Nearly all of last weekend was spent playing Super Mario Odyssey. I also took a few breaks to mash in two-thirds of Stranger Things season 2, and I was forced to sleep a little bit here and there. But mostly I just played Super Mario Odyssey.
AND WHAT A GREAT WEEKEND IT WAS!
Super Mario Odyssey is just packed – PACKED – with content and charm and fun and surprises. To the point where I think that its biggest shortcoming is how in the world is Nintendo ever going to make a worthy follow-up to this? But that concern is for like ten to fifteen years from now. Until that time, we can just bask in the perfection of the game we have.
For as much content as Nintendo showed off in various trailers over the year (that’s right, it was less than a year from reveal to release), there were still so many wonderful surprises in store that I was constantly grinning and constantly experiencing something new. There were so many unexpected gameplay twists in the assorted kingdoms that I cannot even begin to list out the best of them.
What struck me the most, however, is that once you collect enough Power Moons to get to the end of the story and defeat Bowser (which is a mind-blowing sequence of events, starting from the moment you set foot in the “final” kingdom), you’ve really only experienced like half the game. Maybe even less, if other accounts are to be believed. In fact, as soon as you boot up the post-game, you’re plonked into a new kingdom that I love to death. Absolutely wonderful and even better than the Throwback Galaxy that I adored from Super Mario Galaxy 2. I spent hours bopping around in this new kingdom alone, and there was still tons of other new content that I had unlocked that I had yet to start exploring. Really, I have no idea how many more massive secrets this game has yet to reveal.
One of the more questionable elements is that Super Mario Odyssey has honest-to-God achievements. Which is fine in and of itself; I don’t even mind that they count towards your in-game completion rate. What irks me is how they’re handled. Unlike system-level achievements on other game machines, you don’t just get them as you go. You need to beat the game to access them in the first place, and then you need to talk to Toadette, who will dole out a Power Moon for each one you’ve earned. And she hands them out one-by one. It’s a tedious process no matter which way you approach it.
As I said before, there is still plenty of game left for me to absorb. I have roughly 300 Power Moons out of… I think the official number is 905 or so? But then you can also collect up to 999 of them, so that’s a thing. Anyway, there’s a lot of game left! I’m excited! And I’m excited to see if this one is as timeless as Super Mario 64. In 2007 I thought that Super Mario Galaxy would overtake it as my favourite Mario, but I still haven’t ever replayed that game even as far as the credits, whereas I’ve 100%ed Mario 64 many times over those years.
But enough rambling. Super Mario Odyssey is really, really good! I’m probably going to spend most of this weekend playing it, too.