Super Mario Odyssey is a 3D adventure game developed by Nintendo EPD and released by Nintendo on October 27th, 2017. Super Mario Odyssey is only available on the Nintendo Switch, and is one of its flagship titles.
As is characteristic of the Mario universe, players are thrust into vibrant, virtual worlds dubbed “kingdoms.” We observe Mario’s arch-nemesis, Bowser, kidnapping the beloved Princess Peach while losing Mario in the process. Losing his trademark hat, our hero soon awakens within Cap Kingdom. After meeting locals and a new companion, Mario learns that his sister has also been kidnapped, to later play a role in Bowser and Peach’s forced marriage. As a result, gamers are tasked with journeying from kingdom to kingdom, eventually coming to their rescue.
Gamers take control of Mario and utilize various methods to finish key objectives within each kingdom. By triple jumping, wall jumping, and employing his hat – the manifestation of a spirit fittingly named “Cappy” – Mario traverses new landscapes. Tasked with steering Mario successfully, players must locate crucial items and checkpoint flags, littered throughout environments resembling both realistic cities and mystical lands. By collecting Power Moons, players gain the ability to travel to new kingdoms in hopes of completing their ultimate quest. Aided by his ship named “The Odyssey,” Mario must keep this important craft fueled and maintained in order to embark on further adventures.
However, Mario’s travels are not without their accompanying challenges. Players must overcome resistance from Bowser and humanoid rabbits named the Broodals; each inflict damage to the Odyssey, which must be repaired with multiple Power Moons. Using Cappy - both as a weapon and means of possessing other characters - Mario relies upon a mixture of offense and special abilities to attain victory. Along the way, gamers also gather coins which can be used to purchase outfits and complete objectives.
Odyssey’s launch constitutes a unique shift in the Super Mario lineup, replacing traditional linear gaming with open-world exploration. Joining other titles whose mechanics encourage wanderlust, Odyssey allows players to appreciate and interact with diverse settings in ways previous Super Mario games did not – ensuring benefits at every turn. However, the classic gameplay of old makes its comeback on occasion; select levels guide gamers through areas named flat zones, which highly resemble the straight-line gameplay to which Mario fans have become so accustomed. In addition, bonus areas can be unlocked, allowing players to participate in special events named boss rushes.
Super Mario Odyssey is a game blending both old-school nostalgia and new-age tactics. While it can be played with the Joy-Con controllers in hand, the game may also be enjoyed with them attached to the console in a stationary position. Odyssey has received high acclaim from critics and gamers alike for its fresh take on an iconic series - offering a truly immersive digital escape while leaving more mundane experiences in the dust.