Review: Super Mario Odyssey

Mario is back and we know the drill. The Princess has been kidnapped by Bowser. Mario has to travel through foreign lands to try to rescue Princess Peach. What makes this repeated formula exciting is exploring each new world, fighting a variety of enemies, and utilizing a host of unique powers along the way.

Super Mario Odyssey is part of the 3D sandbox adventure genre that started with Super Mario 64. This style continued with Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy.  Though Odyssey feels more like a sequel to Super Mario Sunshine, than Super Mario 64, which I initially didn't like. Sunshine uses a gimmicky mechanic called F.L.U.D.D. which is strapped to Mario's back. It shoots water out of its nozzle to boost Mario's jumps and combat enemies. It just didn't feel like an authentic Mario platforming game.

Odyssey also has a gimmicky mechanic, called Cappy, which is a ghost in the form of a hat. Its mechanic is used to defeat small enemies, collect coins, and possess whatever enemy it flies into. The biggest difference between Odyssey and Sunshine is that Odyssey's gimmick doesn't interfere with Mario's platforming. It's just a useful tool to solve puzzles and fight enemies.

The Odyssey campaign has Mario traveling across the world on a giant hat-shaped airship, that requires Moons to power it, and explore various lands. Moons are collected on each level, similar to prior 3D Mario games. Completing objectives and solving puzzles unlocks a Moon. Each land has several Moons to locate,some of which are also hidden in various nooks and crannies along the way.

The lands are fantastic. The variety is almost everything you could want to explore in a quirky Nintendo world. I didn't have a problem with any land I visited, even the lands filled with water. Yes, Nintendo finally managed to make water levels that are fun to explore and that's especially thanks to Cappy's possession of Cheep Cheeps. Each area also has a unique set of friendly NPCs related to the land you're exploring.

A big surprise that was revealed right before Odyssey launched, showed Mario hopping through pixelated pipes in the world and exploring a traditional 8-bit Mario universe on the fly. These throw back segments are used to obtain hidden moons and reach out of the way locations. Even though I knew about this before playing, every time I was transformed into 8-bit Mario, I smiled. Though some of the transformation areas are better than others. If you want to spoil one of the best moments of the game, just look up the 8-bit transformation in Metro, or New Donk City. It's one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had in a video game.

Each land comes with a shop where you can buy various treasures for your airship and costumes. Items are purchased using a specific purple-colored currency found in each land. The costumes are a lot of fun to collect and I often found myself trying to buy them all before proceeding to the next land. They are also themed around the land you are in. For example, the second land is a prehistoric theme so you end up with a caveman costume. Collecting sets allows you to open certain areas for hidden Moons as well. I found myself swapping costumes every time I launched the game and every time I visited a different location. You don't want your Mario running around in swim trunks while in a snowy area.

Enemies are a combination of new and old, but mostly new. You'll run into the Hammer Bros. and some Goombas, but I really wanted to see some others return. Maybe transform into Birdo or some Boos. But the new enemies do fit into the Mario universe nicely, and it's great that Nintendo spent time designing new enemies rather than just playing the nostalgia card.

The entire game took me about 15 hours to complete, and that's with some mild exploring. The game's length depends on how many Moons you want to collect. The bare minimum would probably cut the games length to around 6 hours for your average player, but what's the fun in speeding through sandbox games? I'm 40 hours into the experience as of writing this with half the Moons in my airship. It's just like any Mario game; you decide how long the game is.

Controlling Mario is smooth. There are several control schemes you can use, depending on your play style. But, I never ran into a problem platforming Mario. It feels as good as it always has since Mario became a 3D model. The controls are initially the same as in prior games. Duck and jump causes Mario to backflip for an extra height boost. Running and duck + jump causes Mario to dash and jump for a longer distance. It's the same feel as Super Mario 64 and so-forth.

The Switch isn't a beast of a system by any means, but the magic Nintendo works with their games on this system is astonishing. Odyssey looks amazing on my 4K TV. It's vibrant and mostly consistent running 50-60 frames per second. The beautifully rendered worlds are accompanied by one of Mario's best soundtracks. I didn't particularly like some of the background music at first, but over time it grew on me and definitely fit the levels well.

Is it the best 3D Mario game? No. It doesn't revolutionize 3D platformers like Super Mario 64 did. It doesn't feel as innovative as Super Mario Galaxy. But, it's definitely not something to miss if you have a Nintendo Switch. If you don't have a Nintendo Switch, this game is a system seller. It's worth checking out if you love Super Mario's 3D adventures.

EA Dev Death Threats Weren't Confirmed By EA

Most game journalists are terrible at performing the main function of their job: investigative reporting. It comes as little surprise that these gamer hating game journalists, who push agendas rather than researching and reporting stories, fell for such an obvious troll yesterday.

EA has been under fire recently for Star Wars: Battlefront II's progression system. This "pay to loot" reward system practically forces players to purchase loot boxes. Otherwise players must spend literally hundred of hours grinding to get the required credits to unlock progressions. During a recent Reddit AMA, EA representatives answered questions about the progression system and gamers showed their disgust in force.  EA now holds the record for the most downvoted comment of all time on Reddit.

During this debacle, an "EA game dev" claimed he received numerous death threats over the Battlefront II progression controversy. Some gamers and Twitter users argued this claim was a deflection to draw attention away from the progression controversy. In response, articles started flying through the blogosphere explaining how gamers are toxic and they need to quit harassing game devs.

