Review by WaterMario222

"Ironically, FLUDD sounds like "flood". Coincidence or on purpose?"

Well, so begins another game for the plumber, who can find time to do anything he wants. Super Mario Sunshine is yet another adventure into the Mario series. Many argue and debate if this game was meant to be a sequel to Super Mario 64. Well guess what? There isn't a correct answer. It really depends on your point of view. For one thing, yes, it supposedly has the same concept, worlds to explore, but instead of power stars, there are shine sprites. A lot of things are similar, up until the fact that in Super Mario Sunshine, you'll interact with water much more often. And by that, I mean you'll even have a tool that can perform water techniques to help you out in the game. So yes, this is a sequel and is not at the same time. Let us draw the curtain to Super Mario 64, and move on.

This game has previously been awarded with the honarary Player's Choice Award. One of the reasons for this is the twisted gameplay. No, this is anything but similar to anything Mario's ever experienced. Early in the game, you'll receive a Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device, also known and shortened to FLUDD. This unique little tool has the special ability to talk. More importantly, it'll provide you with clues and hints to what's surrounding you, but not that much. This is nice, so that it won't give away too much information. Even more importantly, as the name suggests, FLUDD is a water device. You can do all sorts of things with it. There are four water attacks/techniques(depending on the situation you're in) that FLUDD can initiate. These are very creative and create puzzles and strategies for you to solve. You can switch techniques by activating nozzle boxes. They contain the Hover Nozzle, the Rocket Nozzle, and the Turbo Nozzle. The other one is a default nozzle. You can only have two nozzles at a time, and the default must be one of them. Yes, the gameplay will bring plenty of good times. No, this game is not easy. Yet, it isn't very hard, but you'll find out what I mean by that shortly. Pretty much, FLUDD is the main character in this game, next to Mario, of course.

Mario, which I found quite surprising, has a wide array of moves and combos that he can perform in this game. He can walk, run, jump, dive, body slam, sidestep, ground pound, spin, wall jump, walk a rope, shimmy, climb poles, swim, dive, propel boats, control FLUDD and Yoshi, pick stuff up, climb on mesh and a couple others. There are many combo moves you can use. Experiment away.

Moving on, another reason why this game is so spectacular is that it's long and has many expatiated(but not to bore you) side quests. Actually, in terms of speaking, there really aren't many sidequests, but more SUPER long ones. First of all, the whole story mode is long. Not to get off of subject, anyway, the main sidequest for this game are blue coins. Blue coins are special coins that'll be tougher to get. When you accumulate enough, you can trade them in for shine sprites. There are a total of 240 blue coins, meaning that you won't be putting down this game in a matter of hours. It's also addicting to try to do that. There are 30 of 'em in every major stage, meaning that without a useful guide or the internet, you won't be likely to achieve and collect every one of them. That's why this game is fun, you can discover new things every time you play. It's also easy to find challenges when you exhausted the game several times. Try setting coin records.

I'm devoting a whole paragraph to one of the best aspects of this game. The mini-stages. What are mini-stages you ask? Well, they're stages where FLUDD is usually not allowed, and Mario must complete stages with rotating blocks, pushing triangles, shaky clouds, and rotating stars. They are perfect for those of you who like insane challenges and have fun at the same time. If you get past it, consider yourself a Mario veteran. These are toughies, but they get even harder when you have to collect eight red coins in a certain time limit. Plus, that funky Mario theme music plays during your quest to retrieve a shine sprite. Man, do I wish that this game has a sound track.

All in all, there are seven major parts which each contain eight episodes. There are also a couple other stages featuring only one episode. Episodes are like sections broken up so that you won't have to do all of them in a row. Some are very easy, while others might make you throw your GameCube out the window (do not attempt this). This makes it fun, because you can also play episodes over and over (but with no prize after the first, but the satisfactory feeling of completing an episode and receiving a transparent shine sprite). You'll even control Yoshi at a point! This game will provide you with hours of entertainment, because the gameplay's an innovative twist to the Mario series.

Let's go on to graphics. Graphics. How to describe this game's graphics with a short word. That word is colorful. Well, not just that, but seriously, this game's color is dazzling. Not only that, but with the beautiful graphics Mario has brought upon us, it actually seems like a realistic place, besides all the enemies and characters. I mean, you can see a whole bunch of things that you'd see at a real island vacation as well. The graphics are a rather complimentary addition to this game's value.

Sound and music always influence your game. Whether it's the water squirting on an invader, or the classic retro music of a mini-stage, you're bound to hear a mix of classic Mario tunes, with a batch of new ones too! The sound could be improved in some ways, but I would say that Nintendo did a good job on it. I don't think enough sound was included. Each stage's music is different and unique. They all set the mood of the graphics very well. The great part of this game is that since Mario has had previous games, Nintendo can add Retro tunes and veterans of the series would recognize it and be able to enjoy it that much more. At the same time, those who haven't played Mario games before will have a blast listening to these new tunes. The sound and music are very important in series games, and Super Mario Sunshine has showed us why.

The story is a new direction to your average Mario game. Remember back in the ol' days where Bowser comes out of nowhere and kidnaps Peach? Those days are over as Super Mario Sunshine takes a new story into this game. The main plot is that Mario is traveling to Isle Delfino for a relaxing vacation. He's dreaming of food, too. Along with the plumber comes Peach, the target of Bowser's mischief, also known as the princess of Mushroom Kingdom, and Toadsworth, a steward and servan, yet rather old to Peach. When Mario arrives on the island, after being introduced to FLUDD, he is accused of spray painting Isle Delfino and its parts. He is penalized and must clean the entire island up before he is granted access out of Isle Delfino. From there, various events happen (I bet you can guess one). The story, in my opinion, is a great one and is a nice break from your typical Mario game. Having said that, it's very creative and I, if I were Nintendo, never would have thought of that idea.

Now, remember when I stated something along the lines of "this game is hard and easy"? I said that, because this game is, in my opinion, one of the most greatest games that range in difficulty. The episodes that are really hard, save 'em for yourself. There are a couple of extraordinary episodes that are very easy. Get your little brothers and sisters here to try them out. They'll love them! This game is very kid-friendly and is a great place for those who haven't played a single Mario game to catch on up.

Difficulty: Hard
Fun Factor: Insanely Fun

-Innovative Story
-Best Mario graphics seen
-Fun to create challenges
-Water usage success
-Fun retro-game stages
-Nostalgia included

-Sound didn't reach its full potential

Better than these related series games
-Super Mario 64
-Paper Mario

Worse than

Same as
-Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

You know what? This may possibly be the best Mario game on the GameCube for a long time or maybe forever. The only competition I see with it is the infamous Paper Mario series, its installment on the GameCube, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. You'll need to get Super Mario Sunshine if you're a Mario fanatic. Even those with XBOXs and PS2s should get it. Don't diss the fat plumber! Oops.. that was rather contridicting.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 05/20/05

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