Super Mario Odyssey
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Super Mario Odyssey is a platforming game for the Nintendo Switch released on October 27, 2017. It is the eighteenth title in the Super Mario series and the sixth 3D Mario title on a home console after Super Mario 3D World. The game has sandbox-like elements and revolves around Mario exploring Earth-based settings, similar to Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, with his new partner Cappy. Unique to this game, Mario is able to throw Cappy onto certain enemies and objects, allowing Mario to take control of them. Mario can also dress in a variety of different costumes, many based off of his past adventures.
The game allows for two-player co-op, allowing a second character to use a single Joy-Con to control Cappy independently from Mario. The game also has online functionality, which allows players to compare their times/scores in certain events. In addition, amiibo can be used to unlock certain costumes early, as well as obtain free hints towards the locations of Power Moons and regional coins.
Beginning "in the skies above Peach's Castle", Mario and Bowser are seen fighting one another on Bowser's airship, with Princess Peach on board as well. Bowser ultimately defeats Mario when he uses his top hat to attack, sending Mario flying to parts unknown. Bowser then takes his airship towards the skies, as he prepares a forced marriage to Peach. He leaves Mario's cap (which had been knocked off of Mario's head during his final attack) adrift into the ship's back propellers, shredding it in the process. A piece is obtained by a hat-shaped ghost, who eventually finds Mario in his homeland of Bonneton, located in the Cap Kingdom.
Afterwards, Mario wakes up and catches up with the ghost. The ghost reveals himself as Cappy, and explains to Mario that Bowser had not only attacked the kingdom, destroying its airship armada, but had also kidnapped Tiara, Cappy's sister, using her as Peach's wedding headdress. Mario and Cappy team up to stop Bowser's plans and save both Peach and Tiara, and using the piece he collected, Cappy transforms into the Mario Cap, allowing Mario to use Cappy's abilities. Cappy also informs Mario that they may be able to find a usable airship in the next kingdom, accessible from the Top Hat Tower. However, upon reaching the top, Mario is encountered by the Broodals, who were hired by Bowser as his wedding planners. After defeating one of the Broodals, named Topper, Mario and Cappy use a power line to travel to Fossil Falls of the Cascade Kingdom, where they find the airship, named the Odyssey, which uses Power Moons as energy to travel. Soon after, Mario and Cappy find and defeat Madame Broode, the boss of the Broodals, and her pet Chain Chomp. Using the power of the Multi Moon obtained from the duo, the Odyssey is ready for sail, and Mario and Cappy use it to chase after Bowser and the Broodals.
Mario and Cappy, through the power of the Power Moons, traverse many kingdoms in their adventure. After going through Tostarena of the Sand Kingdom, Lake Lamode of the Lake Kingdom, and the Steam Gardens of the Wooded Kingdom, they encounter and defeat Bowser in the Nimbus Arena of the Cloud Kingdom. Bowser then shoots at the Odyssey, causing it to crash and land in the Forgotten Isle of the Lost Kingdom.
After Mario rescues Cappy from a Klepto and the duo collect more Power Moons to restore the Odyssey, they venture through New Donk City of the Metro Kingdom, Shiveria of the Snow Kingdom, Bubblaine of the Seaside Kingdom, and Mount Volbono of the Luncheon Kingdom. They then attempt to enter Bowser's Castle in Bowser's Kingdom, however, they are encountered by the Koopa King before they get there. Instead of fighting Mario and Cappy, Bowser orders the Ruined Dragon to attack the Odyssey. This causes the ship to fall to Crumbleden of the Ruined Kingdom, where Mario and Cappy directly fight and defeat the Ruined Dragon. After the dragon's defeat, they obtain a Multi Moon. After again restoring the Odyssey, they finally go to Bowser's Castle and find Bowser with Peach. Bowser reveals that he plans to hold his wedding on the moon, and leaves Mario and Cappy to fight the Broodals in the RoboBrood.
Mario and Cappy destroy the RoboBrood, sending the Broodals flying as the heroic duo recover another Multi Moon. They then head off to Honeylune Ridge of the Moon Kingdom to stop the marriage between Bowser and Peach. They interrupt the wedding as Bowser is attempting to put the Binding Band (previously stolen from Tostarena) on Peach. Bowser then stomps the floor, revealing a trap door under Mario and Cappy, which they fall into. Bowser jumps in after them and engages them in battle, but is defeated. Mario, Cappy, Peach, and Tiara are reunited, but soon discover that the area they are in is collapsing. Mario uses Cappy to capture Bowser and escape, with all of them eventually returning to the moon. Mario and Bowser then simultaneously propose to marry Peach, with Mario offering a Rocket Flower and Bowser offering a bouquet of Piranha Plants. However, Peach rejects them both and leaves with Cappy and Tiara. Mario and Bowser get upset, but Peach then calls from the Odyssey, saying "Let's go home!". As the ship takes off, Mario and Bowser run after it. While Mario successfully jumps on it, he stomps on Bowser, leaving the Koopa King stranded on the moon.
