Video Game Review

Super Mario Odyssey

By: Ganja Gameboys

At their best, Super Mario games constantly confront you with new ideas, whether it’s a new place to explore or a new ability that changes the way you interact with the world around you. And Odyssey exemplifies this more than any game in the series before. It’s simply bursting with wild creativity. One minute you’re driving a tank down a rain-slicked city street, the next you’re dressed as a clown while trying to guide sheep across the desert, and at one point you literally possess a giant slab of meat.

Mario is topped with his latest sidekick Cappy, a sentient hat that allows Mario to possess objects and other characters. It essentially replaces the power-up system from past games. Toss the hat on a Bullet Bill and you become an unstoppable rocket bursting through walls and enemies.

Throw it on a frog and you can leap to even greater heights, while looking completely adorable. Many of the game’s puzzles are designed around figuring out how to utilize this strange array of abilities to get around.

In addition to Cappy, Odyssey also introduces a greater range of worlds to explore. Places that fall far outside the typical Mushroom Kingdom the series is known for. Most are the kinds of places you wouldn’t necessarily expect Mario to be, from the New York-like cityscape to a dark, crumbling castle that looks ripped right out of the gothic fantasy series Dark Souls. By adding these two aspects together the designers at Nintendo have been able to craft an experience that constantly introduces new concepts.

Super Mario Odyssey is very fun, and it’s also very
approachable. Odyssey is an incredibly forgiving game; there are no lives, so if you die you simply lose a few coins, which are already plentiful. There are many moments in Odyssey where it doesn’t necessarily look like a Mario game, but more like the squat plumber has been transported into some other virtual realm. But it always feels like Mario— because it never ceases to surprise you.

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