Review by Oggy00

"If you enjoyed Super Mario 64 and you are begging for more, it's hard to go wrong with Super Mario Sunshine..."

The Good - Diverse levels full of beautiful graphics, Mario controls wonderfully, You'll never have the same experience twice, The game is just a blast to play...

The Bad - Feels like a carbon copy of Super Mario 64, Not enough enemies to battle, Boss fights are insanely easy, Some of the objectives are darn near impossible...
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The world has been playing as Mario for a little over 20 years now. In those years, he's been on some pretty crazy trips, but most of them involve saving the Princess Peach, who always seems to get kidnapped by Bowser. As always, it's Mario's job to get her back. Super Mario Sunshine is the newest in the long line of Mario games, and while it is quite an entertaining ride, Super Mario 64 veterans will be a bit disappointed, as it's basically the same N64 game with a few new gameplay elements. However, these minor changes don't take away from how enjoyable Super Mario Sunshine really is...

Right after loading up the game, it's clear on how much effort the developers put into making the graphics look spectacular. The clouds, the sky, the island, the characters, and the water all look nearly perfect. The game uses a bit of cel-shading in the FMV's, but that could be from the reflections, or simply because it is up close to the characters. This is one of the few GameCube launch games that still can compete with today's graphical standards...

Super Mario Sunshine takes place on the fictional Isle Delfino. Mario, Peach, and the gang head out to take a well-needed vacation away from all the troubles of the Mushroom Kingdom. However, upon landing at the island's airport, things start to go wrong. An insane amount of paint has been sprayed all over the runway, which causes the plane to make a rough landing. Almost immediately you are thrust into the controls of Mario, and he meets up with an unlikely partner, FLUDD.

FLUDD is THE most important new feature Super Mario Sunshine has to offer. Instead of wall-hopping around the levels, FLUDD acts as a water powered jet-pack to help Mario defeat his enemies, and jump to new heights. After a brief tutorial on how to use FLUDD, the story begins to unfold.

The paint, which you found at the runway, has been sprayed all over the island by a Mario clone. Of course, the people on the island are too stupid to realize it's not Mario, so he goes to jail and is forced to clean up the town using FLUDD. After getting out of the island jail, you meet up with your main enemy in the game, Shadow Mario. Shadow Mario kidnaps Peach, and it's up to you to get her back. The opening chase does a good job of letting you get the hang of the controls, and after a few laps of spraying Shadow Mario, he gives up, and hands Peach back to you. This is really where the game starts. The police give you the task of cleaning up the big blob near the Delfino statue. However, after a few sprays, this blob becomes a "Mud-Plant", and it's your job to spray it down. Doing so will open up the first of seven levels in the game.

Each of the seven levels are divided up into eight objectives. Each level has unique objectives, such as taking out bosses, racing a foe to a certain point, collecting Red Coins, going though an obstacle course, or simply reaching a Shine Sprite. Shine Sprites are kind of like the Stars you saw in Super Mario 64. In fact, if you're familiar with that game at all, you'll recognize some of the objectives from there. Finishing an objective will net you one Shine Sprite, and collecting enough Shine Sprites will open up new levels. Getting around 60-70 of these will open up the final boss fight.

The levels in Super Mario Sunshine are stunning to say the least. All 7 are very well done, and have their own unique challenges. Some levels take place in hotels, theme parks, harbours, and a few different neighborhoods. They are all designed quite well, and make you take advantage of FLUDD. Some levels are a bunch of hovering platforms like Rico Harbour and Noki Bay, while others are flat-land adventures that challenge you to think quickly. My favourite level is Sirena Bay, which takes place in an amazing hotel, complete with bathrooms and bedrooms. Each of the levels are quite fun, but some objectives are a real pain. The ones such as chasing Shadow Mario, or simply finding a Sprite are quite enjoyable, but there are some hard ones. The obstacle courses, or the one in Gelato Beach that challenges you to roll a watermelon down a hill take a lot of practice. However, the obstacle courses are very well designed, and make you take advantage of all of Mario's moves. One thing to note, is that you have to do all of the obstacle courses without FLUDD, which makes for an even tougher challenge.

