Review by X Slayer007 X
"It just might be the best platformer currently on the Gamecube"
Ever since I've beaten Super Mario 64, I've wondered if there was ever going to be a sequel for it.......for the Nintendo 64. However, there was nothing. Six years later, gamers experienced this awesome game, Super Mario Sunshine, on the Gamecube. The wait that was driving people insane was worth it. Super Mario Sunshine just might be the best platformer on the Gamecube so far
Mario fans are familiar with the classic story of Bowser kidnapping Princess Peach. Not this time. The game's story makes it different from all other Mario games. Instead of going to areas around Mushroom Kingdom, you're on a tropical island. While it's not great that you don't see Mushroom Kingdom in this game, it's good that makers wanted to take a new direction towards Mario games. This gives much more ideas before all the creators end up having to make crappy ideas becuase they are running out of bad ones. Just don't expect an ice, castle or desert level though. The story itself is interesting in the fact that it's different from other Mario games and is more complex. In a very non-detailed way of telling the story, Mario is being framed for polluting the islands and is forced to clean it all up.
Liked Mario 64? You'll love this! Like most plat former games, there's a main area which has entrances to all the worlds. Obviously, you can't all acess them at once. Shines, the equivalent of stars in Super Mario 64, will be awarded for Mario if he completes an objective on the level he was playing in. Generally, most shines can be obtained by completing tough bonus levels, collecting red coins, beating bosses, getting to places that require effort to reach, and many other numerous ideas. Getting 10 blue coins will also earn you a shine. In Super Mario 64, blue coins were merely used as coins that equaled 5 gold coins, but now collecting blue coins actually is a big deal. Keep in mind, finding blue coins was never meant to be a chore, though they are hidden very well or sometimes out in the open. Even when you are on your way to get a shine, you may pick up a few. Finding blue coins can actually sometimes be fun, but you don't need to find any to beat this game, although it's required if you want every shine. This game is a lot harder in the fact that you can only get the shine you are required to get. For example, if you know how to get the shine for shine 4, but can't beat shine 3, you cannot get that until you get shine 3 in that level. It's not really like Mario 64.
People who have been reading a lot about this game found out there weren't as many levels as there were in Super Mario 64. That doesn't mean anything, though. This game is still a lot longer in length. In each level, there's just so much to do. Remember in Super Mario 64 how there weren't a lot of people to talk to? Only toads? Well, now there are lots of people to talk to. Piantas, the natives of the island, and Hermit Crab people are always social. Some can be mean, some can be helpful, and others are just there to waste your time. Some will even reward you with a blue coin for helping them out by giving them fruit, cleaning them up, etc. Free lives are also given out. Most of the Piantas will throw you up in hard to reach places. There's even a super kick ass bonus level to practice that. Always try to help them. There's other types of creatures to talk to, too. You can also do many things with your waterpack. You can rotate things by spraying water to earn coins or kill enemies a different way to earn more coins, such as squirting those flower things into the wall to get three coins instead of one. Even if you don't feel like getting shines, there's always something to do in all the levels. The levels itself are huge. They tower and extend about 3 times the size compared to the levels of Super Mario 64. It's the perfect place to fool around with everything. What this game has is what mostly other games lack.
While this game is very good, I have one thing they could change about it: Have more nostalgia. Super Mario 64 lacked this too, even more, but that doesn't mean this is a bad game. Some things will have to eventually change and the new stuff is actually pretty cool. On the other hand, there's still some classic elements that were added. There's the boos, the Super Mario style ghosts, tunnels, the most popular feature of the old Mario games, and a hell of a lot more. The biggest classic element is the return of Yoshi! This is the New School Yoshi by the way, not the Old School. Anyway, he acts just like Mario, but can squirt fruit rather than water and jump very high. It sucks that he can't swim, but that just gives the game a better challenge, in my opinion. Yes, he still eats fruit. Where's the green Yoshi though? Yoshi is not really the biggest character and is mostly used for side quests or squirting gunk off using his juice. You can ride him anytime you want, though. Old features brought back with new make an excellent game. Be prepared to see some familiar enemies, too! :)
Finally, the difficulty section. I'll start off by saying, this game is a lot harder than any other three dimensional Mario game. I found myself losing a lot more lives than I did when I played Super Mario 64. It's safe to say it isn't fustratingly difficult, but it starts off very easy. Trying to get the shine while being careless won't help you succeed. Those bonus levels require percise timing and skill. I've died so much on those. They only get harder as you go along too. Finding the shines isn't too hard at all. At the beggining of the level, a cut scene is played to give you a good clue of what to do. Arrows are also pointed in the direction of your desired shine. The bosses are actually very easy, no matter how far into the game you are. Defeating them requires simple steps, but it's the complete opposite of boring. While this game isn't, ''hard'', it's not ''easy''. The huge challenge in this game only adds to the fun. The gameplay is a huge upgrade from Super Mario 64.
