Odyssey completed

After cleaning out over 300 spam messages I finally found some time to sit down and write again. I know I’ve not been active but I feel like I have to write about the game that has taken over my life for the past week: Super Mario Odyssey.
It’s funny how a game that I wasn’t even that hyped about has become the most fun game I’ve played in the entire year. From the moment I picked up the game on October 27th untill the moment I had beat Bowser I had a hard time putting it down. Nintendo did such an amazing job with this game and I’m so happy that I was able to pick it up and play it straight away. I don’t intend this post to be a review of sorts, I intend it to be a story about my journey through Super Mario Odyssey with a few screenshots added in here and there.

So where to start. I picked up the game on Friday last week and immediatly started playing it. The story for this game is obviously the classic Mario story, Peach has been kidnapped by Bowser and it’s up to you to save her. Only in this game you get a bit of help from Cappy, whose sister Tiara is also kidnapped to serve as headdress for Peach. You see, Bowser kidnapped Peach this time with the intent to marry her.
What follows is a crazy chase by Mario and Cappy through 13 kingdoms to save Peach from Bowser. Each kingdom is meaningful in it’s own way and contributes to the final wedding theme. What makes this game “unique” is mostly the Cappy capture mechanic. You can take over creatures in the world by throwing Cappy on top of them, which often leads to hilarious results. I’ve done obstacle courses as bullet Bill. I’ve built Goomba towers. I’ve taken over frogs, birds, hammer guys and in the end (SPOILER!!!!) even Bowser himself. This mechanic is important because you need it to cross levels, defeat bosses and get to moons and other collectibles in every level. Moons are the replacement of the usual Stars/Star coins and you need a minimum amount to be able to finish the game.

All of this sounds simple enough but Nintendo really overdid themselves with the level design for this game. All of the levels are 3D (with hidden 2D parts!), crazy big and open to exploration. You’re completely free to go almost anywhere and explore everything. Nintendo put in so many secrets and fun crazy little things that you won’t be done with this game for a long time if you decide to chase everything there is to get. You can collect outfits and give Mario different looks. You can collect stickers to put on your ship “the Odyssey”. You can collect interior decorations. All of this with regular coins and special currency tied to each level. And then there is the Moon chase game. There are a total of 800+ moons to collect in the world. Some will only open up post-game and there are even some worlds that are only accessible post-game. I’ve spent hours and hours just wandering through different worlds trying to discover all the secrets they had and I’m not even close (I’m currently sitting on 300 moons).

The worlds themselves are incredibly gorgeous. Obviously it’s not as realistic as say the new Assassin’s Creed but Nintendo really did their best. There are so many details. The lighting, the structures, the shadows. The water physics are gorgeous and you can take some amazing screenshots along the way.

Screenshot Mario Earth

The bossfights are innovative. I’ve had so many crazy mechanics thrown at me throughout the game and they all were a blast to play through and beat, even though I wanted to throw my Joycons through my room out of frustration sometimes. I really want to applaud the team that came up with these ridiculous fights because they ooze creativity and love for the game. It wouldn’t be a Mario game without them.

I had a hard time deciding whether I wanted to finish the mainstory and do all my collecting post-game or if I wanted to collect as many things along the way on my first time through. It eventually became a mix. Some of the smaller realms I decided to just get as much as possible when I was there the first time. For the bigger realms I decided to go for all the obvious collectibles and get back to them later for the rest. I was afraid that if I would lose myself in the collection objective that I would never see the end of the game. So I made pushing through the story, and seeing the credits roll, my main priority. And I’m glad I did.
I’ve seen all the beautiful levels, I’ve fought all the wacky bosses and I was rewarded with one of the best escape sequences I’ve seen in gaming history. I know that I’ve dumped some screenshots and some movies on my Twitter and I’m currently uploading everything to an album on Facebook aswell. I’ve taken a ton of screenshots. Shot some great movies but above all I had fun. The most fun I’ve had in a game for years. And all thanks to Nintendo and their amazing developers who made this journey a worthwhile one, and one that I won’t be done with for atleast the coming months. Because yes, I want to collect everything that’s out there in the game.

