Few back in 2002, following the phenomenal success of Super Mario 64 and the newly-released Super Mario Sunshine, thought that it would be a decade and a half before Nintendo returned to the open-ended 3D worlds inhabited in those iconic games. In the intervening years, Mario has been blasted into space in the similar yet more linear Galaxy games, has returned to his platforming roots and has even given players the opportunity to design the most devilish levels for him to try and complete.
Now, with the Nintendo Switch the new must-have console, Mario is returning to the format that saw him star in two landmark games. Mario Odyssey utilises a familiar hub world system, allowing the heroic plumber to travel to a vast collection of diffuse worlds and explore freely within them. Mario Odyssey promises to play host to a wider range of lands than ever seen before in a Mario game, with the New York-inspired New Donk City and a frozen Latin American village just two of the levels trailed prior to the game’s release.
Along with the classic arsenal of moves, all available via the famously pinpoint control accuracy found in Mario games, Mario Odyssey introduces a new dynamic via Mario’s hat, which allows him not only to attack enemies from range and collect items that are just out of reach, but also to inhabit the bodies of certain creatures in order to take advantage of their unique attributes. It’s a dynamic that completely revolutionises the way you’ll think about approaching the game.
Mario games might not be particularly renowned for their story, but Odyssey gives players more than enough reason to get excited by weaving a narrative that sees Bowser attempting to marry Peach. Only by gathering up enough moons to upgrade your Odyssey ship will you be able to chase him and stop the wedding, adding an extra urgency to Mario’s globe-trotting mission.
However, just because Super Mario Odyssey’s story sounds fairly ho-hum from the outset, it doesn’t mean there aren’t still a few surprises in store. Several iconic locations reappear for Mario’s first Nintendo Switch game alongside plenty of new ones. We won’t give anything away, but it’s safe to say that fans of Super Mario 64 (and possibly some other popular Mario games) are in for a real treat!
Super Mario Odyssey is one of the most creative and inventive Nintendo games yet, representing the first true HD Mario game with a central hook that sees you inhabit almost any enemy you come across. All you need do is throw your hat (aptly named Cappy) to temporarily take control of, say, a Bullet Bill or Hammer Bro. Each one boasts their own unique ability when inhabited, often being the only way to solve puzzles needed to progress.
Mario’s first Nintendo Switch adventure is so ambitious, you can even go at it with another player. This has never been easier thanks to the fact that the console comes with two controllers right out the box in the Joy-Con. Simply break them off to enjoy Super Mario odyssey together, where player 1 controls Mario in the traditional sense and player 2 takes charge of Cappy.
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