No game can escape criticism. We are so quick to defend beloved franchises despite their glaring flaws. Super Mario Odyssey is no exception. The latest entry in the Mario franchise is a lot of fun, and we assume that it will be every time. We don’t put it under a microscope, and examine the mistakes. However, Super Mario Odyssey is no exception to having problems. Here are my reasons why Super Mario Odyssey isn’t a perfect game.
1. Too many moons!
Since Mario 64, collecting items (mainly stars) have been the main focus. There isn’t a problem with this game mechanic; it’s the sheer number of collectibles. The max number of moons you can get is 999. To get the ‘true’ ending, you have to have over 500. Is there really a need for so many moons? They give them out like candy. I got a moon for ground pounding five cracks on a small island. I got another for moving a statue. These aren’t even fun; they are arbitrary. It’s a lot like the Korok seeds in Zelda: you can get over 900 seeds for very simple and monotonous tasks. It’s all for no real reward.
2. Costumes and useless knick-knacks
Dressing up Mario is fun. I’m not going to lie, I enjoy getting the costumes, and parading Mario around. The stickers for the Odyssey are really neat too. The knick-knacks are a nice touch for the interior of the Odyssey. That’s it. You really aren’t rewarded in any other way. These microtransactions (with only in-game currency, thank goodness) are purely cosmetic. You aren’t getting an extra ability, or a new area to explore. I realize that spending so much time on making the costumes have a game mechanic ability would have added a lot of workload. But would it have killed them to give us a yellow cape with the ability to float?
3. Different currency is a gimmick
This is such a small detail, but I can’t pass it up. It’s a lazy idea for a collectible. At face value, it seems like a good idea, and makes the player explore a bit more. But it isn’t necessary. If it was a collectible towards something completely separate from costumes and knick-knacks, it would be a great addition. No, you have to search every corner to find these coins just to buy specific costumes that are kingdom-themed. Nothing like searching for purple coins for that Chef’s outfit.
4. Some possessions Are Useless
The possession ability is a gimmick. Sure, it’s fun to stomp and roar as a T-Rex, but you can only be a T-Rex for a limited time. You have a range of objects and enemies to possess, and many of them are interesting. However, turning into a statue to barely hop along is so tedious. At these points in the game, it feels like Nintendo is really reaching when it comes to implementing this ability. Do we really want to possess a fork and ‘flick’ our way up to the top of a cheese mountain? Do we really want to possess a human that is controlling a remote-control car with horrible controls? I, personally, don’t.
5. Motion controls…Again
Nintendo, when will you realize we don’t want motion controls? Right when you start up the game, you get a screen that lets you know the different ways to play Mario via the joy cons and pro controller. However, they recommend you play with the joy cons in each hand, because you get a perk for using the motion controls. For example, when climbing a pole, you can climb faster if you shake your joy cons. It is far better than flicking your wrist during Super Mario Galaxy to attack enemies. I shouldn’t be punished, however, for the playstyle I like. I can’t help but think if Nintendo realized people with physical handicaps play their games, and may not be able to execute motion controls. Please, Nintendo, stop with the motion controls. No one is asking for them.
6. Weak Story
This may seem like a cheap shot, but it makes me roll my eyes so hard that I think they are going to roll out of my head when I see Bowser kidnapping Peach. It’s such a stale premise, and frankly, outdated. Bowser’s entire goal is to marry Peach. Instead of beating Bowser in every kingdom it’s his minions. Something is stolen from every kingdom; from diamond rings to bouquets. Even though there is a slight change in story, you are still chasing after Bowser. There’s no ulterior motive; Bowser just really wants to marry Peach. It’s mediocrity at its finest. Couldn’t we have a story where Peach isn’t being kidnapped? Or frankly, no one getting kidnapped?
7. The Kingdoms are So Small!
I have heard the argument that the worlds in Super Mario Odyssey are ‘vertical’; meaning they are more elaborate from above, rather than a sprawling land in front of you. This is not the case. You may unlock a few new hidden areas, but you don’t access a huge new area in any of the kingdoms at any time. When you beat the game, new moons are ready to be found in each kingdom. This means that you have to search the same area for new moons. The world doesn’t suddenly get bigger in any way vertically or horizontally. You just get new moons placed in different places than the original moons.
That being said, the kingdoms are flat. You aren’t going to do much interaction in most of them. The metro kingdom has the most intricate kingdom, and even then, it’s not a sprawling playground. I will say, it is an improvement from past Mario games, but not by much.
8. Broodals are boring
Bowser’s new minions are anthropomorphic rabbits that dress in gaudy formal attire straight out of the 1800s. The characters designs are horrible and confusing. Why does Bowser have rabbits working for him? Especially when he has a Skyrim-esque dragon at his side? There are four Broodals all together, and every battle is very simple. Compared to the Bowser boss battles, the Broodals will make you yawn. This isn’t to say that the Koopalongs are any better. The Broodals are just very predictable, and static characters. It’s hard to care about them. Especially when you are confused why they are even there.
9. Two player isn’t ‘playable’
I was excited about the co-op aspect in Super Mario Odyssey, but I should have known better. Co-op is like an afterthought: one-person controls Mario, and the other controls his hat. It’s just like Super Mario Galaxy; one-person controls Mario, the other controls Luma to collect star bits. Co-op has been an insult to players for the past couple of Mario games (excluding Super Mario 3D Land). Why would I want to control Mario’s hat? I want to be able to control Luigi, and fight along Mario’s side. Is that too much to ask?
10. Super Mario Odyssey is a Typical Mario Game
Nintendo is always about breaking new ground, and past Mario games are a testament to that. Super Mario Odyssey fails to bring anything new to the table. What is new in the game is a gimmick. The possession ability is a cool game mechanic, but it doesn’t make the game. It isn’t groundbreaking with Super Mario 64 that transition Mario into the 3D world. Super Mario Odyssey is basically a semi-open world Super Mario Galaxy. You get the same story, same game mechanics, and the same goal.
I would be a liar if I said I didn’t like Super Mario Odyssey. I wasn’t excited for it, however, and it proved why. The game is executed well, and it is a fun game. However, Nintendo glosses over the finer details. It’s so strange that a company that has been around for decades can’t seem to listen to fans, or fix mistakes that have been glaring in past games. No game is without its flaws, and Super Mario Odyssey is no exception.