2017 - The Year of Mario

Super Mario Odyssey

Platform - Nintendo Switch

Enter Mario's crown jewel of 2017 -- Super Mario Odyssey This is the first mainline Mario platforming adventure since 2015's Super Mario Maker, the first 3D Mario since 2013's Super Mario 3D World, and the first Mario of its kind since 2003's Super Mario Sunshine. Think Super Mario 64 but bigger, more challenging, and with tons more to do!

Bringing Mario back into a large, open-ended series of worlds, Super Mario Odyssey showcases new worlds of all kinds -- a city, a food kingdom, an ancient castle, and seaside world are just a few of the types of locales that Mario visits.

The gameplay consists of collecting moons with heavy emphasis on exploration. There are over 800 moons to collect in all, providing the player with many hours of jumping around, solving puzzles, and unlocking new worlds. During the adventure you can collect new costumes using regular coins and world specific purple coins which are hidden around each world.

A huge aspect of this game is the capture mechanic. During the game's opening, which I won't spoil, Mario comes to meet Cappy, who is floating hat with eyes. Together they are able to 'capture' creatures you meet throughout your journey, allowing you to use their abilities to solve puzzles and get to hard to reach areas. It's a wonderful mechanic that consistently surprises players, almost making some captured creatures feel like they're part of their own little indie games.

Super Mario Odyssey maintains a score of 97 on Metacritic and with over two million sales from the beginning of November, it became the fastest-selling Mario game of all time. Super Mario Odyssey was a contender for many Game of the Year awards, winning some, and losing out to others -- mostly to Nintendo's other 2017 smash hit, Breath of the Wild.

So whether you're dancing to music, entering pipes into the 2D world, or playing jump rope in New Donk City, Super Mario Odyssey has a slew of memorable moments, and is rightfully hailed as the best Mario game in a long time.

Published Dec. 2nd 2017

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