Super Mario Odyssey's E10+ Rating Explained

The rating for Nintendo's next flagship game surprised some, but here's the real reason why Mario's new outing isn't considered suitable for an E rating.

Mario fans recently raised their eyebrows after learning the upcoming Super Mario Odyssey would have a B rating -- ages 12 and up -- in Japan's Cero system, which translates to an E10+ in the ESRB system. That makes Odyssey the first mainline Mario game not to be rated just plain E. But at the time, no details were offered about the change.

Rumors abounded of course, particularly after The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild received a similar rating due to the presence of alcohol and large, scantily clad women, a.k.a. "mild suggestive themes." Would there be a toast at Bowser's wedding? Was Princess Peach's forced marriage grounds for mild suggestive themes?

Now we have a more definite answer. And the reality behind the rating is a bit different -- though it should come as no surprise to those who have been following the game since this year's E3

Super Mario Odyssey's E10+ rating has nothing to do with any of the above mentioned rumors. Instead, it is as some expected -- Cartoon Violence and Comic Mischief.

The ESRB only offers one example of the latter, referencing the Cookatiel spewing goo and food at Mario during a boss fight. There are several examples of the former. Despite the fact that New Donk City's residents look more realistic than most characters in a Mario game, nothing is said about them being a factor in the cartoon violence element -- and despite some rumors, nothing about the possession mechanic itself.

Instead, the rating mentions that enemies sometimes react to Mario's attacks with yelps or by cowering. There is also a boss fight where Mario must punch the boss, and his attacks are accompanied by screen shaking effects. Probably the most influential factor, though, is the mechanical Wiggler battle shown off over the summer, as Mario must possess a "cartoony tank" and fire explosive cannonballs at the beast.

Let us know what you think about Super Mario Odyssey's rating down in the comments!


Josh Broadwell's gaming career began early--1993, to be exact--when he was introduced to the Super Nintendo and Super Mario World. Despite all the magnificent games the SNES and, later, the original PlayStation had to offer, it wasn't until the GameBoy Advance era that he finally discovered RPGs, which quickly became a favorite genre. He holds a BA in history, an MA in history, and is currently pursuing an MA in strategic communication.

Published Sep. 23rd 2017

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