Super Mario Odyssey Nintendo Switch Review

Publisher: Nintendo  Developer: Nintendo  Genre: Platformer  Players: 1 

Age Rating: 7+  Other console/handheld formats: N/A

Super Mario Odyssey is a collectathon of a game, which sees the titular hero collecting as many Moons as possible. That is the basic premise of this fun, upbeat title, which has you travelling to many different Kingdoms in order to find all 999 Moons hidden throughout the game.

Bowser is also up to his old tricks, kidnapping Peach – as well as newcomer Cappy’s sister, Tiara – while also organising his and Peach’s wedding, with the help of some new hopping-mad rabbit companions, the Broodals. It is up to Mario and Cappy to rescue Peach and Tiara, and stop the wedding. Of course the story isn’t much to talk about, and is as predictable as ever, but the story is pretty much a companion piece to the main gameplay, which is the star of the show.

Gameplay sees Mario hunting for Moons, which are used to power his very special ship, called the Odyssey. There are 17 Kingdoms in total for Mario to travel to and explore, and each offer a multitude of enemies and puzzles for Mario to discover. As well as the main area, Mario can also warp into smaller dimensions, these offering particularly tricky platforming challenges, but which reward Mario with at least two Moons, depending on whether you can find them both.

There was concern when humans were introduced to the game, but thankfully they are in-keeping with the overall tone of the game.

Mario can also make use of his new companion, Cappy, a ‘Bonnetor’ from the first Kingdom in the game, aptly named Cap Kingdom, who joins Mario on his mission to save Peach and Tiara. The addition of Cappy enables Mario new abilities, which includes using the cap as its own special weapon, and the new ‘Capture’ ability, which allows Mario to take control over enemies to use in particular circumstances.

If Mario needs to breath or swim underwater, he can capture a Cheep Cheep. If he needs to fly, he can capture a Paragoomba. He can capture regular Goombas in order to woo – and slightly deceive – a Goombette, who won’t give up a precious Moon to Mario unless he is in the guise of a Goomba. You even get to control a T-Rex! The use of the enemies makes for varied gameplay, helping to discover hidden areas that Mario would otherwise be unable to reach, solve puzzles, and even find some elusive Moons.

At times Mario will face several new boss enemies, the main four being the Broodals, a bunch of hare-brained rabbits who are determined to prevent Mario from saving Peach and ruining Bowser’s wedding plans. Mario will take them on one-on-one, each offering a different way of attack, but once you learn the pattern, they are easy enough to take down. Boss Battles feel very traditional, starting with a simple attack, which become more heavy the more blows you deal out. However, taking them down is very rewarding, as you’ll be given a Multi Moon, which counts as three Moons.

As well as the many, many Moons, you can find gold and purple coins, the gold coins used to purchase items at the shop, or to buy hints from Hint Toad about the location of Moons, if you are struggling to find any. The purple coins have an exclusive design to each Kingdom, meaning they can only be used in the Kingdom you are currently in, and allow you to buy the more exclusive items in the shop. You can buy special outfits, stickers to put on the outside of the Odyssey, and ornaments to adorn inside.

As well as gameplay, you can discover lots of quirky little touches; Mario shivering in the cold, fanning himself in the heat. When you are idle, he’ll decide to chill out on the ground, a bird deciding to pay him a visit and jumping about on top of his nose. Mario can also get some assistance from a friendly Shiba Inu, who will helpfully sniff out hidden goodies, possibly even Moons, and if Mario decides to chill out, the dog will happily lay by his side (the bird deciding not paying a visit in this instance!). Super Mario Odyssey is certainly full of charm and character, even if characters themselves don’t have much depth; actions do speak louder than words.

Friends and family of Mario are also around, including Yoshi, Luigi – offering an alternative online game called Balloon World, in which you can challenge other players to find a Balloon you have hidden in a Kingdom, or to find one they have hidden – and even Mario’s first love interest, Pauline, makes an appearance, as the Mayor of Metro Kingdom, who wants Mario’s help to put together a live band, and who also sings the main theme song of the game, “Jump Up, Super Star!”.

There is certainly a lot to see and do in Super Mario Odyssey, offering hours of gameplay with its plethora of exciting discoveries for you to find.