Review by Mech Master

"Why All of the Bashing?"

To be honest, the very first video game that I ever played was the original Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo or NES. I know I was still a todler, but the game was insanely fun. It just amazed me that when I got to the other side of the screen that it kept going. Sure, that might not be a big deal at all now, but back then it amazed me, just like Super Mario Sunshine amazes me that all of these people on Gamefaqs are giving the game low scores. This Mario sets an example of what a game should be about. It shows that no one should base a review on just graphics, sound, or story even though Super Mario Sunshine has these things. Games are about that one thing that makes them so great-fun. A lot of games these days just aren't fun. Look at Final Fantasy. Sure it has the presentation, but is it fun? Most certainly not when you compare it to this and the other amazing titles that Nintendo has to offer. I don't just mean Final Fantasy because I actually do like the Final Fantasy series, but it just seems that developers are sacrificing gameplay these days for a great presentation and that just isn't what games are all about.

This is the first Mario game to actually have a bit more to the story than Bowser captures the princess and you have to save her. You might be thinking ''Oh dear god, what is Nintendo doing making this game story-driven.'' The game isn't story-driven, but you now know the purpose to going to these stoneriffic worlds. Yes, I said stoneriffic. I'll get to that later on in the review. The game all starts off with Mario and Peach going on vacation to the tropical Island Delfino. On the plane ride their Mario is watching a video of the island and his mouth is watering over the delicious food. So he is excited. But to his surprise, when he arrives he is immediately arrested and taken into custody. Mario finds out that he is being charged with vandalism. It seems that the entire island is covered in sludge and goop and Mario is apparently the one responsible for it. But if Mario had never been to the island how could he have commited the crime. Hmmm...Just play the game and you will find out for yourself what happens if you already haven't played the game and found out the story.

GRAPHICS:9.5(round to 10)
Graphics don't need to be ultra super staggeringly realistic to be amazing graphics. I always see IGN or even Gamespot give games with cartoony graphics a seven or something. That isn't right because for what they are, they are the best of the best. Now Mario is a completely rounded character. You don't have a big square for a hat like in Super Mario 64. Hey, don't get me wrong. Those were good graphics back in the day, but there have been significant advances in technology since then. Anyways, Mario is very rounded and has a whole lot more depth to his character model. The other character models also look great too. If you didn't know this was a game you might assume this was a Pixar animated film or something. Seriously, the graphics are that good. The environment also look amazing. The level that showcases the graphics the best is this one level that takes place at sunset with this beach and seeing the sun in the distance is really breathtaking. The sand leaves little footprints, there are some very nice refections, and OH YEAH! I forgot to talk about the visual effects. This game has some of the nicest visual effects in a platform game. The sludge around the world looks great...well you know what I mean. If Mario actually runs around in this goop his clothes get all of these marks all over them. That is a really nice touch and you can actually go rinse his clothes off in water and see the substance sort of evaporate in the water. Things like this make the game stand out among the other games in this genre like Jak and Daxter and Ratchet and Clank. Those games are on PS2 and can't handle these things. Ha Ha fanboys!

SOUND:8.5(round to 10)
In a way I was a little disappointed because I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to the great Mario tunes that Nintendo has put into the games over the last decade or so. I was expecting Nintendo to use the Gamecube's power and take the sound to the next level. Well, they sort of did. The game supports Dolby Pro Logic II which is a great touch. The sound effects are very middy and child-like. I really don't have a problem with this because this series has always focused on making the game seem more light-hearted and fun with the visuals and audio. Of course, there are no voice overs like in most of Nintendo's big first party titles like Zelda and Mario. There isn't that much text to read. It just isn't that big of a problem for me. Some creatures and characters make noises and little sound effects, but you can't really call it dialogue. Now here is where the sound misses out on that ten out of ten. The music disappointed me in two ways. First, the music isn't using live instruments. At least, it doesn't sound like it. To me, it sounds synthesized. That isn't too much of a negative, but here is where it hurts. There really isn't any classic Mario Tunes in the game. This is the first game that doesn't even have the Mario theme song in it. C'mon, there could at least be that.

This game is fun. There is no way around that. It is fun. I see little kids playing this just goofing around and not even doing the game's level. That is a very good sign that a game is fun. I am the same way though. After I beat the game I of course replayed my favorite levels, but I mainly just goof around like a little kid would do. Super Mario Sunshine has so many things to interact with and do that it shames everything else in this platform genre. One thing you can do is deliver fruit to the locals of the island for money. When I said this game was ''stoneriffic'' I meant that the developers were high when making the Mario games. For instance, you go in to a pipe and it takes you to a magical world(heh). There are all of these clouds with smiley faces. If you eat a mushroom you get bigger. There are so many of these sort of drug-to-video game references to make. It makes the game funny at times. Anyways, on to the actual gameplay. There is your classic hop from platform to platform and collect coins, but there is a new addition to the gameplay which makes it unlike any other platform game out there. When Mario was released from jail, he was told to clean up all of the sludge on the island. Mario does this with a water pack called FLUDD. FLUDD sprays water and you can even use its spraying abilities for more than one use. For instance, if you see a platform to far a way you just switch to the hover mode and hover across the gap while spraying water to propel you and keep you airborne. There are also a number of attachments and upgrades for the FLUDD. The game also has tons of secret worlds and coins to be collected as usual. All of this adds up to equal one of the most enjoyable games on the Gamecube.

It seems that Nintendo always makes their controllers specifically for the reason to give their Mario game good controls. Nintendo has always had great controllers. Mario games just feel right on them. I haven't played any 3D platforming game that feels just right. This game does though. I even had a few problems with Super Mario 64's controls, but not these. Sure the camera may get a little funky at times just like most games, but that can't lower the score because the positives outweigh the negatives by a long shot. You really get that tactile response that you want in a game like this for making those hard jumps. The controls all seemed to be mapped to just the right place. A is obviously your jump button in the game. B is now a dive and pick up button which takes the place of punching in the old games. The X button changes nozels on the FLUDD. Y is used to go into a more precise aiming mode for spraying the FLUDD. The control sticks move the character and the camera as in most games. The right trigger is to use the FLUDD's current nozel. You can lightly hold the trigger to run and shoot at the same time. And there are also tons and tons of different moves that are at your disposal.

There is no need to bash this game. I don't see how you can. All of the negatives I had read are either made up or just little things that don't even matter. This game is fun. What more do you need from a game. No one should acuse Nintendo of making pansy games just because they don't involve grinding someone up with a chain saw. Don't get me wrong. That is fun-very fun, but it isn't necessary to make a game good. Mario shows that is the case. It has some very very attractive graphics that give the game the light-hearted look that it does have. Everything is very colorful and just looks good. What more can I say. I was a little disappointed in the sound though. That doesn't mean it is bad because it certainly isn't. I just was expecting the classic Mario tunes in this game. Dolby Pro Logic II also helps the score a bit. But who cares if the game isn't fun. The gameplay is still the same stoneriffic platform jumping with so many new features it is astounding that Nintendo can keep innovating like this after so many years of making these games. The controls, like I said, seemed to be made for the Gamecube's controller. I love this game and if you are a fan of the series you should definitely have this one in your collection along with Nintendo's other great titles.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/29/04

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