had Super Mario Sunshine in my possession almost two weeks now. And over
those two weeks, everyones favorite plumber has commanded more of my
attention than almost any other aspect of my life. My family, my job,
and even the novel Ive been working on have all been placed on the
backburner while I focus on getting as many shine sprites as possible.
It is with incredible difficulty that I pull myself away from this game
to write this review. In fact, Ive recently imposed a ban on myself
from playing this game for the next couple of days so that I can
actually spend some time with my family and address some of the bills
that have been piling up.
One of the things
that Ive learned playing Super Mario Sunshine these past few days is
that the brief time I spent with the game at E3 just wasnt enough to do
this game justice. Even though I loved what I saw out there in LA, I had
no idea of the breadth of the game. Ive logged a lot of hours with the
game and I feel like Ive only scratched the surface of what is
available. But I also feel like Ive played enough to give this game my
complete and unconditional endorsement. Super Mario Sunshine is the
Nintendo game weve been waiting for since Mario 64. Had Nintendo been
able to come out with just a few more games like this at the Gamecube
launch, I think that they would have had a much more significant market
share than they currently enjoy.
Ive heard a few
criticisms about the rather thin story elements of Super Mario Sunshine.
Funny thing is that I cant remember any of those criticisms with the
original Super Mario, or even Mario 64. Mario has never been about
complex narratives (as that ill fated Bob Hoskins/ John Leguizamo
project will attest. Can you believe that Dennis Hopper agreed to do
that movie after he was sober?). There are plenty of games on the market
that will cater to those who want stories, but if youre looking for
random challenges and a lot of coins to pick up, Super Mario Sunshine is
As I stated
earlier in the review, the game starts off by getting you adept at using
the water canon. Some Mario imposter is defaming our plumber's good
name, and Mario needs to clean up the mess thats left behind (I have to
admit that Im a bit of a sucker for the pro-environmental slant of the
game). Besides helping you to clean up the graffiti all over town, your
water pack also works as a hover pack allowing you to cross great
distances with ease. After some time cleaning up, you get to delve into
Marios other skills like jumping and sliding. Peppered throughout the
game are some classic Mario levels where he is robbed of his jet pack
and has to fend for himself with no more than he had against Donkey
Kong. The music on these levels will have you grinning from ear to ear.
Sunshine is one of those games that gives you a sense of accomplishment
whenever you complete a level or get a shine. It makes you work to
figure out how to beat the various bosses, but you never have to work so
hard that you feel like you are working. With a vast arsenal of moves at
Marios disposal there is usually more than one way to get from A to B.
This is the
sequel to Mario 64 that should have come out a long time ago. Any issues
that you might have had with that game have been addressed in full. The
biggest problem with Mario 64 was the camera work. Accessing those
annoying yellow buttons on the upper right hand corner of the 64
controller was haphazard at best. Assigning the camera work to the
second analog stick works like a charm.
for a revolutionary gaming experience should probably wait until Zelda
or Metroid. Mario Sunshine is more of an exercise in refinement. If you
enjoyed Mario 64, youll love Mario Sunshine. Added to his jumps and
pounds is a new water canon. After the first couple of goals I was
worried that the game might be a little too canon-centric. Fortunately,
after a bit of progress in the game the tasks become a nice balance of
logic, stomping and cleaning up.
For those who
dont think that this game is much of a graphical achievement, they
simply havent been looking at the details of the game. If you just take
a minute to look at the textures that coat the waters surface, or the
way the mud flows away from Marios clothes when he enters a lake, you
will be amazed and the amount of thought and care that has gone into
every single aspect of the game. Its the details that tell you
everything about this games development.
maligned Gamecube is beginning to flex its muscles and gamers should
take notice. There will be many people who purchase a Gamecube just to
play Mario Sunshine. With Metroid, Starfox, and Zelda still on the
horizon, the Gamecube looks to deliver the goods this year, much to the
delight of gamers. Its becoming increasingly apparent that you dont
want to be left out of the Gamecube experience.
For as much as
I enjoyed Luigis Mansion, the game felt rushed and rather shallow. Im
sure Mario Sunshine could have probably been ready at the system launch,
but at what cost? Miyamoto and crew saved the game until it was ready
and then released it. Nintendo has gotten a lot of flack for pushing
release dates back and making gamers wait, but when the product finally
hits the shelves it always blows people away. Sure, Id love to have
Metroid or Zelda in my hands right now, but I dont want to be wondering
if the game could have been better if only theyd had just a little more
time. With Mario, I know that they took the time they neededand it
Jason Frank (09/23/2002)
Classic gameplay with plenty of new elements;
great visuals; incredibly fun.
What?! You no like-a da plumba?