Just when you thought that you can put your Switch away after dropping 200 hours into Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you’re going to have to whip that bad boy out again because the hugely anticipated Super Mario Odyssey is here and it is sheer platforming joy!
The story starts off with, you guessed it, Bowser being a big asshole again. This time he is making Peach marry him.
While all this is happening, there is this unexplained race of hats for some reason. Peach gets one, bowser gets one and you get one. His name is Cappy and he teams up with you because Bowser is a big meanie pants and stomped on your original hat. Then Cappy transformes himself to look like your original hat because you told him that he was cramping you style.
Ya… this all doesn’t make sense, but it doesn’t need to because its Nintendo, and they can be as wacky as they want.
You’re not playing this game for the story. In fact, aside from spoiling the very predictable ending, I just pretty much told you the whole thing.
As you probably might know, as Mario, you have to throw your hat at enemies to possess or ‘capture’ them in order to use their ability to overcome obstacles, solve puzzles and defeat enemies.
It’s really fun stuff and actually never feels gimmicky.
It’s constantly fresh as you progress through the game due to the fact that, with an exception or two, all of the characters in every kingdom is different and unique in move sets.
There are a lot of them. 52 to be exact. But I don’t want to spoil too much for you. Some get used a bit more than others but they are for the most part all pretty memorable.
So lets keep talking about the kingdoms. There are 16 in total. 3 of which are post game. There are some larger ones and there are some smaller ones. All of which provide a playground of unique and unknown wonders. Everything here, including the level itself is a character with quirks.
The themes of the levels are as you would expect, you have your sand kingdom, water kingdom, city kingdom, shitty kingdom, snow condom, among others what I wont mention because they certainly are a treat when you reach them.
One kingdom in particular that Nintendo is really promoting that everyone knows about is new donk city.
You know, that one that has the creepy real looking humans which are never explained. But regardless, This level is a great example of the capabilities from Nintendo and one of my favorites in the whole game. Its filled with secrets and shortcuts and traversing it with Mario feels great.
All of these kingdoms are riddled with moons. Like, a lot of them. Around 900. Getting these moons is how you progress through the game and advance through the levels. You get these moons by completing certain objectives. These objectives can get creative and specific to a kingdom or a certain character. Or it can be as simple as butt stomping the ground or catching a bunny. You get moons for doing literally everything. Odyssey definitely rewards exploration.
Seeing as everything is such a wonder, you are always questioning what’s around every corner. When you stumble upon whatever triggered your curiosity, you are rewarded constantly with the surprise of another joyous endeavour. This game celebrates the fact that you’re playing this game and lets you know the whole way through! New Donk City literally throws a party for you and sings you a song.
You are provided with trophies and stickers that you can decorate the odyssey with. Obtained with special currency unique to each kingdom. There are a lot of costumes in this game. Really good ones that aren’t in fucking loot crates! Oh sorry, I mean engrams for those who think that you can just simply change the name of something that everyone else is doing in order to convince yourself that you have a fresh way to rip off your dedicated fan base. But that is totally another editorial itself. I’m a sucker for cosmetics , costumes and character creation. So this fan service was very appreciated. With the society that we live in now with all this weird gender stuff, I guess Nintendo feels the need to start cross dressing Mario and link. So yes, if you didn’t think that there was anything creepier in this game than the people in New Donk City, you can put a wedding dress on a fat cartoon plumber with a mustache.
Mario also controls like a dream. He has pretty much the same move set as Mario 64 with the obvious addition of Cappy and a couple other new moves all of which are in theory simple to do. But at the same time, you have to be skilled to perfect chaining the moves to do some of the fancy stuff. If you want to get fancy, you can to it. I can’t wait to see what some speed runners are going to do. Other than a few irritating motion controls, which I will get into later on, the controls are near perfect.
Regardless of your approach towards a certain goal, you can still accomplish every challenge in the game with the rudiments. This game caters to both the novice and hardcore gamer. And I think that Nintendo put certain areas in this game that you can only get to with very advanced methods .
I love this. This means that there will be most likely areas and secrets that nobody has found out yet to this day.
