Review by Alexander S

"They made us wait so long... But it was worth it in the end!"

Super Mario Sunshine is the type of game that you can play for hours at a time without noticing it. The game just has so much to do. It's as if Nintendo put years of gameplay into the Mini-disk. The game offers fun and challenge from the beginning to the end. You will not be disappointed.

Super Mario Sunshine is no longer using the old ''rescue the princess'' formula. This time around, Super Mario Sunshine offers a brand new story. Mario goes on vacation with Princess Peach to an island called ''Island Delfino.'' When they get there, they find that the island is covered with goop-like paint. Princess Peach sees a ''Shadow Mario'' appear, and then disappear shortly afterwards. He is responsible! However, Mario is charged with vandalizing the island. He is forced to clean it up. However, it is not the goop that is main problem. All the shine sprites have escaped and now the town has no power. Mario must find these Shine sprites and save Island Delfino!

As you can tell, the point of the game is to get as many of the shine sprites as you can. There are 120, but you can beat the game with half that amount. Each level has many episodes to complete. (The episodes consist of a goal to complete, such as ''The Eight Red Coins.'') You are shown o a video of the episode, which shows you where you need to go. When you complete these episodes, you get a shine sprite. You can also get shine sprites by finding them in the town. The episodes are very fun and diverse. The game has some very challenging goals that will take you a while to beat. Also, in certain ''secret'' goals you get FLUDD (Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device - I'll explain that later) taken off by Shadow Mario and have to beat the level classic Mario style. You'll find that these get much harder later in the game.

The core gameplay is similar to Super Mario 64. However, a water pack called FLUDD now can help you. It has two nozzles at the start of the game. The hover nozzle and the ''squirting'' nozzle are available. The hover nozzle allows you to hover above the ground for a short period of time. The ''squirting'' nozzle allows you to squirt water. You can replace the hover nozzle with other nozzles during the game. You will find that you ''miss'' the hover nozzle during these moments, as it will almost fell like a necessity.

This game still has all the cool moves from Super Mario 64. The triple jump allows you to jump and do three mid-air somersaults. The side jump allows you to jump pretty high by doing a side flip. The wall jump is easier now, but is used more often then in Super Mario 64. (For those new to Mario, the wall jump is used when there are two walls parallel to each other. You can jump off both sides to go up.)

One thing that should be mentioned is that this game is very difficult. When you compare it to past Mario games, you see that this one is harder. It will take a lot of patience to beat and you'll find yourself seeing the ''Too bad'' screen more often than you like. The difficulty level only makes this game better, though. Then game is frustrating every once in a while, but overall its pretty good.

This game makes a bold decision to not have a multiplayer mode. (Just like Super Mario 64.) This makes the Single Player mode really good. But seriously, how would you have a multiplayer mode. It would be pretty hard to put one in. (I know the NES and SNES titles had it.) If you really want a multiplayer mode get Mario Party 4. This game is made to have a really nice single player mode.

Mario's controls are very smooth. If you press A, he jumps. If you press B, he slides, talks, or picks something up. This is usually done without delay and I never found myself dying because of the controls. However, when I just got the game I sometime forgot to press X and switch the nozzle. This caused me to fall, but I eventually stopped doing this. I don't think this should be a problem for too many people.

The worst part of the game is how the camera angles are pretty bad. While I did find this a moderately big problem at first, I soon found I could change the camera angle very easily. Soon, changing the angle becomes second nature and it is no longer a problem. (A lot of the game involves jumping to a platform and changing the angle quickly.) I know this makes the game sound harder than it should be. However, you shouldn't worry about it. It really is easy.

The graphics in Super Mario Sunshine are much better then I expected. The graphics have that ''tropical'' feeling. They perfectly suit the game. While not Star Fox quality, the graphics are fine for a Gamecube game. The frame rates are also pretty smooth. They are 30 fps (frames per second) and I can tell. The frame rates run really smoothly and you will most likely have no problems with this.

The music is pretty good. The tunes never annoyed me. The classic Mario tunes returns in the secret stages, which are the best sound-wise. The sound effects are also done very well (along with the voice acting.) Noises are everywhere and are wackier than ever! Overall, you won't be disappointed.

While Super Mario Sunshine doesn't re-invent Mario games, it can be said that it is the best Mario game to date. (Maybe even the best game ever.) It is a very fun game that I highly recommend you get as soon as possible. You will not regret the purchase.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 09/02/02, Updated 10/18/02

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