This review is late, very late in fact but there’s a very good reason why this review of Super Mario Odyssey is late. Probably the last one to hit the interwebs and the reason is…I just couldn’t tear myself away from it. It’s so perfectly crafted from the bite sized levels to the exquisite music playing throughout the levels.
The story is predictable to say the least however this is part of the charm of any Mario game. Yet again, Princess Peach finds herself in peril when forever bad guy Bowser kidnaps her with the intention of marrying her. I don’t even know how that would work? Anyways, Mario sets off on a rescue mission around various lands that are all diverse, satisfying and amazingly visualised. Let’s start at the beginning. All levels while new, pay homage is some way or another to past levels in Mario games. From a modernised water level, lava level, sky level and more, it’s so hard not to feel nostalgic when you find yourself comparing what you’re playing with past Mario titles.
I mean just take a look at these pics in this review (thanks Nintendo) but seriously…how beautiful does this game look? And playing it in handheld mode is a wonder for the eyes even if it a drainer on the Switch battery. I know I mentioned this before, but these levels have been crafted at perfect playing times for public transport. If you’re just playing straight through without wanting to get 100%, these levels will test you up until the obligatory boss battle. The boss battles themselves have foes that are varied and fun to beat with different techniques required to master if you want to get the better of them.
The game really showcases the free roaming, open world design very well with literally everything that can be climbed, bounced on, ridden on or interacted with in one form or another. And they’re a real feast for the eyes as well varying from cartoony levels right through to levels with the photo realism ramped right up, every level is a joy to play. You have a certain amount of Power Moons to find in each level, with a different minimum amount needed to power up your ship, The Odyssey, allowing you to travel between worlds.
The gameplay is usual fare, bouncing on enemies to dispose of them or throwing your cap, possessed by a spirit called Cappy, at them. Most enemies can be controlled in this manner giving you new abilities from flying, smashing through obstacles, not slipping on ice and heaps more. In a cute touch, when you possess an enemy in this manner, they get the familiar Mario moustache on their face. Ever seen a Goomba with a Mario moustache? Cute or even better, a T-Rex? Where else can you see this? There are various checkpoints littered throughout the levels which allow you to warp from one to another to get to the other side of the level really quickly without risking being wiped out by an enemy.
In an absolute stroke of genius, scattered in various location across the level are stages where you get absorbed into the background and it becomes an 8-bit version of the game and changes from 3D to old school side scrolling platform game complete with retro sounds and music.
The levels also have stores in which you can spend your hard earned coins on various outfits from shorts to a dapper suit, samurai suit and so many more. You can also buy stickers for the Odyssey and knick knacks for the inside of your ship. The outfits themselves aren’t just for aesthetic reasons, there are sections in the levels that can only be accessed if you’re dressed appropriately so if you want to complete everything then these are a must and will have you doing even more exploring to find all the coins.
The game features a two player mode where another player controls Cappy but this requires the utmost coordination and communication as often Mario will be running one way while your friend is throwing Cappy in the opposite direction. Expect many arguments playing this way like any good co-op game.
There’s a neat feature where you can go into picture mode and even apply Instagram like filters which are fun to play with. This mode is highly customisable and lends itself to some stunning pictures. This feature rounds out an already tightly packed game filled to brim with amazing gameplay, lush visuals, stupid over the top fun, music that you’ll find yourself humming when you least expect it and a throwback to other awesomely fun Mario games such as Super Mario Galaxy. Super Mario Odyssey is magical, charming, full of that “one more go” feeling and an absolute must buy, system seller for the Switch. Nintendo have crafted yet another highly memorable Super Mario title and one that will keep you playing for ages if you want to find all the Power Moons and coins. Super Mario Odyssey will be at the front of your gaming shelf not pushed to the back with lesser played games. Welcome back, Mario…we’ve missed you.
The Rio Olympics are over for another four years and I’ll be honest and say that I only watched a combined time of about…10 minutes of it. One part that I really look forward to are the closing ceremony shenanigans, however I didn’t get a chance to watch them as I was busy on It’s Japan, Man duties over at SMASH! for the weekend (post on that coming very soon!)
However I did hear about the amazing teaser that was put together for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics including the awesome appearance by Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. In case you missed it, you can catch it below!
PS. I’ve had a hard time uploading this video as YouTube keep blocking it due to copyright so I found it on Vimeo. Hopefully it stays up for a while!
Japan always gets the coolest toys and these ones this from McDonald’s are no exception. The toy collection below are part of the Happy Meals promotion this year for Christmas which feature Nintendo’s Mario in various poses and with assorted props. There are new ones released over 2 weeks and yes, they’re really cute!
Easily one of the best things that Nintendo have done in recent years is putting Mario’s less famous brother, Luigi, in the spotlight. This has never been more evident with 2013 being the Year of Luigi and having various Luigi themed events and releases around the sibling in green overalls.
