Sunday, December 3, 2017

Explained List: Super Mario NOdyssey

[SPOILERS BELOW]

The two big games for the Nintendo Switch, Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, are possibly two of the best games ever made, and they couldn’t be more different. BotW just lets you loose in the massive game with only the vaguest of guidance. Odyssey gives you a massive blank checklist and dares you to fill it in by exploring every nook and cranny looking for mini-games, secret levels, and some random weird crap, each one awarding you with a power moon. Mario; his versatile, sentient hat companion Cappy; and I have collected 863 moons so far. That means I have done over 800 things in this game, and I just want to play more.

Which is why I’m breaking from my regular format and actually explaining this list. According to the checklist, I have 15 moons left. I’ve attempted them all, and even though I want to make it very clear I love the shit out of this game, 10 of them are fucking god awful. Why do they have to sully this near-perfect game with their incessant existence? Screw 100%. They’re not worth my time. This screen shot is basically my endgame (I won’t spoil how to do this), so fuck it.


Top 10 Power Moons I Don’t Need in My Life


10) Picture This: A Stellar Mario!


You pick up the pieces of Mario’s face and try to place them exactly. You do well. You get a good score. Then you do it again, only harder. This is the fourth “Picture This” moon, and it’s fucking boring. I got my sense of self-accomplishment from the other three. I don’t need this. You score just below the cut off, and you’re faced with a choice: try again or do literally anything else with your life. I’m sure at one point I’ll give in and do it, but ugh!!!!

9) Taking Notes: Top of the Wall


I despise the roll mechanic in this game. I play Mario to jump, not roll. Donkey Kong’s enemy was Jumpman, not Rollman. The rolling is imprecise and frustrating. And when you inevitably fail to get all the notes, it doesn’t take you back to the beginning. You have to walk all the way back. Nothing’s worse than having to wait to fail again.

8) Taking Notes: Running Down


It’s rolling, but the slope of the hill takes you further from the notes. Yay! Fun?

7) Snowline Circuit Class S


Fuck bounce races. It’s all the fun of racing, with all the frustrating randomness of having to bounce instead of run. I’m sure there’s a trick to it. I beat it once in story mode. That doesn’t give me the rush that I could do it again. It just kills the joy of bouncing. If I see a bounce castle at a kid’s party, I may lose it.

6) Herding Sheep Above the Forest Fog


This sheep wants so badly to kill itself, why is it on me to get it in the little circle? Bullshit. I’ve played a lot of levels in this game dozens of times before I beat them. That’s the fun of video games. You try and try and fail, then it feels great when you finally do it. But this isn’t fun. It’s slow and tedious. I herded the other sheep in this level, and that sheep disappeared when I came back to do this one, so what’s the point of doing anything in life?

5) Master Sheep Herder

Okay, I’m not done talking about that damn sheep. The game has like 60 moons for achievements, like jumping 10,000 times or getting all the moons from Peach. Some of these achievements are for stupid shit like searching for purple coins to buy useless junk that doesn’t even get you a regular moon. I have spent hours in this game doing menial tasks for achievement moons. I have done 3 out of 4 sheep herding challenges. If I do the fourth (see above) I get the one last achievement moon I have left. But I’m not gonna. Because fuck that. Like for real, I put the sheep in the circle and get two moons — the sheep moon and the bonus moon— but I’m not doing it. Whatever, you’re pouting.

4-3) Iceburn Circuit Class A/S


Well fuck, two more bounce races!!! And on an even longer track!!! All the fun of not enjoying yourself at all, but this time for even longer! A whole team worked really hard to develop this mini-game, and I’m not sure anyone bothered telling them their lives are a total waste.

2) Beach Volleyball: Hero of the Beach!


Beach Volleyball is all the fun of standing still combined with the fun of repetitive stress injuries. To get this moon, you have to volley the ball back 100 times straight. One miss and you start over. Now, I know there are other tricks to hitting the ball that make it a little less repetitive, but having to do any one thing a hundred times is the opposite of fun. A hundred times? Why not a thousand? Ten thousand? Ten thousand sounds like as enjoyable a gaming experience as a hundred. No thanks.

1) Jump-Rope Genius


So let’s say you gave Beach Volleyball a try. You sat there for hundreds of minutes just hitting that fucking ball back and forth. You feel that extra sense of accomplishment because it was hard and it took you so long to do. Guess what, sucker? You have to do it again. Only this time you have to push the B-button a hundred fucking times. At least with volleyball, you have to track the shadow and follow it around. To jump the rope, you just jump. And as the jump-rope gets faster, you tap the button faster. A hundred times. A hundred. Pushing one button, a hundred times. If I said I’d give you $5 for bouncing a basketball a hundred times, you’d totally do it, but would it be fun? No, that’s not fun. Doing a repetitive task for a reward isn’t fun. That is literally the definition of work. I would apply for a factory job driving in the same rivet for 8 hours a day before attempting this bull crap.

ON A POSITIVE NOTE:

Putting these 10 moons out of your head, the five more moons that I actually want to get are so much fun and so damned hard. One of them is a massive clusterfuck of a level, with challenge after challenge after challenge, and no checkpoints. The other four are variations on older levels, but without Cappy (it’s harder than you think). With the exception of the above 10 examples, this game has a perfect difficulty curve. You can just run around figuring stuff out, and when you crave a challenge, the game gives it to you. Ignore my bitching. Buy this game!

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