Review by Link165
"It's not Super Mario 64 by any means, but it is nevertheless a good game."
Mario is one of the oldest names in the game industry and he put Nintendo on the map. Super Mario Sunshine is the first Nintendo Gamecube game starring the famous plumber(Luigi's Mansion doesn't count). Super Mario 64 was one of the first and most successful 3D games ever. I loved it when I first played it. I was hoping Super Mario Sunshine would live up to the name of its older brother. I was disappointed, but still pleased with Super Mario Sunshine.
Mario, Peach, and her Toad guards want to go on a tropical vacation. So they all take a plane to Isle Delfino. There, they find the whole island is being polluted by slime and darkness! And not only that, but Mario is being blamed for it because of an impostor! Mario finds FLUDD(a huge water tank that can shoot water, make you run faster, hover, or blast off into the air) soon after he arrives, and is assigned to use it to clean up the island and restore light to the island by bringing the Shine Sprites back to the shine gate. You are then dropped off into Delfino Plaza, where you begin your quest.
Super Mario Sunshine has the same gameplay as Mario 64. There is a central area connected to a bunch of other areas all over the island. Go into one of these zone portals(either a red tube, staring at the sun, an M painted on the wall, you get the idea), and you will be given a task to do to get the Shine Sprite(basically the SMS version of the Star from Mario 64). You are then put into the stage and try to get the Shine Sprite. These missions are accomplished typical Mario style, running and jumping on enemies and on platforms, except you use FLUDD to solve the puzzles and complete the mission instead of simply doing it old school style, which brings me to my next point. Each area shares some tasks that are a little different each time. For example, each area has a mission where you have to collect 8 red coins to receive the Shine Sprite. Also, there are some missions that have a "secret" in there name(The Shell's Secret, Hotel Lobby's Secret, etc etc). In the secret missions, you find a portal where the imposter will steal FLUDD from you and drop you into an obstacle course. You are forced to do the level old school Mario style, via jumping and stomping on enemies. At the end you are rewarded with a shine sprite. These are fun, but get VERY hard as the game progresses.
Not only can you get Shine Sprites by doing the missions, but there are other ways too, such as the blue coins. If you collect 10 blue coins, you can go to a shop in Delfino Plaza where a raccoon will give you one Shine Sprite for every 10 blue coins you give him. Blue coins are lesser in quantity then ordinary yellow coins(100 of them gives you a shine sprite, and you have to be in a special zone in order to accomplish this). There are also many other ways to get Shine Sprites. There are fewer areas then in SM64(only 7 main zones compared to SM64's 10+), and each consists of 8 missions. It SEEMS shorter then Mario 64, but there are still the same amount of Shine Sprites as there was Stars(120), which adds to the exploration of Isle Delfino. However, you only need a small amount of them to beat the game. In every zone, the seventh mission involves chasing that Mario impostor all over the stage while shooting water at him. Another thing to note is that all of the zones have a tropical based climate. In SM64, the zones had several different climates, two water areas, fiery volcanoes, snowy mountains, a field, etc.
Super Mario Sunshine looks AMAZING graphic wise. When you begin the game, the entire Delfino Plaza is dark and gloomy except for a small area next to the Shine gate, which increasingly becomes larger as you gather more Shine Sprites. All of the character models look great, but look a little too much like clay that was shaped and then lumped together(compare Mario from SMS to Mario from Super Smash Brothers Melee). The tropical environment looks very rich and detailed. The water also looks very great(it might be the most impressive part). In my opinion, Sirena Beach is the highlight point graphic wise; the sunset there looks awesome. When you get a certain amount of Shine Sprites, a guy located in each area will loan you a pair of sunglasses, which actually tint the screen! However, there is one BIG flaw in the visual department......the camera is absolutely terrible(It makes 3d Sonic the Hedgehog camera look good).This game really does feel like a tropical paradise..... that is ruined by a terrible camera.
The sound is also very good. The classic Mario tune is back for the "secret" missions, and still sounds great(although it would have been a much wiser decision for Nintendo if they had the . The Piantas and the Nokis(the island's native inhabitants) make sounds(such as laughs or angry grunts) when you talk to them instead of full voice acting. Which can be a good thing, because the voice acting in the game is ABSOLUTLY TERRIBLE. Peach's voice doesn't match her character, it makes her sound too little-girly. Same with the Toads, they sound too stupid, as if they have no common sense(they're stupid, but not that stupid). The one voice I liked is the Grandpa Toad(or whatever the heck his name is), because of when you talk to him in-game, he goes "blah blah blah blah blah blah blah....." and his message appears in text onscreen. His real voice is ok. Fortunately, Mario doesn't have a voice, he just makes noises(and the noises actually sound like Mario in the past). The music is also very good. Ricco Harbor's music suggests that it really is a busy port. Sienna Beach's music makes it sound like a relaxed paradise, and the exterior of that area is. Overall, the sound could have been a lot better, but is still good.
Most likely, when you finish Mario Sunshine, you'll find it hard to go back to the game. Probably because of the lack of replay here. There isn't anything to do except get the shine sprites. If the game had required you to get all 120 shine sprites(you can beat the final boss with 60), there wouldn't be anything worth replaying at all.
AMOUNT OF VIOLENCE
Sunshine is rated E(Everyone) for Comic Mischief. All of the violence in this game is all cartoon violence, such as stomping on things and getting blasted by water. There isn't any GTA like elements in this game. It's a Mario game. Mario games aren't violent.
-Incredible graphics for a gamecube game
-FLUDD is a new idea that keeps this from being a SM64 rehash
-voice acting is terrible
-camera is terrible
-game can be beaten with a very small amount of Shine Sprites
-nearly no replay value
Super Mario Sunshine is no Super Mario 64. Although it isn't, Mario Sunshine is still a decent Mario game which is not a must-have for the Nintendo Gamecube, but would be a great pickup for anyone's Gamecube collection.
Final:7.5/10(rounded to an 8/10)
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/31/07
Game Release: Super Mario Sunshine (US, 08/25/02)
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