Review by SoraLink2649
"Square Enix + Mario = Greatness"
How could you possibly make a good Mario RPG? This is the question many gamers asked when Super Mario RPG was revealed to be made. Well, the answer is not that complex. When you have Square Enix and Nintendo working with the biggest video game franchise ever you knew they wouldn't disappoint and would bring their A game. And they did, they didn't make just a good game, they made a great game.
There's no other way to put it, this game has one of the best soundtracks of all time. From the old school, remixed tunes to the new vibrant ones every theme is top notch. They all have their typical upbeat Mario flavor with a mix of square Enix flare that makes for some masterful tracks. There isn't one bad song which is pretty impressive to say for a game. The sound design is also fantastic with every attack, action, and scene sounding very well done. There's such a wide variety of songs and sounds in this game that you'll never find two of them sounding too similar. Definitely, the music in this game is the best in any Mario game and it already makes it a classic.
This game looks incredible for its time. This game was released write before the N64 so it has a cool mix of 3-D and 2-D that makes it stand out against other games and RPGs' in particular. The semi 3-D look really gives it a unique feel that stands the test of time. It's most certainly one of the most pleasing games that you'll ever look at as there's a huge assortment of color and style that fill up the screen. The character models are really good, with everything having a distinct look to it. Looking at the environments, you'll see a lot of detail on everything which is a trademark of Square Enix. On the whole, this is one of the best looking games on the SNES and of all time.
This is a category that could have easily been a low score if the developers had been lazy, luckily they weren't. We could have gotten Mario saves Peach from Bowser yet again, but we didn't, which I applaud. Instead, you end up fighting side by side with Bowser, imagine that. The story is a bit cliche, with you collecting stars to eventually reach the final boss Smithy, but it's the way you get there and the characters you meet along the way that makes this game story solid. The dialogue is very good with great moments like when the gardener goes wacko over a plant, or when Bowser tries to retain his pride. It can be rather serious dialogue when Geno or Smithy are talking, but it has plenty of Mario charm and laughs to not be too serious. Now to the characters, that really make this game stand out. You have your staple Mario characters that everyone loves and enjoys; they all have their roles and are great in them. Then we have new characters to the Mario universe like Mallow (a cloud puffball), Geno (puppet come to life), the Axem Rangers (mock power rangers), Smithy (irritated robot), Jonathon Jones (pirate shark), Boaster (a crazy train riding guy) and many more and as you can see they all bring plenty to the table. Geno is especially great, as he is, in a way, the main character and he is probably the best Mario character ever out of the main cast and that's why when you learn his eventual fate you'll be plenty sad. All the special bosses have unique qualities that make meeting them and fighting them ever more enjoyable. Not the best story, but definitely better than most would expect from a Mario game.
I would have given this game a perfect in this category, but there's one thing that stops it and that's its difficulty. This game is really easy and you will probably beat it with zero to two deaths through the whole game. However, that's the only problem with the gameplay, as everything else in this category excels. The main part of the actual battles is timing. When you press the A button at a certain time you can attack or block better and more effectively. This is an interesting mechanic that works very well in a simple sort of way and it differentiates this RPG from the rest of the pack. You have a vast assortment of enemies to fight so you'll never feel bored with battles because there are so many different combinations of enemies to fight. Also, you never feel too powerful or too weak in this game, you'll always be perfectly balanced with your enemies, so no grinding. The attacks in this game are very cool, with a mixture of final fantasy type moves and Mario ones, that all have great originality and difference that makes them all fun to do. The bosses (though easy besides Culex and Smithy) are some of the best you'll see and they are all very creative, have different strategies so you have to change for a lot of them which gives a good change of pace. Your equipment is brilliantly stylized; you'll want to check out every weapon to see what they do because they're all cool to try. Besides the difficulty that should have been a bit harder, the gameplay is top notch from top to bottom in this game.
Length and Replayability (7/10)
In all honesty, this game is a bit lacking in depth. You pretty much have the main quest and one or two mini side quests along the way and that's it. So it's about an 8 to 12 hour experience which I think helps its replayabilty because it doesn't take as much commitment as other RPG's to play through. You get the same great RPG experience of a Final Fantasy in 1/3 the time. The amount of fun you'll have playing this game will warrant at least a few playthroughs (I've played it 6 times myself and never got bored at all).
-Decent length (8-12 hours)
-Not your typical Mario story
-Unique battle system
-Some of the best music ever
-Interesting and entertaining bosses
-Nice variety of locations, equipment, etc
-Decent replay value
Final Verdict (9/10)
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/25/11
Game Release: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (US, 05/13/96)
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