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Super Mario Odyssey – the end is only the beginning

A reader offers his praise for the Switchs classic platformer and explains how its turned him into a fan of collectathons.

Whilst Marvels Spider-Man and Square Enixs Lara Croft battle it out at the top of this weeks chart, another charming moustachioed fellow has made his home in the top 10 and can claim that hes more popular than God (of War that is).

Theres been previous articles arguing the relative merits of one Mario platforming great versus another. Ive not played the Galaxy flavour enough to make comparisons, but have completed most of the 2D iterations and almost finished 3D World. I once borrowed next doors childrens NES to play Super Mario Bros. 3 and made completing that an all-nighter. That game still remains one of the finest ever made. Super Mario Bros. was good (next door again!) but short – especially if you found and used the level warps. The second Mario was a good game but it wasnt really a Mario game, instead a modified Doki Doki Panic and Ive not played The Lost Levels to see what the sequel could/should have been.

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The third game iteration though was immense. It had co-operative play that in a wicked twist evolved into fierce rivalry in the enjoyable Mario Bros. arena – a game originally released as a full price title of its own and used to decide who would take on the next level. What other game has anything like that? And this game also gave Mario a much wider variety of special and original abilities through wearing different suits, which has become a staple of all the Mario games since.

After trying the first level briefly, followed by months of putting it off, I started and finished Odyssey in the last week and my son has done the same. This is in no small part down to being without Wi-Fi for the last month and being unable to lose hours to Overwatch and Rocket League, along with that very same son and three others.

How did I finish Odyssey yesterday evening though and yet still manage to spend a good four hours on it today?

Throughout the game, I was reminded of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time. Odyssey is full of invention, its breathtaking, its spellbinding, its beautiful, its thoroughly entertaining. Come to think of it the music is great too, changing seamlessly to support and even enhance the on-screen action. Its not as emotionally compelling as the aforementioned Zelda, admittedly, and a couple of the worlds are not quite up to the same high standard as the others, but its magnificent nevertheless. Theres no surprise its still in the top 10 in the UK sales charts.

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Today I have spent time in a couple of new worlds, re-viewing old worlds through new eyes, where new challenges await and previous ones stand defiantly. Im not sure I have ever wanted to continue with a single-player game to try and find those extra moons and even those additional coins (and more music?). Im enjoying decorating the Odyssey with souvenirs and dressing up as a clown (Mario – not me personally). I love going into an area and Cappy telling me that he thinks theres another moon and some coins to collect (their whereabouts is a mystery).

I am certainly not usually a fan of a collectathon but this time I am – its an exceptional exception. I really want to find that final band member for the New Donk City Festival to see what happens. How interested I am in fighting Boss V2.0 I have yet to decide.

When will I actually finish? Ive played for hours but theres still so much more to discover. Hopefully soon, I should really give some time to Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and with the hopefully imminent return of Wi-Fi the family will synchronise ourselves into Burnout Paradise Remastered, downloaded twice at £12 and good for four PlayStation 4s. And possibly some backwards compatible Splinter Cell with old friends and any new ones who would like to join in.

What Marios next significant and original outing will involve I cant imagine, but cant wait to see.

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By reader SU DOKU (gamertag)/MyDeadGran (PSN ID)

The readers feature does not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk and follow us on Twitter.

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