July will see Luigi team up with Mario on the Nintendo 3DS in their latest outing, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros. Scheduled for release on the 12th of July, the game will the brothers take on the Mushroom Kingdom in Luigi’s dream. This outing continues their adventures in the successful RPG Mario & Luigi series making this the 4th adventure together.
In the game, Princess Peach can’t stay out of trouble for too long and soon enough is kidnapped by a new enemy to the series and whisked away to DreamWorld. The new enemy is known as the ghostly bat king, Antasma. Mario jumps into the fray by infiltrating the dreams of Luigi who shares the same brain wavelength as the realm of Pi’illo Island which is where this story all started. Together the two brothers will jump in and out of the dream world into the real world tackling foes, battling enemies and solving puzzles along the way.
This sounds like a unique and exciting entry to the series and one that fans will be able to sink right into. Make no mistake, this isn’t another Mario game, this is something unique which gamers will lap up. More info on this as we get it.
School kids in Japan are so lucky, apart from having a healthy nutritious lunch, they get to have it presented in a way that only a few of us will see.
One lucky child in Japan whose mother also happens to be a doctor, takes the time out to make her son a different One Piece bento box. Every day. She also takes time out to run a blog in which provided instructions on how she puts it all together so readers can also take part in the fun.
Just feast your eyes on the images below, the bento boxes look amazing and they’re all edible, truly fantastic. She also dabbles in some other franchises such as Nintendo’s Mario, Dragon Ball Z and a couple more. What a cool mum! If you want to check out her Japanese blog, you can click here.
It’s that time again for the Japanese weekly sales charts and after slipping down a few notches from the coveted number one position, Mario is back on top.
The 3DS is still holding extremely strong and holding back competition from the PS Vita and the PS3. The Vita is still having sales of over 10 continuing the trend from last week but we’ll see soon if it’s just riding the Hatsune Miku Project Diva f wave.
[3DS] New Super Mario Bros. 2
[3DS] Lost Heroes
[PS3] Max Payne 3
[NDS] Pokemon Black 2 / White 2
[PSV] Hatsune Miku: Project Diva
[PSP] Lost Heroes
[PS3] Gekiatsu!! Pachi Game Tamashi Max: Evangelion 7 x Seimei no Kodou
[3DS] Tousouchuu: Shijou Saikyou no Hunter-Tachi Kara Nigekire!
[3DS] Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
[WII] Dragon Quest X: Mezameshi Itsutsu no Shuzoku Online
Media Factory have released a new batch of piggy banks themed around Super Mario Bros. Sound Bank Retro which is slightly different from what they did last year which was to make New Super Mario Bros. Wii piggy banks.
Every time you insert a coin, the piggy bank will make a mushroom sound, a coin sound, a pipe sound, a game over sound plus many more.
The novelty banks started selling in Japan yesterday from various retailers, there are six different ones with their own sounds, all for a lowly ¥399, what a bargain.
Feast your eyes on these beautiful pouches used to carry and protect your 3DS which are available through the Japanese Club Nintendo site for a measly 250 points each, bargain and they look hot.
I checked the Australian Club Nintendo, no dice and I’d be surprised if we did get them to be honest. But if you have a Japanese friend with points and they owe you a favour, I know what I’d be asking them for. Aren’t they amazing?
I support and like PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, I really do but sometimes I think they are truly bored and have run out of things to complain about. Next on their radar is Super Mario 3D Land for the 3DS and the welcome addition of a fan favourite item, the Tanooki Suit. This is a Raccoon dog suit that Mario picks up as a power up and enables him to float around when jumping from a great height. He doesn’t harm or kill any real animal in the game but PETA seem to think that the use of the suit promotes and encourages the harm towards animals in general.
The following quote is from the PETA website:
When on a mission to rescue the princess, Mario has been known to use any means necessary to defeat his enemy — even wearing the skin of a raccoon dog to give him special powers.
Tanooki may be just a “suit” in Mario games, but in real life, tanuki are raccoon dogs who are skinned alive for their fur. By wearing Tanooki, Mario is sending the message that it’s OK to wear fur.
As a gamer I can’t believe that they really have to resort to these kind of tactics and comments, I’m surprised they haven’t said anything about Mario’s treatment about turtles in the game…I should stop before I give them fuel for their next rant.
In fact Japandaman Dailies’ very own Raccoon dog, Kendo, had the following statement issued through official channels.
“I, as a Raccoon dog, feel no ill will towards Nintendo, Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario or Luigi for that matter. I enjoy playing the game on my 3DS and get a kick out of seeing my brothers and sisters on the screen. I feel that PETA has gone too far this time and maybe needs to relax just a little and play the game themselves just to see that my kind are presented in a positive light and no harm is intended to my kind.”
So there you have, Kendo has spoken and is completely fine with the situation so PETA, chill and focus on real animal cruelty please?