I could go on and on about this game and how great it is and go into every single detail but I won’t. I just want to tell everyone who owns a Switch to go out and get this amazing game and write of dozens of hours of your life in it. Because it’s worth it.
Especially when you meet the most adorable puppy postgame! And discover that he also can help you out in your quest towards more moons.

Mario and Dog desert world

I know I’m a bit late to the whole Switch hype, but I needed some time to get my thoughts in order and be able to really express what I feel about this new console, the games that Nintendo announced for it and whether or not I would want to buy it at launch.

First up: What do I think of the Switch as a whole?
So far it looks to be a good console. Nintendo needed innovation and something to compete with the PS4 and Xbox One and I think they may have hit the right angle with the Switch. Not because performance wise it’s better, but mostly because they are making console games mobile. They have tried this with the WiiU aswell, but unfortunately the concept kind of failed. Now with the Switch there’s no more need to turn off a game because you have to travel somewhere… You just take the game with you! I loved this concept the moment Nintendo showed us at first and I’m still in love with the concept as of now. The only thing I really wonder about is if Nintendo will do away with the 3DS because of the Switch… But that is something they need to decide on their own. Personally I’m still in love with my 3DS and I hope they can let the two things co-exist for a while yet.
Onto some other details. I think the price tag is too high to warrant buying a Switch at launch. It’s €309-329 here, and then you only get the console with no games. Obviously the same was the case for the PS4 and Xbox One launch. And if I didn’t already own a WiiU and a PS4 with an enormous backlog to work through I probably would have taken the bait and bought a Switch at launch (with the new Zelda game). Right now though I just can’t justify to myself to buy one so I’ll probably hold out untill the after the Summer or around the Holidays of 2017. Seeing as my plan is to make a big dent into my gaming backlog this year, I feel like I can’t invest into a new console when I barely touched it’s predecessor in the year that I’ve owned it.
The amount of games at launch is also kind of disappointing. They really hope Zelda will carry the system long enough that people will invest in it. It’s a gamble, but I hope it pays off for Nintendo. I do realize that PS4 and X1 didn’t have many launch titles either so I can’t really say something about Nintendo not having that many titles at launch either.
All in all I think this could be a succesfull console, provided Nintendo makes a steady stream of first party games for it. I could do with a new Donkey Kong, Kirby or even a cool Disney title to make this console interesting for me.

The announced games
As far as first party games go, I’m mostly excited for the new Zelda game, the Super Mario Odyssey and Splatoon 2. I’m doubting if I want Zelda on my WiiU or the Switch though. I really need to know the differences between the games before I decide. Super Mario Odyssey just looks cool. Mario sandbox games have been quite succesful so far so I hope Nintendo makes this one just as good as Galaxy was. I’ve never actually played Splatoon but maybe the Switch will draw me into the game.
Now as far as third party games go. Hell yes Dragon Quest! I fell in love with the series after purchasing DQ7 for my 3DS and I will definately purchase DQ11 for the Switch. Next to that Square announced a new RPG especially for the Switch which is always something to be excited about. I also know Yooka-Laylee comes out for the Switch and the makers promised Nintendo players something extra over the other platforms so I’m actually brought to doubt whether I want that game on my PS4 or on the Switch. There are definately some things to look forward to on this console, but I’m unsure if I will buy games for the Switch when they also come out on the PS4 which, by all means, probably has better performance.
I am kind of disappointed by the Mario Kart 8: Deluxe. It really is just a port of MK8 with some added tracks and characters and I’m not sure if I want to invest in that, owning the original one on the WiiU.

So will I buy a Switch?
Eventually, yes. I think I’ll hold off on buying a lunch model. I rather wait untill bundles appear or when it might lower in price a bit. If there’s anything I learned over the years the prices of consoles and games drop really fast so it’s probably better to wait a bit. I also want to see the library Nintendo builds around the Switch over 2017. I really hope they have more games planned than they initially let show, but I guess only time will tell. Next to that I already stated that I have a huge backlog to work through, so I can’t justify to myself to buy a new console anyway. Not when I have so many unfinished games lying around. But maybe around the Holidays… maybe I will get a Switch.