Sunday, April 4, 2010
Super Mario Sunshine Review
When the Gamecube launched in 2002, it launched with a rather peculiar game: Luigi's Mansion. In the game, you had to save Mario as his titular sibling by sucking up ghosts in a vacuum. There was absolutely no platforming involved at all. It was a good game, but a year later a true follow-up to the N64 masterpiece appeared on the GCN, and thus Super Mario Sunshine became the most controverial game ever made.
It starts off that Mario, Peach, and Toadsworth are on a royal vacation to the tropical island of Isle Delfino. Things don't look well as soon as you get there, for a giant pile of goop is covering the tarmac. Down the runway you find the Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device(FLUDD for short), and that's where the game's main gimick sets in. The cops come and assume you're the culprit behind this goopy mess, and charge you to clean the whole island. Luckily, your FLUDD can help you with that. By holding R you can spray water, which besides cleaning up goop, can weigh down objects and defeat certain enemies.
The controls are nice and fluid, and actually feel much better than SM64's setup. You can focus the Camera behind Mario easily by just pressing L. Now you would think a game about cleaning up an island would have little platforming, but Sunshine is chock-full of it. Despite certain upgrades to your FLUDD like a Rocket and a Jetpack, some of the jumps in this game are maddengly hard. There are even some levels where you loose your pack completely, and are forced to do Mario 64-style platforming.
Speaking of difficult, this game is pretty hard. Some of the Shine Sprites (this game's equivalent to Stars) are hidden in Hard-to-reach locations, but the real challenge comes in collecting the game's Blue Coins. There are 240 Blue Coins in the whole game, and they are hidden in some of the scariest locations ever. The Red Coin Challenges return, also.
The game's graphics are nice to look at. Despite the slightly slow frame rate, everything moves at a fluid rate. The Bosses are bigger and badder than ever, and showcase some of Nintendo's best designs. The most impressive part of the game is at the Amusement-themed Pinna Park, you have to ride a high-octane Roller Coaster while shooting rockets at a Giant Robotic Bowser. The game's audio doesn't fail to impress either. It may sound like the same theme's being repeated over and over, but they remix it enough for each world. It sounds perfect for a tropical setting. Speaking of each world, there are 8 of them. Sure, that's less than 64's 15 levels, but these worlds are massive areas with plenty of secrets in them. And the game's hub-world, Delfino Plaza, definitelly feels more alive than Peach's Castle.
This game has its problems, though. The camera can sometimes feel buggy, the Underwater parts don't control very well, and the voice acting is a little cheezy. But these are minor issues. The game as a whole controls and feels very good.
Gameplay: Fun. Better than 64's, and more natural than Galaxy's. 9.75
Graphics: A little frame rate issues aside, this is a fine-looking game. 9.25
Audio: Enjoyable. You'll be humming it in no time. 9.5
Final: I really don't get why this game gets so much hate. As a Mario game it's really not that bizzare (Look at Super Mario Bros. 2 and then you'll see bizzare). If you come in with a mindset for a good platformer, you will not be dissapointed. Great game, and, in my opinion, better than 64 and Galaxy.