Note that this isn’t a review, since a full review can’t be written until I’ve at least experienced all the Kingdoms in the game. Instead, these are my thoughts on the game as of my current save progress (aka partway through the Luncheon Kingdom). The Good Graphically, Super Mario Odyssey looks fantastic. Sure it varies a bit based on the kingdom (New Donk City and Bubblaine look a million times better than the Nimbus Arena or Cascade Kingdom), but generally it does look exactly how you’d want a 3D Mario game to look on a HD console. Level design wise, it’s incredible. Every kingdom so far has been absolutely massive, with tons of things to do and Moons to find in hard to reach locations. It’s especially neat how well the game ‘tricks’ you into thinking the levels are tiny; each one can seemingly be fully explored in just a few minutes before you realise you’re missing 90% of the Moons in the level. Cappy feels like a completely natural part of the game. Indeed, it’s like the wall merging in Zelda A Link Between Worlds; it’s been worked into the world design so well that you don’t even notice it as a ‘gimmick’. Similarly, capturing enemies works exactly as well as you’d imagine. Just toss the hat (after knocking their own off first), then take control of them with a set of abilities that perfectly matches their appearance. Surprisingly, the quality of the bosses is actually quite good this time around. Yeah, they won’t give Dark Souls or even a good Zelda game a run for its money, and they don’t compare with Cuphead’s fights in either difficulty or general intricacy, but for a Mario game? They’re actually pretty damn good. Much better than Mario 64’s, that’s for sure! Character customisation wise it’s good too, with tons of costumes to buy throughout the game. Add how you can mix and match them for absurd combos (cowboy hat + swim trunks is hilarious), and it means you’ve got some truly ‘special’ setups for exploring the kingdoms. The sheer amount of content will keep you playing for weeks. I mean, there are apparently more Power Moons here than there were Korok Seeds in Zelda Breath of the Wild! The Bad Musically, I have to admit I’m not all that impressed by it. Jump Up Super Star is great and the Cascade Kingdom theme is great, but a lot of the other kingdom songs seem a bit… meh if you ask me. They’re not annoying or anything, they just don’t stand out as well as in 64 or Galaxy. Maybe technical limitations weren’t such a bad thing after all. They meant that music in games had to really stand out and be memorable, rather than just act like inoffensive background sounds. It also doesn’t feel difficult enough at the moment either. Again, I’m still not done with the game, so I’m not gonna say it’ll never get hard (the Darkest Side of the Moon looks utterly brutal), but so far I’ve basically walked all over every challenge I’ve encountered. Every bit of platforming, every boss battle, ever puzzle… it’s just been so simple to solve that it makes me miss the harder parts of Sunshine and the second Galaxy game. Still, I won’t be too harsh here. Super Mario 64 itself wasn’t too difficult, and any opinions on the contrary are usually based on our experiences playing as a child (where we utterly sucked at video games in general). Same goes with most of Sunshine, the first Galaxy game, 3D Land and most of 3D World. None are really challenging in the slightest, but at the same time I do feel they maybe should have increased the difficulty of the games to match the growing skill levels of modern gamers in general. Power Moons also sometimes feel a bit too ‘trivial’ in how you get them. Again, it’s not a new issue (Mario 64 had you get some simply by opening boxes in odd locations, and Sunshine had you spray gold birds, shine symbols and the sun for others), but it feels like it’s a bit more exaggerated here. Now every part of what would have been a bigger mission gives you a separate Moon, many Moons are placed in areas you’ll bump into them by accident and a larger percentage in general seem to be tied to simple treasure hunt setups. It makes them feel less ‘valuable’ than the Stars or Shine Sprites before them. Finally, I’m not a fan of the timers placed on the capture mechanics at all. I mean, you can immediately leave whatever you’re possessing with the click of a button, do you really need to automatically boot the player out after about 10 minutes as well? It just feels a bit arbitrary if you ask me. But yeah, those are my thoughts on the game. It’s certainly a great experience, and it’s a million miles better than the last few 3D Mario games I’ve played, but I’ll need to try more of it before I can really say it’s better than Mario 64 or the first Galaxy title. So what about you? What do you think about Super Mario Odyssey now you’ve played it for yourself?