Review by Pukey

"Another Nintendo Great!"

Finally, after 6 long years since its last game starring arguably the best and most popular video game character ever, Nintendo brings Mario back on its newest console, in Super Mario Sunshine. With its last game being an absolute hit and also arguably the best game for the Nintendo 64, in this author’s opinion, Nintendo has made yet another great game featuring its true icon.

Although this is a new Mario game, it lives up to most of the hype that was expected. Super Mario Sunshine doesn’t exactly have anything absolutely amazing or groundbreaking, compared to previous Mario games like Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and Super Mario 64. Even with that said, Super Mario Sunshine is still an extraordinary game that everyone with a GameCube should have.

The graphics in this game were truly stunning for Mario’s first appearance on the GameCube. Everything was very nicely done and very fluid. The colors and lighting were extremely amazing. The colors are extremely vibrant and almost jump out at you. One thing that Nintendo did with this game was that it tried not to use the same colors over and over again, preventing asking yourself “Didn’t I see all of this in the last level?” The way some of levels are presented makes you appreciate what you see, and even makes you want to just sit and look at the screen to appreciate how nicely done the game was. The draw distance was another thing that impressed me. In most games, you could walk 10 feet in a game, turn around, and a building or item that was previously there, would be gone. This isn’t the case in this game. Everything is proportional when you look at it. You can be all the way across the stage, and still make out even a tree. One thing about the visuals and graphics that strongly disappointed me, were the textures. The GameCube is suppose to be the powerhouse of the 3 third-generation systems in textures, but not in this games case. I think Nintendo could’ve seriously improved the texturing of this game, because in a lot of situations, the game is really low-res. Besides the texturing, the polygon counts and the colors are truly impressive.

Those of you who are thinking of getting this game and play games with Surround Sound on, for the love of god, turn it off before you play. The music in this game isn’t that good, but it isn’t that bad either. The music is generally good on Nintendo terms, but it’s nothing special and doesn’t have the catchy tunes like Super Mario RPG or Ocarina of Time did. The music that Nintendo chose for each individual level did suit it very well though. Koji Kondo did a very good job on that. Just in case if you didn’t know, Koji Kondo is the composer of video game music for both the Mario and Zelda series. But oh god! The voices in this game are hideous. The dialog is extensively brutal compared to most Nintendo games, and the voices are let’s say horrible. Everyone you talk to actually doesn’t talk, but make noises only a retard would, or sound like some sort of deranged beast from a jungle. This was very disappointing to me, because making the sound of one of its biggest icons first appearance on the GameCube officially horrendous was not a good choice by Nintendo. The only voices I did enjoy were Baby Bowser’s and Bowser’s voices. (What you didn’t expect either of them in a MARIO game?) Nintendo made them sound comical but good at the same time. Overall, the sounds of this game aren’t half bad, but if you were one of those people who stopped playing Final Fantasy X because you couldn’t stand Tidus’ voice, I HIGHLY suggest that you don’t talk to anyone while this game playing unless absolutely necessary.

The gameplay is surprisingly very good in this game. The controls are very much like the controls of Super Mario 64, and therefore are very easy to handle. The buttons are all in the right place, making it easy to perform all of the necessary moves. Although the concept of the game may sounds extremely stupid. (Cleaning graffiti. Oh great fun!) Don’t judge this game solely on that. I was very skeptical about this game when I first heard about it, and what you had to do, but giving it a chance, I discovered that the gameplay is really good. The game may look kiddie, but this is actually a quite challenging game. It can also be very frustrating at times, making the challenge and gameplay all the more better. At certain points I was so frustrated that I wanted to throw my controller at the TV. Also finding the 30 Blue Coins in each level proves to be very difficult as well, because some of them only appear in certain episodes. Not only are some of them difficult to find, you need to obtain all 240 of them in order to fully FINISH the game. I HIGHLY suggest that you DON’T use a guide to beat this game, because although it is actually challenging, using a guide would completely destroy the purpose of buying this kind of game. Some of the ways of getting shines can be pretty repetitive though, but the game still proves to be very fun. There are also 2 ‘hidden’ shines in each level you must find, making the game even more challenging. The camera angle at certain points can be extremely annoying, due to the fact that sometimes it will not even let you see Mario at all, and you must navigate him looking at a wall with a a shadow of Mario on the other side. Besides that, the gameplay alone would be enough incentive for you to buy this game.

The innovation in Super Mario Sunshine takes a somewhat big hit. As I briefly mentioned before, there is nothing big exciting and groundbreaking in this game. Essentially it’s a clone of Super Mario 64 with a few changes. The FLUDD idea I will admit was a very innovative thing that Shigeru Miyamoto thought of, but other from that, there isn’t anything really special that we haven’t seen. In my opinion, I think Shigeru Miyamoto could’ve thought of something bold and brand new for Mario’s debut on the GameCube, much like how the new Zelda game looks. Although there isn’t anything really new with this Mario game, FLUDD alone makes the innovation in this game pretty interesting.

As with most Mario games, the replay value of this one is no exception, and in this author’s humble opinion, it’s very good. Trying to remember where all 240 Blue Coins were and just experimenting with things make this game have a great replay value. Trying to find all of the odds and ends, and glitches make you want to play the game over to make sure that you find every little thing and make sure that you don’t miss out on anything.

The storyline of the game is so-so. It begins with Mario, Princess Peach, and a horde of Toads on a plane heading to their vacation destination of Isle Delfino. When they reach the island, they discover a Mario look-alike terrorizing the entire island with his graffiti. But as with most typically Nintendo games, the hero (Mario), gets blamed, and is sentenced to clean up the whole island. As you progress through the game, you slowly learn more about this ‘Shadow Mario’ and who he is. But with any Mario game, if you can’t figure out who the big bad boss is in the end, you deserve to be shot. That basically sums up the storyline without giving away too much.

Overall, I was pretty impressed with this game. From it’s vibrant colors to its great gameplay. Although I was pretty disappointed with the sound, the other factors of the game made up for it. All in all, this game would be a definite buy for anyone with a GameCube.

GRAPHICS AND VISUAL PRESENTATION - 9
SOUND AND AURAL AMBIANCE - 6
GAMEPLAY AND CONTROL - 9
STORYLINE - 7
REPLAY VALUE - 8
INNOVATION - 8
OVERALL - 9


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/16/02, Updated 09/16/02


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