|Nintendo Reviews Rating:
|Posted: April 9th, 2004
|Super Mario Sunshine is an excellent update of Super Mario 64, and Mario fans
who have been dying for another Mario game! Is this really an instant classic?
Check out the full review!
Something a true Mario game hasn't had before is Dolby Pro Logic 2 Surround. This helps a lot, for those who have access
to it. Although Stereo sounds well, Dolby gives it a truer feel. Since the game is trying to be more realistic than Mario 64,
I'd say they did a great job by adding this. The sound effects are somewhat basic at times, but also can sound good with
other sounds mixed in, like the water sound with Mario walking on the beach. The FLUDD sounds are redundant, but it
has to be I guess, since you always shoot water the same way. There are lots of voice samples, although most are grunts
and imitated voices for the denizens of the island, Mario says a couple more things than he did from Mario 64, and it all
adds to make Mario sound more like he should have been before.
We are used to the Mario-style music. There's plenty of songs to hear, and just like Mario 64, you'll hear a lot repeated.
One thing that's good is that each world has their own theme. Although they're pretty much all based on the Isle Delfino
theme, the music producers mixed it up enough with several instruments to make each level sound different. There are
other themes like mini-stage themes and boss themes. I thought there was a lot of music, it was well done, and good
enough to satisfy! Overall, the sound is excellent!
The control scheme is a bit different from Mario 64, and that's because of FLUDD and the GCN controller. The new
controller, now with C Stick and two new buttons allows for good camera control, something Mario 64 lacked. Using the C
Stick, you can virtually move your camera anywhere. Now there's almost no angle you cannot see. Also if Mario is behind
a wall or underground, you can see a silhouette of him so you still know where he is. You can use L to center the camera,
too. Since FLUDD can perform so many moves using R and X, some moves are absent from Mario 64. Since you can
hover, the long jump isn't available. Because FLUDD can shoot enemies with water, there is no punching or kicking. And
they didn't take that out because it was too violent-Nintendo took it out because FLUDD is really what the control scheme
is based on.
I really wanted to see a Mario game with all the moves as before, but in this case, change is good. FLUDD allows for cool
actions, and you can even find different upgrades besides hover like one that allows you to move faster like a jet, and one
that builds up water pressure and then releases it with a burst sending Mario up high. There are tightropes, and there are
cool moves you can do with FLUDD and Mario's body. The tightropes can get frustrating, but they do add a sense of
challenge to the gameplay.
Some feel that with FLUDD, Mario isn't really doing the moves himself. Don't worry because there are mini-stages in
which Mario won't have FLUDD, and you'll feel like classic Mario 64 again! Because they have these mini-stages, I think
you'll easily get over the fact that Mario is wearing a talking water pack! The loading is fast, and the game is responsive.
The control is much improved over Mario 64, and definitely a great control design compared to other GCN games.
Not only are the graphics much improved from six years ago, they look
amazing on the Nintendo Gamecube! The water effects are impressively
unique, and the lighting effects show up good, when you rarely get to see
them. The artwork is detailed-each speck of sand seemed to be
individually drawn, although I know that technology is good enough that
it's easy to create visually stunning sand. Obviously, everything is
high-polygon and nothing is blocky. There are little effects of other
minor things that you'll see to condense everything into one amazing
package! The Progressive Scan really shows and you'll be glad to finally
see Mario in a gorgeous game!
The replay and design are the lacking points of this game, but we'll discuss design in a minute. Right now let's focus on
replay. While there may be 120 Shine Sprites (instead of Stars), there's several that are annoying to get. The ones I am
talking about are the Blue Coins. Each level has 30 Blue Coins, so sure there's a lot of hunting to do, but some are near
impossible and some are even hard just to locate. You may think that these should be adding replay...well it does, but only
for a while. When you're in the situation like I am in and have 119 sprites and only need five more coins, it's just so hard
to find them and you'll easily get bored of searching after a while.
Just like Wind Waker I wished they had put more of what we want-challenges and mini-stages to get the Sine Sprites, not
stupid coin hunts! Also when you play the game over again, you'll want to get all the Shine Sprites and the get the Blue
coins later. Well when that 'later' comes, you'll find that it's so boring to search for all these coins, and you'll probably
just start a new game again. Basically, I really can't see anyone who will want to look for all the Blue Coins unless you
have the Player's Guide and check them off so you know which ones not to look for.
With that said, there's easily tens of hours to be found playing the main game! There's eight worlds, tons of bonus stages
and lots of Blue Coins (although I already discussed the boredom from these for most people). Getting the main Shine
Sprites aren't easy, and since all Mario games are addicting, you'll be sure to try to get them all! Obviously, this game has
a different approach to try to make up 120 Shine Sprites, but it's still different and unique, and I guess the Blue Coins are
there for those people who really want to search for them!
The design could have been exactly like Super Mario 64. Instead, they expanded on what made Mario 64 good, and made
this one a bit worse. There's no way I could say this one is better than Mario 64. First off, Shine Sprites replaced Stars.
The stars are classic, so replacing it with these weird Sprites makes classic fans, like myself, disappointed. I still call them
Stars anyway. Secondly, the Blue Coins which used to equal five coins, just equal 1/10 of a Shine Sprite. The Red coin
challenges are still fun, but I don't think Red Coins have any value to them except being 1/8 of a Shine Sprite. Thirdly, is
that you have to pick that episode if you want to get a particular Shine Sprite, whereas in Mario 64, you could pick any
episode, but most of the time you could still get any Star in that level.
The major design flaw is the feel. Mario may be fun on a beach, and his water pack certainly adds an element of gameplay
that's exciting enough to keep you addicted. The problem is that I was waiting for a Mario sequel that felt like Mario 64.
We all remember the first time we played that and were trapped inside the castle and we went inside several paintings to
travel to 15 neat worlds! This was the first game I played for N64. Maybe the late release of Super Mario Sunshine is what
disappointed me. Nintendo does say that Mario 128 will be released as a console title for their next system, and let's hope
it will be Super Mario Sunshine graphics with Super Mario 64 gameplay. As for this game, it's fun, but keep in mind if you
think you'll hold a grudge for Nintendo not making this feel like a true Mario game, then maybe you should rent this
first. Hey, Yoshi's in the game. At least that adds something extra!
There's enough good to outweigh the bad in this game. After playing this, you'll be satisfied that they even made this
game at all. I feel that this game lack the classic feel, but is updated so much that it feels great on the GCN and this
definitely deserves the score I gave it. If you don't like this game, it's probably because you can't move on from the past.
Plus this should hold us off until Mario 128 for Nintendo's next console, much better than Luigi's Mansion did for patient
fans waiting for this game.