The Odyssey later lands in the Mushroom Kingdom near Peach's Castle, where Cappy says that he enjoyed the adventure and wishes to continue traveling with Mario to collect more Power Moons. They do so, going through the Mushroom Kingdom, as well as Rabbit Ridge of the dark side of the moon and Culmina Crater of the darker side of the moon in the process. Meanwhile, Peach and Tiara travel the kingdoms on Peach's "own terms", while finding Power Moons themselves.
Super Mario Odyssey returns to the explorative sandbox-like gameplay seen in Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, where Mario explores various areas in order to collect Power Moons to power the Odyssey airship to fly from kingdom to kingdom. There is no central hub world, as the Odyssey is rather used to move from one location to the others. Mario maintains his moveset from previous 3D titles, including the Triple Jump, Long Jump, Side Somersault, Backwards Somersault, Roll, Ground Pound, Ground Pound Jump, Spin Jump, and the returning Dive. In addition, a new character called Cappy allies with Mario, and takes possession of his cap. Mario can throw Cappy as if he were a boomerang for a long range attack, he can use Cappy as an extra platform to bypass obstacles, use Cappy in conjunction with his dive move to cross large distances, and can also "capture" certain objects and enemies to take control of them, replacing the traditional power-up system seen in the previous Super Mario games since Super Mario Galaxy. There are 52 capturable targets in total. In co-op mode, one player can control Mario and another controls Cappy.
Mario's life meter also returns with three health, similar to Super Mario Galaxy. Additionally, there are no lives (and by extension, 1-Up Mushrooms and Game Overs) in the game making this the only 3D Mario game not to feature them, as Mario instead loses ten Coins upon dying. The coins that Mario collects serve as currency. There are 2 types of coins - global yellow coins, which can be found and used in any kingdom, and purple regional coins, which are different in every kingdom, and can only be used in the kingdom they were found in. Mario can spend his coins at the Crazy Cap stores to buy items for the Odyssey and costumes. amiibo support includes Mario, Peach, Bowser, and a new character called Uncle amiibo, which unlocks more costumes, including ones based on Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, and Diddy Kong.; others reveal Power Moon locations on the map, though the latter four amiibo also do that before unlocking the costumes. This is also the case for the new "wedding" variants of the former three amiibo.
The game features a "Snapshot Mode", where players can pause the game and take pictures using the Nintendo Switch's button. Players are also able to alter the shot by zooming in and out, tilting the camera for a vertical shot, or apply one of several filters, ranging from blurring the surroundings, adding a sepia tone, changing the camera to a fish-eye lens, or applying an NES, Game Boy, or SNES-styled color scheme.
Super Mario Odyssey is playable in 13 languages: English, European French, Canadian French, German, European Spanish, Latin American Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean.
Balloon World is an upcoming mode similar to hide-and-seek to be added to Super Mario Odyssey in a free update. In order to play, Mario must find Luigi in a kingdom and talk to him to begin. Mario is given a balloon that he can hide in spots around the kingdom for other players to find. Mario can also find balloons that other players around the world have already hidden. There is a time limit for placing and finding the balloons.
Certain enemies will wear different gear depending on the area they are found in. Enemies whose use is mandatory to advance, such as capturable enemies, respawn shortly after getting defeated or after being captured. De-capturing an enemy leaves it in a short dizzy state, which offers the player another chance to capture it before it disappears and respawns at the place it was first encountered.
Items and objects
Blocks and platforms
There are seventeen named locations that Mario can explore, most of which are in what are known as "kingdoms". Each location has a specific theme, some being similar to themes seen in previous Super Mario titles, others being original themes. Some locations are based on a real-world location (e.g. Metro Kingdom's main area, New Donk City, is based on New York City). Bowser is after various items in some of these locations, which all tie to his preparations for his wedding.
When asked about "coming home" to the Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine style of gameplay, Shigeru Miyamoto explained that when he was developing Super Mario 64 with Yoshiaki Koizumi, they realized that the title would be more directed towards the "core gamer", rather than the casual, pick-up-and-go gamer. After Super Mario Sunshine, their focus re-shifted to more accessible, casual gamers, hence encouraging them to make Super Mario Galaxy with more progression-oriented gameplay corridors.
As Super Mario Odyssey was developed alongside the Switch hardware, Yoshiaki Koizumi encouraged the game's developers to share their requirements and suggestions with the hardware development team. This directly led to the inclusion of the two motion-sensitive controllers and the HD rumble feature on the Nintendo Switch hardware, which became a prominent part of Super Mario Odyssey gameplay.
Early ideas and prototypes
Development for Super Mario Odyssey began right after Super Mario 3D World was released in late 2013. Miyamoto sought more senior developers and staff teams who had been involved in past 3D Mario titles, in order to really "go back to the roots" of Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario 64. As a result, Yoshiaki Koizumi was made the game's producer, and Super Mario 3D World director Kenta Motokura again took on the role of director. Miyamoto remained with a consultative role throughout development, and although he contributed a lot of feedback, he was also very accepting of the development team's ideas. Motokura revealed that early stages of development involved creating a "huge" amount of gameplay prototypes with numerous ideas, and the capture ability was one of them.
