Review by dot com

"Well worth the six year wait."


It's been six years since we last saw Mario battling the clutches of evil on our Nintendo 64s. We remember the pleasure that Super Mario 64 gave us, and we hope that the GameCube can duplicate the euphoric experience it offered. Not only has Nintendo taken Mario to yet another new level of expertiece, they have managed to capture the essence of a true platformer, in all it's glory, in this next installment of our hero's epic adventure.

Story: 7/10

With Bowser out of the way, Mario and Peach can finally get some much needed time alone together. The couple decides to visit the lovely island resort, Isle Delfino. Accompanied by Toad and Toadsworth, the two enjoy a wonderful flight, and are eager to exit the plane after the landing. But they disembark to a horrible surprise. A giant pool of sludge is threatening the island! Mario quickly acquires a new tool, known as FLUDD, and defeats the evil blob. Mario can only be relieved to save the day once again, when he is suddenly arrested and thrown in jail! Someone with a description matching Mario has been painting the goop throughout the island, using a giant paintbrush. The following day, Mario is sentenced to clean up the mess of sludge he allegedly created. Mario must also collect the all-important Shines, which power the island, that were scattered in the disaster. Could it be true? Could noble Mario really have done such a thing? Of course not. Now, it is up to Mario, with the help of FLUDD, to clean up Isle Delfino, catch his imposter and prove his innocence, and get back the Shines for the island.
Very original storyline, but it lacks in detail. It seems more childish than well thought out, but it did produce a very great game, and any more may have drastically changed gameplay.

Gameplay: 9/10

The main goal in Super Mario Sunshine is to clean up the mess that your annoying little doppelganger painted all over Isle Delfino. To accomplish this, Mario must destroy the enemy sources, and collect the missing Shines. This sets up for a perfect collection-driven quest, that today’s platformers thrive on. Several non-essential elements are also available to keep the player occupied, struggling to gain the “completed” game. Gamers will find themselves lost in Isle Delfino, as dust starts to collect on the power button.

Control: 8/10

The control in Super Mario Sunshine does have flaws, but not many, and which are based solely on opinion. The addition of the FLUDD water pack to Mario’s inventory was smooth and appreciated, as it offers a unique gaming experience to a familiar title, and doesn’t draw away from the Super Mario 64-esque gameplay that was expected. Among Mario’s new abilities are infinite wall jumps, a spin jump, and the ability slide on his stomach for long distances. Mario can now also hover, fly, and execute various new attacks using the new FLUDD device. The sensitive A and B buttons can become a nuisance, as well as mastering a simple task such as wall jumps, but you quickly become acquainted with the overall excellent control of this game.

Graphics: 10/10

The graphics of Super Mario Sunshine are absolutely breathtaking. Every emotion cycles through Mario as you feel the action. Every pixel is crafted to perfection, every texture alive with it’s setting. The color schemes are very soothing, letting you drift into the game and relax. Mario’s movements are extremely fluid, and never fault in the slightest bit. Graphics in games like Jak and Daxter, or Super Smash Brothers: Melee, pale in comparison to Super Mario Sunshine. Just look at the dust, kicked in the air as Mario runs, see the ocean waves off the coast. It’s all so beautiful, and it’s all overlooked. Detail in these areas carries an extra significance on the threshold of greatness that Super Mario Sunshine has achieved. This game is a visual wonder. Hours alone could be spent wandering the island admiring the extravagant scenery.

Sound: 10/10

The music is the main reason for the high rating in this category. With every next-gen Nintendo system, there is a new Mario game, and with every game, the basic Mario tunes are abridged to fit different styles and gaming eras. Music can only be updated so much, and still sound new and interesting. I thought Mario games had reached this limit, and I was proven very wrong with Super Mario Sunshine. The music created from the original Mario themes was extraordinary. The completely new music is even better. Stop, stop and listen, listen to the music. A game isn’t always meant to be played.

Replay Value: 8/10

No doubt about it, this is an awesome game, and like all Mario games, you’ll find yourself playing again and again, for years to come. Not quite as much of a reply value as Super Mario 64, but very close.

Buy or Rent?

This is a definite buy. If you have a GameCube, this game should be in your library. If you don’t have a GameCube, I’d recommend getting one, even if it is just for this game.

Overall: 9/10

This is a great game, and a true triumph for Nintendo, and the GameCube. Not as good as Super Mario 64, but that is my opinion. If you can, right now, go get this game, and Super Mario 64, so you can compare for yourself.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/28/02, Updated 04/13/03

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