Review by dirtycup II

"Is it good? Yes! Is it great? YES! Is it perfect? No."

I just got the game. I'm not too far into yet, but that will soon change. Yes, the game is addicting, and little annoying things like eating, bathroom breaks, and school sure seem tedious in comparison. I find it difficult to put down, much less get out of my mind. This game is all the hype, and even more. But why? Elementary, dear Watson! This game has little going for it in the graphics department. The music is nice, but sometimes repetitive. Then what? Well, Mario has something that some developers just seem to forget when putting together their games: FUN!

Yes, Square seems to think you'd rather watch a game than actually play it. Nintendo is the exact opposite. Mario is all about doing. Jumping, flipping, punching, shooting, you name it, you can do it. Have you ever thought just how stupid it is that in some games your character is blocked by an obstacle easily hopped over in real life?

Hero: ''Drat! Yet another four foot high fence! Blast those developers, forgetting to include a jump button! I guess I'll have to find away around it!''

Mario: WOOOHOOOO!! *Mario does a flip over the fence*

Yep. Fences are meant to be hopped. Cliffs are meant to be scaled. Walls are meant to be climbed, and oceans are meant to be swam. If there is an object appearing in the game, it obviously can either be destroyed, climbed on, or opened. There are practically zero limitations when it comes to controlling Mario. He's like Samo Hung; fat, but very agile.

Like previously mentioned, the graphics could use a touch up. Or two. Textures are bland, models are low polygon, and there is some pixelation. But the game is very bright, colorful, and clean looking. So what if the graphics are simple? They do their job, even if they don't win awards that don't matter in the slightest. Are the graphics all bad? No. SMS has a few nice water effects going for it, and the sludge looks fantastic. This game isn't a looker, but the visuals aren't so bad as to turn you off to the whole game.

The sound is okay, but not amazing. The music is often very clear and refreshing (and nostalgic), but even the classic tunes get old. For the most part, the voices are pretty bad. Peach is annoying, toadstools are even worse, and the island locals sound like stoners. Mario is, once again, at a loss for words, save the occasionally ''Whooopeee!''. All in all, some tunes leave you wanting to mute the game, others have you jamming in your seat.

Relay value is up to you, but for the record, let's call it ''Very high''. Most will be compelled to get 120 Shines, and this daunting task will eat up over 50 hours of gameplay at a minimum. This alone merits a purchase, even if you play through the game once. However, for those normal people out there, the fun NEVER ends. Just messing around, hopping and skipping through the town, bopping the natives on the cranium, and playing through the game a second or third time will last you forever. To this day I still play Mario 64 occasionally. This game looks promisingly like an even better game, so why should it be any different?

In closing, let me just say that you want this game. Don't be fooled by the graphics are the ''kiddyness'' of the game. Don't tell me teenagers or adults can't enjoy this game. This game is rated E for EVERYONE, not just toddlers. In fact, judging by the difficulty of the game, it probably shouldn't even be attempted until you've reached grade school. This game can be frustratingly hard for older players, and impossible for the younger ones. But heck, isn't that good? Would you rather spend fifty dollars on a two hour game? I wouldn't. You Mario nay-sayers out there can have you FMV's and complicated plots. I'm going to play Mario, and I'm going to have fun!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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

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