The game features all of the standard things you'd expect to find in a Mario game. You'll get your Red Coin and Blue Coin hunt, Mushrooms that restore lives, a lot of enemies, and all of the regular things you would normally find in a Mario masterpiece. You won't find goombas here though, which is quite odd. Yoshi also makes an appearance, but his presence isn't well deserved, as you only need him for a select few objectives. You'll also find Baby Bowser and Big Bowser in here...

FLUDD, which is arguably the biggest feature here, works very well. He can be used as a water-gun or a jet-pack, but a rocket nozzle and a speed nozzle can also be unlocked by playing through the game. His presence is actually quite welcomed, as he can make Mario reach very high platforms, and simply reach areas he couldn't dream of in Super Mario 64. FLUDD also isn't over-powered, as he is powered on water. Running out of water, or using him too much will make him useless for a while. Thankfully, there is a ton of water everywhere, so it's rare for him to run out unless you are in a boss fight.

Speaking of the Boss Fights, they are a hit or miss mode in Super Mario Sunshine. There's about 2 boss fights in every level, and while some are easy, some are downright nasty. Most of them involve spraying an enemy, but there are a few that are very creative. Mostly the ones at Sirena Beach, which include spraying a ton of Manta-Ray creatures, and throwing fruit at a ghost in the hotel. The one major disappointment would be the final boss fight. It only takes about a minute to complete, and the level leading up to it is at least three times harder than the actual fight.

Mario controls very well. He cannot punch anymore, but he still controls great, and while momentum is a small factor, he will do anything you want at any time. The buttons are mapped perfectly for this game, and the way you hold the GameCube controller normally is where all the important buttons are. The camera is also very well done, and the C-Stick is very responsive in making the camera go where you want it to go. However, there are a few glitches here and there where you can't actually see Mario.

Super Mario Sunshine is a great game for all ages, whether you like to play video games or not. The diversity in the level design, and the objective design makes the game a blast to play. Even if there are a few bugs, and the fact that it's basically Super Mario 64 with a water-pack, Super Mario Sunshine is a game that deserves to be in every GameCube owner's collection...

- - - Score Summary - - -

Gameplay - 9 - Mario controls great, and FLUDD is an awesome new addition. All of the levels are entertaining, and it's a blast exploring each and every single inch of the 7 levels. All of the objectives are quite fun, and the obstacle courses are very well designed and force you to put Mario to the test. The boss fights are fun, but a little on the easy side. Overall, it's just plain fun to play, even if some of the stuff is a repeat from Super Mario 64...

Graphics - 9 - Almost everything here is picture perfect. It's a little bit on the cel-shaded side, but it's hard to notice unless you are up close to the characters. Almost everything has a ton of detail, and everything is bright and sunny. It looks like an island, and it does a great job of doing it...

Sound - 7 - All of the sound effects are awesome, but the voice acting is horrible, and there are a few dull music tracks for some of the levels. But once again, it sounds like island music, so it fits the mood perfectly...

Value - 8 - Because you can find it for $20.00 as a Players Choice Edition, don't think about bypassing Super Mario Sunshine. If you still play Super Mario 64 though, you might have to think twice. Still, it's a bargain for the amount of play time this game has...

Reviewers Tilt - 8 - I had a lot of fun playing this game. Even after you beat the final boss, it's still fun to hop around buildings and replay objectives that you enjoyed. It's also quite fun playing with friends, taking turns on beating a level in the shortest amount of time. Quite a good replay value, as Mario games never get old...

Final - 8.4/10.0 - Super Mario Sunshine is a great game that deserves to be in any collection. There's enough challenge for anyone, and while the story is a bit on the dull side, it's a great amount of fun just running around, spraying stuff with water, jumping off high platforms, and doing crazy things. If you enjoyed Super Mario 64 and want more, you can't go wrong with Super Mario Sunshine!


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/26/09

Game Release: Super Mario Sunshine (US, 08/25/02)


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