Review by BBallman7

"Definitely not the best Mario game, but it doesn't bring shame to the series either."

Is there a bigger video game icon than Mario? Is there any game that comes out where people have higher expectations than a Mario game? Probably not. Everyone looks forward to the major installment of Mario for each system since Mario first made his first appearance. I'll come right out and say that Super Mario Sunshine is not one of the best games in the series, but it does fit in pretty well and added some cool elements.

The major addition to Super Mario Sunshine was FLUDD. It shoots water, and offers a few abilities, including spraying water like a hose, and shooting water straight down allowing you to hover, which basically is used to jump over long distances. Although it's fun at first, and is very easy to use, it still feels more like a gimmick than a great advance in video games, as opposed to in SMB3 when we flew for the first time. But FLUDD isn't all bad, and the game is 110% built around it. For starters, you're on an island...

Like most Mario games, the story is there for filler, and no one really cares what's going on. Mario and Peach are on vacation and someone who looks eerily similar to Mario makes a mess of this Island that Mario is vacationing at. He is wrongfully accused of this vandalism, and is sent to prison and ordered to clean it up. And that's basically what you're working with for most of the game.

Also like Mario games, this game is very fun. No matter what bad things I say about this game, I did enjoy playing it. Like Mario 64, you go through each level multiple times to complete different challenges, some are downright tedious and frustrating, like the Red Coin Levels, and some are fun, like the old school levels. There are levels, usually at least one in each Level, where you lose Fludd and have to go through what is pretty much an obstacle course, but what it really is, is an all out platform level. You'll come to love these, as some of these add the only true difficulty to the game, but also the most fun.

And since it's a pretty simple game, the controls tend to flow very smoothly. You don't ever do anything you don't intend to do, and the FLUDD system is added very nicely. The right analog stick controls the camera, and that's the only problem with the controls, and probably the most annoying problem with the game. The camera gets stuck in some of the ugliest places sometimes, and even though most of the time it works fine and is unnoticeable, but when there are problems you can't help but notice and get aggravated.

Another problem is repetitiveness. Not only with the missions, but the levels. Since the entire game is built around a tool that needs water, every level is built around water. I have no problem with some water levels, but there is never really any change of scenery. I mean there are beaches, and towns built on a lake, but that's about the biggest difference you'll find.

All in all though, it's still a Mario game, and the best news is, it feels like a Mario game. The platforming levels are great. There's also a good mix of some other missions, such as surfing and some easy, but fun, bosses that are thrown in to change up the pace. Yoshi is also in this game, which is cool, but he's pretty useless. There are a few missions where Yoshi's required but they seem to just be thrown in to give Yoshi some purpose. This is still a must own game in any Gamecube library, and worth a playthrough or two.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 01/06/08

Game Release: Super Mario Sunshine (US, 08/25/02)

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