Well, three years went very quickly. Launched in October 2017, we felt this was the first Super Mario game that sort of disappointed us.
Which we kind of reflected on in our Super Mario Odyssey review. But we revisited the game in October 2020 for a second go. And, yep, we’ve changed our mind. Big time.
The Highlights of Our Second Super Mario Odyssey Playthrough
We remember the 5/5 Guardian review from three years back. Basically, it said this is the game you hand to someone who doesn’t play video games.
As the big thing about Super Mario games is the broad appeal they have. You pick them up, it’s pretty intuitive, and fun.
With a big focus on fun. You get that straight away with Super Mario Odyssey.
— Professional Moron (@CreativeMoron) October 30, 2017
Kenta Motokura directed this one, not handing the usual control to series creator Shigeru Miyamoto. He served as executive producer.
The fact Miyamoto’s involvement was limited in Nintendo’s flagship title mainly tells us the company has a very bright future with the new talent it has.
Miyamoto is now 68, although he says he has no intention to retire any time soon. His goal, he’s said, is to make projects that bring people joy.
Clearly, that’s working. Nintendo became Japan’s richest company in 2020. And that’s no fluke, it’s down to titles such as this.
Okay, so what was our problem three years back? We enjoyed the game, but generally felt it was too short. Way too short.
After the enormity of Super Mario 3D World (2013), we were peeved by that.
Now at the time we were also very stressed out in a job we particularly didn’t enjoy. Burned out and depressed, that no doubt contributed to how we felt about the new Mario title.
Several years on, launching into Super Mario Odyssey the first think we felt was that spark of joy.
The game looks fantastic and has that sharp, orchestral focus to it. In this title, you use Mario’s cap to take control over enemies you come across (including a T. Rex).
There’s a great sense of fun and love for the absurd. When you take over goombas, you can get them stacking on top of each other.
— Professional Moron (@CreativeMoron) June 19, 2018
That bit in particular we’ve always loved. With the funky music and ridiculously comical nature of it.
It’s actually the Super Mario game closest to Super Mario 64 (1996) we can think of. And that’s a good thing—it advances on that old formula.
You collect moons. You open up new stages. You travel around the world!
And although we still have slight disappointment there aren’t more stages, that’s simply because we were too busy enjoying ourselves. It’s a shame it has to end.
Three years on, we think this is one of the Switch’s great masterpieces. It’s the little details that make it. There are thousands of moons to collect, tucked away into clever little nooks and crannies.
There are sections where you drift back into traditional 2D Mario pixel graphics, before merging back into the 3D world.
Other sections see you running around a version of New York city, a deep forest, and beautiful sweeping desert.
It’s the imagination and sheer creativity that wows us about Nintendo’s very best games.
Although we’ve played many Mario titles, Odyssey feels fresh, alive, atmospheric, and it’s just so bloody joyous being part of the world.
So, apologies Nintendo for our subpar review in 2017. This thing is a total gem. Roll on the next game in the series.