Review by RageBot
"A vacation gone bad... both Mario's and yours."
The year is 2002, and everybody waits for the new Mario game (as well as Zelda: Wind Waker and some other nice games). Super Mario Sunshine is the second Mario title to be in the canon and in three dimensions. It's also the sixth canon Mario title overall. Six years after surprising us all with the incredible Super Mario 64, one of the very first 3D games ever, will Nintendo outshine themselves once again? Look at my title and grade. They did not. This game is a giant Bob-omb.
The game begins on an airplane. Princess Peach's personal aircraft, to be precise. Peach, as well as her councilor Toadsworth and Mario himself, of course, are going on a vacation. Their destination: Isle Delfino, a dolphin-shaped island which has probably nothing to do with the Gamecube's unofficial name. However, Peach spots a mysterious character jumping in the background of the welcome video. It looks like Mario!
Once arriving on the island, the flight ends abruptly as a mass of yellowish goop is obstructing the runway. In order to clean it, as well as all of the mess that the mysterious being created, Mario purchases a special, conscious, talking water pump. Meet F.L.U.D.D, your worst nightmare. It will interrupt your journey in the worst moments imaginable, telling you useless information over and over again. Zelda player will know what I'm talking about, as F.L.U.D.D gives Navi a run for her money. It also talks in a horrible robotic voice.
Yes, voice. There is Voice Acting in a Nintendo game. Oh, and all of those are horrendous. You will not find Final Fantasy X quality here. For example, Peach turned away from her nice voice from the beginning of Super Mario 64, for a cliche, high-pitched girly girl voice. A few Toads who came along for the ride also talk, in shrieks that make Donald Duck's voice sound low. The list of poor matches goes on and on, but those are the worst. Luckily, Mario doesn't talk.
Anyway, After purchasing the pump, Mario will be thrown in prison and sentenced for cleaning the mess completely. In order to clean up the mess, you'll have to press R and spray water from your pump. Press R halfway through to run and spray, or press it fully to stop and aim your nozzle. You'll also move with the analog stick, control the camera with the C-stick, talk to Piantas (People of the island) with B, and as usual, jump with A. X makes you switch nozzles, L and Y change the camera angle, and Z accesses a special menu.
In addition to cleaning the mess, your real goal will be collecting 120 Shine Sprites, which act as stars for this game. There are seven zones in this game, including a busy seaport, a peaceful village, a haunted hotel, and an amusement park. Each has eight obvious Shines to get. They are divided between open-air platforming sections, which are usually long and tedious; Boss fights, which can be somewhat entertaining; and obstacle courses. In every course with a "secret" in his name, the villain, called Shadow Mario, steals your FLUDD, and you must traverse a fairly difficult obstacle course, the old fashioned way.
With those, along with the first Shine and the end Shine, we have 58 Shines! Where are the rest? Well, in each zone, as well as the central "hub", you must collect 100 gold coins, in order for another Shine to spawn. In addition, there are two hidden Shines in each zone. For example, if you repeat an obstacle course, you'll have the option to use FLUDD in order to collect eight red coins. Finish your task, and you'll gain another Shine. Now you have 80 shines.
16 more Shines can be found in the main area, called Delfino Plaza. They are as far from self-explanatory as possible, and can be quite random and troublesome. For example, if you spray a certain spot of the beach, you'll find a Shine image, which will come to life. Who will ever think of that without using a walkthrough?!? Get them all, and you'll have 96.
The rest of the shines must be traded for Blue Coins. This is the most tedious of all. There are 240 of them, and they can be found through both obvious and random ways. For example, if you find a red M on a wall, spray it, and a coin will pop out of it. Other random graffiti, in the shapes of circles or triangles, works two-way: Spray one, and a coin will pop out of ANOTHER mark. Make your way there fast enough, then spray the other mark, in order to make the other coin appear where you originally were. Other ways include spraying blue birds, killing certain enemies, or just reaching coins that are in plain sight.
To aid you in your quests, your favorite dinosaur returns. Yoshi is in this game! However, you cannot get it until about halfway through the game. Even when you get it, you need to feed it a certain fruit, in order for it to hatch. Bananas and coconuts produce a pink Yoshi, which can create vertical platforms by spitting juice on enemies. Pineapples and limes create a yellow yoshi, which jumps higher than the rest, and durians create a purple yoshi, which can spawn horizontal platforms. You spit juice with R, jump with A, and dismount with X. Yoshi dies in water, and also when he runs out of juice. This version of yoshi is sub-par, but hey, he's perfectly fine in Super Mario Galaxy 2.
This game could have still been okay, had it not been to the horrid camera and poor controls. When the camera moves behind you, all you see is Mario's silhouette, while other objects are question marked, so you cannot define an enemy from a coin. What's worse is that it seems that the camera has a life of its own, and it does its best to annoy you. As for the controls, Mario cannot crouch, so no long jump (You can still slide with B + A, though) and no backflip. Also, he slides around a lot. I didn't sign up to control Luigi. If I'd done that, I would have play Luigi's Haunted Mansion, which is a much better game than this ugly mutant.
This game has only one very good side: amazing graphics. The water looks great, and so is the scenery. However, even this feature is dimmed by the monotony of the island. Super Mario 64 has areas such as a huge lava lake, a desert with an Egyptian pyramid, an ancient city covered by the rising tide, an island where enemies are huge, even the inside of a giant clock! This game has... nothing but tropical locations, with a slight change in the port's many girders and beams. The music is also monotonous, and almost all tracks are rehashments of the same boring tune.
You must only buy this if you are die hard Mario and Nintendo fans. I really recommend you to try this at your friend's, before you waste a good twenty dollars away. You have been warned.
Final grade: 4.3/10
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 08/02/12
Game Release: Super Mario Sunshine (US, 08/25/02)
Got Your Own Opinion?
You can submit your own review for this game using our Review Submission Form.