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I don't understand the love for Mario Odyssey. Help.

Jun 4, 2018
Edit: I don't mean, help as in I'm distressed. I mean help as in help me understand.
Edit 2: I really appreciate the people who are taking the time to post what they love/hate about the game rather than telling me the game isn't for me and that I should move on. Wasn't exactly what I was trying to get out of this.

I'm actually quite glad that I'm finally able to make a thread because this has been burning for a long time. I've played through the main story of Mario Odyssey and spent a decent amount of time with side stuff on the way to get to the end, but discussing things with a friend of mine... we're both really disappointed with the game.

I had a really terrible suspicion I wasn't going to like the game based off the trailers that were coming out for it, and the game play bits that we'd get to see. I picked it up anyway. I love Mario and I didn't see how I could really dislike a game in the main franchise. But I got it home that night, played for a bit before I had to head to bed and felt a very deep sense of being underwhelmed. I figured maybe I was just tired and the next few days of playing, I'd feel different.

Turns out, I wasn't. I feel like I'm in an incredibly small minority of people that dislike the game. I find hardly anything, outside of how nice it looks technically speaking, and the stability of the game. I also do tend to agree that Marios moves feel absolutely incredible, and wish more had been done with this.

I don't like the level design, I don't like the world designs, I don't like the music, I don't like the story, I don't like the challenge the game provides. I don't like the fact there are so many, incredibly meaningless moons that are found by pure luck or doing something as silly as groundpounding a specific area on the floor. Everything in this game felt like an absolute chore, and picking up the game every time to play it was more so try and grasp what people liked about it that I just wasn't getting. I can usually, even if I find a game to be bad or not fit my taste, find the reasons why people enjoy it and live with that. But Mario Odyssey is a weird case of me not being able to latch onto it in any way, even to the sense of understanding why people love it so much.

I guess I'll list what I don't like, if you don't feel like reading that poorly conveyed garble up top.
  • I don't like the level/world design. I feel like the worlds are completely uninspired and uninteresting. I think the general idea of having these generic based worlds to go to isn't a bad idea if they had more of a touch to them, but outside of a nice use of color, I felt like they were pretty generic.
  • In regards to the levels, I do like the fact that the platforming is tailored to Mario's incredibly robust moveset, but I feel like it's too open and doesn't offer much of a challenge. With a lot of the moons that are required, there is an objectively best path that I would notice, and would tend to take that. Maybe this is my own problem by not making a challenge for myself and approaching things differently, but I feel like this is something that should be best left to a second playthrough to spice things up a bit, not on a first go.
  • Even the people I've seen who don't generally like the game seem to at least like the music. I, outside of a couple of tracks, dislike it quite a bit. It falls in line with the world design where I feel like a lot of the tracks are pretty generic. Coming off hot from the likes of Sunshine and the absolutely fantastic Galaxy OSTs, I feel like Odysseys came in pretty underwhelming.
  • I don't like the chore of collecting moons. Usually, in Mario games picking up a star or a mooon feels good, it's a rewarding experience, but there are just so many of them that after the initial maybe... 50, they lost their magic almost entirely. Getting a moon felt like I was performing a task rather than having fun, if that makes sense. And a lot of them didn't even provide a challenge and felt entirely meaningless.
I think that's the gist of what I don't like. I know I'm absolutely dumping on the game, but I genuinely want to understand what people like about this game, and want to have a conversation around that. I'm really terrible at conveying my thoughts on games, so I hope that this was manageable. I would like to hear your reasons for liking the game, experiences you've had that really stuck with you, or if you're in the same boat as me, tell me why. I would super appreciate it.

