Super Mario Odyssey is one of the most highly anticipated releases this year. The story follows Mario as he once again has to save Princess Peach…. Surprise Surprise… Ok, let’s calm down Cilla…
Bowser intends to marry the princess, however, there are a few things he needs before doing so. A dress, a cake, some flowers… Gotta be prepared for the big day!
You start on Bowser’s ship trying to rescue the princess, but end up getting kicked over the edge and his cap being crushed and thrown with him. Cappy follows him and turns into a new cap for Mario, however, he isn’t there out of the goodness of the heart, Cappy’s friend is still aboard Bowsers ship being used as Princess Peach’s Tiara. So he has a mission as well.
The game proceeds with you going through different and varying Kingdoms to try and find Moons which you are using to fuel your ship which is called ‘The Odyssey’.
The Kingdoms that you visit are beautiful in each of their own varied ways, the colours that are using are bright and vibrant and used to perfection, each Kingdom as well is also very much brought to life in its own way by the people/enemies that are living there. There are people who you can speak to around each kingdom that will give you hints as to where moons are, either that or you can find talkatoo the parrot and he will give you a subtle hint as to where a moon is.
When you have finished the story for each Kingdom, Toad and the Amiibot show up by the Odyssey to also give you a hand, although the Amiibot does require an Amiibo to help you out. I had the Wedding Mario Amiibo to try out with, which marked a Moon on my map as well as gave me a Wedding outfit. Some Amiibos, when tried out on this, will give you bonuses, and you can also use them at any point, when I tried it with my Wedding Mario he sparkled as though he had just had a star and the music kicked in, which was awesome to see and hear!
Throughout each of the kingdoms, there are some points where you go back into 2D old school Mario, which was a brilliant addition to the game, and if you died in the 2D version is played the original music as well, which when I first heard it send goosebumps down my arms and brought a smile to my face, I didn’t care I had just died, that sound was just unexpected and I couldn’t have been happier to have heard it.
The biggest element of the game is Cappy and his ability. Being able to throw Cappy on pretty much anything and either take control of that item or gain a moon/coins from it is brilliant. It’s not only about the throwing and controlling things though, it’s the abilities that it brings to Mario. There is a completely new dimension here, as you can throw Cappy and then find yourself doing bigger jumps or putting jumps together to get somewhere that you normally wouldn’t have been able to reach. Cappy can also help you defeat some of the enemies within the world which is useful… One thing I loved about Cappy is in one level making the ultimate Goomba tower! The power!!!
In Mario games you’re usually collecting just one set of coins, however in Odyssey there are 2 sets to collect, the usual gold ones and now purple ones, which are Kingdom specific and can only be used in the Kingdom they’re collected in. I have to admit, I wasn’t really seeing the point in them, items in the shop were just split into 2 and you could use one or the other to purchase, however, there were different items with each person, but I feel that they could have just used the one and had everything with the one shop. One reason I think this has been done is that to make it more difficult to be able to collect everything quite quickly. The game wants to prolong some longevity and this is one of the things that does it.
Also, with collecting moons, some don’t become obtainable until you have completed the story within the kingdom itself or the whole story arc for the game. So in that sense, the game will have you going back if you want to collect all the Moons that are available.
I have to admit that after finishing the story and going back to look for all the Moons, it did get very boring, the worlds are brilliant to revisit and to not burn myself out on each Kingdom I would chop and change to different ones to try and keep the game fresh. However I will say that I love the open world aspect to this, being able to go anywhere in the Kingdom from the moment you land is brilliant, getting stuck into the puzzles and exploring is brilliant.
The overall plot to the game is very linear as you go from one Kingdom to another, however, the openness of each Kingdom makes up for this as there is so much to do on each. Each Kingdom does have differing number of moons which can be checked through the map to see what your progress is.
One of the levels that was a game changer and ramped up the enjoyment was the Metro Kingdom and New Donk City, the city is so full of life and the amount of things there are to do in this level is simply astonishing, I don’t think I’ve even scratched the surface of it, and I have to admit that the festival part of the game was one of the best moments in gaming I have experienced in a very long time if ever! Simply brilliant.
With the theme tune as well, Nintendo knew they were onto a winner with this one, it is included in the game at a certain point, but the fact that they’ve put the lyrics within the physical case shows they had a lot of confidence with this being a hit. It also made my wife very happy who continues to sing along with the Lyrics… She is my 1up girl … Ha!
There is no doubt that Super Mario Odyssey is a masterpiece, a bit of repetition with what you have to do, however, the varied Kingdoms that you end up landing on makeup for this as there is so much to see and do that you kind of forget that you’re only there for the moons!