s just nitpicking for the most part. Cappy brings a level of mobility Mario hasn’t had since Sunshine with Fludd. The capture mechanic is fun, the applications of it are great, although there are a couple I wish they explored just a bit more.
But ya. Best Switch game hands down.
Also Bowser being a total weeb is great.
dephoenix might still be riding high:
Maybe I’m still just riding the hype train a little, but it’s currently my favorite Mario game. I love all the Kingdoms, and the way they’re designed. I love the music, the atmosphere, the graphics. It’s just really well done. The best way I’ve found to describe it to my friends is it’s a game that is worth buying a Switch for.
FakePlasticTree requires a movie comparison to aptly describe his love:
Best Mario game I’ve played period. No other Mario game has provided so many fun little mechanics to play around with that has kept me hooked enough to wanting to find all the collectibles. Mario World is special to me and 64 was fun. Odyssey is great, it is whimsical, bright and just a generally good romp. It is the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, all the way down to the part where you play around inside other people’s head. Well, that is not exactly what happens in the film, but you know like whatever!
Rasori makes an easy, no contest comparison:
Not only one of the best Mario games to date, but one of the best games of 2017. In an era full of loot boxes and micro-transactions, we all needed a game like this. A game you can sit down and play from start to finish, with end game content right after you’re done, and all optional costumes are unlockable within the game without the need for day one, or post game dlc.
I really hope they make a sequel soon like they did with Mario Galaxy, because there’s still so much to do in this world, and I’m excited to see what they can come up with.
Guerilla would totally Mario again:
It’s masterful, frankly. Super Mario Odyssey is the concept of ‘joy’ made into a video game. The controls are pitch perfect, the music is excellent, it’s utterly gorgeous and packed with content. There are new ideas in every Kingdom, new mechanics, new captures, new secrets. Nintendo somehow made it seem utterly effortless.
There’s so many incredible little ‘moments’ in this game, I could sit here all day listing them off. I’ll just drop a few here. The Mushroom Kingdom. Capturing Bowser. The New Donk City Festival. Yoshi. The many nods to Mario 64, especially in the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario getting friendzoned. That pirate costume…
10/10. Would Mario again.
Cedi really reflects on the fun:
Odyssey has become my personal favorite Mario game. Maybe I’m still hyped on the recency of it, but reflecting on everything I love in a good collectathon, it delivers more on those things than any other such game I’ve played. Exploration and experimentation is constantly rewarded. The control is great and your moveset gives you tons of tools to mix and match for parkour shenanigans (Also, Mario has a better spindash than modern 3D Sonic. Think about that). The costumes are delightful. The environments and soundtrack are beautiful. It’s constantly fun to roam around in, which is the biggest strength a game premised on roaming around could ask for!
I’m at over 700 moons and the only things I dread in 100% completing this game are the obligatory coin grind and a handful of frustrating repetition-based minigames, which I may skip because they’re so insignificant. Polish that stuff out and I think you have a nearly perfect formula for a Mario game!
TurboJasper is loving this brave new world of Nintendo:
I have been really enjoying the latest releases from Nintendo. They seemed, for a while, to have settled into a basic formula with their bigger franchises:
-Zelda is triforce and temples and bosses with glowy segments you hit three times
-Mario is the run and jump with the goombas and ah, fuck it. You guys make the games now, we’re over it
-Metroid. Well…less said the better
But recently it seems that there have been longterm fans within the development process or maybe Nintendo has just been getting a bit more brave and creative recently? Hard to tell, but regardless, the love that drips from every inch of Mario Odyssey is so overtly apparent. It is the first game in a long time that has really provoked an enthusiastic response from me. I was yelling at my screen and getting all excited for Bowser in a wedding suit.
The ending where peach just up and abandons Bowser and Mario on the moon? I was bouncing all over the place, reeling from what a god damn power move that is.
Odyssey really crammed itself full of little nods to forgotten titles and interesting side corners to plumb but i believe that is indicative of a fantastic little wave where the inmates are running the Asylum. Its almost as if the games are being developed under the guise of what people think the games represented to them in their youth. A great example of this was Sonic Mania, one of the best Sonic games since the second. That game just plays like what Sonic felt like in my memories. Playing those games proves i remembered incorrectly, but thats what makes it so good. these games play like the nostalgia i feel.
Seymour has 640 power moons as a testament to his enjoyment:
I didn’t think the more open structure was made to fit a game like Odyssey as well as a game like Breath of the Wild. When it comes to 3D Mario, I expect concise, objective-based platforming rather than what amounts to essentially Banjo Kazooie.
Instead of these hubs/kingdoms sometimes changing drastically to fit one of several significant objectives, Odyssey relies more on the player to create their own fun and adventure within larger biomes. As I’ve said, that freedom was welcomed with Zelda, but I felt it diluted the Mario experience I’ve come to love.