Edit 3: I'll post it down here so people might actually read what's above first. My goal was not to come here and dump on the game with the sole purpose doing that. I wanted to have a discussion around what people liked about the game and potentially didn't like. The internet is filled with absolutely beaming reviews, threads, comments, posts, Tweets, whatever have you about the game and, outside of Joseph Andersons 2 hour long critique of the game (which you should watch even if you do like the game), I rarely see anything negative about it or discussions that may incorporate both sides. I'm not expecting anyone to convince me to like the game suddenly, I just want to be able to see things from different perspectives to get a better understanding of something that I really might have just been missing from the game. I love gaming, and truly love sharing that feeling with other people. I absolutely despise Gone Home, for example, but after having discussions around it, I could understand why people liked it so much. I'm trying to do the same here.
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Oct 27, 2017
The game just wasn't for you. It's normal not to like everything that gets good reception. I loved the game, but you did list off some things that took it down a bit for me too.
Jun 4, 2018
The game just wasn't for you. It's normal not to like everything that gets good reception. I loved the game, but you did list off some things that took it down a bit for me too.
Yeah, which I understand. I'm just genuinely trying to understand the love for the game. Like I said, I can see it in games that I absolutely despise, but with this I just don't see anything.
Oct 26, 2017
You don't need to like it. I didn't either. Mario is way to slow and the areas are big making it a slog just to move around. The bosses are a joke, and I'm not a fan of the level designs. I hated the ice desert stage and pretty much dropped the game once I reached the jungle which was just a confusing mess.
Oct 28, 2017
I played the game until I was fed up of it. Searching for all the moons was not fun, but it was obvious that all the content was just not made for me. Something that was hard to come to terms with since I’m used to completing Mario games.

Just finishing the game and then running round the mushroom kingdom level for a bit was fun enough for me. The city level that morphs into Donkey Kong was one of my favourite parts of any game last year, despite the music behind it being cheesy as hell.
Oct 25, 2017
Yeah, which I understand. I'm just genuinely trying to understand the love for the game. Like I said, I can see it in games that I absolutely despise, but with this I just don't see anything.
Why do you feel this way? Do you question everything other people like that you don't? Food? Music? Movies?
Nov 7, 2017
I get what you mean, and I agree with a lot of your sentiment, but I still thoroughly enjoyed myself, and generally was just sad at how quickly I was able to plough through it. I'm still just waiting for that more complex, interwoven hub-based experience more closely mirroring SM64.

Hopefully in the meantime Luigi's Mansion 3 fills that space, I guess.


Oct 31, 2017
It's easily one of the best games released this generation. I'm sorry you couldn't enjoy it though, I've felt that way about GOTG's in the past. I know how it feels.


Feb 28, 2018
The levels are straight boring.

Super Mario 3D World was 10 times better than this game, Im just trying to finish it now so I can sell it or trade in.
Oct 25, 2017
I wouldn't say I disliked it, I definitely had fun with it.... but it 100% reaffirmed that I just don't like the open level-style Mario design as much as the more linear obstacle course style like 3D World.
Jan 16, 2018
I was a big fan of it and thought Mario was ace to control and that the music was wicked and the enemy designs were excellent buuuuuuuut there did seem to be something.. lacking, I guess? I do share your opinion on the uninspired worlds, to an extent: I loved loved loved the Lost and Bowsers Kingdom's but some of them did seem a bit boring/not very Mario to me. As much fun as jumping about New Donk was I never really got over the realistic humans/environments.. I don't know.

I enjoyed Sunshine and the Galaxies worlds more so maybe what I'm looking for is a more coherent theme or style? Odyssey felt like a collage, which I get was the point to an extent, but it was a little too jarring for me.

Still loved the experience though and would buy a full game built around playing as a Pokio in under an instant.
Oct 25, 2017
If there's a franchise that's really easy to understand why people like it, it's the Mario franchise. Pick any game in the main series: it's easy to play (and often hard to master), it feels good to play, it's charming as fuck and beautiful, and perhaps more than anything it's just polished, polished, polished.

So long as Nintendo hits all of the above bullet points, all of your criticisms (as valid as they may or may not be) aren't going to slow down Mario's roll.


Oct 25, 2017
I can't help you OP because I find the love for the game utterly baffling. It's a platformer with no complex platforming or even slightly difficult platforming. The main objective is to pick up ubisoft style collectibles that serve no real purpose but to let you move on to other worlds and pick up more ubisoft collectibles. People saying how special the game is will forever confuse me.
Oct 26, 2017
I generally agree, OP. While I did find some fun in some of the challenge rooms in the various levels, I wasn't too fond of the level design in the worlds themselves. Odd as this might sound, I felt like the game tried to be 'true' to the locales in the game and tried to make a game out of environments I wasn't interested to begin with.

After finishing the game I had no urge to collect the rest of the moons, either.

