By Savannah Shah
Over the weekend the new Super Mario game came out on the Nintendo Switch. This new game was called Super Mario Odyssey. The first trailer for this fantastic new game came out before the Nintendo Switch was released, which had fans anxious to get their hands on it. The trailer featured the all-famous Mario, exploring different themed lands, battling bosses, and doing it all in a top hat-shaped spaceship. Of course, what’s a Mario game without Bowser kidnapping Princess Peach. Now that the game is finally out, it is jam packed full of exciting content.
The story is extremely simple, just like all Mario games are, but still manages to excite the player. The game throws you into a battle between Mario and Bowser on a flying airship above Princess Peach’s castle. Bowser, almost immediately, defeats Mario and throws him off the ship in the first cut-scene. From there, you as the player get to take control of Mario as he is woken up by a hat-ghost (bear with me). Cappy, the hat-ghost, becomes companions with Mario, and they set out on a quest to save Cappy’s little sister and Princess Peach, who Bowser is forcing to marry him. As you travel the world, Bowser’s companions, the Broodals, who are a bunch of rabbits, try to stop Mario and company.
This game has a lot to offer for its players. It manages to bring back the gameplay of the previous Mario games; this includes incorporating parts of the games which feature the original 2D Mario. While featuring the old Mario, the game manages to incorporate new gameplay mechanics, like rolling and throwing Cappy. The main feature of the game would be that Mario can turn into most of the entities in the game. This offers tons more to explore and collect. On the topic of collecting, there are nine-hundred and ninety-nine moons to collect. Moons are the power source for the Odyssey, which is the hat-shaped spaceship that Mario flies in. The different themed kingdoms make exploring fun because the player is constantly looking for collectables. Another feature of this game is that there are two custom songs with words; the main song is called Jump Up, Super Star! and is preformed by Kate Higgins and written by Nobuyoshi Suzuki. The song has a happy jazzy feel to it and is sung in the game by a character named Mayor Pauline.
Along with the pros of the game, there are always cons. Some of the collectible moons are extremely hard to get and unreasonable. Players may have problems collecting the moons, especially if they are trying to beat the game 100%. An example of this would be a jump-roping mini game where Mario must jump over the rope a hundred times while it gets faster and faster. The mini game is extremely hard. While playing the game, the camera tends to be at the worst possible angle for what the player is trying to accomplish. You can change the camera angle, but that is sometimes hard while being attacked by enemies. The entities Mario can turn into are sometimes hard to control, for example when using the joy-cons separately it is hard to control enemies like the tank. Along with being hard to control, some of the enemies were disappointingly tricky. For example, the piranha-plant could turn around and shoot poison and fire, which was not helpful to Mario at all.
The developers at Nintendo hid a lot of its history inside the game. The most obvious would be that the player could play as 2D Mario from the original, but that’s not all. One of the kingdoms was nearly all dedicated to Donkey Kong. In Metro City, all the street names were named after characters from Donkey Kong Country, a spin-off series of Donkey Kong. Another Easter egg that made it into the game was Mayor Pauline, the woman Donkey Kong kidnapped in the original Donkey Kong game. In the song that she sings, you can hear the original Donkey Kong music in the background at one part; she also dances in a way that resembles her cry for help in the original game. There are also references from Mario 64 hidden in the Mushroom Kingdom. The most notable would be that Mario can get a outfit that makes him look pixilated, as he did in Mario 64. Another notable reference would be that there are picture frames that take Mario to different places, which was a travel method originally implemented in Mario 64. Last but not least, if you manage to climb to the top of Princess Peach’s castle, you can find Yoshi where he is found in Mario 64.
Super Mario Odyssey is an overall charming game. It is jam packed with exciting content, good graphics (especially for Nintendo), catchy and iconic music, references, and a decent story. The game captures that original Mario feeling. Although it did have some occasionally annoying features, it is overall a fantastic game.