Newest Mario game sends players on nostalgic Odyssey

Join Mario and his unlikely friend Cappy are on a nostalgia-filled Odyssey to rescue Princess Peach from her forced marriage to the King Koopa.

Exclusive to the Nintendo Switch, the 3D platform game “Super Mario Odyssey” brings the familiar basic format of a story Nintendo has been telling since its creation in the ‘80s in a fun collection of 3D worlds ready to explore.

Going back to the same playing style as in “Super Mario 64,” this game delivers a great dose of nostalgia.

The new game begins as Princess Peach is captured by Bowser and forced into marriage. Along with Princess Peach, Bowser has taken Cappy’s daughter, Tiara, for Peach to wear at the wedding.

The storyline isn’t really that great. In fact, I think it’s one of the worst I’ve ever experienced. It’s horrendously cheesy. However, the storyline isn’t the reason I haven’t been able to put this game down.

At the start of the game, Mario is kicked off of a flying pirate ship and lands in a dark, foggy land where a community of floating phantom-hats lives called Bonneton. The two must chase Bowser across the globe and rescue Peach and Tiara.

Mario and Cappy have set off on their journey aboard the Odyssey, a giant flying mechanical hat, to rescue Princess Peach and Tiara. Their first stop is Fossil Falls, a prehistoric, mountainous landscape.Super_Mario_Odyssey_Artwork2

Once I began exploring the stage, I was very surprised to see how the graphics performance is for this particular video game, especially on a portable console. There are many fine details in the game, including the details of graphics and textures.

Despite the game only taking up just above five gigabytes, Super Mario Odyssey is full of interactive characters and environments, which, surprisingly, haven’t become very repetitive. It’s very well balanced and free of any bugs. You can tell that a lot of meticulous work went into the creation of this video game.

Just like in “Super Mario 64,” the player is immersed in a collection of open worlds full of different challenges and puzzles that reward you with Power Moons.  You need Power Moons to power the Odyssey in order to move on to the next stage.

Throwing Cappy allows you to interact with the environment in a number of ways.  Not only are you able to throw the hat to help extend Mario’s reach, you can also possess a multitude of creatures and animals in the game.

It’s a very strange concept, but it is one of the main mechanics of the game that you need in order to solve puzzles and get through in-game tasks. In Fossil Falls, you enter a dark forest where a giant T-rex lives and is stomping around. If you are quick enough to avoid the dinosaur’s bite, you can throw your hat at it, take control of it, and start stomping around as a large meat-eating dinosaur.

Using motion control, you can detach your joy-con controllers and swing them around like you’re Mario, throwing your hat at an animal to control its mind.

The same mechanic can be done in the many worlds you encounter in this game, one of them being, “New Donk City,” which is Nintendo’s adorable take on New York City.

The city is my favorite stage in “Super Mario Odyssey.” It expands across quite a large area, which is surprising for a game that only takes up five gigabytes. The city also is studded with many challenges and puzzles. One quest that you have the option of doing in the city is recruiting musicians for the Mayor’s festival she has planned. But the musicians are hidden throughout the city. Like many of the quests and puzzles in the game, I had so much fun trying to complete this one. However, I can’t help but wonder why this city is in the “Super Mario” universe. Did colonization take place? And why is Mario so much shorter than the people around the city? Is Mario a human?

Personally, I like video games with a cooperative campaign, where a friend can join you on a virtual adventure. Thanks to the Nintendo Switch, I can undock my console, and take this game, which features a two-player mode, with me. My close friends and I have taken out the switch in the car and played “Super Mario Odyssey” using the two-player mode.

In this two-player mode, one player controls Mario, while the other has control over Cappy and can roam freely within a limited distance, collecting coins and Power Moons from hard-to-reach places.

The multiplayer mechanics are so basic. But in this game, all you really do is jump and throw a hat. This kind of video game may not appeal to everyone with its basic, strange storyline. But the graphics, gorgeous musical score, beautifully detailed worlds and fun interactive environments are what keep me drawn to “Super Mario Odyssey.”

I give this game 8/10.


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