It was an okay game. I like Galaxy 1 and 2 more, though.
Nov 26, 2017
I didn't find it to be GOTY territory, but I found it a lot more enjoyable doing some light speedrunning through the story mode. I'd occasionally find some moons I didn't see on previous playthroughs.
Oct 25, 2017
There are some problems with moons feeling meaningless because of how many there are, but I thought it was overall fantastic. Mario has never been more fun to play as, and exploring each big kingdom the first time through is so good.

However, I would like Odyssey 2 to have a bit more challenge.

I think people expecting this to be a complete 3D platformer are looking for the wrong thing. It’s an action adventure game as well, moreso than the Galaxy/3D series
Oct 31, 2017
"I don't understand the love for Mario Odyssey"

People have different tastes, people like different things.

Did that help?

Not everything is for everyone, it's alright not to like a thing someone else does.

I enjoyed the time I had with it but I thought it was just alright, it had a bunch of flaws in my opinion.
Oct 25, 2017
Because for most people finding Moons was fun. Not all of them - like, "jumprope 100 times" probably isn't anyone's favorite - but there's enough breadth and variety of gameplay that you only have to do what you like. Explore some, get to hard to reach places, solve puzzles, do platforming challenges. It's all pretty easy, up until the post-game stuff, but that's true of all Mario games.

The main gameplay hook of possessing enemies also keeps the game fresh. It's a wide game, not a deep one. Lots of Moons, lots of mechanics, lots of nooks and crannies.
Oct 25, 2017
OP, I mostly agree with you. I think it's an excellent adventure platforming game, but ultimately, overrated because of some of the reasons you mentioned.

I really agree with Joseph Anderson's 2hour summary of the game, "Super Mario Odyssey -- It's No Masterpiece":

When it came out, a lot of people dismissed it like he was looking for attention or trying to shit on the game, and he wasn't. It's hard to watch a 2 hour critique of a game, especially one with really well thought out reasons for critique, and so it's easy to just dismiss it out of hand... BUt I agree with most of his criticisms.

I still enjoyed playing it and there were times when I thought the game was just a perfect little joyride, but at some point in my play through I sat and wondered, "... what's the point?"
Oct 26, 2017
This. These threads are so dumb.

"Guys, I don't like this game. Tell me what I'm missing! Am I broken?"

No. It's normal to not like some things.
Not even "it's normal to not like some things" but sometimes we aren't gonna be able to understand why people like it, which seems to be what OP is curious about. As in, some people are gonna like how a character feels in movement and some aren't. Some people like open spaces and others are repulsed by it. This is all really subjective preference stuff and it's okay to not "get" it.
Oct 25, 2017
New Orleans, LA
It's okay to not like it. I personally enjoyed the game but it's definitely down towards the bottom of the list of 3D Mario games. I enjoy the pure platforming/obstacle courses of games like 3D World and 3D Land.
Nov 1, 2017
Odyssey made me realize a big reason why I loved Mario 64 so much was because I had nothing else to play on N64 back then.

I think I just don't really care for 3D Mario and never truly did.
Oct 25, 2017
Yeah, which I understand. I'm just genuinely trying to understand the love for the game. Like I said, I can see it in games that I absolutely despise, but with this I just don't see anything.
The moveset is the best movement in any platformer ever and the worlds are inspired and look amazing (I disagree with you, they aren't generic). Musics great too. People like screwing around the open world and finding things since its so fun to move as Mario. I do agree though that the moons are terrible and the level design generally sucks and is way too easy and never expands on ideas enough like older Mario games. But for me the movement and the art style and designs of the worlds were enough for me to enjoy the game. Its not my favorite though.

3D world was way better.
Oct 27, 2017
Yeah I definitely came off of a weird high after I finished it and realized that I didn't really enjoy the game like I expected. Probably my biggest disappointment of this generation which is striking considering how much I loved BOTW. The platforming felt weak compared to the Galaxy games
Oct 25, 2017
Super Mario 3D World was 10 times better than this game
3D World is bad on almost every level, so no.

TC if you don't understand the love, I don't know what to say to you. For my money, it's the GotG, and I don't know that anything left to come this generation will beat it. But if you can't even tell why people would love the game regardless of your personal feelings about it, nothing anyone can say will help you with that.
Jan 19, 2018
You didn't like it...it happens.

