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Old 01-18-2003, 09:30 PM   #22
Icarus4578
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Super Mario Sunshine - GameCube - Rating 5
Well, well, well... Nintendo makes another Mario. And it follows Miyamoto's trend to always change up the mechanics in drastic and, often times, revolutionary ways. And as much as I like the concept of Mario having a water pack on paper, I can't help but think hey, maybe it would've been a better idea to create a brand new character with this concept in mind rather than automatically stick Mario's mug on the cover to generate $$$. At least Nintendo proves it can still come up with new concepts and implement them often flawlessly into games. However, I couldn't help but feel that this was Mario 64 with an added gimmick.
Mario has been accused of vandalizing the Island of Delfino and I won't bore you with the game's background, needless to say it's always the same (Princess Peach gets kidnapped by Bowser eventually) so I'll jump right to the play mechanics. It's Mario 64 with the added gimmick of a water pack called Fludd which Mario uses to clean up the island, hover, propell himself into the air, etc. Mario can do everything he could in Mario 64 so if you've played that then this is more or less an extension to that. Some stages are plaqued with boring tasks which you must do to collect 'Shines' (which is just like collecting stars in Mario 64), and later on this gets aggravating because of all of the ridiculous jumps that you have to do. So boring! The town in Delfino (the overworld) is more fun to collect shines in than most of the stages. And, just like in Mario 64, the later stages are more boring, uninteresting than earlier ones. I must mention the special stages which play like the Bowser levels in Mario 64, albeit much tougher. You cannot use Fludd in them and it's basically Mario up against the odds. These stages I enjoyed the most because they were challenging and fun. I hated the Pachinko machine stage though where you collect 8 red coins to get the shine - it was trial and error, plain and simple.
The graphics are much improved from Mario 64, with often so much going on you can't keep track of it all. Very generous use of colors, lighting and effects. Of course, the water looks great. However if you look at every game's 'water physics', you begin to notice how much more the water reacts like water in a small pool than in an ocean or the like (which would be just too much for any of these current systems to handle; that's really all there is to it). No matter. The enemies are standard Mario fare with very few new additions to the mix, which is disappointing to say the least. In some levels I was amazed at the sheer LACK of enemies more than anything else. The landscapes are often very well done, with the time of day often changing depending on which shine you're going after on whatever level. Some textures seem weak, however, and other things too plain. But overall it looks okay.
The music is typical Mario. In other words it gets the job done, but I could care less. Koji Kondo (Nintendo's main in-house composer) has written some of the most brilliant, memorable pieces ever in gaming (Super Mario Brothers, Zelda, etc.). At least most of this stuff fits the visuals. No track really stands out in my mind though.
Overall, I felt that this whole water gimmick was just what Nintendo needed to start up something new. Instead, they just threw it together with the Mario 64 game engine, and although Mario 64 revolutionized the way I see 3D gaming this just doesn't cut it with me. There were times when I didn't want to finish the game because I was so bored and uninterested that I shut it off. I never got all the shines --- never bothered. There are far superior Mario games to this, including Yoshi's Island which was so intelligent, I got perfect scores in every stage and hidden stage just because it was so good. Granted I opened nothing extra for all that effort but at least I had a great time doing it.
Unfortunately I can't say the same for Mario Sunshine, as highly polished a game as it is.

Last edited by Icarus4578; 03-22-2004 at 08:42 AM.
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