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Super Mario Sunshine Review
Super Mario Sunshine Review
Published by AlloftheAbove
04-27-2009
Author review
Graphics
90%90%90%
9.0
Storyline
80%80%80%
8.0
Controls/Gameplay
85%85%85%
8.5
Sound
95%95%95%
9.5
Average 88%
Smilie Waluigi Super Mario Sunshine Review





Producing a follow-up to the revolutionary 3D platformer Super Mario 64 was always going to be a bit of a tough gig, so the real surprise was not that developer Nintendo EAD managed to match (and surpass) its iconic title, but that the game was met with so much initial negativity and derision. Welcome to the GameCube's Super Mario Sunshine, the first canon Super Mario game to be met with luke-warm reception on its launch.

To be fair to the detractors, Super Mario Sunshine (SMS) did feature a couple of significant experimental gameplay and story elements which went a long way to give the game an immediately different feel to its predecessors.




First up: story. Mario games have always been a little light on story, rarely venturing far from the well-worn "Rescue the Princess" motif. Mind you, that's not a bad thing. The Mario Bros. series has a kind of purity that is instantly endearing. SMS, on the other hand, has Mario and gang visit Isle Delfino for a well-earned vacation amongst the sand, waves, and plenty of pina coladas. Not unexpectedly, things don't go as smoothly as planned. An unknown assailant, matching Mario's particulars, is running amok and leaving all manner of unsavoury graffiti on the pristine tropical island. Arrested for the crimes he didn't commit, Mario is sentenced to clean up the islands vile gunk by using the water-shooting FLUDD device. Told via voiced cut-scenes, SMS's story is the most expansive and convoluted the series has seen. Graffiti? Mario as a prison mate? Compulsory community service? And who ARE the inhabitants of Isle Delfino anyway? Rejects from a Sesame Street audition? Yes, the story, setting, and characterisation were a strong departure from the minimalist leanings seen before in the series. It's just different.

And then there's FLUDD. Short for Flash Liquidiser Ultra Dousing Device, it's a back-pack styled device that sprays water wherever Mario points it. Its existence justified as a tool with which Mario would clean up the mess all over the isle, FLUDD took center stage alongside (or backside, more appropriately) the titular plumber as a near-permanent attachment. It also adds a big bunch of new gameplay elements in the way of ability enhancements. Sure, Mario could use the thing to defeat enemies in a traditional point-and-shoot approach, but it was the other options FLUDD brought that had more far-reaching implications.
Point the FLUDD nozzle downwards (press and hold the R button), and Mario can hover for as long as the FLUDD has water in its tanks. (Refilling it was as easy as standing in water, and pressing R)
For a game that constantly put you in precarious positions near certain death, the FLUDD was your instant second chance. Take that jump too wide? No worries; hit the hover button and get yourself back to relative safety in an instant. This system took a lot of the frustration out of exploring some of SMS's more treacherous areas. Trouble was, that you had to learn how to use it first. Ironically, the device which was designed to help players, also caused the most frustration during the early, learning stages of the game. Getting your head around 3D controls is one thing; introducing a shooting aspect adds a whole new layer of complexity.
And the learning curve was uncharacteristically urgent: the first boss battle of the game in the prologue area required a good grasp of the 3D controls. If you didn't understand the FLUDD thing quickly, you were unable to progress.





So Super Mario Sunshine ventured into new territory with two elements, and old-school fans cried foul. Fair enough, I guess. SMS certainly was a strange and uncharacteristic Mario. But the story is so easily excused, and controls can be mastered. In the short time that it takes to master the talking water-bottle, Isle Delfino has already given some major hints that it's gonna be a fun place to be. In my opinion, Super Mario Sunshine is a brilliant Mario game, and is a natural progression from Super Mario 64. Having crossed into the realm of 3D for the first time on the Nintendo 64, Mario on the GameCube proves to be much more comfortable in his new extra-dimensional home. And the developers really show off their level of familiarity and comfort with 3D level design at every nook and cranny of Isle Delfino too. Areas are vast and colourful, full of dizzying heights and enticing depths. With the added horsepower of the GameCube, SMS is absolutely beautiful too. Mario games had simply never looked this good before.

