Ohh where do I begin.
Let’s just start with Mario 64. Mario controls really well once you get to used to his somewhat foreign movement layout compared to newer entries. The camera is the worst thing imaginable though. You want it facing one way, and once you’ve got it that way, it goes another way, and it’s just annoying. Level design is pretty good especially for the time, and music is pretty good. It’s just the camera controls that fault the game. Although this is just because this was the first true 3D Mario, I’m willing to give this more of a pass, it’s still a problem.
Now on the Sunshine. The camera problem is almost completely fixed, and the controls feel much more modern. There is the problem with aiming FLUDD, but that’s minor compared to what it does right. Mario is just so fun to control, with some downsides I’ll discuss. Where we have issues, is that Mario is very tipsy on the controls and it can be hard to do jumps off of thin platforms. This game is unforgiving as hell, and will kick your ass if you aren’t playing close enough attention. There is some very broken parts which I know people have talked about plenty, so I won’t mention so much. All I’ll say is pachinko and lili pads.
And now we arrive at Mario Galaxy, my personal favorite, and what I believe to be the best Mario game to date. All the camera problems once mentioned previously are evaporated, and there are really no downsides to the controls besides just the more limited movement. In Galaxy, the levels are more linear than the two previous games, which I think is perfectly fine. It’s in this perfect grey area between the open Mario levels, and the complete linearity of 3D land/world. The level design is absolutely amazing, with so many fun things to do in each level that just feeds into the central idea of platforming in space. Also, gravity is fun to toy with.
The absolute best part of galaxy, is it’s atmosphere. Yes it still feels like a Mario adventure with plenty of light hearted, cartoony things, but the background of the levels are always just a dark, space with stars and emptiness. This also combines with the fucking incredible soundtrack this game has. If you haven’t listened to this games soundtrack, it is one of, if not the best soundtrack ever made. So many amazing tracks. Powerful orchestral pieces, or slow and beautiful piano parts. It all feeds in to the central idea of atmosphere. Space can be cool and exciting, but can also be a scary, uncertain place with many unexpected things in it.
Now how does this relate back to odyssey? Well, it shows how much of a technical marvel that game is. Of course, this is because it’s on much newer hardware, but still. Mario is so amazing to control in this game, it’s unbelievable. So many fun cappy moves at your disposal which makes moving around inherently fun to do. Even though Mario as a collectathon isn’t really my thing, there is more than enough moons that are linear or present some challenge for me to get in a 120 moon play through.
The problems arrive when you look at those other 700-800 moons. So many are just filled and don’t add much besides “sit on bench” or “Ground pound here”, and that’s a shame. I was wanting more amazing moons to get, and more challenges.
But my biggest complaint of odyssey, is the soundtrack of this game. Oh my gosh it’s a complete letdown coming off of galaxy, or heck, even 3D land. That game had plenty of really good jazz tracks. Odyssey, out of all its tracks, has only about 4 that I fully remember/think are pretty good, those 4 being, fossil falls, new donk city, steam gardens, and jump up super star. And I can remember about 20 different tracks from galaxy off the top of my head. If someone asks, I’ll comment them. But wow when you go from this (galaxy 2) bowser theme, to this (odyssey) good, but albeit, not as memorable or threatening sounding piece, then you have some problems.
This has been a long rant about why I love/have problems with odyssey that I could go more into, but won’t because it’s 11:00pm right now, and I’d like to go to sleep. Thanks for reading my rant if you did, and I hope you got some insight into why I prefer galaxy over odyssey, but how odyssey is still really good.
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