Looking back on a year of Super Mario Odyssey updates

November 03, 2018 2 min read

Growing up with a passionate hobby is weird. In my childhood, I had all the time in the world to replay Super Mario Sunshine over and over again. As an adult, I squeezed in enough time and energy to 100% complete Super Mario Odyssey once, and while I stuck around for a while after, I since moved on to the dozens of other games in my still-growing backlog. Before I even started a second playthrough, I realized that Odyssey is already a year old! And yet even Nintendo’s not done with Odyssey after all this time, having drip-fed it free updates almost that entire year.

It struck me as a surprise that it got this much free DLC, albeit a pleasant one, because Odyssey is a game that never needed DLC of any sort. Well, there was one nitpick I would argue its first patch seriously helped, but Odyssey was still a complete and fulfilling package even before then. I think it’s that after all of these years of increasing skepticism towards DLC practices, seeing a game as huge as Odyssey receive so much additional content without having to pay a dime is… refreshing? At least, “refreshing” is the vibe I’ve gotten from Nintendo’s DLC practices in 90% of their games that use it, including the ones with paid DLC. The remaining 10% is Fire Emblem in general and Smash allowing season pass preorders before most of the pass's fighters are announced (though at least we have Sakurai's disclaimer to not preorder the pass unless you REALLY think it's worth it, which is a step most season passes never take), but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.

A good game becoming better always felt like the ideal for DLC implementation, and Odyssey’s post-launch support embodies that ideal. It’s an example I hope every other single player game with heavy post-launch support takes something away from, even if not implemented exactly like this. That is what I'm here to talk about today.

Looking back on a year of Super Mario Odyssey updates screenshot