You see Nintendo – do you think Mario? Since the premiere of Nintendo Switch, several new, strong IPs have debuted on the equipment, but sooner or later He had to appear. Handsome as Tony Stark, as powerful as Thor, and unpredictable as the Hulk? No, no, and probably not, but Mario is back with his unique style. And it confirms the strength of the great brand of the Japanese.
Nintendo Switch is accelerating with each subsequent month, because although Nintendo did not provide its latest platform with 69 hits to start, in a few months the company will reach this round number of games from the “must have me” series. The Japanese systematically, with small and at the same time effective steps, build a set of productions, which make it difficult for even the average Kowalski to pass indifferently to the new platform of the legendary corporation. And we didn’t have to wait long for the first, concrete story of the mustachioed Marian. The well-known hero jumped on the screen of my console in an extremely effective way and reminded me of the best years of my childhood.
A story of a certain divorce
I would like to start this text with the announcement of a unique story full of dramas, difficult moral choices, at least five plot twists, but you know perfectly well that Mario does not offer such pleasures. Mario returns in his typical outfit, with an evenly trimmed mustache and with a known problem – in the first three minutes we see a perfectly realized fight of the Nintendo legend with his eternal enemy, after which Marian loses his famous hat, and Bowser disappears in the airship with Princess Peach. Our soldier is lucky, as always, because he just ends up in a world where he meets a mysterious companion of misery – a hat named Cappy is also looking for a hijacker throwing fireballs, because a fan of “Pink Peach” has kidnapped Tiara, the sister of Mario’s new friend. It would hardly be a big surprise that the Tiara is about to land on Peach’s head during the wedding ceremony, and our job is to jump into the party after the word “if anyone mind, say it now or …” and stop the event. You didn’t have to spend the last five years eating pizza, sitting in the sewers and sweeping the surrounding mushrooms to predict the end of this epic adventure, but I must admit that the implementation itself is at the highest level in this case. It’s such a Nintendo in every little, refined detail.
As I mentioned, the main character lost some of his clothes, but Cappy comes to the rescue very quickly, who not only turns into any hat, but it is with his help that Mario can compete with the opponents he meets. The hero, throwing new friends at the opponent, becomes him and takes over his skills. A banal idea, but in the hands of Nintendo magicians it is a weapon of final destruction. The creators perfectly combine simple mechanics with the entire production, and basically build the game on its foundations. At every step we meet opponents to, for example, throw hammers as Hammer Bro, attack rivals as Bullet Bill, play as a typical Goomba or become a Sherman tank and shoot enemies by jumping into their shoes, we destroy everyone on our way in the skin of a T-Rex, we jump great distances as an Uproot flower, we become a lava ball and travel to usually inaccessible places, we use the long mouth of the Pokios bird to climb walls or for a few minutes we become a Moe-Eyes stone that can see footbridges invisible to a normal mortal. These are the pleasures the game is made of, because the authors surprise at every turn with a well-thought-out combination of the hero-cap-world-rival relationship.
The new companion not only allows the main character to control enemies, but also willingly takes the role of, for example, a piece of wood, a launcher or a bar, allowing you to get to the designated targets.
Chasing the bride
Mario is “chasing the bunny” again, and this time the title Odyssey helps him throughout this journey. It is a red and white ship powered by the Moons – consequently our task is to chase the Bowser team planning a wedding, and at each stop, i.e. in the next world, we have to look for “energy”. As is often the case in this series, we are almost always late for the proverbial second, but instead of continuing the journey, we have to refuel, so we run around the next locations, help local residents and take handfuls of all these platform delights.
Each time the places are prepared with total attention to the smallest details, because although most lands seem to be huge, it takes only a few moments to take the right path, thanks to which we find more Moons. The creators, however, do not use the last, fairly well-known patterns and do not focus as much on platform elements as in the case of Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario 3D World, and they are definitely more willing to play in the explorer and, consequently, the gameplay is more like Super Mario 64, or Super Mario Sunshine. This is, of course, reflected in the production concept, the main element of which is Cappy and the implementation of new characters or landscape components. However, it is difficult to complain even for a moment, because you visit other worlds with a lot of pleasure – here you will find, among others, the dark Cap Kingdom (the world of Cappy and Tiara), the paradise island of Cascade Kingdom, the sand Kingdom location full of sand, the great Wooded Kingdom forest, the underwater site of Lake Kingdom, the mysterious and full of strange creatures Lost Kingdom, the city from all the trailers of Metro Kingdom, the snowy area of Snow Kingdom, the beach with a large water area of Seaside Kingdom, full of fruits and vegetables Luncheon Kingdom, or of course Bowser’s Kingdom. Each place has a great atmosphere and you can actually feel that the authors did their best to create the tiniest pixel.
