Review by ZidaneTribal13
"Mario's vacation on Delfino Island...not what he expected."
Ahhh...Delfino Island, a nice tropical island that looks like a dolphin, a perfect vacation spot for Mario, Peach and Toadsworth, right? Right and wrong as there is an imposter Mario graffiting the whole island with paint!! Only Mario is cut
out to restore the shines that have been released to all parts of the island and make the island beautiful again. Just you, Mario and your FLUDD.
I was very surprised when I saw that Mario Sunshine actually had a decent story; now this is after having a game that's story was to rescue the Princess for a pie. It starts out with Mario, Peach and Toadsworth flying on a plane to Delfino Island, a nice tropical island. The thing is...there is a fake Mario running around ruining the island with ugly graffiti. As Mario lands on the runway at the Delfino airport...a big blob of goo/paint is covering the whole runway, you find your FLUDD and take care of that but the local authorities throw Mario in prison. You learn that the whole island has been engulfed in darkness due to paint/goo and graffiti that the imposter Mario has created, the reason?--the ''shine sprites'' have been scattered to every area of the island and it's your job to go out and collect them in order to restore Delfino Island's normal state of nature--total brightness. What is Mario's sentence?--well, I kinda told you a little bit already but it is to clean up Delfino Island. If I go on, I'll (gasp) reveal some spoilers (in a Mario game?!), so I'll just stop with the story with this period.
The graphics in Mario Sunshine are very colorful and extremely BRIGHT! when you start collecting more and more shines sprites, which is a really cool feature (it will eventually get so bright, that you'll be able to acquire special sunglasses from a glasses vendor, this will darken the game a tad), the sun will get in your eyes a lot during gameplay so the sunglasses are really useful (plus they make Mario look cool), it's just what you'd expect from a game set on a tropical island ranging from sea ports to mountain villages, you will see very nice surroundings. Some really cool details include the sky, in Delfino Plaza, you'll see a jet leaving a smoke trail, you'll see birds flying across the landscapes of the island and a cool little detail is when you do a butt-stomp from a high altitude, Mario's butt will begin to catch fire and it'll look like Mario is a human meteorite. The characters/enemies are in my opinion, nicely textured but they aren't amazing, the textures really do a good job of covering up the simple polygons of the characters/enemies, Mario pretty much looks like a souped up version of Mario from Mario 64, although this isn't a huge complaint, Miyamoto and his team could have made the graphics way better. The water effects on the other hand...are some of the best I've ever seen aside from Metal Gear Solid 2, from swimming in the water to spraying enemies with your FLUDD...the water looks better than real-life surface wise, nothing too special about under water effects. The cut-scenes in the game look really great, the graphics in these special parts are about 40X better than the in-game graphics, the voices are perfectly synched and you'll notice facial expressions as the characters react to a situation. No major notable complaints about the graphics from me.
Again, Miyamoto has done what he did with Mario 64 and Zelda:OoT...and that is creating a control scheme in which you can just pick the game up and play without any awkward finger positions or ever having to look at the instructions. The controls are simple, if you've played Mario 64, then you'll know exactly what to do since the Mario Sunshine controls are almost exactly similar--A for jump, B for talking to townsfolk, picking up objects or sliding on Mario's big belly, X for changing your nozzle, you use Y to enable you to get a view of right behind Mario so you can get some clear views of the surroundings without Mario blocking your vision, which is great when you're in the obstacle courses or when you're on a very high cliff/ledge, and R to use many of the FLUDD's features, if you barely hold down the R button, you'll be able to run around squirting objects with Mario if you have the ''main'' squirting nozzle equipped, if you hold the R button down with the squirting nozzle then Mario will stay in place and you can adjust you aim up and down or left and right. If you have the rocket nozzle or the jet nozzle equipped, you need to hold down the R button to charge up either on of these nozzles. That's pretty much it about your FLUDD's controls. If you jump and press L, Mario will do a butt-stomp that crushes anything under him, you know that's gotta hurt really bad. To change the camera view, use the C-analog stick--if you push up on the stick, you'll create a view right above Mario that enables you to view exactly what is underneath you, and move the stick right or left to move the camera in the direction that you are pushing in.
