Over the years, Nintendo has developed numerous hit games, including one of the most popular franchises in the world, Mario.

Recently, on October 27th, Nintendo just released a new 3D sandbox exploration game called Super Mario Odyssey. Although it is only made for the Nintendo switch, it redefines how we play Mario in a new way.

The reveal

When advertisements for the Nintendo switch came out, they also announced Super Mario Odyssey. Looking at the screenshots and the graphics, it looks stunning right from the start. As time went on, more and more of the game was revealed, and I started to like it more and more. Seeing Mario in his home city in New Donk City (In Metro Kingdom) got me excited! This Mario game takes the Mario franchise to a whole new level.

The Storyline

In the game, Mario is in the middle of fighting Bowser to save Princess Peach from not getting married. However, Mario gets tossed off the ship and Cappy notices that he needs help, So Cappy joins Mario in this Globetrotting adventure collecting power moons to stop the wedding and save Peach and Tierra (who is Cappy's sister).

The Critic’s Reviews

Critics, such as Polygon, and IGN, had viewed the game and they gave this game a high average rating of 9.8 out of 10. This game is known as “the best game for the switch” by far.

In their review, Polygon states that easily comparable to Zelda Breath of the wild, but both having their varied differences, each having a different storyline with a different objective.

Super Mario Odyssey is a predecessor of Super Mario 64, Sunshine, Gaxaly 1 and 2, 3D land and 3D world. This game is different in a sense that when you collect a power moon, you don’t get booted back to the “Hub” like the predecessor s, instead, you can keep playing and earing moons to power the Odyssey ship so it can fly to the next kingdom.

Gameplay: What’s New?

Super Mario Odyssey is a different kind of Mario game. Yes, it contains elements from previous Mario games and staple items, such as coins, make a return. However, things are run a bit differently here.

First, getting a moon does not take you back to the “Hub” (where you select which levels you want to play). Instead, you can keep collecting power moons from where you are.

Secondly, there are no power-ups in this game (i.e. fire flower, mushroom, etc.). Instead, it is replaced with Cappy, who can do numerous things like, take possession of another character or enemy (which gives you that character's abilities), clean poison off the ground, grab coins or items from far away distances--and that’s just the beginning.

Speaking of coins, in each kingdom there are two types of coins, the normal gold coins and the purple kingdom specific coins (there are a certain amount in each kingdom).

In this game, Nintendo introduced the concept of spending coins for various souvenirs, or even power-ups. There are two stores corresponding to the coins, known as the "crazy cap store." The yellow coins can be spent anywhere, and the purple coins have to be spent in that kingdom.

Another thing about coins is that there are no more one-up lives (live count). Instead, when you die coins will be taken away from you, and there are plenty of opportunities to find more. When you lose all of your coins, there is no game over screen, it just takes you back to the store in that kingdom.

After defeating the boss in the kingdom (which gives a multi-moon, which is worth three moons), you are not done yet. You have to collect enough moons to travel to the next kingdom. Once you beat the game, then you are able to unlock more moons.

Taking it on a test Run: First impressions

After seeing all the previews, and all the reviews, I have decided to buy a copy and take it on a test run. Each “Kingdom” I came across had a lot of twist and turns, bringing a lot of unexpected surprises into the game to make the game feel more alive and more engaging.

Not only that, but the game is full of puzzles, platforming and various kinds of boss fights to complete. One of the elements this game brings is that it makes a tribute to previous Mario games by bringing in various elements such as the 2D platforming (which is my favorite part of the game). I liked how the storyline was referenced throughout the game, even in the end.

But wait it's not over!

After you beat the game, a new kingdom is opened. Guess which one (I’m not spoiling it). And yes, there are power moons there too.

One thing I was very surprised about that I didn’t notice until the end of the game is that Nintendo added achievements to the game in the form of power moons. And not even that, but those who like to speedrun games, this game will have crazy speed running starts.

The majority of the game is a celebration of previous Mario games, from the 2D retro segments to the bonus world. Even the costumes that are up for purchase, which are references to previous Mario games and unlockable with the different coins, are based on various Mario games.

Is this a Holiday Hit?

If you or someone you know loves Mario and Zelda: Breath of the Wild, this is a game worth buying for them. Even if they beat the game, there are still plenty of moons to be found (around 1,000 moons).

Overall, this game is worth the $60 (and taxes extra) that you pay for it. You are getting what you are paying for (if not, more).

Personally, I spent so much time in New Donk City, it was amazing. My recommendation when playing this game is playing with the detached Joy-Cons.

One thing I did like is that even if you missed some moons you wanted to get, you can always travel back to that kingdom, even after the end of the game. There is a reason they put more moons than you need to find in each kingdom.

They focused more on exploration than just completing the game, and that’s what I like about it. If you look at every nook and cranny, you'll never know what you will find.