Super Mario Odyssey
Official Description (Ad Blurb)
Explore incredible places far from the Mushroom Kingdom as you join Mario and his new ally Cappy on a massive, globe-trotting 3D adventure.
Use amazing new abilities—like the power to capture and control objects, animals, and enemies—to collect Power Moons so you can power up the Odyssey airship and save Princess Peach from Bowser's wedding plans!
Thanks to heroic, hat-shaped Cappy, Mario's got new moves that'll make you rethink his traditional run-and-jump gameplay—like cap jump, cap throw, and capture. Use captured cohorts such as enemies, objects, and animals to progress through the game and uncover loads of hidden collectibles. And if you feel like playing with a friend, just pass them a Joy-Con™ controller! Player 1 controls Mario while Player 2 controls Cappy. This sandbox-style 3D Mario adventure—the first since 1996's beloved Super Mario 64™ and 2002's Nintendo GameCube™ classic Super Mario Sunshine™—is packed with secrets and surprises, plus exciting new kingdoms to explore.
- Explore astonishing new locales like skyscraper-packed New Donk City to your heart's content, and run into familiar friends and foes as you try to save Princess Peach from Bowser's dastardly wedding plans.
- Find something interesting? Toss your cap at it and see what happens! There are lots of fun and surprising ways to interact with your surroundings.
- Be sure to bring any coins you find to a Crazy Cap store, where you can exchange them for decorative souvenirs for the Odyssey and new outfits for Mario! Some destinations have very exclusive dress codes, after all…
- Hand a Joy-Con™ controller to a friend to enjoy simultaneous multiplayer: Player 1 controls Mario while Player 2 controls Mario's new ally Cappy.
- Use Snapshot Mode to freeze time while playing the game and take screenshots that you can customize using various options and filters. Screenshots can be shared via social media or uploaded to PCs and smart devices* using all of the Nintendo Switch™ system's built-in screenshot tools.
- A special edition Nintendo Switch™ hardware bundle will launch alongside the game. This special edition includes a download code for the full game, red left and right Joy-Con™ controllers, and a Super Mario Odyssey™ themed Nintendo Switch carrying case.
Source: Nintendo.com Description
- スーパーマリオ オデッセイ - Japanese spelling
- 超級瑪利歐 奧德賽 - Traditional Chinese spelling
- 超级马力欧 奥德赛 - Simplified Chinese spelling
- 슈퍼 마리오 오디세이 - Korean spelling
Credits (Nintendo Switch version)
341 People (280 developers, 61 thanks) · View all
|Level Design Lead
|Level Design Support
|Character Programming Lead
|[ full credits ]
Average score: 96% (based on 161 ratings)
Average score: 4.4 out of 5 (based on 51 ratings with 3 reviews)
* Amazing platforming gameplay with the tightest controlling Mario to date.
Capturing is a great mechanic which opens up a lot of possibilities.
Excellent and highly varied level design, with great boss fights.
Colorful, polished visuals
Not enough truly challenging moons
The Bottom Line*
Super Mario Odyssey was the Nintendo Switch’s big release for its first holiday season, and I’d argue, the first truly must-have game for the platform. Sure, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was an essential part of the platform’s early success, and deservedly so. It was, however, still a heavily-delayed Wii U port at its core, meaning that buying it on Switch wasn’t quite as attractive of a prospect if you were one of the few who already owned the ill-fated console, unless the system’s portability was a big draw for you. By contrast, Odyssey was truly exclusive to the new console.
I remember being utterly blown away by Super Mario Galaxy back in 2007. It was the freshest take on the 3D platform genre that I had ever seen, and I gobbled up every last level and objective in it. No Mario game since then has really had that same effect on me. Galaxy 2 was enjoyable but obviously couldn’t capture that same sense of freshness, since it was essentially an expanded version of the original. The Wii U’s Super Mario 3D World was also very fun, but it wasn’t really what I wanted from a 3D Mario game, as it was based around following Super Mario Bros-style courses in 3D. It felt like something that was easier and quicker for the development team to pull together, since Nintendo reportedly struggled with HD development. That time to develop that level of expertise paid off, as we now finally have a true 3D sandbox-style Mario game in HD, and it is a stunner.
