Nintendo has released two stellar games this year.
Super Mario Odyssey vs. Breath of the Wild
Both Super Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild feature a pretty drastic change for their respective series. Both games are a big departure, albeit Breath of the Wild more so. But which game introduces better, or more engaging mechanics? Well, they’re each different, but let’s take a look.
Breath of the Wild’s big new mechanics are the ability to climb and weapon degradation. There are, of course, more smaller changes introduced but those are the big new things in the game. Climbing was a revolutionary new mechanic for Zelda that opened up its world like never before. Even when comparing Breath of the Wild to other open world games, its climbing mechanic felt so freeing, actually allowing you to go anywhere in the world that you wanted. On the other hand, though, weapon degradation wasn’t quite as engaging. While you eventually got used to the system and it wasn’t much of a deal later on, the beginning hours of Breath of the Wild can sometimes be frustrating simply because of how many weapons you go through constantly. This can lead to the game’s difficulty feeling a bit artificial at first, despite feeling natural later on. Fans’ reception was also fairly mixed to the mechanic, despite overwhelming positivity towards the rest of the game.
Now with Super Mario Odyssey, the major new mechanic of the game is hat throwing, along with capturing enemies and items. The hat throwing in and of itself is a great mechanic that allows you to fight enemies in new ways, and use it for some smart platforming. It’s comparable in kind to the F.L.U.D.D. of Mario Sunshine in how it really changes the way you play Mario. The ability to control enemies is also incredibly fun in Odyssey, and there’s a wide array of things to capture. Controlling everything from a taxi to a T-Rex is absolutely absurd, but Odyssey makes it work. The ability helps you approach puzzles in new ways, or simply romp around as a Goomba if you want to. These mechanics so integrally redefine how a Mario game plays, that it makes Odyssey such a fresh experience, while also just being tons of fun.
In terms of new mechanics introduced, Odyssey definitely takes the cake. Breath of the Wild redefined Zelda in an exciting new way, but Odyssey’s hat mechanics change Mario in smart ways, being absurd but fun at the same time.