Ah, Nintendo. You know they had to do it to em’. Years of struggle with the Wii U, and everyone’s worried. Nintendo is like, hahaha, just kidding guys. Here’s the best game ever made. How do you actually make a game this good? We all doubted Mario. We wondered why we ever liked his games in the first place. And Nintendo just fucked us up with an unforgettable experience. They put together stunning visuals, sexy music, fluid controls, and ingenious level design to just create an experience only the worst of contrarians could dislike. The game is a fucking masterpiece that everyone should play. I beat it in less than 24 hours on an intentionally slow run, and you probably would too. There’s so much detail, style, and care put into every single fucking pixel in this god damn FUCKING game that I just can’t even handle it.
Super Mario Odyssey is a masterpiece that reminds us what games can do. 10 out of 10. Anyway, let’s talk about the levels in the game. The beginning of Odyssey is definitely a unique one. When it starts, it starts at the climax of a fight between Mario and Bowser. You didn’t see anything going on before that, and it was definitely an interesting design choice. Because of that, the first kingdom in the whole game was in fact not a typical grassland, but actually a Victorian England style city, but without the poor living conditions and contaminated water. The locals here are called Bonneters, which are ghost creatures which resemble hats. They live in flying hats, and they can turn themselves into other kinds of hats.
The street lights look like hats, too. The males usually wear top hats, while the females wear bowler hats. I’m sure inside one of the hat houses there is a Bonneter wearing a fedora browsing /r/atheism. Mario’s best friend, Cappy, is a Bonneter as well. The Kingdom has an average temperature of 22 degrees Celsius, otherwise known as perfect weather all day, every day. The platforming is nothing too special and you don’t spend that much time jumping or fighting in this level, but I can’t help but adore it. The most you’ll be doing is flying around the foggy depths of the city as a paragoomba, which is fun enough.
The highlight of the level though is really just the design. I think I’m honestly just a sucker for it. It’s done just so well. The lighting and contrast are great, and the monochrome is just so unique for a Mario level. You’ll be seeing that as a theme. If rural Mexico is anything like what it is in Mario, I think they should build a wall to keep ME out! I’ve gone on record before saying the Mexican Calavera culture is something I love.
I’ve always thought the macabre festivity is something really cool and unique to Mexico. So when there’s a Mario Odyssey kingdom dedicated to it, I’m definitely happy from the start. The Sand kingdom was really what I expected, but there were a few surprises here and there. Most notably the inverted pyramid, which is not just cool to look at, the interior level is really fun too! I think the biggest complaint I have with this kingdom is all the open space. But even then, it’s a sandy desert, that kind of stuff isn’t usually crowded. Fortunately, you can use the Jaxi and electric wiring to move from ends of the map in seconds, so no real problems there. Most of the level is really divided into little chunks among the empty desert. You have the pyramid, the ancient ruins, the town, and more.
One other place you can explore is the Moe-Eye habitat, a reservation for the natives of the region, Moe-Eyes. They may run from you at first, but that’s just their built up fear due to hundreds of years of being pillaged by the evil imperialism of the oppressive Tostareans. But yeah, this is definitely one of the bigger kingdoms, not just in size. It acts as a hub for tons of smaller levels and secrets to find. It’s definitely a kingdom you could get lost in and I like that. This kingdom definitely is one of the most valuable to revisit. I found it interesting exploring the ruins after learning all the platforming tricks and I was delighted to find many more secrets hidden and also surprised how the linearity I felt earlier on in my playthrough was actually not there, and there was much more to do than I thought! Props to most Odyssey kingdoms for doing that, but Tostarena does it REALLY well. There’s a bit of screaming deep inside that’s telling me to make a joke about Jurassic Park.