A mash-up of cautious exploration, and frantic timer-based events, Mario was certainly rewarded with the steady exploration of of every corner of every level and world. Plus, for the first time since Super Mario World (and SMW2: Yoshi's Island) on the SNES, you could ride the beloved green lizard and swallow enemies whole as you bounced around the place.

Yes, Super Mario Sunshine was certainly an experiment on Nintendo's behalf, but it was one that paid off in the end. Super Mario Sunshine is an excellent Mario game, and a worthy sequel to the revered Super Mario 64. And it's a must-have too, so track it down as soon as possible.



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  #1  
By Yelloflyte on 04-28-2009, 04:22 AM
Comprehensive review. Being a grammar aficionado, I'll note that some of the sentence structures are slightly awkward and that there are a few rogue errors in the text (misplaced capital letters and commas and so forth); but, on the whole, informative and well-presented. I especially enjoyed the screenshots at the end.
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  #2  
By Yelloflyte on 04-28-2009, 04:58 AM
On request, I'll list some of the syntactic problems:
*"Producing a follow-up to the revolutionary 3D platformer Super Mario 64, was always going to..." Bad comma.
*"To be fair to the detractors, Super Mario Sunshine (SMS) Did feature..." misplaced capital 'd'.
*"...of significant experimental gameplay and story elements - both of..." you've used a hyphen (-) instead of a spaced en dash ( ) or em dash ().
*"...feature a couple of significant experimental gameplay and story elements - both of which went a long way to give the game an immediately different feel to its predecessors." "both of which" is awkward and arguably incorrect. You've referred to a "couple" of gameplay AND story elements, therefore "couple" modifies "gameplay" AND "story elements" and we're discussing at least four items if we define "a couple" to be at least two. In this way, "/both/ of which" is poor; try just "which".
*"...well-worn "Rescue the princess" motif." bad 'R'. Capitalised 'R' and 'P' or no capitalisation at all are sound and defensible, but having just the 'R' is not.
*General uncertainty with tense in this paragraph you're sometimes using the past tense and sometimes the nonpast. At times, this is appropriate, but you're sometimes using different tenses in semantically congruent instances. This is something common to much of the article. The simple present indicative would probably be more appropriate for structures such as "SMS, on the other hand, had Mario and gang visit Isle Delfino...", for example: use "has" instead of "had". Kind of like a work of fiction or film in that SMS is still existing, still being played for the first time; and Mario's adventure could be said to be in a kind of eternal present.

More to come later if desired.
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  #3  
By AlloftheAbove on 04-28-2009, 05:17 AM
Member reviews
Graphics
90%90%90%
9.0
Storyline
80%80%80%
8.0
Controls/Gameplay
85%85%85%
8.5
Sound
95%95%95%
9.5
Average 88%
Thanks for the corrections. I'll try to work harder on the quality of my reviews.
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  #4  
By Yelloflyte on 04-28-2009, 05:38 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alloftheabove View Post
Thanks for the corrections. I'll try to work harder on the quality of my reviews.
Not at all. The quality is of a high standard, and it's something to be proud of. You said it was done in a bit of a hurry, so that explains the silly typos and such.
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  #5  
By Mario on 04-28-2009, 03:30 PM
Good game back in the day. Good review AOTA
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  #6  
By Konata on 04-28-2009, 04:19 PM
Okay Review..
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  #7  
By Riodoku79 on 04-28-2009, 06:01 PM
I think this was the first game that I ever completed 100%. Anyways good review AOTA.
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  #8  
By AlloftheAbove on 04-30-2009, 04:44 AM
Member reviews
Graphics
90%90%90%
9.0
Storyline
80%80%80%
8.0
Controls/Gameplay
85%85%85%
8.5
Sound
95%95%95%
9.5
Average 88%
Quote:
Originally Posted by Konata View Post
Okay Review..

Any suggestions? If there's something I could do to improve my reviews, please let me know.
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  #9  
By Konata on 04-30-2009, 11:33 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alloftheabove View Post

Any suggestions? If there's something I could do to improve my reviews, please let me know.
The review itself is good, which is obviously the main thing. But you should try a different layout.
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