View Full Version : Review: Super Mario Sunshine

07-30-2002, 10:02 AM
From Xengamers.com

Review: Super Mario Sunshine
Written By: Walt Wyman

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Console: Gamecube

The platformer series by which all platformers are measured, the latest Mario incarnation delivers the goods nicely. Both fans and players new to the series alike will not be disappointed. Mario Sunshine is a flexible and fun gaming experience.

Score: A-

Gameplay: A-

Graphics: A

Sound: A-

Replay Value A

The GameCube has finally gotten a Mario game, and it is very good. The presentation is beautiful, the control tight and the gameplay highly varied. While the game definitely tips its hat to longtime fans, it carefully avoids alienating first-time players, making it a fun game for all.

Super Mario Sunshine's graphics and sound are rock solid. The environments, mostly set on sun drenched beaches and bays, are gorgeous and even more sprawling than those of M64. Some of the levels are cartoonish while others are breathtakingly beautiful. The animation for various fluids is very well done too. The stream from Mario's water pump, for example, is quite convincing and it actually does make objects he sprays appear wet for awhile. The various colored goo washes away realistically, and splatters when thrown by enemies. The goo will smear around if Mario dives into it, and soil Mario's clothes. Even Yoshi's ?juice? is slightly discolored (eew). The ocean is ever-present; the rolling waves are some of the most realistic natural imagery we've ever seen in a 3D game. We're not sure why the Mario team decided to make this game so liquid-intensive, but the end results are impressive and really show off the GameCube's capabilities.

The sound and force-feedback are always spot on, from the calliope music in the theme-park level to the odd, nonsensical sounds the NPCs utter when you address them. The music is bouncy and sometimes even useful ? the Mario imposter is easily found as he has his own theme song that follows him. Yoshi also has his own drumbeat that plays along with the game music. The sound effects (particularly for the various water/liquid sounds) are convincing. The enemies make a wide range of cute noises, and Mario is more talkative than ever before, whooping with every single jump and screaming ?Mama!? when he gets burned.

The controls are fairly simple, but offer a huge range of action moves. The crouch, jump-kick, punch and broad-jump from M64 appear to be gone, but pretty much all the other moves from M64 (including the ever popular Butt Drop) are back in one form or another. In addition, Mario can also perform a top-like spinning jump and he seems more adept at using walls to launch himself higher in mid-jump. The control mechanics are essentially flawless. Mario always responds pretty much the way the player expects. The control is also quite forgiving ? if Mario slips off a ledge, he usually grabs on rather than plummeting to his doom.

Perhaps the best thing about the gameplay is that the player is never locked into a linear course of action. The game is even less linear than M64 (if that's possible). The only limitation is that entrances to new levels become accessible as a function of how many "shines" (or little sun-shaped tokens) the player has, but other than that, Mario is free to explore the available levels in any order he likes.

There is only one gripe about the gameplay worth mentioning: the camera system. The main problem is that it is treated it like a physical camera -- that is, if a wall happens to be in the place where you want to put the camera, you can't because the camera ?hits? the wall. The camera also tries to outguess the player, drifting around, perhaps in an attempt to get a more advantageous angle. It is quite irritating to have to constantly fight the camera to keep it where you want it. The complexity of the levels also means Mario can become blocked very easily. Mario will sometimes appear as a shadow, visible through whatever is blocking him, or sometimes the scene is simply displayed as if the obstacle weren't there at all. These solutions are good, but unfortunately they are inconsistent; sometimes neither work-around activates even when Mario is completely blocked. These issues are no big deal if you are just strolling around Dolphic town, but are rather frustrating when you are trying to navigate a narrow series of platforms suspended above the abyss.

The game's replay potential is huge. As mentioned each level has multiple stories to complete, but just running around playing with the water pump and exploring are pretty fun. Exploring the levels is encouraged and will often yield hidden coins or sometimes an alternative route to the level's goal. The game's offbeat sense of humor will also keep players coming back. For instance, you can torment the NPCs with your water pump or stomp on them if they start to annoy you (not that we, uh, condone such behavior).

This is not only another terrific Mario title, but perhaps the best platformer game for any system period. It clearly builds on Mario 64 while continuing to feel fresh. The gameplay is marred somewhat by camera issues, but the tight control and great fun to be had more than compensate. For Mario fans, this title is a no-brainer, but it is highly recommended for those new to the series as well.

+ Very realistic water effects
+ Beautiful lighting
+ Spectacular views
+ Incredibly detailed environments and colorful characters

+ Solid music score
+ Good environmental sounds
+ Fun sound effects

+ Classic Mario action with some new twists
+ Huge levels to explore
- Frustrating camera glitches

Replay Value
+ Loads of hidden areas/items
+ Each level can be revisited numerous times
+ Highly varied gameplay

07-30-2002, 01:32 PM
Yay! *clap clap clap* :D

Black Ace
07-30-2002, 01:37 PM
There are two reviews over at PlanetGameCube, the score were 10 and 9.5. Cool, not?

07-30-2002, 08:32 PM
This IS the game to get!

08-03-2002, 10:19 AM
Im going to buy this when it comes here in Europe...too bad the release date is 10/4:crying:

xXx Beaver xXx
08-03-2002, 10:22 AM
i cant wait either, ill get my hentai friend to send it over from usa.:D

- Triple X Beaver :spin smil

08-04-2002, 02:50 PM
I'v heard from a friend of mine that is currently playing SMS that the game is very difficult it's not like your average mario game and seeing from the trailers i saw from the game it's like you can do alot of things with Mario i saw the belly sliding thing and plus jumping on rops and get slinged shot high in the sky and also you can use the water cannons to keep soaring for a while in the air ..just amazing ..i'm really looking foward for this game!!
:cool guy:

08-05-2002, 01:32 PM
Y3ah, I too hav3 heard the gameplay is more challenging- but not in a way that is nerve racking or heart-attack inducing. It'll be grrreat!

08-06-2002, 01:19 PM
Yeah...i dont care how hard the game is im going to buy it and finish it!No matter how long it will take!

08-07-2002, 10:17 AM
Anybody knows the hours you need to clock down before you finish the game?

xXx Beaver xXx
08-08-2002, 05:44 AM
Now, this is the game that will make me buy the Cube.
Mario rules! I loved him back when I was a young child, and I will love him when the beautiful game 'Sunshine' released in New Zealand :)

Im so happy! :D

- Triple X Beaver :spin smil