449: Super Mario Odyssey

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JaySevenZero
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449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by JaySevenZero »

Here's where you can contribute your thoughts and opinions of Super Mario Odyssey for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

A friendly reminder to all that where feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but self-editing (brevity) is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mainly reading. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.

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DaMonth
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Re: 449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by DaMonth »

I want to tackle what I loved about this game first. I love the build up to New Donk City, how you think you're going and you crash first and when you actually get there, you need to save it before it's the proper bright and sunny aesthetic. I love being able to platform to places you're never supposed to be and getting coins for it. I love how much of the game you can skip with the right series of jumps. I love fighting a real dragon. I love jumping on the moon. I love the ending.

Now I wanna tackle things that people don't love about this game that they should. Having way too many collectible moons around might get overbearing for some, but I think it really helps the pace of the game. It really helps replayability when I don't need to fight the boss or do the same "find 8 red coins/other convoluted task" to complete a world. Rapidfiring through things you think might work and getting rewarded is such a great feeling. And so is being a T-Rex. And the flingy bird. And jumping off the very tip of the tallest building.

I love Super Mario Wedding Crashers.

post game's boring though.

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brazenhead89
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Re: 449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by brazenhead89 »

I've never felt more conflicted in a Mario game than I have Super Mario Odyssey. I found it to be a remarkably lop-sided game, which achieves some exceptional things yet blows its load entirely too early for the player to appreciate them.
Playing through the campaign is a rollicking good time, and gives the player the freedom not only explore, but to then approach whichever challenges seem like the most fun. This, of course, is a wonderful thing; so too are the game’s climactic moments, that musical number in New Donk City, the moped ride from a rampaging T-Rex, the low gravity moon platforming and the Super Mario 64-esque platforming challenges of the Luncheon Kingdom. All of them wonderful.

Then you complete the main game – only a fraction of the full experience – and discover there’s hundreds more moons to collect. I was overjoyed to learn there was so much more to do, but underwhelmed when they appeared to be scraps from Nintendo’s cutting room floor.

I enjoyed the new warp zones in each kingdom, reminiscent of those abstract platforming challenges in Super Mario Sunshine, but these were short and sparse. The hundreds of other hidden moons were locked behind some tepid exploration challenges or esoteric tasks. Sure, I COULD take a Goomba to the other side of the Sand Kingdom to romance another Goomba; I COULD slowly steer a pterodactyl towards a hidden stream of coins; I COULD find a hidden exit somewhere in that pyramid I’d already explored a dozen times before; but after the excitement of the main campaign, why would I look forward to any of it?

Maybe I’m just not great at exploring, or maybe I’m hopeless at finding the fun in Mario Odyssey. But in Super Mario Galaxy, or indeed any other Mario game, I didn’t need to find the fun. It was constantly flung at me in a seemingly endless parade of new Galaxies and challenges. And while I’ve never left a Mario game with anything less than near-full completion, I’ve no incentive at all to return to Mario Odyssey’s hundreds of uncollected moons.

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ThirdDrawing
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Re: 449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by ThirdDrawing »

I've played multiple Mario games, but this is the first one I've actually finished. I'm not very good at platformers, but I'd heard so much positive buzz about the game that I had to grab it when I purchased my Switch. And that buzz was correct!

There is so much variety in this game that I was always able to find something that clicked with me.

If I got frustrated in a spot, as I often do with platformers, I could move on and do something else, like hunt for more moons.

I'm not sure if some people consider this game to have a lack of challenge compared to other Mario games, but I consider it a testament to great game design that I kept wanting to push forward, even when I got frustrated. For me, this is the Sekiro of platformers. I kind of suck at it, but it somehow clicked and managed to hook me when I eked out that little bit of progress.

Now working on getting those extra moons.

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davelawrence8
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Re: 449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by davelawrence8 »

My take on Odyssey is that it's a grand, beautiful adventure, with a long list of wins, but with one major gripe.

Starting with the gripe: I wish all of that end-game content was in the actual game. I could have made for a lush, giant quest while still keeping the optional moons scattered along the landscapes. Have each world stuffed full with things to do, but also keep the boss in the same spot for those that don't want to check every moon location and get every item.

What Odyssey has going for it is sheer variety: the worlds, the outfits, the ability to be the enemies, the number of challenges and offshoot platforming puzzles. It's all fun, and all worthwhile.

Plus there's everything we expect from a Mario title, and it's all there too: stellar soundtrack, smooth controls, tight platforming, winking humor, and even some experimentation (real people in New Donk City!). And some throwback materials that celebrate the 30-year romp that is Mario. The celebration at the end of New Donk's level is fan service personified in a giant angry ape. It's amazing.

