The year of 2017 will go down as one of the best in all of gaming. From the release of Nintendo’s Switch console to the abundant amount of triple A titles worth your time released this calendar year, it’s hard to find any other time it’s been this great to be a gamer. As the year wraps up I wanted to look back at some of the games that shaped the past 12 months for me. While there were many games I played this year, only a select few stand out as truly awesome. This is one of them.
~ Super Mario Odyssey ~
At this point in time you know what you’re going to get from a Mario game: platforming excellence with a whimsical setting and cliche story. Nintendo are masters at refining and redefining the genre, and when they put their portly plumber in a new type of scenario it’s cause for commotion. This year’s Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch did not disappoint.
Pulling the best parts of past Mario games as well as etching out it’s own identity in the process, Odyssey was everything fanboys and newcomers could want from a game. The best platforming of the year featuring fluid controls and near perfect level design. A new mechanic that’s somewhat gimmicky but also fun and integral to overall gameplay. And the Nintendo charm that goes in to each of their main franchises which has kept them around for decades. I’d go right out and say this was Nintendo’s biggest game this year, but oddly enough they may have their stiffest competition yet coming from their own Zelda: Breath of the Wild which released just six months prior to Mario’s debut Switch outing.
I know some Mario fans scoff at the idea of Cappy and taking control of enemies to gain new abilities, but I thought it was great. Perhaps it’s the massive Mega Man fan in me, but being able to use enemy powers was just awesome. It also invited me to explore areas with different powers equipped, and while the game was never too challenging, it was engaging enough to keep me playing for hours on end. Speaking of which, the collect-a-thon aspect of Odyssey was strong, but not too mind numbing, thanks in large part to the clever level design and the introduction of purple coins. Each world having it’s own set of purple coins to collect encouraged you to go to every inch of a map in hopes of finding that illusive coin to unlock the next silly outfit (another great addition!). Again, it’s Nintendo’s attention to detail and fun that makes Odyssey great.
The best games of any year are defined by how the stand up to the other games coming out around them. Super Mario Odyssey isn’t just a good video game in 2017, it is perhaps one of the best Mario games ever made. Period.
Be on the lookout for more entries into my top games of 2017. Before the year is out I’ll recap the best of the best, and crown one game as DownStab’s Game of the Year. Who knows; maybe one day that achievement will mean something and they’ll slap it on the back of the game’s box. One can only hope.