The true successor to Super Mario 64 is here! Call off the search because Nintendo has properly delivered. Mario 64 was released in 1996 for the Nintendo 64, we have waited patiently for 21 years to get the closest thing to a proper sequel yet.
With some shiny new gameplay mechanics in tow and mixing up the formula to still keep it feeling fresh let’s head down the warp pipe and into Super Mario Odyssey.
Not only does this game look like the successor to Mario 64 but it also plays the part brilliantly. Mario has all his best moves back from the N64 days. Odyssey has Mario visiting an array of kingdoms in his search for collectible “moons,” the levels are beautifully designed and are a hard look back to the level design seen in the N64 classic. There are 15 Kingdoms to explore in this game and for fans of the classic Mario 64, there is a special throwback waiting when you finish the game.
The map above shows the kingdoms that you have to visit on your quest, there are a variety of fantastic locations in the game. Everyone knows the basic premise of the Mario games by now [if you don’t where the hell have you been, seriously!], Mario is going to visit peach when “oh no!,” Peach gets “Kidnapped” [Stockholm syndrome anyone?], by our favorite antagonist, Bowser. Mario then meets Cappy, a spirit that effectively turns into his hat and who grants Mario the power of possession. That may not sound like much, but all I’m going to say is you can become a freaking T. REX. In-game you can possess different things using your hat, Cappy, and throughout the game, each possession comes with its own unique attributes.
We follow Mario and Cappy on their adventure through space to save their respective loved ones (Cappy’s sister was also kidnapped). Each level has a number of moons hidden across the land and as usual, our hero will have to jump through hoops to find and collect them all. Cappy adds an extra advantage as not only can he be used to possess different things but he can be used as a weapon or a jumping pad used as an additional jump in-game. All in all, Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach with the intention of marrying her, but can our heroes get to the Church on time?
The moon’s you have to collect throughout the Kingdoms are used to power up Mario’s spacecraft, “The Odyssey” [See what they did there?]. When you get The Odyssey it looks like a clapped-out piece of junk, but with the power of the moons being added to the ship, it starts to look glorious. In each Kingdom are two shops, usually near the start of each level, in these shops you need different respective currencies for each shop where one can purchase different costumes for our favorite plumber protagonist, and in the other shop you can purchase stickers and souvenirs from the Kingdom to decorate The Odyssey. The costumes are fun and can range from retro designs to American football gear, my personal favorite is the Mario 64 outfit [trust me it’s awesome and just adds to the nostalgia feels already going on in this game].
ITS‘A ME, MARIO!
As I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of nods to the past and it is noted that Nintendo was thriving to showcase everything we love about our favorite plumber [Dave, my personal plumber would be jealous about how much fanfare Mario is getting in this game!]. The best examples of nostalgia going on are usually found in New Donk City, a Kingdom that is based on a modern day New York, the map itself has posters of old Mario artwork. The Mayor of the booming New Donk City is Pauline, who was the damsel in distress back in the old 1981 Donkey Kong game!
The Kingdom shops in-game are helpful, they offer the chance to buy items such as “power moons” and “hearts.” Gone are the days of having extra lives [about time really], the coins you collect throughout the game are effectively your lives in-game. There are also kingdom specific outfits that will get you access to certain areas in their respective levels. For example, the game may lead you to go fight Bowser, but the lack of any countdown timer allows you have the option to explore and try to find all the secrets that each land holds. Each different land is open and makes players want to explore. Furthermore, Boss battles usually involve “The Broodals,” a large group of weird-looking rabbit creatures, I won’t give too much away but the boss battles are fun and creative!
I love the fact that Nintendo never let Mario games take themselves too seriously, they always keep the games fresh and fun whilst always looking for the next way forward. The game looks great no matter if your Switch is docked or handheld. The graphics look crisp and clear and the music as always is fun, bouncy and will get you whistling along. For those of you not fussed about finding every collectible, or every power moon you could fly through the main story in around 8-10 hours but I would recommend taking more time and having some more fun to find things and exploring before you race to the credits. There is so much on offer here and lots to see and do, for those of you who have to want to 100% the game, there are 999 power moons to find! In addition, there are lots of things to do during post-game. With the Nintendo Switch, there are many options when it comes to choosing your controller, I personally love the way a pro controller feels, as it is comfortable for long periods of play but the Big N have implemented motion controls should you want to use the Joy Cons, they are responsive and easy to use too.
Super Mario Odyssey Delivers on a huge scale. The fact that there is so much to see, do and master is brilliant and can be fun for all ages, which are the great appeal of these games. The game is a triumph for a company who is currently riding the confidence train. The fantastic open worlds and hidden secrets will add to the longevity and replayability value. We can honestly say that this game is a masterpiece and we are happy to award this game with great remarks.
No copyright infringement is intended, I do not claim ownership of any of the images used in this article, all credit to the original image providers