Reviewed in Canada on November 1, 2017
Super Mario Galaxy didn't hook me right away. I read the reviews, having to wait to actually recieve my copy an extra two days because my mail office was closed. It was supposed to be amazing. So when I first picked it up, it didn't strike me as anything "too unique" for a Mario experience. It failed to bring about that big smile people were talking about. But, give it a few hours, a few worlds, and I was hit with a scene of game design that was so absolutely stunning, simple, and amazing that the masterwork of the design brought me to tears; and that smile broke out.
The story is, well, it's Mario. I won't spoil the ending, but I think my only real complaint is that the true ending is locked behind a 999x Moon barrier. You'll finish the game around ~300/400 if you really take your time and explore; meaning there's a lot more to unlock after you've finished it, though, including new worlds, and everything.
Peach is kidnapped by Bowser. Big surprise, huh? And a ghost-hat. Mario & another ghost team up, and go on the chase, following Bowser and his evil wedding planners, the Broodals, to each Kingdom while they harvest the necessities for a good wedding. It's simple. Not a lot of nuance, but it's Mario. The story manages to be amusing, but it won't be winning any awards.
I typically try to avoid making comparisons between video games purely because if someone reads a review, and hasn't played the game I'm referring to, the point is lost. So I don't do this lightly: Super Mario Odyssey is to this generation of consoles that Super Mario 64 was to the Nintendo 64. The amount of innovation here, the marriage of 2D and 3D gameplay mechanics, switching between old school, and 3D enviroment Mario is absolutely brilliant. It blends everything that makes Mario a magnificent franchise into one big, beautiful package.
Each Kingdom has various creatures you can use your partner Cappy to possess, and these new creatures are used to solve various puzzles throughout the levels, or gain you access to new areas that are often hidden.
The main objective of the game is to beat the area boss; and collect the necessary amount of Moons to proceed. The Moons vary in how they're hidden. They could be buried in the ground, over a platforming challenge, or hidden clever in hard-to-see places that you might not suspect of being accessible. Mario Odyssey is all about exploring the fantastically designed levels. And fantastic they are: I felt myself inwardly cringing each time I went to a water themed, or Snow-themed world. I mean, who likes those? They're usually always so bad in Nintendo games -- but I found myself loving them once I got in, which is a testament to how excellently the game is designed.
----SOUND & VISUAL-----
Mario Odyssey marries conflict art styles in a way that works. Whether you're controlling a realistic-looking T-Rex in a cartoon world, or fighting a giant bird, it all looks great. Vibrant and full of life, and oozing with great colours, not a single level really hit me as a 'cop out' level. I felt the urge to actually explore each of them rather than forcing myself to stay in boring worlds to gather moons.
The sound, and voices are all great. From footsteps to the various, silly voices of characters in the game. The music is superb.
Super Mario Odyssey is a must have Nintendo Switch game; pure and simple. They really knocked it out of the ballpark with this one. Truly an amazing experience for anyone who is a fan of platformers, and proof that with creativity, this is a genre that still has a lot of mileage in it.