During Winter Break, I had the pleasure of playing Super Mario Odyssey for the first time. I typically do not like to spend an excessive amount of time playing video games. However, I was accidentally consumed by the game and finished the entire story mode in a couple of days…which probably isn’t healthy. Although the narratives behind the Mario franchise have always enticed me, it was the game mechanics and dynamics that set this game apart. In this article, I will explore some of the mechanics and how they made those couple days of binge gaming incredibly enjoyable.
Exploring new worlds
The most essential game mechanic of Super Mario Odyssey is the ability to explore multiple worlds with different themes and obstacles. Players can move wherever they want, completing different objectives to collect moons. Moons can also be found hidden around the different worlds, encouraging players to diverge from the main story line and go through every crook and cranny of the environment.
Becoming Your Enemies
One of the aspects that makes this game unique to the rest of the franchise is the ability to “capture transform”. By throwing your hat at certain objects and enemies, you can turn Mario into that enemy and use its abilities. This expands the ways that Mario can interact with the environment and allows the rules to change dynamically. Ever wondered what it’s like to be a chomp? In this game, you can!
Dressing Up Mario
One way that individuals can customize their gaming experience is through the Crazy Cap shop. Here they can buy outfits for Mario. Some outfits are required to get through the story narrative. However, the majority of them are completely optional. The outfits are related to the world that they are bought in, meaning you can dress up mario as a caveman in the prehistoric world, or in a tuxedo as he roams New Donk City.
In order to obtain certain items from the shop, players may need to collect purple coins. These purple coins are unique to the world and cannot be used in other worlds. These purple coins are hidden around the world, pushing users to do more than just the story narrative and providing additional adventures for players.
Three Health Points
To force players to be careful and clever as they explore the world, they are only given three lives. Three strikes and you’re out (sort of). If a player loses all three lives, they lose ten coins and return to the nearest checkpoint. Losing ten coins can be very frustrating if you wish to save for a new Mario outfit.