There are loads of games that other people love that I don't and vice versa. It's just a matter of taste and more importantly recognizing that taste in yourself and making those sorts of calls before you make a purchase. Like hydrophilic attack said, if you didn't like SM64 for instance, good idea to stay away from Odyssey since it's essentially what SM64 would be if it were made today.
Oct 29, 2017
Its not surprising, I feel that way about all the other mario platformers (like 2D ones) and I loved odyssey, so clearly its quite a different experience that appeals to a different audience

NSMBUD in january more to your taste?
Jun 4, 2018
OP, I mostly agree with you. I think it's an excellent adventure platforming game, but ultimately, overrated because of some of the reasons you mentioned.

I really agree with Joseph Anderson's 2hour summary of the game, "Super Mario Odyssey -- It's No Masterpiece":

I really should have put this in the original post, as I strongly agree with this video.
Oct 27, 2017
Biggest issue I have with the game is Cappy, Mario handles so sublimely yet most of the game is going to try and force you into transformations that don't play anywhere near as well.

There are also many a moon that are bland and forgettable, like "Break a rock, get a moon!" or "Plant this seed that'll grow into a moon" some of these aren't fun.

It's better than the barrage of Korok Seeds and Shrines breath of the wild has, and I also feel like Odyssey is leagues better than BoTW, but I found both of the flagship Switch titles last year underwhelming and a little disappointing. Galaxy still remains king of the Mario's.
Dec 6, 2017
OP is just saying he'd like some opinions on what makes the game special for others, maybe he's approaching it differently, not seeing a specific angle of its appeal, something along those lines. I'm pretty sure he/she ain't a dummy and don't release that 'not liking something is okay'.

but I genuinely want to understand what people like about this game, and want to have a conversation around that.
Answering 'it's okay, move on' to this doesn't add anything.


Dec 28, 2017
I was in the same camp as you, but when I thought of the game in the following way, it changed my perception of it. Mind you, it's still not in my top 3 3D Mario games, but I enjoy it now.

Though it's made in a similar vein to Mario 64, it emphasizes different things. Mario 64 did involve exploring the maps, but they emphasized the objectives more. Odyssey opts for rewarding your curiosity to explore every nook and cranny rather than specific objectives. Much like Breath of the Wild, this game isn't meant to be completed. They put in enough content so each playthrough could have something new for the player. Couple that with shorter-than-usual campaign for a Mario game, a low moon requirement to get to the next kingdom, and that the majority of the moons are in the endgame, I get the feeling that the intention was for the player to go through this game as fast as possible.
Oct 25, 2017
Boston, MA
The OP's criticisms are perfectly valid and honestly, are about what I would critique the game with. My own feelings just aren't quite as harsh - I actually do like Odyssey, but don't like it as much as other 3D Mario games.

IMO a reason for the game's hyped reception is that a lot of people have wanted a Mario 64 style game for almost 20 years and Odyssey massively benefits from scratching that itch. It doesn't mean people are wrong for liking it or being gratified at finally getting a game like that. But the game does get a huge boost from this effect.

Another thing Odyssey did which is different from all 3D Mario games is structure the initial playthrough as a campaign. Your first playthrough is guided by cutscenes and story levels / scenarios that don't repeat and permanently change each world. There are some ways (IMO) that this hurts the game as a Mario game. But it does evolve the formula in a way that many players have wanted or didn't know they wanted until they played this game.

I think the most objectively great thing Odyssey does do that is better than many Mario games is freshen up the aesthetics. It does have a lot of locations that are finally new for the series and not just re-treads of past Mario themes. This also helped it get an enthusiastic reception.

For the moment my dream 3D Mario game would combine the platforming mechanics of 3D World, the expansive variety of the Galaxy games, and the fresh themes of Odyssey.
Oct 25, 2017
The only thing I agree with you on is the OST. Which was sorta redeemed by the vocal tracks though.

But not all games are for everyone. There's nothing to help you with, this just wasn't your type of game.

EDIT: Oh I saw the post above-

Maybe the best advice for this game is not to try and get everything in every kingdom on your first run-through. Play through each kingdom until you feel like you're tiring of it and then move on to the next. You can always come back later if you do wanna go for 100%.
Dec 28, 2017
One of my favorite games of this gen. Mario is just so fun to control and some of the moves you can pull off by chaining stuff together are crazy
It's ok to not like things other people like. Just means youhave different tastes