Around 90% of the more satisfying platforming sections were almost always completely segmented away from the kingdoms you’d use to access them. Much like the challenge rooms in Galaxy, but Galaxy’s hubs generally felt far more cohesive given they often sported a lot of what was on offer for players wanting a healthy challenge.
Hmm. I wouldn’t have thought I would have that many negative things to preach about Odyssey!
With all that said, I still adore the game. Taking into account the sidesteps and missteps, coming off of Mario Galaxy 1/2, it’s merely a little way’s back from what were triple ‘S’ tier experiences for me. Odyssey does have high quality level designs, a plethora of replayability, and it knew how to use such an expansive mechanic as the ‘capture’ ability surprisingly well. The game’s two major climaxes are amongst Mario’s best moments.
Currently sitting at 640 Moons and I don’t plan on stopping until I obtain every last one!
Odyssey is Julc3’s compelling argument to owning a Switch:
For me, Mario Odyssey did so many things right, in a time when we are exploiting so many things that are…well, wrong in the gaming industry.
First and foremost, for me, it’s the strongest entry in the Mario Series since Super Mario 64, in terms of the exploration/reward aspects of it. Super Mario Odyssey wants you to take time and explore the various Kingdoms throughout, and when you’re done? It wants you to go back and explore even more!
Furthermore, the vast amount of content in regards to Mario’s attire is absolutely wonderful. This correlates back to my initial statement – there is a large amount of cosmetic content that is readily available to you with a little bit of effort, but absolutely no need for additional money. This is a very bold and well timed statement from Nintendo, and I personally can’t give them enough credit for that.
Tl;dr – Super Mario Odyssey is in the right place at the right time, and is easily one of the best entries in the Mario franchise. If you had been waiting for a reason to get a Switch to this point, it makes for the most compelling argument this year.
Bass is tight homies with Cappy, yo:
I really like it! Mario himself controls super nicely thanks to his many different movement options and being able to use Cappy as a platform… And I really like most of the worlds too!
I do think the game suffers from three things. Possessed enemies are too simple mechanically compared to Mario, which eventually made that gameplay gimmick a chore when it was forced on me. I’m not too hot on the progression system of the game either, I think moons in any world should count as fuel to unlock new stages (like in 64/Sunshine), because as it is the game kind of discourages you from exploring until you beat Bowser. And finally, the last level really disappointed me with its focus on simple snippets of possession gameplay over a true test of your skills.
But overall, I had a great time! Sand Kingdom and Wood Kingdom were two super solid levels back to back in the early game.
Papa Niero is critical cause he cares:
Overall, brilliant game. It’s my game of the year behind Harvey Weinstein’s Man Odyssey. It’s so densely packed with little magical details and holy-shit-surprise moments that per square inch it’s possibly the best Mario game ever made.
* mild spoilers follow *
From the level design to the alternate modes of assisted beginner modes and hidden advanced mechanics for insanely skilled players, it’s the video game you can give anyone and watch their face light up. The soundtrack really shines and the mixed-mode 2D/3D melted my face off. I didn’t really care for the premise nor was I able to get invested into any of the characters, old and new, but it was enough scaffolding not to get in the way of one of the best platformers ever made. The ‘festival’ sequence brought tears of happiness to my eyes, I didn’t expect that! It’s too bad it was over in 60 seconds and mid-game with no equivalent climax, which I’ll later get back to.
But if you’ve finished the whole game without cursing it to fucking hell, then you should be made a saint.
That said, it gets so much right that it is infuriating that some basic things are so wrong. Unlike Mario 3D World, you spend the entire game babysitting the camera. And unlike 3D World the play is way less “tight” because they force these stupid social mappings. There’s brilliant 2D sections that cannot be played with your $80 pro controller’s D-pad because the game lacks basic button mapping (but made a whole control menu for camera sensitivity, which by the way only responds to analog control and not the unwanted camera chase).
The game forces so much goofy motion controls while obscuring the methods to avoid making them – like who is that for? You don’t want to jerk off your pro controller while a flag pole you’re climbing is sinking into the lava faster than the normal movement allows. Instead of having fun I just feel like a dirty goober in one of those overly-animated stock videos of agitated gamers.
On a Sunday afternoon I want to be as focused and calm as the fucking ocean and it won’t let me enjoy the game.
But my real gripe is how vapid and off-brand the game is. Peach has the emotional range of a shoe. It’s worse than even the bad Pixar movies. Why do people in these kingdoms act like they’ve never heard of each other? Why does the princess, who rules over them, act like she’s never been outside of a cave?