Then there are the little moments that are filled with spirit, like Peach traveling to each level on her own, the elimination of "lives" as a thing, returning to the Mushroom Kingdom after the main storyline, or the ability to be a certain mean green turtle boss during the endgame. It's pure Mario fun.

It's just that after the main storyline, all that extra stuff seems superfluous. Why bother? Why not put it in the main game, too? I found that, unlike 'Breath of the Wild,' there was little reason or incentive to return to those lush levels and get more moons.

In the end, I find that the 'Super Mario 3D World' or 'Super Mario Galaxy' formula - classic Mario levels with a tad of exploration and a definitive closing flagpole/star - fits my Mario preferences more than Odyssey. But Odyssey really is a beautiful, fun adventure for the Switch, and a worthy successor to Mario 64.

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Stanshall
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Re: 449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by Stanshall »

Nicely worded post. I'm very much inclined to agree.

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RCheeze
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Re: 449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by RCheeze »

I got Super Mario Odyssey in late 2019, shortly after my brother gifted me a Switch. Having grown up on Mario games with Super Mario World being one of my favorites and Super Mario 64 coming to me during a formative time in my adolescent years, this game clicked with me in the same way Breath of the Wild did in 2017. I loved the design, the gameplay, the worlds, the tight controls, the charming characters, the NPCs, the catchy music, the power ups, the costumes and just everything else that made this a joy to experience. In my opinion, this is the first Mario game since Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii to really iterate on the Mario formula and advance it forward, by mixing so many elements of recent and classic Mario games. Truly one of the best reasons to own a Switch.

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Caliburn M
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Re: 449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by Caliburn M »

Enjoyable enough but as others have also said I felt little need to continue playing after the story finished.
Found the game less fun than 3D world and galaxy partly due to the levels which sometimes seemed too large and with too little variation but my main issue was with the perspective which seemed somewhat off making the 3D platforming irritating at times. Not sure exactly what the issue was but I always felt unsure of where I was landing in comparison to the earlier games, it wasn't bad just not quite right.
A solid 8/10 for me :)

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JCVanDan
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Re: 449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by JCVanDan »

Mario Odyssey is a wonderful, joyful, gaming experience. It's the first to really hearken back to Mario 64 and give players a place to just...muck about in. I loved the potential in each level as I moved on to each one, picking at the edges and exploring and trying to find the more obvious moons. Even though I think they were massively overdone the moons are what made the game an instant classic for me, giving me a true sense of exploration in these beautifully designed sandboxes.

This was also the first game my son showed some real interest in. He was only 2 and a half or so at the time so he couldn't play it but every day without fail it was 'Daddy want see dinosaur on mow-mow'. I had some real fun seeing his genuine fear as the T-Rex stalked me around the lower woods area. At one point he actually cried until I climbed the beanstalk to escape he was so scared, oh how I laughed!

I eventually got bored at around 550 moons, and I didn't finish the Darker Side as it was just too goddamn hard. However, I just checked my playtime and it's at 50 hours which is absolutely incredible to me considering I rarely replay games or play after I've finished the main campaign. I think that's testament to the pure joy and fun inherent in the game. I love it and I think I'll continue to pick it up occasionally for years to come.

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BlueWeaselBreath
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Re: 449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by BlueWeaselBreath »

Super Mario Odyssey represents a bunch of my favorite adult gaming memories. I have never in my entire life been an early adopter of any console, preferring to wait until they go on sale. But for my birthday a few years back, my wife decided I had earned the right to buy myself a Switch and the newly released Super Mario Odyssey. Buying the console and game in Best Buy and bringing them home brought me flashes of that childhood excitement of bringing home a new game and console.

I hadn’t played any of the 3D Marios since 64 (except for a short stint with Sunshine, which I didn’t really click with), so the whole spectacle dazzled me, from the bright, clean visuals to the great soundtrack. The Danny Elfmanesque theme of the first area was terrific, but it was really when the epic music of the second world kicked in that I really got that sense of childlike wonder.

I also had the experience of playing a complete game with my wife, which rarely ever occurs as she’s not a huge gamer, so that’s another fun memory. She mainly played as Cappy, and we’d do a few hours of Mario every night before bed. In between main story sections, I’d mess around in handheld mode on my own to complete the collectathon, but I would rarely do any major milestones without her there. After we beat Bowser together, I went back and 100 percented the game on my own, and I can say, as someone who made it through the Star World in Super Mario World and finished all the Yoshi’s Island content back in the day, that the final Darker Side of the Moon level was one of the hardest Mario levels I have ever played. Big feeling of achievement there when I finally got through it. Lot of rude words uttered along the way.

