We are finally here – the release of the highly, highly touted Super Mario Odyssey. Framed as the “successor to 64 and Sunshine” the newest sandbox, 3D Mario has opened to rave reviews.
Given I’ve made a habit of these “review compilations” for major releases, Mario has to receive the same treatment. As it currently stands, Nintendo has absolutely knocked it out of the park with both Zelda and Mario in Switch’s launch year. What more could you ask for?
Luckily, Amazon managed to get my copy to me on release day, so I’ve been playing along with the free time I have had (and hope to get this week). I’m really enjoying the game so far, and I hope the hype doesn’t wear off.
Kotaku – Unscored
This was just one of many similar sequences in Odyssey in which every element gelled so well that I was simply enraptured by the beauty of the whole experience. In that sense, perhaps as it should be, what you find at the end is not as rewarding as the journey.
Gamespot – 10/10
Odyssey is sustained beyond its major milestones not only through colorful worlds and hidden challenges, but through the sheer joy of controlling Mario, who’s never felt more responsive or dynamic in action. Even with everything new that’s been introduced, Nintendo’s forward-thinking platformer retains the series’ classic handcrafted appeal, which is even more impressive when you realize how densely packed each kingdom is. Mario’s latest outing is big, bold, and bursting with new ideas, and like Breath of the Wild, is another instance of Nintendo going above and beyond to redefine our expectations. It’s a shining example of refined creativity, and another crown jewel for Switch that is without equal.
Guardian – 5/5
Although it’s still just as fun to run around as Mario, especially as he leans his body to the side and sticks out his arms like an uninhibited infant, Cappy is a welcome new companion; he gives you so much more to play with.
Giant Bomb – 5/5
Unlike Breath of the Wild, this is not a complete reinvention of what an iconic Nintendo franchise is capable of. Super Mario Odyssey is very much a 3D Mario game with its roots set in Super Mario 64’s exploration and sense of discovery. Its surprises are less about the overarching format and more about the nooks and crannies carved into each and every world. Each kingdom is absolutely packed with charm, clever objectives, gorgeous visuals, a stellar soundtrack, and a huge variety of ways to have fun. One moon would have me leaping across tiny platforms with pinpoint precision, and the next would have me cheering up a businessman by dressing like a clown. At no point did I feel like I was checking boxes just to up my completion percentage. Even now that I’ve collected every moon and purple coin in the game, I still want to play more of it. It’s one of the most joyous and entertaining gaming experiences I’ve had in a long time, and it stands tall among the all-time great Mario games.
Nintendo Life – 10/10
Odyssey will, inevitably, now enter the discussions about the ‘best’ Mario games. In the second half and post-credits – in particular – it takes on a life of its own, showcasing incredible design and development flair. It’s also a wonderful showcase for the Switch, and could introduce a whole new audience to the wonders of Mario in three dimensions. For the veterans among us, meanwhile, it’s yet another special release to remind us of why Mario is still gaming’s number one.
GamesRadar+ – 5/5
Thankfully the gripes are so small that it’s easy to say Odyssey is the most glorious of Mario’s adventures to date. And not to mention adorable. Have you seen all of his outfits? Nintendo’s ability to jam secrets and side-quests into every pixel continues to astonish and means I’ll be playing Super Mario Odyssey for many Moons to come.
IGN – 10/10
Mario’s games have been around for almost as long as game consoles have been a thing, but thankfully, he’s always evolving. We rarely get the same Mario twice. Super Mario Odyssey delivers on that ongoing promise of originality and innovation: It distills the venerable series’ joyful, irreverent world and characters and best-in-class platforming action, and introduces a steady stream of new and unexpected mechanics. It’s all spun together into a generational masterpiece.
GameInformer – 9.8/10
Quibbles aside, Super Mario Odyssey is an absolute delight, and another Switch release that will have Nintendo fans debating which 3D Mario game is the best of them all. I still hang my hat on Super Mario Galaxy as the pinnacle of the series, but Odyssey and its wealth of gameplay styles and moons make it a close second.
Polygon – 9.5/10
For a character nearing 40 years old, it’s amazing that Mario has remained not only a beloved character but one whose games are generally expected to be great. From that perspective, it’s no surprise that Super Mario Odyssey is, yes, a great game. But more than that, it’s a fantastic, even fundamental addition to Mario’s legacy. From a plumber to a doctor to a tennis star to, uh, a Goomba, Mario has endured. No, this will not be the last Mario game, but it is almost certain to be lauded as one of his best.
Destructoid – 9.5/10
Has there ever been a bad 3D Mario game? Many would reserve that honor for Super Mario Sunshine (my least favorite), but it’s a far cry from a failure. No, before shipping any iteration of its flagship franchise, Nintendo ensures that a proper level of care goes into its plumber, and that streak of quality still remains unbroken with Super Mario Odyssey.
It looks like Mario has become a review darling that will sit atop review aggregators for some time. We will see if there is any blowback like Skyrim experienced, once the early hype waned. With Nintendo, thats not normally the case.
More generally, along with Zelda, Nintendo has given a great starting line-up to its newest console iteration and put Sony and Microsoft back on notice. The Switch will be a big buy come this holiday season, and its nice to see Nintendo back in the fray.
What are your thoughts on the game so far? Did you preorder? Are you all in on the hype? Comment below!