Jason Schreier, of Kotaku, looked into the background of this "EA game dev" and low and behold, this person was a troll and not affiliated with EA in any way.
Hats off to Mr. Schreier for doing his job. For even putting in the bare minimum amount of effort to find out the truth, unlike Patrick Klepek and others who rushed to virtual signal and push their  agenda.

Update: I spit out my Double XP Mountain Dew watching this video. Bravo, mombot.

Super Mario Odyssey Is The Fastest Selling Super Mario Game

Nintendo of America announced today that Super Mario Odyssey is now the fastest selling Super Mario game of all time. According to their latest financial report, Nintendo has sold nearly 2 million copies of Odyssey worldwide since it's release last Friday, with 1.1 million copies sold in the US alone.

The Nintendo Switch has had an excellent year with Nintendo exclusives and ports, helping to push more Switch systems and keep the stock scarce for the first few months.  

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is currently the number one sold game on the Nintendo Switch, standing at around 4.7 million copies sold. And with the Explorer Edition coming soon, that may bump Breath of the Wild past 5 million units sold.

We're currently in the process of reviewing Super Mario Odyssey and hope to have it out shortly.

13 Original Xbox Games Coming To Xbox One BC

During E3 this year, Microsoft announced that the original Xbox was getting backward compatibility on the Xbox One. The time has come for the first batch to be released. 13 original Xbox games will be available tomorrow, all enhanced with 1080p resolution, better frame rates, and faster load times.

The games available tomorrow are:
Here's some footage from IGN showing the differences between the original, fuzzier graphics and the emulation on Xbox One:

SNES Themed 3DS XL Announced

Amazon has put up a 3DS XL that's themed like the iconic Super Nintendo. Perfect to pair with the release of the SNES Classic this year. This 3DS also includes Super Mario Kart. It's priced at $199 and will release November 27th.

NeoGAF Is Dead After Evilore Outted As Sexual Predator. Again.

In a single evening, the internet watched as popular gaming forum NeoGAF burned to the ground after site owner Tyler "Evilore" Malka was accused of sexual harassment in a Facebook post. Typically, I would like to wait for evidence to pop up before calling out Evilore but he called him self out years ago.

The site went from business as usual to completed dead before the night ended. All of the mods quit (rumored that it was fear for their privacy). The entire board became a beacon of free speech for once with everyone asking Evilore to leave, and posting what they truly thought without mod bullying. As of now, NeoGAF is offline and Evilore has yet to make a comment.

This isn't the first controversy this year with NeoGAF. Before all of this broke, ex-mod and charity fraud Amir0x was busted for child pornography. To make matters worse, the mods covered up and deleted any talk of Amir0x. Evilore claimed he didn't even know his real name, yet donated money to him for his mom's medical expenses (which were used for drugs).

It's uncertain what will happen with NeoGAF. It will never be the same if it continues. It hasn't been the same in a few years. I'm a long time member (going back to maybe 2007), but quit posting as much when they didn't allow discussion of controversial subjects. If you went into any of the "Tropes vs. Women" threads and argued against insufferable feminist Anita Sarkeesian's views, you were banned as being apart of gamer gate. Even if her videos were completely false. It didn't matter. The entire site became a circle jerk hive mind after the gamer gate controversy, and became less about discussing video games and more about politics in gaming.

Maybe someone will create something new, or NeoGAF will come back with new ownership? Or people will continue to just use other forums and forget about NeoGAF all together.

GT Sport Demo Available Now

Gran Turismo Sport's demo is now available. The cool thing about this demo is that progress will carry over to the final game when it's released on October 17th. Any cars unlocked and money (up to $1 million) will transfer over to the final game upon release.

For more information, head over to the PlayStation Blog.

Rockstar Tweets Out September 28, Red Dead Redemption 2 Info

Rockstar tweeted out "Thursday, September 28 11am ET" this morning in Red Dead Redemption's font and color scheme. All we know for sure is this is related to the popular wild west game.

With the reveal trailer under their belt for Red Dead Redemption 2, my wish is that this is related to a Red Dead Redemption remaster, something I wrote about during E3 last year as a rumor. But I'm just really port begging one of my favorite games.

I'm expecting more information on the story and for them to reveal the multiplayer, including gameplay modes and what we'll do in free roam. Grand Theft Auto V is incredibly successful due to it's multiplayer, so it's only natural to expect something big from Rockstar in terms of Red Dead Redemption 2's multiplayer.

Bungie Removes Gauntlet From Destiny 2 For KEK

This is going to be one of the most cringe-worthy stories in gaming history. Bungie decided to remove one of their gauntlets from Destiny 2 due to their art work being deemed offensive. The offensive art? Judge it for yourselves with the picture above.

Do you not see what's so offensive about this? Are you blind? It's obviously a reference to the Kekistan flag!

Bungie folded under pressure of unstable social justice warriors, a small minority of the gaming community, because they feared a backlash. Instead, it seems like the backlash is coming from the normal gamers who don't care about the plight of fictional hatred. From PC GamerKotakuPolygonGame Informer and the rest, they managed to virtue signal their dislike for the fictional religion of Kek and the fictional people of Kekistan. Most of the comments sections are full of gamers bashing the insanity of bending the knee over nothing. What's next? Banning the capitalization of the letter L because it could be 1/4th of a swastika?

Bungie, you might not want to write you "renounce" hate images in your tweets either.

This is modern game journalism. This is modern game developers. They want your money, but they want to insult your intelligence. You can extract what you want to see sometimes, and this is a perfect example.