The problem, however, is the number of actual “Kingdoms”, because although fifteen points appear on the world map after the end of the story, only ten play a real role in the adventure, and thus engage the player for more than a few minutes – basic researching areas is fun on 50-60 minutes. Simple math is quite painful because after about 9-10 hours I finished the main plot and… I wanted a lot more. Of course, this is not the end of the fun, because after returning to Mushroom Kingdom, we can fly to all locations and look for more Moons, but I sincerely counted on the development of the events by the developers for at least a few additional hours.
Great love without challenges
Boss battles are also an important element of the gameplay in this history. Mario and Cappy not only have to compete with Bowser, because the opponents are also a team of five rabbits who organize the wedding, and we cannot forget about such pleasures as a huge octopus or even a huge electric insect-robot. Unfortunately, the title from the first to the last minute does not offer the awaited challenges and even fights with bosses are based on an attack using a nearby creature that we have taken control over or throwing a hat at the opponent and then jumping on his head. The authors are not very eager to kill Mario, that’s why I finished the adventure in two sessions and during the whole game I died only a few times … But it’s not even because of a duel with another opponent, but simply because of staring and, for example, wrong aiming with a jump. I have the impression that seeing the “Game Over” screen is basically impossible, because the hero uses three lives with one approach (similar to Super Mario Galaxy), and even if we die, we only lose nine coins. Interestingly, the authors offer even two levels of difficulty, but the “weaker” one is intended only for the youngest … Although I’m afraid even they will crave blood at some point.
Despite the lack of actual threat, I found it hard to break away from Super Mario Odyssey as the title is infectious from the very first minute. In the game, after a few seconds, there is a desire to check one more corner of the map, peek at the next world, look for more Moons, and for this reason I will not be surprised if many fans of the brand sit down to this story and get up from the console after a good 10-12 hours. The production is the essence of a three-dimensional platformer in which running is a ton of fun – Mario again uses distant leaps (long jumps), Rolls (rolling), Ground Pound (top attack), Tripe Jumps (sequential triple jump), Spin Jumps ( movement associated with spinning in the air) and in many ways it’s just Mario. The authors play with the form brilliantly, they like to experiment and use known motifs – a good example is the smooth transition from 3D to 2D gameplay (for example, we jump into the wall and draw handfuls from the classics), and this mechanics has been perfectly incorporated into the framework of the new production.
Production was planned to be slightly diversified, so in each world we get not only the mentioned Moons, but also special coins. We spend the cash on buying gadgets and other outfits – shopping does not affect the gameplay in the slightest, but it is a nice addition, which is basically a great complement to the extensive SnapMode. Nintendo goes the way of the competition and allows you to create a photo using special filters and share them with your friends. From the curiosities added to the production, it is worth highlighting the two-player mode, which can be launched at any time – in this situation, those who are interested get one Joy-Con and play the role of Mario or Cappy. Nice idea, average implementation, because the cap definitely disappears too easily from sight, and it is difficult to talk about great cooperation. Here the gameplay is still about using a new friend, Marian, and for this reason it is not an ideal production for cooperation. Of course, the game supports three console modes (stationary, portable and tablet), but I definitely played the best in two situations – after connecting the console to a large TV (Pro Controller!) And in the handheld version (both Joy-Cons connected to the equipment). Developers allow you to take out the controllers and throw the hat with the help of paw movements, but in such a situation it is often difficult to target the designated opponent.
The Japanese surprise in one more area – Super Mario Odyssey looks fantastic and is undoubtedly one of the best-looking productions on Nintendo hardware. Mario moves with grace, his animations are great, and although sometimes the teeth bite in the eyes on the elements of the environment, it is difficult to focus on such small “details” during the game, because the locations are colorful, the opponents look great (rabbits rule !), and we cannot forget about the film inserts that can simply delight.
Nothing more, nothing less. Nintendo is mesmerizing again
Super Mario Odyssey is another game from the “must have me” series, because Nintendo offers a fantastic gameplay full of beautiful worlds and a famous hero. You can complain about the level of difficulty or the time of the game, but still Marian’s new adventure is another reason to have a Nintendo Switch at home. You cannot talk about such a revolution as in the case of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but it is undoubtedly one of the best three-dimensional platformers of recent years.