And, of course, the joyous Donkey Kong celebration is one of my favorite gaming moments ever. Everything comes together perfectly with the music, and it was a great moment when the barrels started coming down the platforms and the realization hit “Ah, I see what they’re doing here.”

I haven’t gone back to the game since they’ve added the Luigi balloon stuff, but the time I spent with the game is full of nothing but happy memories, and so for me is a quintessential Nintendo experience.

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seansthomas
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Re: 449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by seansthomas »

To me, the structure of Mario Odyssey probably does the games' overall content and standout examples of platforming a huge disservice, and stops people regarding it as highly as past 3D Mario adventures. With you able to blitz through the main story and roll credits in a few play sessions, many people I know felt underwhelmed and never pushed beyond that. And that's a real shame, as I found many of its most brilliant secrets and levels came in those 40 hours post-ending. And whilst I didn't get every single moon, largely thanks to an apparent inability to play beach volleyball or skip in time, I certainly enjoyed getting over 800 of them and completing the Darker side of the moon challenge (though I I nearly did admit defeat after the 2nd full week of trying and failing to get those stupid lava balls to go where I wanted them to).

The pick up and play, bitesize nature of the game is perfectly suited to the Switch's modus operandi but I won't lie, I did find the padding of having so many tasks be the same across worlds a bit tiring. And the Broodals are an absolute abomination of a creation and a permanent stain on Nintendo's normally impeccable character design.

Costumes were fun, swapping lives in favour of coins was great and having a shop was addictive. Traversal is joyous with that bonus jump Cappy enables and taking control of objects in game made for some great, iconic moments. The integration of 2D Mario levels in game also made me wonder if we ever need either a dedicated 2D or 3D Mario game again.

So I overall loved Odyssey and put 80 hours into it, loving the new gameplay additions. It may not be the revelation that 64 was or quite capture the sheer delight that Galaxy offered, but it's not far off.


-------------

I figure that you'll have a ton of correspondence similar to the above, so also thought I'd submit this too in case it adds a different perspective.

I played much of Odyssey with a small child sat next to me howling with delight and asking me to redo the Donkey Kong level over and over and over and over. So once we got to a point (after admittedly a whole year) where I was struggling to find anything new to do, we started up a new game and I handed the controller to my 4 year old daughter, on Assist mode. And that's where the structure of the game all made sense and i realised how genius it is.

Being able to stand still and recover or be put back on the ground when you fall into a ravine meant, bar the bosses, she could beat the game almost entirely on her own. She also found the motion controls intuitive and easier to start with.

She became obsessed with collecting the outfits and now loads it up at the weekend, hoovering up moons she's missed for her little brother to watch, mesmerised by.

When I told her that there was a show being recorded about the game, I asked if she had any thoughts on the game and she asked me to transcribe the following:

"I like it because I like playing it with my brother Sam and having lots of fun. My favourite level is the Mushroom Kingdom because I like playing as Yoshi in it. I like doing the balloon races with Luigi and hiding them. The Jump up Superstar level is fun for me because I like hitting Donkey Kong and I like the music!

I like getting the moons and in the Mushroom Kingdom I liked scaring Toad when I took control of the monsters with my hat. I love getting changed in the shops or the Odyssey. My favourite outfit is the normal red and blue one but I also like dressing as Father Christmas.

I don't like all the monsters and get a bit scared that we might die. The one I don't like the most is the one on the Sand Kingdom where his hands come off and you have to punch him in the face!

I like Mario a lot but I think I like Animal Crossing more now."

Evie Thomas, 6

So there you go. That's what a 6 year old gamer thinks!

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seansthomas
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Re: 449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by seansthomas »

Also, I still cannot believe there was no DLC for this game...

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Alex79uk
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Re: 449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by Alex79uk »

This is a special game to me. My middle son is 4 and whilst we've played the odd Lego game here and there, he'd never really got in to a game before this. From watching his frustration, wrestling with the controls to finally mastering them and even completing the 500 moon challenge was just amazing. He'd watch YouTube videos to learn all the different moves, and check guides to find the odd moon he was struggling with before loading up the game and putting what he'd learned in to action, he felt so proud of himself. He'd get so excited every time he found a new moon, and his collecting has way surpassed my own save. I think I'm on about 350 moon whilst he's topping 700. It's been brilliant playing together, trying to work out puzzles or how to defeat bosses, and as much fun as I had playing the game on my own, it was playing together that really made this experience special.

