Review by Icelight

"This game won't redefine Platform games, but it sure will make them fun!"

Mario Sunshine...the long awaiting coming again of Mario on Nintendo's newest console is as much as I had expected of it, and more. It is a wonderful Platform romp through stunning locations, beatiful graphics, and great gameplay.

Gameplay

The gameplay is really what can make or break any game, regardless of its graphics or story. Gameplay is what really makes the game shine, and Mario Sunshine pulls it off nearly perfectly. The game is set up in a way that is very similar to Mario 64. Instead of collecting 'Stars' you now must collect 'Shines'. Collection of Shines has proved to be very entertaining, and as fun, if not more fun than that of Mario 64.
The gameplay at first with the FLUDD system seems a bit 'complicated', but within 20 minutes of play you will be very fluent in working with the new gameplay system introduced in Sunshine. FLUDD works very well, and is a perfect compliment to the great gameplay of previous Mario games. One surpise, to me at least, is that the FLUDD is not just used as a gimmick in a few stages, you will use it often, very often. FLUDD will be used in every level, and every 'story' within those levels.
With all this praise about the gameplay, there must be something wrong...right? Well the answer to that is, yes, there is one thing wrong...and that would be the camera. Since the first 3D platform game, companies have struggled with trying to get a great, working camera that doesn't interfere with the gameplay. Mario Sunshine doesn't quite pull this off. The camera occasionally goes 'weird' or gets trapped behind walls, but it usually is not too bad. Props to Nintendo who included the camera control option by using the C-Stick.

Gameplay Score - 27/30
-2 Points lost for Camera
-1 Point for sometimes repetitive objectives in Missions

Control

Control is quite possibly the second most important feature of any Platform game. Without good control you could find yourself falling of ledges, running into enemies more often than you hoped to, and not being able to hit anything...
Mario Sunshine pulls off the control without a hitch. The controls for FLUDD are, in my opinion, nearly perfect, very responsive, and a joy to use. Mario himself controls very fluidly and is only very rarely sluggish to move.

Control Score - 19/20
-1 Point for sometimes sluggish control over Mario

Graphics

What can I say about the graphics in Mario Sunshine...they are...beatiful! The screenshots of this game just do not do it justice, you must see this game in action to believe it! The water effects are like none I have ever seen before, except in technical demos. The water looks like real water, and even blurs things beneath its surface. Very nice indeed!
Mario and the inhabitants of the island are also modelled well, and boast a fairly high polygon count, though not as high as I would have liked (^_^)
The only complaint that I have with the graphics would be some of the textures used in the game. Some of them are just plain ugly when viewed close up...far away they are ok, but when you get close, it looks...terrible. So far, that is my only complain with the wonderfully done graphics.

Graphics Score - 20/20
-2 for terrible textures in some areas/buildings
+2 for beautiful everything else, including the oh-so-wonderful water.

Story

This is the only part in which the game fails at. The Mario game's story-line has never been, or tried to be, groundbreaking, or even very deep. As you can expect, it becomes the usual 'save-the-princess' type story, typical to Mario games. The story actually does have a twist later on, but I will not spoil it here for those who have not experienced it yet. Overall, the story is typical of a Mario game, but is actually executed well.

Story Score - 6/10

Replay Value

Mario Sunshine isn't a game you will be likely to beat very fast. It has been said to range anywhere from 25-40 hours just to complete the main section of the game. After that, you have all those Shines left to collect, which will take a hefty amount of hours by themselves. The game is fun to pick up and play, and you will be enjoying it for along time to come.

Replay Score 18/20

Total score before Reviewer's Tilt - 90/100 or 9/10

MY TILT - I feel that the pro's of this game FAR outweigh the few cons, and that this is a perfect game for anyone looking for a great platform game. +7 to Final Score

Total Score AFTER Reviewer's Tilt - 97/100 or 9.7/10

Gamefaqs Score - 10/10

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Final Notes
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Buy or Rent? I am normally the person to rent a game first, but after hearing about Mario Sunshine, and learning all about it, I decided I couldn't wait for the rental stores to get it in. I bought it on launch and I certainly don't have a single complaint about doing so. Buy it now!


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/27/02, Updated 08/27/02


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