#528 Super Mario Sunshine

Posted: 20th June 2016 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

520th played so far


Genre: Platform
Platform: Gamecube
Year of Release: 2002
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Publisher: Nintendo

Somehow, Super Mario Sunshine is the mian series Mario game I’ve seen least of so far. I have seen some of the designs and seen the rough plot outline, but I’m not sure I’ve even seen it in action much.

It feels a bit like the odd one out of the series, not as acclaimed as Super Mario Galaxy, not as ground breaking as Super Mario 64, partially pushed back because the console it appeared on, the Gamecube, wasn’t as major a platform as the others.

Our Thoughts

It was fun to get the Gamecube out again. And Super Mario Sunshine was a good game to come back to. There were certainly a couple of annoying areas in the game – not quite enough autosaves or restores in some levels (one boss was impossible to fight with the situation I came in with, and backing off meant restarting the entire level, which felt unnecessary).

Still, in that sense the game takes Super Mario 64‘s formula – jumping into levels and doing a bunch of missions in them – and improves on it. The world unlocks areas more naturally – although I’m sure they’re still star shine sprite-locked, the game doesn’t actually say that, instead opting for smaller unlock battles after an explosion of paint.

Yeah, paint. The interesting mechanic is that the areas are covered in paint and graffiti, and a lot of gameplay surrounds clearing it. A number of enemies are paint-based, and generators are removed by clearing the paint, while doing so also unlocks other paths through the levels. It’s an interesting extra mechanic that creates the hook you need while fitting it well with the Mario universe.

The levels, aside from having a diverse set of missions – from small creature clean up to boss fights and extended jumping and collecting puzzles – have more of a personality than Super Mario 64‘s levels as well. There are more NPCs dotted around to interact with and, with their larger area, there is more visual story telling as well, which is quite nice. Even in a level there seems to be more variation.

The cartoonish look of Mario games comes out here as well. It makes the game look less dated than others would, while it fits the tropical setting quite well with the bold colours.

Final Thoughts

Although you might not get quite as many levels as Super Mario 64, this feels like a big step up. The world feels more alive, with the hub seeming interesting on its own instead of just the area leading from level to the other as we got there. It looks good and gives such an interesting variation of missions – mostly because it has all the standard 3D Mario characteristics while adding the paint and spraying mechanics to them. A worthy step up in the series.