Super Mario Odyssey #001 – First Look

This post contains minor spoilers for the first 15 minutes of gameplay of Super Mario Odyssey.

Finally! 

Besides”The Legend of Zelda – Breath of the Wild” this was the most anticipated game after the release of the Nintendo Switch console earlier this year.

I have to be honest here. The “newest” Super Mario game I played was Super Mario 64. Since it’s release in the 90’s I was playing Super Mario World (SNES) a few times and that is pretty much it. Still, I have great childhood memories of the original Super Mario games on NES. I played Super Mario Bros. 3 for years and even if it didn’t age too well for me (I know a lot of people think different about this), it will always be one of my favorites.

But back to the present: After many trailers and small gameplay snippets Super Mario Odyssey was finally released on October 27th.  The first reviews were crazy good. The game scored around 95% (or 9.5 out of 10) on average, so my expectations were actually pretty high.

So does it meet the standard?

Assist Mode? Nah… but nice to have the option.

Let’s-a-go!

The first few moments are already a big surprise. No dreamy intro. No camera flight over the peaceful Mushroom Kingdom. No. There is an action packed cut-scene with Bowser (dressed as a groom) and Mario fighting for Princess Peach. So in comparison with the classic Super Mario games there are some rules broken here:

  1. The fight against the final enemy is shown in the beginning.
  2. Mario is losing the battle…
  3. and his cap (I always thought it was wedded to his body).

This was as surprising as it was amazing. Five minutes in the game and I think this will be a long night.

Bowser wants to marry Princess Peach against her will. Yes… he is set in his ways.

Learning the Basics in Cap Kingdom

So after losing the fight with Bowser and seeing the woman of our dreams being kidnapped we are landing hard on the ground in Cap Kingdom. The citizens of this Kingdom are talking hats which is corresponding to their architectural style. They must be very consistent people.

Through one of the locals – who is conveniently called “Cappy” – we learn that Bowser destroyed big parts of their Kingdom. Unified by our common goal (revenge) we decide to travel together.

And here are some interesting and – as far as I know – unique gameplay elements introduced:

  1. We can throw Cappy at enemies to kill (or “defeat”) them.
  2. We can throw Cappy at obstacles to generate effects (like turning on lights or pull switches).
  3. We can throw Cappy at some enemies and other beings/objects to control them (more on that in the next article).
  4. We can let Cappy hover for a few seconds and use him as a steppingstone.
  5. We can switch to two-player-mode. One player is controlling Mario as usual. The other one is controlling Cappy (couldn’t try this out yet).
    A dark landscape for the tutorial is something new for Mario. The calm and sombre mood is captured very good.

    15 minutes into the game and I’m already amazed. There are some nice innovations in gameplay and atmosphere, but this is still clearly a Super Mario game with all its spirit and “heart”. I just want to start running and jumping and exploring and collecting coins.

    I’m sure this will be my game for the next weeks and I will share more of my thoughts on it within the next days. So stay tuned.

What about you? Are you a day-one-buyer, too? Is the concept of the sweet and helpless princess being kidnapped so outdated, that even Mario should get a job and choose different ways in life? What about Bowser?

Lets talk about it in the comments!

One Reply to “Super Mario Odyssey #001 – First Look”

  1. Thanks for your insight!

    Personally I think Super Mario in history was always very good at its interpretation of the ‘save the princess’ theme.
    If taken seriously ofc its is not compatible to modern perception of storytelling or political correctness – I think with ‘Mario’ it has always been more of an ironic reinterpretation of the old theme.

    This principle works for me – and with this new game I’m interested in how well it works in this latest iteration.
    Please keep reporting 🙂

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