Super Mario Odyssey is changing things up in the Mario world. While it may be harkening back to the 3D Mario titles like Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Sunshine, there are additional changes to the formula. For instance, Odyssey won't features Game Overs, in favor of a different fail state. But one shocking revelation is the game's rating in Australia.
Australia's Classification Board, which rates films, video games, and other publications, has been known for some strange, if not overly constricting rulings. Super Mario Odyssey receiving a PG rating adds to the list of these strange cases.
While in American terms, a PG rating in the film industry is rather tame, offering a vague disclaimer that very mild violence may be present. Mario jumping on a fictional mushroom person's head is neither controversial nor scarring in the least bit. But a PG from the Classification Board of Australia comes with a different connotation.
In Australia, a PG rating's guidelines read, "not recommended for children under 15; may contain material which some children find confusing or upsetting." For context, most Mario titles receive a G rating from the board. According to the official page for the rating, Super Mario Odyssey received this rating for the game's themes and "mild" violence. What's so bad about this??:
Okay… It's a little weird, Mario possessing human beings with some sort of devil magic, but it's only weird when you think about it too much.
But A Mario title not being suitable for kids under 15 sounds absurd, and definitely not the intention of Nintendo. It's worth mentioning that games are classified by the board based on publisher-provided script and game footage, as well as a written description. It's entirely possible that one person's opinion on the board doesn't represent the entirety of the Classification Board. Then again, the board has been known for plenty of controversies.
This probably won't mean much to the audience for Super Mario Odyssey, as Mario is as iconic as Mickey Mouse and if parents pay any attention whatsoever, they'll know that Mario isn't a murderous villain.
Super Mario Odyssey comes to the Nintendo Switch on October 27.