Review by mucals
"A game that loses it's magic within 20 minutes."
Yes, that's right, I said it. This game just isn't that special. And unlike those who just played the game for ten minutes and declared it ''BSET GAEM EVAR!111'', I've actually owned the game for weeks and drudged through 72 out of the 120 ''Shine gets''.
Two of the things that actually did impress me about this game were the facts that the lighting and draw distances in the levels are fantastic. The lighting surpasses anything on the PS2 and some Xbox games (however, not the ones with pixel shading). The draw distances in levels are pretty much non-existent, except for the occasional ''you're so far away one of the blue/green/orange blobs known as 'inhabitants' pops up in hut,'' but that's really acceptable. One thing that did disappoint me, where some of the textures- they're surprisingly low-res, which is something the Gamecube is supposed to be a powerhouse at. Other than that, the poly counts and colors are on the spot.
The sound is abysmal. There is voice acting, all of which is very poor. Although, the Japanese probably couldn't tell how bad they were, any native speaker of the English language will pretty much go deaf after hearing it. The music is really forgettable, but it does however fit the ''happy-go-lucky'' feel of the game.
Although not vital in any way to a platformer, it's still almost always going to be there. To set the stage- Mario goes on vacation with Peach, her daddy, and some Toad look-a-likes (with Luigi no where in site, even though he busted his ass off in Luigi's Mansion). Peach sees something like Mario running across a promotional video and then making a mess of Isle Delphino (their vacation spot). Mario saves the day, but is arrested and put in a biased court room, then forced to pull clean-up duty. Mario gets a secondary mission- while doing these tasks you are actually saving Isle Delphino from becoming a place devoid of that special relaxing feeling! Amazing! Any ways, you eventually find out who the look-a-like is and then chase him some more. It's ''meh''.
This is where the final score weighed heavily, because this game supposed to play very good. Well, it didn't. It's pretty much Mario 64, except now Mario has a water pack that has only four total functions, three of which are swapped for one another. The water pack really does expand what Mario can do however- he can now clean (duh), but he has new ways of traveling. He can hover upward or be blasted forward or upwards. Mario also has a plethora of moves that I thought would really make this game amazingly fun (well deserving of a 7, a bit less than Mario 64).
What went wrong? You only need three of the moves to get by (excluding the use of the water pack, which was inevitable). That's jump, back flip, and jump wall-to-wall. Everything else is pretty much rendered useless because of the monotonous tasks that Mario must undertake to ''Shine get'' (whoever put that in the game... grr...). And the camera is still annoying, especially during those few levels that actually need a functioning camera.
There is also a pathetic attempt at bosses in this game. They're pretty much, ''Spray until they die'', or ''Hit three times and they die''. There was, however, one boss that stood out- you had to clean his teeth, and when they fell out you won. I found that to just be sad.
Finally, one of the major problems is the levels. They just aren't fun. An occasional task is (like ridding these little blobs for red coins, that was fun), but when the game tries to do something different, it just drags it on making the player constantly asking him/herself, ''Didn't I just do this ten minutes ago?''. The levels are vital to a platformer's gameplay, and the ones here just don't impress.
This is something I really felt I should review. One of the main reasons platformers are played, is because they are immensely fun (heck, that's why they survived back in the 2D era). However, Mario Sunshine is really lacking in this department, something that put the nail in the coffin for this review.
Overall- 4 Below Average
What could have been, oh, what could have been. Mario Sunshine had a lot of promise, even to revolutionize the series. However, all I got was a bad nostalgic feeling that really just bored me after only the tenth shine. I think it's time that Mario was put down, in favor for something new. Miyamoto is getting there with games like Pikmin and Nintendo as a whole with Animal Crossing (Aninal Forest +) and Cubivore (Animal Leader).
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 08/28/02, Updated 08/28/02
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