Super Mario Odyssey: Redefining 3D platformers

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It’s rare that a video game receives such positive attention on the day of its release.

And it can be particularly difficult for companies to maintain those expectations having hyped their game months before the world can enjoy it.

However, having announced their game at E3 in may, Nintendo have certainly given their fans more than they could ask for with Super Mario Odyssey.

The latest installment in Mario’s sandbox era has taken the world by storm with its inventive gameplay and use of new technology.

Today we are going to explore:

  • What is Super Mario Odyssey?
  • Why is it so popular?
  • Are there any other awesome 3D Platformers?

What is Super Mario Odyssey?

36 Years on from his first appearance, our favourite plumber is exploring the lands of an alternate world with his new companion.

Unsurprisingly to all, Bowser has once again stolen Peach and this time he wants to make it official: he’s going to marry her.

In order to take down the villain, Mario teams up with Cappy whose special talents allow Mario to transform into Goombas, Dinosaurs, inanimate objects and more.

New levels of personalisation have been added to this game as you chose Mario’s outfit and a matching hat. If you want to wear a pair of boxes with a pirate hat while riding a scooter jumping a skipping rope, now you can!

 

Together, they venture across the globe collecting Power Moons to fuel Cappy’s airship and take down Bowser once and for all (all though, something tells me we’ll see Bowser again in the future).

The World Adores this Game!

Super Mario Odyssey has received a fantastic reception from the world with many 10/10 reviews.

The game was so popular, Nintendo sold 2 million copies during the first 3 days of its release. Many celebrities were eager to play Super Mario again including Mike from Stranger things!

Today's a big day for me AND my friend Mario. Happy #SuperMarioOdyssey launch, everyone. Thanks for the game, Nintendo Canada!

A post shared by Finn Wolfhard (@finnwolfhardofficial) on

This makes us ask the question: why is Super Mario Odyssey so popular?

There are many factors that contributes to the games success, the most obvious one being that it’s Mario. He has a worldwide fan base which has been established for over 30 years – of course everyone wants to play his new game!

But there’s more

Super Mario Odyssey allows its players an incredible amount of freedom you don’t see in many games. Typically, this would mean you can chose the story, the outcome etc. but in this scenario, we are referring to the maps.

In every location, there are hundreds of power moons to collect – each in a more unique location than the last.

In order to progress to the next level, there is a minimum amount of power moons needed however, this number is miniscule compared to the true amount of them hidden.

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In total, there is 836 Power moons to find in levels while you only need 124 moons to complete the game! (Some of the 836 are released after the end of the game).

So even as the game has ended, there is still hours of fun to be had with the game as you try to complete it!

Thanks to all of these hidden power moons, the depth of detail in the levels is incredible!

So many hidden paths and areas that lead to further challenges beyond the story of the game add to your gaming experience.

Especially when these challenges involve you transferring Mario into another creation using Cappy!

You never run out of things to do when you explore this game, that’s why fans love it so much!

There are a variety of different terrains to discover, civilizations, cultures – you wouldn’t get this variety of detail from many other games.

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A particular function that came as a surprise to most fans was the addition of retro Mario.

Many levels feature green pipes that transform our protagonist into the Mario we once knew and loved.

His new outfits transfer intro retro mode but he only has the controls of the original Mario!

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Another reason Super Mario Odyssey has received so much attention is the way it has used the Nintendo Switch controls.

Rather than being another controller based game, players can throw Mario’s cap and have extra ways to control other creatures using the Joycon controllers.

While motion control certainly isn’t new, it is a more engaging and immersive way to enjoy a video game; players can feel more connected with the character they’re controlling.

And the Joycon controllers create an excellent multiplayer mode too as the second player can control Cappy while the first player controls Mario.

Previous Mario Platformers

This is not the first time fans have explored multiple worlds with Mario:

Super Mario 64

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Super Mario 64 was released in 1996 and was the first 3D Platformer for the Mario Bros.

The game was introduced for the Nintendo 64 – one of the first 3D consoles (hence the awesome 3D game).

While the graphics and technology was still new, this game is still considered one of the best to date! Similarly to Super Mario Odyssey, the game received multiple 5 Star and 10/10 reviews.

Mario is invited for afternoon tea at Peach’s castle when Bowser interrupts the festivities and steals the princess, her servants and the 120 Power Stars that power the castle.

With the use of Portals within the castle walls, Mario teleports to multiple universes to collect Power Stars and save the princess.

At the time of its release, Tamagotchi was also becoming popular.

Despite Super Mario 64’s innovating graphics and use of technology, Nintendo developer, Shigeru Miyamoto, was worried that a virtual pet consisting of roughly 20 pixels was going to overtake their game!

Super Mario Sunshine 

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Super Mario Sunshine was released in 2002 for Nintendo’s next 3D console: the GameCube.

While some may say that the game didn’t perform as well as its predecessor (looking at the reviews for this game, you could still say that it performed brilliantly), Super Mario Sunshine offered an alternative and refreshing side to Mario gameplay.

Peach and Mario are about to enjoy their holiday on the tropical Isle Delfino.

However,

They soon discover that someone impersonating Mario, who they conveniently name Shadow Mario, is graffiting the Isle and the Shine Sprites that once powered the Isle have now disappeared.

It’s up to Mario and his FLUDD (the machinery on his back) to clear the Graffiti and restore the holiday destination.

It’s nice to explore a plot in which Peach hasn’t been abducted by Bowser and for Mario to be a hero in other ways.

Super Mario Galaxy

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I remember excitedly receiving my copy of Super Mario Galaxy when I was young and I absolutely adored it, I still have it today!

Released for Wii in 2007, Super Mario Galaxy was an equally popular game.

You join Rosalina on her journey across the stars collecting Power Stars to power her Comet Observatory and defeat Bowser. As you collect more power stars, new rooms on your ship start to power up and you discover more about Rosalina’s history.

This game is very unique with its platform design. You travel across the galaxy exploring various planets. The particularly small ones mean you can run all the way round them as you view from above.

To aid you on your way, a Luma, that sits under your hat can help defeat enemies.

Similarly to Super Mario Odyssey, this installment added motion controls to the game as you can hurt enemies by waving the Wii remote. You could also point at the screen to collect star bits.

Once again, Super Mario Galaxy was hailed as one of the best video games of all time (I certainly can’t disagree) and received a positive reception from the public.

Nintendo have had a successful line of Mario 3D Platformers

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Every Mario platformer has been hailed for their original contributions to the Gaming World and Nintendo have never let its audience down.

With the release of another Mario 3D Platformer, we have been blessed with Super Mario Odyssey and the hours of ingenious gameplay it has bestowed.

The only disappointing thing to come from this is knowing it will be a long wait before we are introduced to the next installment!



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