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Man I loved that sandbird level. What a great surprise that was.
Ultimately, Galaxy 2 and 3DW are about mimicing 2d mario level designs in 3d, Galaxy 1 has a bit more exploration but still very much a point A to point B affair with only little exploration. 64 sits right in the middle of all 3D Mario platformers, and that's probably why it's still considered the best, nostalgia aside, by so many. Sunshine and Odyssey on the other hand are similar games in the sense that they both offer exploration oriented level designs, but Sunshine was better at sprinkling challenging and more focused levels or level sections here and there, just like that sandbird level. I guess Odyssey was maybe a bit too extreme in its exploration-based design, being pretty much 80% exploration with the real platforming challenge and more directive/linear level design that goes with it only presenting itself in short bursts, in the last 20%. And that's provided that you would 100% the game anyway which is not necessarily the case.
That's why I was really hoping for an Odyssey 2 that would serve as Odyssey's evil twin so to speak, just like Galaxy 2 was the more challenging, focused, old-school, crazier iteration of the two games. When people started to compare Galaxy and Odyssey, first I was thinking that's not the point because those two are radically different when it comes to their design philsophies and it would be more fair and interesting to compare Odyssey to 64 or Sunshine as I've said as they have more in common. It's like comparing two extremes. But on top of that I thought as long as Odyssey doesn't have its Odyssey 2, it's even harder to compare it to Galaxy. Galaxy 2 really helps to elevate the two games to their level of recognition. Hell, a lot of more seasoned gamers still consider Galaxy 2 the best game of the bunch. So, to reach the same levels of cult classic, Odyssey would need an Odyssey 2 anyway.
Nintendo please take notes, we need Odyssey 2 at some point and also what in the world is going on with Galaxy 2 NOT being in 3D all-stars ! XD