While the music isn't as good as Mario 64's, the sound sure is. With constant sounds that you'd expect from a tropical island like seagulls and ocean waves. If you clean up parts of Delfino Plaza such as the bells, you'll be rewarded with relaxing bell tolls that you could only hear by cleaning them up. The Delfino inhabitants make odd little noises when you talk to them and get all upset when you spray them with water...which is funny to do. Your FLUDD even talks, yelling ''MARIO!!'' when it has something to say. Mario even expands his repertoire of the Italian language! he'll occasionally say something in Italian if you get hurt or die or just stand around, though you can't quite understand the word that he says in Italian. The few voice acting scenes are well acted and are far from Resident Evil (PSX) voice acting. Overall the sound is really great. The music in the game is great too, you'll hear your typical tropical island music such as Gelato Beach and Sirena Beach and less tropic when you're in village levels such as Bianco Hills, you'll never tire of hearing the music in this game, from the soothing melody of Noki Bay to the menacing music of Corona Mountain. Hey, it even has the classic Mario tune (of course it isn't as good as the original, though), you'll find it in the obstacle course stages. It's a good thing that the music will never ever get repetitive unless you don't like it for some reason. The music could have been more memorable as it was in Mario 64, but it isn't even a problem. In the end...the music and sound of Mario Sunshine is really great, nothing that surprising from a Mario game.
The most important part of the game, the gameplay, and it doesn't disappoint. With your new addition of the FLUDD, this game is a lot different than Mario 64, but in the same ways, it's the same as it involves plenty of jumping and exploring in order to locate all of the missing shine sprites. Your FLUDD has various abilities, such as: plain ol' water squirt, hovering, rocket nozzle to blast you up in the air and a nozzle that makes Mario speed up in water/land. Use your various nozzles clean up Delfino Island's graffiti/paint or to take out enemies and get to certain points. The object of the game is to make Delfino Island look prettiful again and to collect the missing shine sprites, which are the equivalent of stars from Mario 64. You'll spend so much time trying to get all of the blue coins and shines that you're gonna need a checklist for each of them so you don't forget which blue coins you've already gotten, it will take hours and hours to collect all of them. With about 8 stages in the game there are 8 episodes in each stage with hidden shines in the levels, you're gonna spend a lot of time exploring them, the levels are pretty huge. One thing I don't really like about parts of the game are the blasted obstacle course levels, these levels will make you throw your controller down at the ground at some points, they're pretty damned hard. The episodes in this are pretty unique, I love some of these episodes, like cleaning the eel's teeth and the roller coaster while firing rockets at a certain robotic enemy, and what would a Mario game be without Yoshi? Well, I'm sure it would be good, but still. Yoshi is pretty different in this one, you make him eat fruits and then he barfs it all out at enemies (?)...and in Mario Sunshine (a game that involves lots and lots of water), Yoshi doesn't seem to like the water as he dies when you take him into water, which sucks a lot when you're doing the episode 8 levels which involve using Yoshi to get to hard to reach places. Also, there are no signs of there being a green Yoshi, although many claim there to be on the Mario Sunshine board (those fools). In a nutshell...this game is very very fun.
This game is hard to fully complete, you'll really need a guide or blue coins checklist to get all 120 shines, which will probably take you...oh, I have no idea. If you don't have a blue coin guide, you'll be searching for them blue coins a LOT, and they're all located in different episodes of the 8 or so levels in the game. After you do actually collect all 120 shines (which means you'd have to get all of the blue coins), you'll probably go to your next save file and start the whole game over again. You most likely won't get all 120 shines your first run through the game, though, as you probably won't be carrying a blue coin checklist with you (you need blue coins to get some shines). You'll seriously be playing this game a lot even when you beat the actual game; similar to Grand Theft Auto III or Vice City. If you're a serious Mario-freak, you'll be playing this game over and over again for months, maybe even years? Its just like Mario 64 replay value-wise. It'll take much effort to try and complete this game with 100% complete. This game has it's replay value cranked to the absolute maximum.
This is another one of Miyamoto's masterpieces. If you really loved Mario 64 (which I know you did)...and you want more, then buy this gem of a game for some simple, clean fun. Buy it now if you haven't already.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 11/21/02, Updated 11/21/02
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