Well it’s here folks, so you can stop praying, stop wishing, and stop hoping for a chance get your hands on it. It’s awesome. Just go pick it up, that’s the easiest way this whole review can be said. It surely took a bit to get here (long, long wait), but you can now stop reading all these damn previews from 50 different sources–as I know you all do. You can stop wondering what Miyamoto has put into this title that could live up to the name. You can stop questioning how, or if, the story works, what will be where, why this or that was decided, who’s in the game and who isn’t. You can finally stop screaming at us poor oppressed media types for more coverage. And you can even stop reading this review after the next two sentences if you want–because that’s all you’ll need to know.
(Editor’s note: We here at Mygamer appreciate all of our readers, and would like to ask for you not to leave just so quickly, thank you)
All of your questions will be answered and solved right here. Super Mario Sunshine is incedible! Go freakin’ get it! (Not clear enough for you? Ah well, I tried, read on?)
Suffice it to say, I was certainly one of ‘the’ most skeptical people when I first picked this game up on at E3; really, I wasn’t all that impressed with what I had played, and I left LA kind of disturbed through wondering what Nintendo was doing, and questioning the validity of their actions. But now that I’ve had my good amount of time with it, mastering all the controls etc, I’m going to take this time out to say, I really can’t wait till I finish writing this review so I can get back to it. Right off the bat, I’m going to tell you the game’s faults, they’re easy enough to see once you’ve completed it a few times. The biggest issue lies in the fact that there simply isn’t enough in this game to be satisfied. I want more–need more damn it! In terms of duration, you can finish the game in 3 to 4 hours, once you’ve mastered it, but I ‘do’ mean, once you’ve mastered it. It’s still not enough, though. I mean, sure, you’re given seven amazingly huge stages, with a control scheme of unlimited possibilities, and graphics that’d make anyone tear at the eye, but damn it (it had to be said again), it’s still not enough. Although, I think it’s a given that it’d probably never be enough, yet still, bare with me.
What else is bad about this game? It’s an incredibly large pain in the ass to find/get every thing possible, the camera goes buggy when near solid objects, many of the character designs are really really really stupid, the music will give you a headache on occasion (that’s in conjunction with the color palette just so you know), and the last boss is FAR too easy compared to some of the other tasks you’ve completed, once to the end of the game. And yes, if you’re wondering, I still love this game, as should you. Most of its on purpose, Mario has always been a light hearted adventure even though you’ve jumped around crushing skulls, punching the back of Yoshi’s head, and now spraying water on everything you see. Every game doesn’t always have to be perfect for it to give you a fantastic experience. The thing about Miyamoto and Nintendo is, they always seem to capture the true essence and intention of video games, to have fun. Even if you don’t feel in the mood, this game will MAKE you have fun.
Since it seems fun is the name of the game over in the Nintendo camp, then I think the review should reflect that (hence the untraditional and major use of caps lock combined with a loose writing style). But ?fun’ is the core point of this game, no other reason. Ok sure, I’ll give you the fact that; yes you’re playing Mario, yes he’s on vacation, yes something goes awry, yes there is an evil terminator-like Mario running around posing as him, yes you have a water cannon that looks really lame, yes one of you’re objectives is something as lame as cleaning oil off everything you see, yes you have to get a 120 (again) shines sprites to brighten up the island and YES, you have to save the princess again. But all that aside, the game is supposed to be fun, as every video game should aim to be. Super Mario Sunshine is an easy proof to all those Nintendo naysayers; it’s like a Mario 64 2, only better, much much better.
With the faults out of the way, the good stuff now begins. The graphics are to die for. The light hearted cheery Crayola like color palette only adds flavor to the amazing graphics engine that makes up the game. Your favorite plumber never looked better, or maybe its just that I have a certain affection for stubby/plump Italian plumbers (NO, not in that way). The character movment animations are wonderfully smooth and you wont see a stray polygon anywhere on the screen during your romp through the island. Graphically there aren’t any noticeable bugs in the game, which is quite an impressive feat once you’ve seen the sheer size of the levels you’re given and thats combind with the consistent frame rate it all runs at. The swooping planes of this island are filled with super bright colors of every variation in tint and shade painted on wide large undulating planes. Every color in the rainbow is represented well here, it’d almost seem that the only other place you’d see a color scheme as vibrant as this one would be that in a 3rd grade coloring book. Although graphics are nice, taking this title into consideration, it is ? and always has been ? all about the gameplay.
The legacy of Mario has always been to take the player interactivity a step further, and they’re making it better with each effort. Nintendo could have given me a wide open filled with 4 objects, a large tree, a wall, a big tank of water, and one enemy; with that, I could easily and happily played for 5 hours free of boredom, that’s how well the game controls and plays. Every move the plumber can do can be combo’ed with another move; you could consider this the Tony Hawk Pro Skater of Action platforming. All they’d need is a mini game that records combos ? side somersault to walk kick to water boost spin to belly slide to walk kick back-flip with a perfect and graceful landing atop a tree and BAM, easy 180,000 points.
It is now safe to say that no other platformer has anything on Mario control wise, Nintendo has it down to a science, everyone might just want to take a look at their code and copy a few lines. Not only are all the moves interchangeable and combo’able, the animations for those moves look just as fantastic. Who would have ever thought that a short stubby plumber could be so skill in the arts of gymnastics crossed with skull smashing while carrying a heavy water pack?
To go along with the innately fluent control scheme, the big N developed a world that becomes one huge playground ? complete with sandbox, pools, monkey bars, and slides ? once the controls are mastered. The level design is easily noticeable as being some of the coolest looking stuff ever seen in a Mario game. Just starring into the waves while standing on the beach will be enough to show you how much detail went into every bit of the games design. Everything can be interacted and played with, making your journey more thrilling than you could have asked for. Hours upon hours will be spent simply running through these levels playing around. And both the big and small nosed people will give you funny looks, but that’s Delfino Island for you I guess. There’s only one problem I had with the all of the levels in this game and that comes in the from of those wretched shine spirits. You must acquire these to bring the ?brightness’ and ?vibrancy’ of the island back to life ? look at them as the stars in Mario 64, another 120 to collect.
Certainly those damn shines are some of the easiest annoyances in this game, its not so hard to get a few, but to get them all, you must collect well, just about everything in every level as usual; every blue coin and every shine in each part of a level. This is made thoroughly difficult by those damn hidden ones; the ones where you have to be in the right spot, at the right time of day, under the right circumstances in the level for you to acquire them, and all that’s while having to perform something crazy in the right way. Between the 7 different stages and the portal level, getting all of the shines out of each of the levels easily makeup the most difficult feats to accomplish in the entire game. Any true gamer of course is always up the challenge right?
All in all, I think Mario is a game that deserves all the attention it can get. I’ve had a fantastic time with it so far, and I think I’ll still be playing it for at least another couple weeks straight. The people at Nintendo should certainly get a standing ovation for their work, there’s just too much fun packed into this game not have a blast with. Amazing controls, a beautiful level design, and acute attention to detail, Super Mario Sunshine ? as expected ? is easily a title to be reckoned with. I must compliment Nintendo once again on their works, and can’t wait to get my hands on the finished copies of the rest of their games. Anyway, I think I’ve said enough, I didn’t cover everything, but I wouldn’t want to, just go get the game if you own a GCN. Hell, even if you don’t, go buy one, and get this game; it’s a Mario game, the funnest of the fun, you all know what the deal is, you probably didn’t even need to read this, you’ve all played the other ones, and you’re just as big fans of the series as I am; but thanks anyway. Until next time folks, enjoy the game, you won’t regret picking it up