This is my review of Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars for SNES.
Because I don’t believe graphics make the difference between good games and bad games, I won’t bother to rate graphics in my reviews unless there are glitches or abnormalities that affect gameplay. In this case, there are no issues of that sort. If you wish to judge the graphics, you are free to look at the screenshots and decide for yourself. I'm putting a 10/10 here this time, but don't expect this in other reviews.
Geno prepares to attack
Mallow uses a special move
Story/Concept (Genre) 10/10
This is Mario’s first RPG, and it’s very well executed. As with any RPG, the story is very important, and this game doesn’t disappoint.
While Mario is in the middle of rescuing the Princess from Bowser’s Keep, a gigantic sword crashes into the middle of everything and sends all three flying in different directions. Mario relays this information to the citizens of Mushroom Kingdom, and he is tasked with finding Princess Toadstool and bringing her home. While searching for her, Mario discovers that Smithy and his gang are responsible for not only the confusion at the Keep, but for destroying the Star Road, as well. If the Star Road is not repaired by collecting the seven star pieces, no wishes will ever come true.
Mario eventually meets up with Bowser, who joins Mario and newcomers Geno and Mallow. Bowser’s interests are still his own, however; he joins only because it’ll help him get his Keep back. When Princess Toadstool is finally rescued, she joins the team as well, and the five of them together go up against Smithy to repair the Star Road and restore order to the world.
Mario turns away from Bowser's Keep
This game plays beautifully. The battle system consists of using items, attacking with the equipped weapon, defending, and using special moves (think magic). Important to this game are “timed hits,” which require you to press the attack or special button at a particular time during the attack in order to amplify its effects (does not work for every special move). In this way, you can inflict more damage, recover more HP, or even read the mind of the enemy. Timed hits can also be used to dull enemy attacks. Everything is very well-balanced and fluid.
Bowser summons the Mechakoopa
The controls feel natural. On the overworld, A talks to people and performs actions, while B jumps. In combat, every button on the controller has a specific function, and the controls are displayed on the screen so you never forget what they are.
Mario navigates the overworld
The game features 73 tracks, three of which are from the Final Fantasy series. The music is rich and appropriate, and some of the best music I’ve ever heard in a game. The sound effects are crisp and surprisingly don’t get old throughout the game.
Toadstool levels up
Replay Value 10/10
There is so much to do in this game once you’ve beaten it. There are a few minor side “quests,” which you can complete for items. However, the replay value really shines in finding all the hidden treasure chests throughout the game. That, and the plethora of mini-games to play, including setting a Super Jump record, finding coins along the Midas River, Troopa Jumping, Goomba Thumping, Racing on Yoshi’s Island, playing music in Melody Bay, Racing Mine Carts, the Beetle Race, a fun little game where you play as a Beetle, tackling the Sky Bridge, and a whole lot more inside a hidden Casino. Oh, and you can always do the main story, too.
Go for the high score!
A racing mini-game with Yoshi
There is no multiplayer, but if they did include it, it would simply feel tacked-on . Because this is an RPG, I won’t deduct points for this.
Fan Service 9/10
This game has plenty of fan service to go around. If you look closely, you can find appearances from several Nintendo franchises, including F-Zero, Metroid, Zelda, Star Fox, and even Classic Mario. Also, the ability to play as several important characters in the Mario franchise (one of which was previously unplayable in all Mario games) is a boon to fans. Lastly, a special secret boss is tucked away in the game, complete with theme music that should sound familiar to fans of the Final Fantasy series. If Luigi appeared in the game, this would have a perfect rating.
What Makes This Game Great
This game has it all, including a great story that keeps you playing, great boss fights, a variety of enemies, and a battle system that allows you to use any character most of the time, as long as you know what moves to use. It looks great, sounds great, plays great, and has plenty of extras.
Race up a hill to collect beetles!
Racing through the mines
What Could Make This Game Better
This game could only be improved by making it longer. Not that it’s too short, but because it leaves you wishing it wasn’t over when the credits stop rolling. Also, if Luigi were a hidden unlockable character, or if he appeared somewhere in the game besides the credits, that would be a plus.
Overall, a 95% in my book.