Title: Super Mario Odyssey
Director/Developer: Kenta Motokura/Nintendo
Rating: Ages 10+
Year of Release: Most Recently Updated in 2019
Number of Players: Single or Double Player
Genre/Format of the Item: Videogame
2018 BAFTA Games Award: Best Family Game
2018 BAFTA Games Award: Best Game Design
2018 Teen Choice Award: Nominee for Best Choice Game
2018 SXSW Gaming Award: Excellence in SFX
Reading Level/Interest Level:
Plot Summary: The goal of Super Mario Odyssey is for Mario to travel across many different kingdoms in an attempt to rescue Princess Peach from the evil Bowser. Bowser kidnapped Princess Peach because he wants to force her to marry him. Mario is on a mission with his sidekick, Cappy, who also wants to rescue his sister, Tiara. Bowser’s minions, the Broodals, are a gang of mutant rabbits who try to defeat Mario throughout the game. Mario and Cappy must travel across many kingdoms in their airship, The Odyssey, and Mario must find Power Moons to power their ship. The last kingdom is Moon Kingdom, where the wedding will take place. Cappy has the ability to transform Mario into many animals or objects so that Mario can defeat his enemies. Mario and Cappy must battle Bowser one final time, defeat Bowser, and escape out of the moon cave, while rescuing Princess Peach and Tiara. Upon rescuing Princess Peach and Tiara, Mario asks if Princess Peach will marry him. Princess Peach says, ” No way” to both Mario and Bowser and then they all leave the Moon Kingdom and the main game ends.
Author Background: Nintendo refers to Kenta Motokura as the director of Super Mario Odyssey. Motokura has lived in Japan all of his life. He has worked in the development department for Nintendo since 1999. He graduated from university and immediately began working for Nintendo as a graphic designer. He has been the director on numerous games including Super Mario Odyssey, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and Super Mario 3D World. He has also been a designer on many Nintendo games such as Super Mario Galaxy 2, Super Mario 3D Land, and Super Mario Galaxy (Kyoto Report, n.d.).
Critical Evaluations: Super Mario Odyssey is a blast to play. It is frequently a single player game that follows Mario on his quest to save Princess Peach. My favorite part is when Mario finally reaches Princess Peach and also asks for her hand in marriage, she declines both Bowser and Mario!! It’s kind of a silly premise–to save the princess–but it works because the adventure is so much fun. Super Mario Odyssey is brimming with creative details, ensuring that the player will notice something new every time that they play. I have always like the playful and fun artistry of Mario games. I think that Nintendo has done a great job creating new and different games for the Mario characters. I think that teenagers will like this game because it is less about winning and more about the adventure. The reviews on Commonsense Media give the game almost all five star reviews, by both adults and kids. Reviewer Ela2611 of TeenInk states that, “To anyone who loves a good, classic of Super Mario I would definitely recommend this game” (Ela2611, 2022, para 7). Overall, this game gets amazing reviews and is a very fun to play.
Creative Use for a Library Program: A library program for teens that incorporates Super Mario Odyssey could be an evening event in which teens must create an extra kingdom for Mario and Cappy to travel through based on one of their favorite books. There will be a YouTube video of the game in the background and teens will sit around a large table with writing and drawing supplies. The teens will be able to chat and interact while creating new kingdoms. After an hour, the teens can share their new kingdoms with the group and then have a snack and chat some more.
Speedround/Book Trailer: Nintendo has done it again! Super Mario Odyssey is full of adventure and challenges! Help Mario save Princess Peach and Tiara from Bowser’s evil clutches!!
Potential Challenge Issues/Defense Preparations: A potential challenge to having this game part of the library collection could be that Bowser intends to force Princess Peach to marry him if Mario doesn’t save her. This antiquated idea that a princess must be saved from a forced marriage is one often told in fairy tales. What I like about this game is that the princess does not agree to marry anyone once she is free! I think that teens would really enjoy this game.
Reason for Inclusion: I included this game in my collection because I think that Mario is an iconic character in video games and this game received very good reviews. I enjoyed playing the game and I think that teenagers also really enjoy playing this game. It is important to have games that are well-known and well-liked in a library game collection.
Ela2611 (Reviewer). (2022, January 5). Super Mario Odyssey, a video game review. TeenInk. https://www.teenink.com/reviews/video_game_reviews/article/1147529/Super-Mario-Odyssey-A-Video-Game-Review
Kyoto Report. (n.d.). Kenta Motokaura. http://kyoto-report.wikidot.com/kenta-motokura
Nintendo. (2017, January 12). Super Mario Odyssey: Nintendo Switch presents 2017 trailer [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kcdRBHM7kM