In this latest installment of the Mario franchise, our Plucky Plumber has with a large array of new abilities, some hat-related, and finds himself set in a huge open world to explore.
By far, the most satisfying power is the take control of enemies and use their powers to reach previously unreachable areas.
What makes the game so fun, in my opinion, is that it makes the player feel powerful, but that these powers must be mastered in order to use them to maximal effect. This effort get rewarded in the game with secret items. Also, the player directs the order and method Mario uses to collect the items. As Daniel Pink explains in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, work is satisfying when the following elements are present:
Autonomy: Our desire to be self directed.
Mastery: The urge to get better skills.
Purpose: The desire to do something that has meaning and is important.
Super Mario can be enjoyed by young children, as well as adults who will practice a certain jump for hours just to collect the last few Power Moons. Extra effort is rewarded with moments of joy:
“Odyssey seeks to strike a balance between structured challenges and open-ended play. It achieves that balance with remarkable consistency. Each level is a toy-filled sandbox, loaded with springs, levers, and buttons for you to bounce, pull, and press. The game feels so fundamentally good to play that it’s easy to spend an hour just doing stuff with no clear goal. Of course, each spring, lever, and button is usually a part of one or more carefully laid-out challenges. I can be messing around one minute, then find myself amazed at how the game anticipated and rewarded me for what initially seemed like aimless experimentation.”
This fight make Mario almost like the monster in a horror movie when you think about it…
It is encouraging the see such a fresh and exciting addition to the Mario cannon.