Review by SKWEE

"Nothing too new here, but that's not a bad thing at all..."

Okay, this review is based on playing Super Mario Sunshine for about six or seven hours, so I feel that I have a pretty good idea of what the game is like. I'll break it down real simple...

GRAPHICS-Ok, this is what you will notice first and believe me, they are good. The whole game plays smoothly with little or no slow-down, and the textures, water effect, etc. are simply beautiful. This is everything we've come to expect from Nintendo's big first party titles. Honestly, these are some of the best graphics out there for a platformer.

SOUND-This is the game's biggest stumbling block. The music is good, but there's no tunes that will make you jump out of your seat. (I would have like it if they played island music or reggae, but oh well... ^-^) Then there's the voice acting. Yes, ther is voice acting and no, it's not good by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, the voices of Peach, Toadstool and all the others (no talking for Mario, though. Weird.) are horrid. I can safely say this is some of the worst voice acting since the original Resident Evil. (for the PSX) Thankfully, the cinema scenes are few and far between.

GAMEPLAY-Ok, this is the big one, and thankfully Nintendo delivers. Before you ask, no, this game i not the revolution in platforming that Super Mario 64 was. In fact, many of the classic aspects of Super Mario 64 (such as Mario's different jumps, the levels branching from a central hub, etc.) are unchanged. But that is NOT a bad thing. It is merely a sign that Mario 64 did almost everything right the first time through. As they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. In spite of that, ther are changes. The most obvious is FLUDD, your backpack water jet, which you must often refill as it empties. FLUDD is not a gimmick, as I had originally feared, but an integral part of the gameplay in SMSS. The standard water cannon mode is used to put out fires, clean up gunk, and most importantly it is used as a weapon. Yes, many enemies can be defeated easily with FLUDD, and I found myself using it as much as the standard jump to the head. (which is still used quite often)The second mode for FLUDD is that of a water hoverpack. Floating around with FLUDD, in addition to being incredibly cool, is necessary to cross gaps and get Shines. What are Shines? They are the SMSS equivalent of Stars. As in SM64, there are 120, but not all are required to beat the game. Also, coins are handled a bit differently. First, you will notice far less gold coins than in SM64 (they are still used to restore lost life), and blue coins are no longer simply worth five gold coins. They are counted seperately and for every 10 that you collect (they are rarer than gold coins) you get a Shine. The red coins are back, and in every stage (there are seven branching off from the main hub area) you can collect 8 of them in order to get a Shine. Speaking of which, the Shines display SMSS's excellent range of difficulties. As with SM64's Stars, Shines range from easy to obtain to very hard, ensuring that all gamers will enjoy their experience. Getting enough Shines to beat the game is easy, but getting all 120 is once again a feat that requires considerable skill. Finally, for all of you who dislike FLUDD, in each stage ther is at least one Shine that is located in an area where FLUDD is taken away from you. Here it's classic SM64, whith moving blocks, platform and the like (no help from your hoverjet). The music here is also a somewhat strange redux of the original Mario theme. And everyone's favorite dinosaur, Yoshi, does make an appearance, with the ability to gobble up fruit and spit its juice at enemies and other things. (it isn't as nasty as it sounds)

In summation, SMSS is yet another Nintendo classic from old Shiggy's magical box 'o wonders. No, it doesn't break new ground like SM64 did, but it's well worth your hard earned cash. There is something for everyone here. Now if only Nintendo would make some RPGs....

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/27/02, Updated 08/27/02

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