The art direction, who some call brave, is all over the place (four types of humanoid models plus stock photorealistic dinosaurs and PS2-era cityscapes, really?) it’s like the game was leaked halfway through development before the writers and art directors could get the budget extended. Some stuff looks so good despite rendering well below 1080p. Other parts, it barely looks like a game released in 2017. Nintendo is charging $90 for a USB-C cradle that, if the hardware is worth a shit, should be able to link to a powered external video card capable of … ugh nevermind, I’m tired of repeating myself for 10 years.
Nobody is going into this game for an emotional payoff but it’s the difference from videogames as works of modern art to videogames as forever iterations of lessons stemmed from Mario 64. For the value, you get your money’s worth. For the rest, we’d rather tip our hats the other way and try not to focus on the basic broken things, because we’re just happy Nintendo is still in business and making very catchy amusement products. What a flawed little gem.
ZombieC0rps really liked the capture mechanic but that’s probably an understatement:
I love Odyssey. The level designs are wonderful. I haven’t finished the main game yet because I’m way too interested in exploring ever corner of the kingdom I’m in before moving on. The “capture” mechanic adds an additional level of depth to the game as you’re tearing up landscapes with chain chomps and dinosaurs or gliding to hard to reach areas with that flying lizard character.
The other kingdoms, with their own native people are interesting to see. I loved the skull people in Sandy Desert but it’s a missed opportunity not to see what would be the nightmarish hellscape of a Kingdom from which the Broodals have come.
Overall, Odyssey is my favorite Mario title to date. I hope to see more like this in the future.
Agent9 felt a natural evolution:
Personally I enjoyed odyssey much more than Breath of the Wild. To me it too felt like a natural evolution of the Mario series, though it does have some miss steps here and there. Overall though, Odyssey is a solid game.
There is always a reward for those looking to explore, unlike BoTW which could leave you wandering aimlessly with no goal, no purpose, and no reward for your efforts. Collecting Moons actually gives you tangible rewards by way of clothing items and some bonus content on the moon.
The Layout of the moon’s also encourages exploration (again unlike BoTW which punishes you more often than not). I often found myself testing out different captures and platforming to all sorts of areas just to see if there was a moon I had missed and many times my efforts were rewarded. On top of that many of these areas were bright, colorful, interesting, full of great music, and just so full of life. Exploring them was a real treat all around.
The boss fights were also pretty good. I felt like the Broodals while similar they had a fairly unique mechanic that made each battle a bit different. The way you played these fights was also pretty interesting. You can play it super safe and get a guaranteed shot at hitting them again, or if you’re daring enough you can skip a few cycles. For instance, jumping on the hat of the poison broodal or the tall broodal will stop their berserk phase and send them back to their attack phase. hitting the female broodal with her bomb in her berserk phase will bring her back to attack, and if you listen closely to that leprechaun broodal you can hear which hat he’s in (during berserk) and hit it enough times (or into the wall) to bring him back to attack phase. I actually never thought I could skip a phase in a game like mario (because things are defined pretty strictly) and I only learned about it by mistake as I was clearing bombs from the 1 broodal fight.
That said I felt like the game could have reduced the amount of moons it had without compromising the game too much. Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed by the scope of all this. I would have also liked to see more challenge rooms but with the aesthetic of the kingdom they’re in, as well as more bosses or even secret bosses. One of the best examples I can provide is from SM Galaxy where you fight KingFin.
That was an easy but great battle and I love seeing stuff like that. Hopefully they can do more in the future. Other than that I feel pretty satisfied with Mario Odyssey. This game is GOTY material in my eyes.
Fuzunga wants more, now:
Well if you really want to know, I wrote this review of it: https://www.themegalodon.co…
Here’s the summary from the end:
“Super Mario Odyssey is the kind of game that reminds you why you started playing games to begin with. It’s the loving culmination of nearly 40 years of Mario history, and you’ll be smiling with child-like wonder the whole time. I’d boot up the game with the intention of making a little progress, and before I knew it the hours had slipped away and I’d have collected another 30 moons. I don’t think I’ll ever get the maximum number of moons, though I did collect enough to visit every area and unlock every costume, yet I continue to play the game anyway because it’s so much fun just to run around as Mario. That’s the mark of an excellent game. I finished it and immediately want to go back and keep playing it. How many games can you say that about today?”
BigDoniel is convinced of Mario’s quality:
Not generally a fan of Mario, or even platformers in general, but it’s pretty good aye. It’s a Nintendo game through and through, with little touches that wouldn’t even be considered by anyone else. Also, the Ice Kingdom was probably my favorite oddly enough, that race was super neat.
Super Mario Odyssey really is a great, quality close out for the Nintendo Switch’s first year! So, what did you think of Super Mario Odyssey?