So, it takes around 15 hours to complete the story, but don’t be put off by that. This is the length of just the story, not the whole game. 15 hours is the time it takes to find the minimal amount of moons to progress to the next kingdom. You will not see everything if you blast through each level. But, the story is paced so flawlessly that this is OK, because there is never a dull moment, or the feeling of a grind. On the contrary though, I personally wouldn’t have minded a bit more of a grind to get to the endgame, but that’s just me.
After you beat the story, new challenges open up in every kingdom to ..well… get more moons! Unlike the somewhat easy challenges during the story, the post game ones are a bit harder and will take you a lot of time to complete. Its not Breath of the Wild long, but pretty long. These kingdoms always welcome you back with open arms upon your return by constantly rewarding you and keeping you in the spotlight.
I do have a few minor complaints about this game.
I thought that the boss battles with those 4 weird wedding planner rabbits were a little bit weak and samey compared to the rest of the bosses which are super unique and fun. Some of which are the best I’ve seen in a game in a long while. But, the routine for the weak bosses that I’m talking about pretty much all consisted of knocking off their hat, avoiding some projectiles, hitting them, then knocking off a larger amount of hats and avoiding even more projectiles and hitting them again. It’s a rinse and repeat type system that is kind of the standard. The fights were also kind of short and their attack patterns were super easy to figure out. These battles weren’t bad by any means, just not really that good. I would have just liked to have seen Nintendo go above and beyond with all their boss battles with the main bosses in the game.
The rest of the bosses on the other hand are a different story.
No spoilers here but you will have a lot of fun with literally any of the other ones. Especially towards the end of the game.
This game also really promotes the use of separated joycons and there are some motion controls that are almost forced upon you. This is annoying because they are needed for some of the best moves.
If you want to spin your hat around, you either have to rotate the left joystick until you spin, then throw your hat. Which can be a little tedious and time consuming compared to the alternative which is simply just flicking the joycon to the side.
Same with cappy homing in on enemies. There is no way to do the homing move except for shaking whatever controller you’re using. But if you’re like me and have a pro controller, you are most likely going to want to use it because, well…. silly me, it’s a great controller and games should be designed to be played with it.
So, if you want to use the pro controller you have to flick it to the right or left meaning that it has to leave the other hand. If you do this aggressively enough, like if you’re in a tense situation, you can actually risk physically throwing the damn controller!
It’s a nuisance.
Seriously Nintendo, enough with this separated controller shit. I’m probably more pissed off at this than I should be, but I feel that I am being penalized for not wanting to play the game with motion controls.
You made the right move with the pro controller Nintendo, don’t go down this road again.
Motion controls are no good!
I also really wanted to see other Nintendo franchises as kingdom themes.
I understand why they did’t do this.
They already have Smash Bros. and Mario Kart for all of their character mash up needs and wanted to do Mario justice by giving him the spotlight for this one. So, I don’t hold this against them. But I just can’t help but wonder how awesome it would be to have a Hyrule kingdom! Or a Metroid kingdom! Or a Donkey Kong kingdom!
Oh, and where in the flying cunt is Luigi?
Do you know how fucking crazy I would have went if you can unlock Luigi post game and was able to play a new game plus with him and a slightly different move set?
Imagine Luigi’s fluttering leg jump thing? That would have been amazing.
Speaking of which, they could have done the exact same thing with peach and toad! They are both in the game!
If Nintendo is capable to create 52 playable characters in the game, why couldn’t 3 of those be Luigi, Toad and Peach a la Mario bros 2? It seems like a no brainer to me.
Ok. Regardless of my complaints, Nintendo still knocked this one out of the park. This is definitely a complete game and well worth your money at full price.
The level of polish that Nintendo puts on their games is astonishing.
Now, I compared this to BOtW earlier and some might think that’s unfair. But, you kind of have to, considering the advancement of the Nintendo Switch and the fact that they have released games with their 2 best franchises within the first year of a new system is a very big deal.
This is still the second best game on the Switch.
Switch owners have been absolutely spoiled with two heavy hitters this year. My only fear is that they are not going to be able to top it next year!