Odyssey for me
Do you prefer Mario 64 or Mario Odyssey?
64, but this is mostly because when it comes to control, Mario 64 just clicks for me. I can go back to Mario 64 after years and still be able to do everything I used to do the last time I played. Whereas with Odyssey, I'd have to relearn all the techniques to move around and getting used to throwing Cappy for extra air time and all that. I still wasn't able to get comfortable with that technique even when I was playing it daily for hours.
Call it age, I guess.
I've gone with 64 because I feel it still hangs in 2021. There's some awful stars in it but there's something about how a 3D game in 1996 moves that holds up incredibly well. The camera's rough but they didn't really get the hang of free camera movement until erm ... I guess Odyssey?
You're never stuck for something to do in Odyssey, though. It might be bloated but, as a guy that rolls credits on these games and moves on, it has a momentum to it.
Odyssey I guess... though tbh I cant quite get into either of those Mario's.
I too prefer Sunshine from the 3D mario's I've played. Though I havent tried Galaxy as of yet.
I'm of the opinion that no Mario has come close to touching the absolute treasure that is Super Mario World for the SNES. I never had a DS so maybe some of the hand-held 2D Mario's have come close. But it seems strange to me that it doesnt seem like anyone has even really tried to tackle it either.
Odyssey and it isn't close.
I don't know if people saying that Mario 64 still plays well have played it recently but...I mean it's fantastic given when it released and it was a revelation at the time, but it has definitely aged. And its age isn't even felt the most in its control but rather in its structure and level design. It was a massive leap forward in 3D third person game design and a monumental achievement, but it's not shocking that designers just getting to grips with 3D movement and gameplay didn't nail it their first time out. I'm not saying it's bad or anything but it's got a lot of flaws, and even though I played it when it came out and owned it on N64 it's kind of rough to go back (which I did on the Switch.)
Odyssey on the other hand controls like a dream, allowing you to do all kinds of crazy stuff, has incredible level design and variety, has the absolutely bonkers capture system, and is packed full of secrets and delights around basically every corner.
Now you want to talk Galaxy vs Odyssey I think that's a harder decision, because Galaxy's levels are more focused while its gameplay is still incredibly refined. I think that Odyssey vs Galaxy is a matter of taste.
And I also think that Bowser's Fury needs to be in the conversation.
@junkerman: They absolutely have tried to capture the Super Mario World magic again. Play New Super Mario Bros. Wii U and you will see it's basically an attempt to do Mario World but with updated graphics and multiplayer. Super Mario Bros. 3D World is also an attempt to do a Mario World type game but with some 3D elements.
The problem is both that Super Mario World captured lightning in a bottle with its design team and how much Nintendo was behind it, and also that it's not the early 90s anymore. Even if they did make a game that was the equal of Super Mario World in design (and you can argue they might have with Super Mario 3D World) it's just never going to hit as hard because the medium is so developed and we've all played so many games.
I picked both. Mario 64 is considered a classic as it set the standard on how 3D platformers played, and is still one of the main staple games in competitive speed running. On the other hand, Odyssey is the next step in the series and how it plays IMO. The amount of end game content after completing the main quest is amazing. You can easily spent over 100 hours looking for secrets and moons if you care too. Sadly, we likely won't see a sequel until the Switch Pro/2 is released.
While I wasn't as awestruck by Odyssey as some were, it's still superior to 64. I think anyone saying otherwise is trapped in nostalgia. Went back to play some 64 last year when the 3D collection released, and that game has aged so, so poorly. It controls like pure garbage. Still a very important game in the scope of Video Game history, but that's kind of all it is now.
@bigsocrates: Thats exciting to hear - I'll give that a play the next time I'm on a work trip!
The last Mario I picked up was Super Mario 3D world after having it recommended and I'm not super into it - maybe I'm just not as good at those kinds of games but having to traverse the map in 3D really cuts down on my momentum and I dont get that same thrill that I do trying to complete a 2D Mario game in a full sprint the entire way. Thats where the magic is for me.
And while I dont disagree that we've all seen and played a lot of games since the early 90's and times have changed - one thing I really dont like about recent Mario games is this moon/star/collectable bloat which I personally dont get any enjoyment from. Having new maps and secret levels gated behind tens of collectables just doesnt excite me.
I'll cite Super Mario World for having its secrets hidden on a level and once you figure it out it'll change the map or open up some new pathway. I found that a lot more exciting. It's like looking through the couch cushions and finding a hundred bucks in there vs slowly collecting some nickels and dimes.
I can appreciate how important 64 was in the grand scheme of 3d game development, but I hated actually playing it since I was a kid (enjoyed it more when I played 3D All-Stars, but still, that game is so awkward to me).
