One of the more enjoyable pieces of Mario content the past decade.
While certainly not a perfect experience, much of the platforming can be rudimentary at times, many of the challenges become consistent and thus repetitive across the island, and islands only being able to load 1 to 2 Cat Shines at once is definitely a pain, the overall experience is a rather enjoyable one.
Its a much more cohesive adventure than Odyssey, Cat Shines feel more worthwhile to collect and feel like actual accomplishments, some of the platforming segments offered are still rather enjoyable, the music is pretty great overall, especially any of the Bowser themes, and there's some cute personality in all the cutscenes.
Fury Bowser is this game's main selling point, and it's both some of the game's highest points, but also some of its biggest disappointments. He never feels like he's fully utilized in the gameplay itself. He can take a while to reappear and his apperances can be so short lived, he can be easily warded off by collecting a single shine, and considering there's at least one shine that can only be collected by his Fury Beam, there will be plenty of times you nearly instantly dispatch Fury Bowser by just running over the the blocks before he spawns, having him blast them, and then collecting the shine and he fucks off, making him not really feel like much of a threat. Not to mention that the first three encounters with him will have him so easily dispatched its a little comical.
However, there will be the occasional, rare moment when he appears while you're in the middle of a long platforming segment, and the atmosphere of the sudden lightning storms, his fire beams firing off as you try your best to avoid them, the blocks falling from the sky, and the rush to get to the shine to get him off your back are some of the most enthralling moments in the game, I just wish they were more frequent. I do quite like that there's actual alterations to the platforming when Fury Bowser is at play though, with the falling spikes smashing into the floor and walls creating new platforms or ramps to move around with. Also the theme when he's at play is one of the best tracks in a Mario game. The final battle against Bowser in this game is also likely one of the best Bowser encounters in the entire franchise, which is an extra boost to it's pedigree.
Overall, Bowser's Fury is a very fun, if, flawed experience. Better than Odyssey by several magnitudes imho, but not really worth the price-tag if you've already played 3D World on Wii U, as someone who's played that game 4 times and isn't a huge fan of it, dropping 60 bucks isn't quite worth it for just Bowser's Fury, so I borrowed the game off of a friend for this playthrough.

Reviewed on Feb 01, 2023