That I need to to make this video complete. But I won’t. Cascade Kingdom is the second kingdom you’ll explore, right after zooming there from Bonneton through electrical wiring. It’s an uninhabited Jurassic Park that has been explored by the Bonneters, at least that’s what we assume based on the strange hat structure that becomes the Odyssey. Fossil Falls is definitely one of the smaller levels, and it does have fewer Moons to collect than some others, but I can’t help but appreciate pretty much everything about it. It knows it’s breathtaking and it takes advantage of that. The sense of grandeur you feel when playing on this level is so real and unmatched by probably any game I’ve ever played. There’s just a point where you stand on the gigantic triceratops skull and think, “wow, this is the game we’ve been waiting for”.
It’s a good time climbing the big cliff and just seeing all the things there are for you to discover. There’re moons to excavate, secrets to find, and so much more. Did you notice that a lot of the fossils are sprites from older Mario games? That’s clever. This level just has so many little detaIls I can’t get over. The sound of the running water just brings me in there, and I don’t say that games immerse me liberally.
I’d say that this definitely has some of the most fun capturable enemies in the game. The chain chomps are nice to stretch and bother, but the t-rex makes for one of the game’s highlights! It’s so good that they have to put a time limit on it! Finishing up this level just left me satisfied and excited to come back because god damn, it left an impact. And it only had forty or so Power Moons. Super Mario Odyssey was the kind of game that just left me wowed. One moment that left me really excited was when I was in the Luncheon Kingdom and I found the secret entrance in it, and it was Yoshi’s house from Super Mario World! And then you look across the sky and see Peach’s Castle from Super Mario 64. Come and visit the Mushroom Kingdom! Meet the locals, Toads. Enjoy the grassy fields and pond. Be careful in the forest, there be Goombas. Now I do need to admit that I was disappointed that it wasn’t exactly like its form in Super Mario 64, but really that’s not a big deal. They sacrificed the accuracy to the game and instead gave us a truckload of fanservice all in one postgame level.
It’s just so nice to finish the game and return home to a whole new adventure. When I officially reached the Mushroom Kingdom, I was just running around it for hours scouting for moons and new secrets. For example, you can explore the castle courtyard retaining all the graphics from 64! You can drain the castle moat and meet Yoshi at the top of the castle, just like in 64! You can enter a few buildings that have the Peach’s castle music and paintings that you can enter for harder versions of previous bosses. It’s done so well.
The whole level is an incredible love letter to the fans that I have to appreciate. It feels like its own hub world. I know a lot of others do, but there’s like a challenge everywhere you go! Maybe it’s because it’s the first place you go post-game and it’s the place that introduces you to all the new kinds of post-game challenges, But it’s just so satisfying and nostalgic to explore. Climbing the castle just gives me a vivid sense of memories of Christmas of 2007 where I played Mario and also watched Super Scatman Mario videos, back when scat was the music genre and not the fetish. Good times. Are any of you really surprised? Like seriously. Who DOESN’T love New Donk City? It’s beautiful at both night and day, the New Donkers are hilariously realistic, and it’s just a playground to explore. I already have all the Moons and coins in the level, but I still come back to just climb buildings and stuff.
If the Mushroom Kingdom is a love-letter to fans of older 3D Mario games, New Donk City is a love letter to fans of the older 2D Mario games. The construction beams are the same as the ones from Donkey Kong, and the “Big Banana” is confirmed to be the setting of the arcade game from the ‘80s. All the level’s details are super memorable. The street lights are question blocks, the city streets are named after Donkey Kong characters, and there are several murals based on art from Donkey Kong. The skyscrapers are super fun to explore and climb, and the game happily rewards the in-game gymnasts who finesse their way up. The level is filled to the brim with goodies and treats both horizontally and vertically.
They did a great job replicating New York. The taxis, the lights, the liveliness, it was super impressively done. You might notice some frame drops in the distance here and there, but then you remember that you have this entire game in your hands and don’t mind. I Love ND for sure. It’s the crown jewel and greatest kingdom in Super Mario Odyssey! At least, that’s what I think. What do you think? Feel free to add to the discussion in the comments below! .
As found on Youtube