Super Mario Odyssey begins in medias res, with Mario trying to (for the umpteenth time) rescue Peach from Bowser. This time, Bowser is attempting to marry Peach, and has even arranged the wedding with a family of wedding-planner rabbits from the moon called the Broodals. Bowser unfortunately manages to defeat Mario, while also destroying his cap. After landing in a graveyard for hats, Mario befriends a hat ghost named Cappy, who teams up with the plumber to rescue his sister Tiara from Bowser, becoming Mario’s companion and hat. From there, Mario acquires an airship called the Odyssey and chases Bowser through several different kingdoms as he steals wedding artifacts from each one.
Cappy is one of the best companions to ever feature in a Mario game. As a ghost hat, Cappy is able to take the form of any hat. Cappy can also be used as a platform to get across large gaps. Indeed, this has become an essential tool for speed runners, as you can bypass quite a few sections of the game this way. Its when Cappy is thrown at an enemy or object that the real magic begins.
When this happens, Mario will be able to capture, or take control of that enemy. These captures give Mario numerous different abilities, and allow Mario to reach new moons. They are effectively a replacement for powerups. The captures available in each world give each one a different playstyle. For example, some characters are able to jump high or stretch in unusual ways. Other characters let you enter dangerous regions or even fly for some time. Using all of these characters creates little puzzles for reaching various moons. Amazingly, Nintendo’s marketers were able to hide this major mechanic until halfway into the game’s marketing campaign, proving how strong the rest of the game already was without it.
There are many times, however, when you can reach a moon simply by pure platforming, though this isn't true of every moon. Nevertheless, Mario’s moves is so versatile that a good portion of the moons can be reached this way.
The set of worlds that Mario visits in Odyssey, referred to as “kingdoms” are by far the most varied ever seen in a Mario game. Each kingdom offers its own character, and just about all of them are distinct in their own ways. Some of them are very traditional Mario fare, but more than a few go off in extremely bizarre and unexpected directions. New Donk City, a New York-styled metropolis, is a good example of this. It features tall buildings, taxis, scooters to ride on, and realistic-looking humans bustling about. It also happens to be one of the greatest levels ever featured in a Mario game. There are plenty more within the game that just left me in awe in how unusual they really were. I’ve seen some grumblings online about how the art direction and style of some of these areas doesn’t make sense for a Mario game, but personally I love that Nintendo is willing to push the limits on what can and can’t be featured in a Mario game.
The setup is very similar to the classic 3D Mario games such as 64 and Galaxy. Each level has multiple objectives to complete, which earn you collectibles that allow Mario to progress to other worlds. In Odyssey, you are looking for Power Moons. All you are required to do is find a certain amount of moons to move on to the next stage. Generally, the game will use a beacon of light to point you in a direction towards a main objective to complete such as a boss. Doing this will usually net a multi-moon and open up new paths and areas in a kingdom, though you aren’t ever forced to do this outside of a couple of exceptions, and can move on to the next stage even before doing any of these main quests.
Moons are hidden all over every level: some in plain sight, others require careful observation and interacting with the environment to find. You might have to simply climb to a high point, or you might have to capture an enemy or an object to accomplish an objective to receive the moon. All of the stages are dense with moons to find - the largest ones have nearly a hundred moons that can be found within them. Once you find a moon, you can continue to look for more from there, though completing some of the main quests can warp the player back to the starting zone. This isn’t a huge deal, however, as Mario can quickly warp to any checkpoint within a world that he has reached.
Many levels have occasional classic-styled 2D sections hidden in them. These sections often take place on 3D surfaces, so you’ll have effects such as a 2D level wrapping around a 3D cylinder or cube.. The graphics in these areas are styled after the original 1985 Super Mario Bros. Interestingly, the costume that Mario wears will match his sprite once inside these areas ( more on those later).
There are two types of coins that exist in the game: gold coins and purple coins. Gold coins can be found in every kingdom, and can be used at shops to buy costumes, life powerups and moons. During the post-game, it is possible to use gold coins to simply buy a moon at the shop if you can’t figure out how to reach it. You can also use gold coins to play mini games, buy hints from certain characters, and other interactions. Purple coins are found in each kingdom and come in different types unique to that region (snowflakes in the snow kingdom, leaves in the wood kingdom, etc. There are anywhere from 50- 100 of these in each kingdom, though not every kingdom actually has them. These come in groups of three or four. Purple coins can be used to buy additional costumes from shops as well as souvenirs and stickers for the Odyssey. The costumes purchased from purple coin shops are often essential to access certain doors of the level, so be sure to focus on getting them first.
