It’s a valid game design issue. Small children played Mario 64 and Banjo as well, those games only required you to collect a fraction of the collectibles to progress so difficulty isn’t a problem, especially considering that Odyssey has an Assist Mode.One of the best controlling games ever made.
'Too many moons' destroyed the discussion around this game. Such a myopic argument that completely ignores the fact that Odyssey will very well likely be the first game ever played by small children. Having easily accessible moons to progress allows for an a-la-carte difficulty setting.
Therefore, the amount of moons is part of a core design issue that prevents the game to be a true successor to Mario 64 and Sunshine. In those games (as well as Banjo), each type of collectable had a purpose. Coins/notes were sort of breadcrumbs, Stars/Jiggies were the main objective and final rewards, everything in between was something that was too simple to be a Jiggy but too elaborate to be a note. They basically dictate the pacing of the game. In Odyssey, the “900 Moons” selling point ended up being a cop-out because you would expect from 3D Mario that they would be like Stars in Mario 64, but they end up being closer to Koroks. This affects the level design as well, Mario 64 and Sunshine’s levels were very memorable and had unique scenarios behind most of the Stars/Shines. You didn’t need a map at all, every part of the level had a clear purpose. Odyssey had this pseudo-open world thing where you have a lot of negative space between pretty small points of interest. This is the main reason why I don’t buy that one image about 3D Mario design philosophies, they don’t have the same structure or level design at all, it doesn’t build upon Mario 64 or Sunshine so I wouldn’t call it an evolution of those games. In Odyssey you have the main objective which is basically a Galaxy-like linear romp, while the secret areas with SMB1 underground music are closer to 3D World levels, each of those have two Moons. So, going back to the Moons, a lot of them are simply uninvolving to collect, that’s why I didn’t bother to get all 900 and that’s coming from a completionist whose most cherished gaming memory is getting all 120 Stars in Mario 64. Once I did the Dark Side in Odyssey and once I figured out that the remaining Moons were obtained by either talking to Toadette after accomplishing vapid, achievement-like requirements or doing ground pounds in certain spots, I felt like I was done and that I saw everything the game had to offer, I didn’t feel like grinding coins with the Luigi stuff. That’s not why I play Mario, 64 and Sunshine were more interesting and involving than that, everything had a purpose, even stuff like Blue Coins and Pachinko.
It’s still the main reason why I bought a Switch and probably still my favorite game on it. It was what the series needed after years of milking the 2D games (didn’t like 3D World btw, didn’t play Land if that’s any different). But it’s still not a true successor to Mario 64 and Sunshine, those games had a great core design from the start. That’s why despite Odyssey being still a fun game, I don’t look back upon it as fondly as pretty much every other 3D Mario except 3D World, the open world-like game design trapping where every collectable is the same and there’s a bunch of them so you don’t miss any prevents the game from being as good as the others. This approach leads to the game having a somewhat homogeneous pacing. I could talk about my favorite Stars/Shines in 64/Sunshine for a long time but I don’t have as much to say about Odyssey