Not the most important part of the game, but these graphics are sure something. The graphics in this game demonstrate the true power of Gamecube. Mario has never looked better. That goes for all the characters, too. Nothing is blocky. People have said this game was kiddy, but don't listen to them, these graphics aren't even close! There are no rough textures and the framerate is excellent. Nothing slows down when too many things are on the screen at once. Many good games have had that problem before. The levels are probably the best part of the graphics. They are extremely huge, and I mean huge! A cool little feature is that you can see important items from a distance so you won't have to walk for many minutes just to see if it's what your looking for. Notice in Zelda Ocarina of Time how you sometimes had to get really close to something to see what it was. It doesn't happen in this game though, so that's really good. Another cool thing is that if you get really high on the level, or stand at the edge, you can see other levels. You can't go to them of course, but it gives you a feeling that the island you are on is so damn huge. The only minor problem with the graphics is about water reflection. Say there were 4 coins floating over the water. It really looks like there were 4 others submerged. Not really a big problem, and with all the fun you have, you'll hardly notice it and overlook it easily.
Oh, how much the play control has improved!! Fans of Super Mario 64 will know Mario's basic moves already so it starts out simple. Bottom line is, it's influenced by Super Mario 64, so that's good. Even if you've never played a Mario game, the buttons are very easy to figure out. It's always helpful to practice tougher things like wall kicks and triple jumps. They are required for completing bonus levels to get shines. There's no need for complaining here!
What makes this game very different is the water pack. Mario needs that to clean all the gunk and sludge scattered across the islands. Mario can do only so much with it. He can use it as a jet back, a rocket boost, and a speed boost. You can squirt enemies with it to kill them, too. The water pack is important for you to reach shines and other hard to reach places or solve puzzles. One long squirt will change something in your enviroment. You can get upgrades if you collect enough shines, and those are required to get even farther. You won't even be able to reach a level with out using the red upgrade to shoot up to the place, for example. Want to know something cool? Don't like those citizens that roam that islands? Squirt them all with water! They won't like it! Also, go up to a wall REALLY close and shoot your pack. It looks like Mario is peeing! It all adds a lot more fun to this great game.
I actually found the camera to be a big improvement over Super Mario 64. You can still adjust it anytime you want, too. The new thing is that if a wall or something else is behind Mario where you can't fully see him, the ''shadow'' of him appears and the thing that's blocking you between him and your eyes becomes transparent. I think this really helps the camera feature and prevents more people from complaining. No weird glitches result from the camera. It all runs smoothly. Camera was suprisingly very good.
I really don't think the sound can be improved. It's perfectly fine. The voice acting is great. While Mario hardly talks, he keeps his humorous Italian accent to entertain his fans. Peach sounds like she did in all other games she talked in, so I do not have a problem with her voice. The music generally fits with most of the events and levels. The classic Mario tunes are also back. The only stuff I found a little repetitive was Isle Delfino's theme, the main world. You get used to it though. There's a huge variety of themes. Just don't expect anything like Limp Bizkit or Slipknot, becuase it's video game music we are talking about here. As for the sound effects, you'll hear classic and new ones. Get used to hearing them. Nothing really to explain about though.
Have you beat this game, but not found all the shines? Well, get the rest! It keeps you playing for a while. This game is very addictive and fun, so playing it again will not seem like a chore.
I suggest rent this first. It's probably possible to beat it in a rent, but rushing it is no fun at all. Take your time on this game becuase it adds to the fun. Most games have ''chores'' sometimes, but this game has a lot less. You'll never be like, ''Ugh, I don't want to do this level'', etc. The wait for this game was worth it, and it will entertain you for a really long time. Don't miss out on the fun! Buy this game whenever you have the chance, becuase it's truly worth it!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/27/02, Updated 07/15/03
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