Super Mario Odyssey
Game review on
Clinton Raethel / Thu 16th Nov 2017
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OVERVIEW Combining true innovation with the greatest hits of Mario's extensive past, Super Mario Odyssey is a masterclass in platforming perfection. 'nuff said.
STORYLINE In a story that no-one ever saw coming, Bowser has kidnapped Peach and is forcing her to marry him (the shock, the horror!!!). In his efforts to rescue Peach, Mario is defeated by you-know-who and exiled to the kingdom of Bonneton. It is here that Mario meets Cappy - a hat-shaped ghost whose sister Tiara was also kidnapped by Bowser as a headdress for Peach. Mario and Cappy team up to rescue their beloved captives and stop Bowser from having the wedding of his dreams.
Make no mistake, this is Mario at his absolute best. Mario responds to input like a cat to a laser beam - and he must, because you'll be running, jumping, flipping, swimming and stomping through some of the best, platform-iest kingdoms we've seen in a long time.
While Mario brings his standard bag of tricks to the table, Cappy opens up a whole new way of interacting with the world. He can be thrown as a weapon, used as a shield and even levitated in place as a temporary jump pad. His most impressive skill, however, is his capture ability: throw him at an enemy and you'll take control of them.
There are over 50 characters to control in Odyssey, and you'll need them all to progress. From Goombas and Cheep-Cheeps to a surprisingly realistic T-Rex or even a cheese fork, they are expertly implemented into their respective kingdoms and add a whole extra dimension to the already solid platforming experience. With so many ways of traversing the beautiful worlds, this is where the challenge and subsequent fun is found.
You'll be using the combined abilities of Mario, Cappy and Cappy's capturees to thwart bosses and find Power Moons. Power Moons are the currency for collecting and progressing, and there's over 900 of them to find across 17 kingdoms. The game can be finished with just 124 of them, but trust me on this, you'll want to find them all.
GRAPHICS Super Mario Odyssey is clean, crisp, colourful, cheerful and full of character. Alliteration aside, this is one gorgeous game - sure it's typical Mario, but that is most definitely a compliment (had to get one more in there right?)
AUDIO Nintendo has given us a fantastic brand new soundtrack with just enough nostalgia, making everything sound new and yet instantly familiar. The audio experience is as on-point as it gets, but the real highlight is the 2D levels that get a glorious 8-bit version of the world they're based in.
20 years ago we got the genre-defining Super Mario 64, and you can definitely feel that heritage here in Super Mario Odyssey. There are elements of all his other games here too, but Nintendo has tweaked, added and innovated to make Odyssey its own beast - and what a beast it is. Gameplay is fun and engaging, the world is an absolute treat to be in and most importantly, I feel happy playing it. When we look back in another 20 years, there is no doubt that this will stand out as an all-time great.
Review copy supplied by Nintendo Australia