My biggest nitpick with the game is the lack of a penalty for dying. There are no longer lives in Super Mario Odyssey- instead, you lose 10 golden coins upon dying. This design decision actually makes sense - Nintendo wants to encourage the player to explore and be as reckless as they can to find moons. However, it has the effect of making parts of the game seem just a bit too easy, at least during the main story. Upon hitting post-game, however, the difficulty ramps up, and you’ll actually be glad for the coin buffer you’ve built up over the course of the game. I recommend just enjoying the journey through the main story and don’t worry about the challenge until later in the game.
The only other real issue with Super Mario Odyssey is that a lot of moons are just trivial to get. Don’t get me wrong, there are a number of moons that will make you want to pull your hair out, and are definitely harder than anything I can remember from any recent Mario game. However, these are mostly found during the post-game, and even then, most post-game moons aren't tricky to actually find. Out of all of the hundreds of moons in the game, maybe 5-10 percent of them are super challenging to get. Part of the problem stems from the fact that many tasks to get moons are repeated across the worlds. Other challenges will task you with looking at an image and ground-pounding the spot on that image. For example, most worlds have rabbits that need to be caught, or seeds to be brought to pots, which earn moons. This won’t be something you notice during the main game, but the postgame can feel a bit tedious at times because of this. You don’t even need to earn close to all of the moons to actually unlock the final stage, so it’s nowhere near as tedious as it sounds.
Graphically, Odyssey looks quite good for something that’s running off what is essentially a tablet. Levels aren’t particularly large, but they are detailed, with a striking art style. Or rather art styles, since each world looks so incredibly different. Characters have extremely charming animations, and the entire game just pops off of whatever screen you’re playing it on. It also runs at a mostly-solid 60FPS, which has been true of every console Mario game since the release of Galaxy. There are occasional elements that look quite awful, such as the diggable snow within the Snow Kingdom. There is also some minor stuttering and pop-in in a couple of the more complex worlds, which genuinely surprised me as Mario games are usually among the most technically polished out there, even when considering the hardware Nintendo works with.
The soundtrack is fantastic and easily upholds the Mario standard. Many of the kingdom themes are catchy, appropriate, and fun to listen to. The music ranges from orchestral to synthesized 8-bit, with everything in between.In a series first, the game even has a few tracks which feature vocals. If you’ve seen the trailers for this game, then you’ve no doubt heard the game’s theme song “Jump Up Superstar”, a jazzy, big-band styled tune with vocals sung by Pauline, who in this game is the mayor of New Donk City.
This game is pure digital magic. It’s probably my favorite game of 2017, which is saying something considering all of the incredible games that came out during that year. It is by far the best Mario game since Galaxy, and though it ultimately doesn’t topple that masterpiece it does come closer than anything else Nintendo has released in the past 11 years.
Nintendo Switch · by krisko6 (814) · 2018
The game has a lot of different worlds with new mechanics to keep you interested. It has a simple path to get through the story, but more challenges to go beyond the main path. The ending has a lot of changes to the world to keep you going. There are a lot of fun and memorable events. The bosses keep you wanting more.
It does a great job of keeping you interested, but it still can get tedious towards the end of each level. Yet, each level is always fun. It also just continues the same story as each previous iteration, with a wedding twist.
The Bottom Line
This iteration of Mario is a very fun game with a lot to do and a lot of fun events. I really enjoyed the game and recommend it to anyone.
Nintendo Switch · by Dwango (298) · 2023
- The Game Awards
- 2017 - Game of the Year - Nominated
- 2017 - Best Game Direction - Nominated
- 2017 - Best Score / Music - Nominated
- 2017 - Best Audio Design - Nominated
- 2017 - Best Action/Adventure Game - Nominated
- 2017 - Best Family Game - Won
Related Sites +
Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.
Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Rik Hideto.
Game added October 27, 2017. Last modified February 17, 2024.