Super Mario Odyssey (2017)

Visually-resplendent with jaw-dropping textures and world-building, strong in cinematic storytelling with an intriguing plot structure, & thrilling in FP-roaming, Odyssey is yet another masterpiece from the innovators at Nintendo. 9.3/10.

Plot Synopsis: Super Mario Odyssey is a platform game published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch on October 27, 2017. Mario embarks on a new journey through the unknown, running and jumping through huge 3D worlds. Jump out of the Mushroom Kingdom on a journey through mysterious places and new experiences whilst sailing between worlds aboard an airship.

*Possible spoilers ahead*

Most Memorable Moment: 1. Drop into Hat world with introduction to Cappy, 2. Falls – visually UNBELIEVABLE, 3. The Inverted Pyramid showdown, 4. Introduction to the Bonnels

Pros: Visually UNREAL opening final battle-feeling sequence hitting you with an instantly-wowing lavender-hued graphics showing off the textural complexity and whopping epic fight, intriguing plot structure starting at either the ending or another plotline’s end into this beginning, simply unbelievable and resplendent cinematography and world-building (a given for the Mario franchise and innovators over there at Nintendo but still wowing every time and near-showing off at the beginning), strong storytelling with intriguing cute characters and actually strong cinematic writing and adventurous journeying that makes it feel futuristic like a playable film (as the best video games feel like), great scoring, once again cannot even put into WORDS how sumptuous and milky/dreamy the visuals are – in the falls are such a treat for the eyes I was at a loss for description how visually arresting it is from the Tim Burton-esque ghost world we meet Hatty in to the lush green foresty first world to Aztec temples mid Mexican desert to Gotham-feeling rain-hued and even Film Noir-esque New Donk City – breathtaking, incredible easter eggs and homages to the series and video game history with things like going blocky and secret hidden levels exhalting the lore of the video game icon while also feeling like a massive futuristic realization of the dream the original plumber-turned-hero on the big screen’s creators first had but never quite imagined possible, great and fun secondary/tertiary villains in the (admittedly-nightmare-inducing) Bonnels and of course iconic Bowser/Peach interplay, every single world built is incredible, vibrant, and different from the gorgeous Green sky city that looks a lot like Star Wars’ Ewok village in Ep. VI with a little Super Mario Sunshine feeling with all the flowers and white to the Mexico-inspired with Aztec motifs desert inverted pyramid that feels a lot like an exact homage to the desert scape in Super Mario 64 – feels nostalgic yet newly reinvented at the same time as the best series reinventions/sequels do, going back to the series’ roots with the first sandbox-platformer since Super Mario 64 and Sunshine – has in common with those two games: a masterpiece product that will go down in gaming history and shaped much of the industry, phenomenal boss battles and genius to have them at the end of each stage so each stage feels like a separate mini-arc/game all connecting to the whole, sublime control and sensitivity in movement as well as clarity in adventure making it free-roam but not too-open-ended/contained free-roam (one of the only real flaws in SM64 this feeling like the new-age reinvention of that for the new generation to experience)

Cons: a couple of minor ~out-there quirks like possessing things like.. frogs.. and few later worlds feeling like SM64 maps reinvented instead of all new

Overall Rating: 9.3/10