Review by GheddonLN
"Not as good at the N64's baby, but still a great game!"
Mario is simply put, the best thing on the videogame world. No PlayStation2, XBoX or PC game will ever be as enjoyable as a Mario game. From the SNES's fantastic and addicting Super Mario World, to N64's masterpiece Super Mario 64, Mario games have always delivered quality gameplay that'll hook you for hours, as you try to get everything. Now that Nintendo has released their new console, they had to release a new Mario game for it. They NEEDED to, or else it wouldn't be a Nintendo console. And they released it, eventually. And it is simply orgasmic.
I was a bit disappointed around here, but not enough. First off, the water looks completely amazing. The may everything reflects upon it, the way it moves, the way it shines, the way it reacts when Mario goes in head first... sadly, that's the strongest point of the game, graphics-wise. I'm not saying that levels are bland or anything... it's just that they're not mind blowing. I still love the levels, and they're beautiful, but water blew the underwear outta me, while levels simply impressed me. On the other hand, Mario looks simply amazing. Remember that Mario in SM64 case, looking at you? And remember the game's Mario, all blocky and stuff? SMS Mario looks like that Mario on the case, the mario we've been seeing on cases for a long time... he's drop dead gorgeous.
Now, I have one thing to complain about: the enemies are LAME-ASS. Lame-ass. Are you listening? Lame... you got the picture. I was extremely disappointed with the enemies, EXTREMELY. First off, no Goombas, or those flying Koopa guys(can't remember their names), no anything. Instead, we got some badly-designed mini squids(they look like crap), goop-made little monsters, some round plants that bounce around and more stupid things. Bosses aren't better either, although I must say the final Koopa looked pretty awesome even though he was a wimp. Anyway, bosses are also lame, like I said. For instance, we had a gigantic Squid that's just as bland as the smaller squids, some ghost and goop-made piranhas. There were some neat bosses, like Petey, the final Koopa and all of that...
There is something horribly wrong here. Something. The music sounds all very similar. Some tropical tunes that change a bit, but in substance, are all the same. I dunno, the game music didn't really... hmmm... turn me on. I know I've been comparing SMS a lot to SM64, but you must admit it is fair! Anyway, SM64 had a music track, with soft, sad tunes that... that... made me cry. It would make me feel, I don't know... dizzy. On the other hand, SMS music is too lively. It doesn't feel right.
And I must admitt that Mario's scream is getting annoying...
Excellent. Seriously, how could you have trouble with the controls? Yes, at first, controlling the FLUDD's squirt gun can be a little painful, but when you get used to it, you'll be around squirting and kicking some lame-ass squid butt. Jumping is also as easy as always, although the camera can get in your way.
This is where SMS shines(pun?). Let's put it like this: each level is divided into eight different chapters. Each chapter is like a mission, and if you complete it, you'll earn a shine. You've got to collect as many shines as you can. These missions are either very cool, or downright boring. For instance, in one ''mission'' we're running against somebody, while in another we're tearing up the place looking for some darned red coin. There are some neat missions, like getting the biggest melon, although they can be pretty frustrating.
In my opinion, the best missions of the game are those platforming levels. Basically, you reach a secret area in a level and access a tough-ass course with flipping platforms, moving blocks, turning flood planels, and perilious jumps. Just like in SM64! *remembers the Rainbow Course* Anyway, these are just fun. Jumping through some flipping platforms to land on a moving block that'll take you to a disappering flood panel is my idea of fun(as it reminds me of SM64---yeah, SM64 is better than you!). They're pretty tough and some of them will require small amounts of thinking. And every platforming course is different.
Although most missions are very similar, that's not a problem. One problem I do see, however, is that once you have completed all the cool objectives, you're left with lame ones that you'll need to complete in order to get all of the shines. For instance, once you get all eight shines on all levels, you're stuck with collecintg blue coins, getting secret shines or picking up 100 coins on a level. To get the secret shines, you'll have to the same thing in every level: get to a platforming course, hit a red switch and collect eight red coins within a short amount of time. Now, collecting coins while evading a block that's flying RIGHT TOWARD YOU as you try not to fall a rotating platform(I know that this specific situation never happens) WHILE YOU COLLECT EIGHT RED COINS is extremely hard and NOT enjoyable. Sure, there are some secret shines that can be gotten without doing this, but they're around three! Most of the time you frustrate the hell outta you collecting red coins.
Picking up 100 coins in a level is actually very, very fun! I enjoy it... BUT... IT TAKES TOO MUCH TIME! I know I should complain about this, because they're _100_ coins. However, I'll complain because I want as much shines as I can get, yet I'll have to spend around an hour looking every nook and cranny for a coin! And when you finally collect the 100th, and you get one shine, you feel... empty? I dunno, that's how I feel. Blue coin hunting as is ''fun''. At first, you won't mind. As you tackle through the levels, you'll find the blue coins by pure coincidence or by accident. However, once you aren't going through levels just for fun, but for looking for the blue coins, you'll meet frustratioin and boredom face to face. And problem is, you'll need all the blue coins to get all of the shines!
I also found that the game was too easy. Koopa, for instance, was A WIMP! Four hits and that gigantic turtle was out! Other bosses are as easy: just spray some water, hit them with something three times, and they're done. And I must say that although levels are beautiful, they suck. There is not enough platforming action going on, I tells ya! For instance, in SM64(yes, I like that game a lot) all levels had some form of perilious platforms to jump across. Here, it's just moving around. Yes, you'll jump and all, but it doesn't feel like platforming, IMHO. On the other hand, we have the platforming courses, but they're over too soon and there are a handful of them...
There is also something wrong with this game, in my eyes. I don't feel dizzy when I play it. I don't feel like I'm flying. With Super Mario World, I'd feel... cool, as I tackled through the dark and lone castles and lively jungles... you catch my drift. In SM64, when I entered a level, it was a new experience each time. I readied my controller, looked at the screen and picked my mission. Without knowing what to do, I went off and explored, finding secret paths that were accessed by doing something unusual or simply not obvious. I eventually made my way to the Star, and when I saw it, floating in front of me, I'd smile and feel proud of myself. Then I'd snag the Star and breathe. Think about what I had done. Then I moved on.
Now, I'm NOT lying! And I really don't give a damn about SMS missions. I just simply pick it up, get over to the shine and move on. What's worse, you're NEARLY always told where the shine is, or at least hints on how to get them! No exploration on your own! Man, worlds could not describe how happy I was once I reached that big ship in the Rainbow Course(the one that's floating on the background). I had tried and tried to get there, and when I finally did, after much fun jumpin, I looked around, smiled and then used a cannon to rockect myself to the star. However, here you don't explore. You don't feel dizzy when you arrived at a secret area. What's worse, all levels are all tropical. No ice, no lava, no Tiny-Huge world(It took me ages to figure this one out...), Rainbow Course or... THE BEST LEVEL OF ALL TIME... The Clock world(the one you accessed by a clock, DOH!) that took me three weeks to complete 100%.
BUT....! This is not enough to hurt SMS. I may be nitpicky, or maybe I'm a nostalgic old bastard(I'm not too old, BTW!).
It's still an awesome game.
Not an average, as it'd be an unfair score. I'm sure that there are a lot of you guys mad at me for comparing SMS too much, but I think it's fair. SM64 is godly, and SMS doesn't come close to it, even though it's still awesome. You should buy it. But believe me, you WILL start to compare it to SM64.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/17/03, Updated 01/17/03
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