Odyssey is my favorite Mario game at this point. Controls are amazing, and I love the level design. I can understand why people like Mario levels to be a little more focused than what Odyssey goes for, but I thought they nailed the sort of huge "playground" feel that I've always enjoyed in platformers.
Love watching 64 speedruns, though.
64 is a much more important game, but it's not a game that I'm overly nostalgic for. It was mind-blowing for 7-year-old me, and it's incredible how much it stands out even today as it's maybe the only 3D platformer of that era that is remotely playable today. I dunno, I was probably a bit young and didn't have the patience for some of the tougher stars.
Whereas Odyssey is just a total joy and I never would have believed before I played it that I could love a platformer that much as an adult gamer with my adult sensibilities and my general indifference to the genre. So I vote for Odyssey because I affected me more, plus as an adult I can appreciate how weird and kinda shite the N64 controller was.
@junkerman: I don't really like New Super Mario Bros U personally, so I'm not so much recommending it as just saying it tries to hit the Mario World beats. Some people really enjoy it (my main issue is that I feel like the control is a bit 'slippery' for lack of a better word, and the level themes are pretty boring with a couple exceptions.)
It does have Super Mario World style secret exits from levels and alternate paths, though, if that's a thing that's important to you
Super Mario 3D World is definitely a different thing than Super Mario World and it's of course legit to like the earlier game more than the later one, but it's clearly attempting to copy World in important ways. My point is not that it's better but rather that it's an example of Nintendo trying to do the Mario World formula with a twist.
64 was a landmark achievement but it just doesn't hold up all that well, Odyssey is superior in every way. The only consistent knock against it is that it's bloated with too many moons but I'm at a point with video games where I almost never 100% any game so the momentum of constantly having something to do in Odyssey works brilliantly without shackling me to needing to do it all.
If you posed this question to me when I was at the age I played 64 I might say I prefer 64 due to the pace of play (due to needing to 100% every game) but right now, Odyssey is better even in that.
I don't think I care to actually play 64 again but the speedrunning scene is usually pretty wild to see.
Odyssey had too many moons. I can't wrap my head around the design decision to put the number of moons you collected on the side of a giant hot air balloon, but the balloon isn't even big enough to display all the moons you can possibly collect in the game. Someone should've saw that and decided the game needed less moons... or a bigger balloon, lol. And like, I get it; they wanted to make the game something adults could play with young children. I would've appreciated a difficulty slider that, on higher difficulties, just removes the easier moons from the game. I didn't feel the need to go after the harder challenges when you're just stumbling into moons all the time.
@bisonhero: I'm not going to argue that 64 is way better or anything but 120 does sound like a more realistic number of challenges to curate as opposed to... I don't even know how many moons are in Odyssey. It's more than 1000. Although some of those are just bought in a store with coins. Do people count those?
When a game asks me if I want to collect 100 of something? Yeah, that sounds alright.
When a game asks me if I want to collect 1000+ of something and it's supposed to be the special thing and not the super common thing like coins or whatever? No, I like to play more than one game in a year, thanks.
Edit: I googled it
I personally didn't mind having lots of Moons. I really enjoyed collecting them. I only didn't like them when they started to get very repetitive. The post-credits levels were incredible, with the big exception of the Mushroom Kingdom, which was a big let down for me as it just seemed to be a lot of boss rushes and other recycled content.
I think the folks that are getting caught up on the number of moons in Odyssey are forgetting a key difference between the two games: In Odyssey you do not get kicked out a level every time you collect a Moon. Moons are not really meant to the equivalent of SM64 stars, they're more like Dragon Coins from Super Mario World or Green Stars in 3D World. Sure, some moons require equivalent tasks to things you'd do to get a Star in 64 or Galaxy, but a lot of them are just hidden in levels like a Dragon Coin would be.
If you got kicked out of the level every time you got a moon the game would be a nightmare to play, but the way it's designed you can just casually find moons here and there. That along with the fact that you don't need anywhere near 100% of moons to finish the game makes that number of 880 seems way crazier than it actually is. Especially since bosses and larger objectives give you multi moons, so it's really less than 880.
My warmish take on this is that most people's fond memories of Super Mario 64 paper over the bit where there are a bunch of genuinely tedious levels and stars in the back half of the game. When I went back and played through Super Mario 64 again recently I came to the conclusion that they basically front-loaded all the good levels since those will get played the most. The last 20 or so stars before you do the final fight against Bowser are largely frustrating and not very fun to get. I don't think I've ever bothered with the full 120 because it becomes a slog.
With Odyssey, they did the smart thing where they make it so even on a short playthrough you get to see all of the levels and they made sure that they kept all of the moons that would potentially be frustrating for the completionists to deal with after the credits.
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