Super Mario Odyssey - Review

Author: Mattia "Zave" Ravanelli
Date: 2020-03-02 20:34:22
Basset and overweight, mustaches out of time and dungarees (perhaps the only garment that not even the most unconscious among the stylists has managed to re-evaluate): for structure and uniform it would not be suitable to be a hero, yet it cares and from beyond thirty years continues to save worlds. Faced with Destiny interstellar guardians or Final Fantasy crystal elect, Mario is the working class hero par excellence. He never has half of the pocketed coins left, the beauty considers it at best a useful narrative stratagem and the villain respects him less than any Kamek. Yet he is there, always the same, with his work overalls, with the seraphic calm of someone who knows he doesn't have to prove anything anymore ... although ironically he is always called to do the opposite.

Super Mario Odyssey also arrives accompanied by a sort of mystical curtain of expectations and a court of flag-wavers and flatterers, as well as cliques of disparaging and iconoclastic "for the taste of". Indeed, in the last ten years none of Mario's main adventures has aroused more interest and fueled hopes for revolution and upheaval of the (platform) order established as this debut on Switch. Again, having placed the controller (or console) after spending whole days with the game, it becomes ironic to realize how much Super Mario Odyssey is the triumph and celebration of normalcy and what is simple (but only in appearance ). What is the most important release of this fall for Nintendo collects the structural legacy of Super Mario 64, while not sharing its overwhelming scope. Or, at least, that's the feeling ... As always in these cases, then the story, the one with the tiny "s" of the video games, will speak.


In a continuous cheerful rebound of contradictions and absurdities, however, lies the greatness and the sense of Super Mario Odyssey. That cannot survive the hype like nobody could ever do it, in its position, after having marked the world of video games as it has already done in all these years. This is why Nintendo and Mario change, flee from themselves and from the Mushroom Kingdom, with super powers and a good number of supporting classics, only to find themselves in the end looking in the mirror and recognizing oneself as always. With beautiful mustaches. After having lived for hours and hours an unforgettable adventure to be told, as well as to live.

If you are here only to witness the above story, which passes and turns, for a moment, into an event ... get ready for something different. Not to the upheavals of Super Mario 64 nor to the binary perfection of Super Mario Galaxy. Super Mario Odyssey is simply a great game, you don't need to find anything else in it.

Its representative figure is the renewed attention placed on exploration. The development team went back to reworking the concept that made Super Mario 64 great and new and, in part, Super Mario Sunshine. An idea then diluted up, essentially, to get lost with the subsequent releases, especially in that Super Mario 3D World for Wii U which, in hindsight, has done everything very well but in a way too worried and with the handbrake pulled. Super Mario Odyssey, on the other hand, has the strength of who cares, who is free, who no longer wants to be caught by a thousand parameters, a thousand boxes to tick, a thousand tricks to please everyone and everything. Mario's new adventure does only what it takes to make the most of the exploration mentioned above and this is how he manages to win and convince. If for more than twenty years you have been dreaming of a true sequel to Super Mario 64, this is the game that, conceptually and as a realization, comes closest to it.


In reality the over ten realms that make up the stages of Mario's odyssey are set up in a rather clever and particularly sensible way. In order to bestow satisfaction both to those who want to get lost in that exploration so coveted since the 1996 game, as well as to those who do not have a sense of orientation worthy of note or that essential spark for investigations with the sound of leaps. But even before going deep digging it is more useful to understand exactly what changes, in practice, than the last ex plumber's releases. If in Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario 3D World there were missions to deal with, each one with its own level, to be completed and never to be returned to (it was not like that, we know) ... in Super Mario Odyssey there is no such scan.

There are, rather, realms. In each kingdom the player is left totally free to do what he prefers and to find his missions alone, which are nothing more than the right movements, the exact hits, the precise jumps that are used to collect or make a small moon appear . To put in your pocket as you did twenty years ago with the stars of Super Mario 64 and at the beginning of the century with the only keepers of Super Mario Sunshine. Theoretically everything is always within reach, at any time. There is no clear cut between one moon and the next, you are not thrown into any level selection screen after reaching the prize. We remain there, in the same world, ready to look for another and then another and then another twenty more. Because the quantity of moons present in the realms touches the ridiculous. There is talk of an average (rounded down) of 40 moons each.