[The capture ability] was just one of the ideas that came up, but we worked on it for two or three days, and it just instantly turned into something that was really fun, and we decided [that it should be] the center of this game.
Many of the other different prototype ideas were still included, providing for the diversity in game mechanics throughout the game's stages, known as "kingdoms". These "fully realized worlds" were said to have been inspired by the Japanese hakoniwa box gardens, that bring rich landscapes to life in a miniaturized form. The size of these worlds were often adjusted to ensure that the player can regularly discover an engaging action to perform. This was also intended to allow handheld players to still accomplish a Power Moon mission, even if they have only a few minutes to play.
Super Mario Odyssey's theme is highly focused on "surprises" and "travel", and the developers incorporated many of their travel experiences around the world. For instance, elements of the Sand Kingdom was derived from Kenta Motokura's experiences during a trip to Mexico, and the Luncheon Kingdom's food aesthetics was inspired by Italy and other European countries.
The developers recognized that when traveling to foreign countries, something that really has an impact is the different currencies. Therefore, they wanted to have Mario collect and use different regional coins in each kingdom. Since the player travels outside of the Mushroom Kingdom, the diverse art-style between all the different kingdoms aimed to recreate the feelings of surprise and discovery when visiting foreign lands. It was also noted that a lot of time was spent in getting the right balance between familiar Mario concepts, and completely new ones.
An example was the realistic T-Rex that is able to be captured by Mario. The developers looked back for inspiration from familiar Super Mario World elements in Dinosaur Land, although they wanted to use a design that was "unseen" in a Mario game. Familiar gameplay elements include the "8-bit" side-scrolling areas of the kingdoms, reminiscent to Super Mario Bros. in which progress is more "confined" and "precise". This was intended to be an engaging contrast to the 3D sandbox environments.
The developers knew that they wanted to have a city environment in the game that would resonate with players. As Donkey Kong-inspired elements in the city came about, Pauline's presence in the series inspired the team to have her be the mayor of New Donk City. Some character development for Pauline was required in her transition from a damsel in distress to a major character, and it was decided that she would have an interest in jazz. This led to the composition of the game's theme song shown in the E3 2017 trailer, titled "Jump Up, Super Star!", which was made to give the game energy and help get the audience excited.
To develop the game's camera system, the team looked at previous 3D Mario games. Miyamoto discussed how the 3D camera in Super Mario 64 worked very well, as it had the joystick as well as the C buttons to adjust the automatic camera. Super Mario Sunshine had the C stick in order to control the camera freely, although they received feedback that the camera control was "a little bit difficult". With later 3D titles such as Super Mario Galaxy, the minimal control of the camera also attracted some negative feedback. Miyamoto added that it's "very difficult to find the right balance".
A unique aspect of this title is a vocal main theme, "Jump Up, Super Star!", sung by Pauline (interpreted by Kate Higgins, credited as Kate Davis). The song is big-band jazz style, and details an adventure across the worlds from this game, with Pauline referring to herself as Mario's "1-Up Girl". It was released worldwide on October 20, 2017 on the iTunes Store, while the short version is downloadable for free until January 2018. The song's lyrics are also printed inside both the Western and Japanese packaging on the paper part of the cover.
On December 21, 2017, Nintendo announced an original soundtrack album for the game, which will be released in Japan on February 28, 2018. The album contains four discs with 136 tracks in total, as well as two stickers and a booklet containing concept art of Pauline and comments from the staff. Additionally, the Super Mario Odyssey Sound Selection containing 12 tracks was released worldwide on the iTunes Store on December 22, 2017.
Nintendo Switch bundle
A Super Mario Odyssey themed Nintendo Switch bundle was available on launch day.
Super Mario Odyssey has received widespread critical acclaim. Prior to its release, EDGE Magazine gave Super Mario Odyssey a perfect score of 10, praising the game for "taking big risks with an established formula and having them all pay off handsomely". Ryan McCaffery of IGN had a similar view, also giving the game a perfect score of 10. Despite criticizing the camera controls, McCaffery was ultimately very impressed with the game, saying that it "is a brilliant adventure and love letter to the series that made Nintendo a household name". Phillip Kollar and Allegra Frank of Polygon also praised the game, scoring it 9.5 out of 10. While Allegra somewhat criticized the boss battles, the two reviewers ended with "Super Mario Odyssey is almost certain to be counted among the best games in Nintendo's star series". The game currently averages 97% on review aggregate site Metacritic (based on 67 reviews), and 97.42% on GameRankings (based on 58 reviews), making it the third-highest rated game on the website.
Awards and acknowledgements
Super Mario Odyssey was nominated for six awards at The Game Awards 2017, winning one, in the following categories:
References to other games
Names in other languages