It's the first 3D Mario game I've put any real time in to since 64, and I absolutely loved it. Endlessly smart and ingenious, it never failed to put a smile on my face. I'd say it's easily my favourite 3D Mario game, and may even just pip Super Mario World as my favorite overall.

Three word review: Endless family fun.

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Re: 449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by DomsBeard »

Myself and my 3 year old had our first proper gaming experience together with this, we started off with me as Mario and him as Cappy, high fiving each other every time we got a moon, a habit we still do even on moon 600. The assist mode is great and more games need to do this. He now plays it fully on his own and it is amazing how different things look through a kids eyes. For example did you know
Spoiler: show
there is a warp pipe on the Odyssey that takes you inside it?

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Rhaegyr
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Re: 449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by Rhaegyr »

First feedback, let's give it a shot!

It's hard to put my finger on why I enjoyed this game so much - I think it's because I feel the same design philosophy that permeated Breath of the Wild is also evident here in spades - dropping you into a world absolutely stuffed with secrets and saying "there you go, now explore". What a joy this was!

It doesn't hurt that Mario has never controlled better either - Nintendo seem to have found the sweet spot between the weighty Mario in 64 and the turn-on-a-sixpence Mario of Sunshine which consequently makes exploring and getting around the levels a blast.

Everything else is predictably on point for a first party Mario game - the level design, the art style, the colour (wow) and the soundtrack all deliver in spades.

The only misstep I feel are the Broodals, both their character design and battling them (particularly the boss rush at the end). Worse than the blob creatures of Delphino Isle. Maybe.

It's actually nudged Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario World down a notch and sits firmly at the top of my list of favourite Mario games. Never thought I'd say that.

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EatingBeansAgain
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Re: 449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by EatingBeansAgain »

Some of my earliest gaming memories involved the Super Mario games on the SNES, and Donkey Kong on the Gameboy. But after the SNES, I fell away from the series. Life went on, and the next two decades of my time were spent with Playstations and PCs, slotting them in between beers, parties and work.

Fast forward a couple of decades, and my partner and I picked up a Switch and grabbed Odyssey to go with it. It was like visiting an old friend. Just as I'd gotten greyer and more cynical, Mario had changed too since I last saw him. Now he was 3D, and he had a voice! Toad and Peach both also had updates - notably, having more character to them. However, there was also a lot that hadn't changed. Mario's moveset includes a lot of the flips and jumps from the Donkey Kong GameBoy days, and we were still stomping goombas and hitting blocks. Business as usual.

The most important thing to me, however, was the fact Mario retained his whimsy after all these years. When last we met, I was a wide-eyed kid with school holidays and weekends that seem to stretch forever. Now I'm older, with more stresses and responsibilities. But my old friend Mario? Well, he hasn't lost his spark. Turning on the Switch was like travelling back in time. I was nearing the end of my PhD, and so taking an hour or two a day to step into another world with Mario just made my stresses melt away. Deadlines? Bills? Just put that aside for a minute, because there is a Princess to rescue, monsters to stomp, and coins to collect with one of your oldest mates.

I'm sure this all sounds a bit twee, but playing through Odyssey reminded me of something that I may have forgotten along the way, and that is to just have fun. Odyssey represents a pure "videogame" experience to me. It's like climbing the tallest tree in the park, or seeing who can roll down the hill the furthest. There's no pretense, and asks nothing of the player exepct to enjoy themselves.

The game peaked for me during the Donkey Kong throwback in New Donk City, but every world with its weird characters and challenges made me remember why I fell in love with games in the first place. It's good to see you again, old friend.

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sam_c
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Re: 449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by sam_c »

This is the only 3d Mario game I'd played beyond briefly renting Sunshine many moons (ha!) ago. I thoroughly enjoyed playing through the game and experiencing each colourful environment and buying cute outfits for Mario, although the platforming was a bit easy. I didn't feel compelled to play much of the post-game content at all -- although I enjoyed stumbling on moons through normal play, I didn't feel enough of the moon challenges were interesting enough to be worth scouring every level in intense detail for (I've never been much of a collector in games).

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Alex79uk
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Re: 449: Super Mario Odyssey

Post by Alex79uk »

Yeah, the way they did the moons in this game was almost like they were collectables rather than the main focus of the level. I mean like how in 64 or Galaxy etc you'd start the level and be aiming for specific star, but in Odyssey they were just things you'd come across all the time. Some of the challenges were fiendish though, I suppose the challenge lies in finding them all. Personally I really like how it's done in this game, but I can see its different enough that some fans of previous games found it a bit unrewarding.

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