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Super Mario Sunshine


Super Mario Sunshine

ESRB: Everyone - E
Platform: Gamecube
Category: n/a
1 Player Memory Card – 7 Blocks Vibration Dolby Pro Logic II Compatible Progressive scan (480p) support for HDTV users Da Introduction: Well, it has taken 6 long years and Mario finally comes back to a Nintendo made console. After some long hours of gameplay with Mario's newest title, Super Mario Sunshine, I can honestly say that many Nintendoholics will rejoice in the experience that unfolds in Mario's newest adventure. Now, imagine if you would, soothing sunshine accompanied by the sound of waves gently breaking on the shore. High above, seagulls turn lazy circles in a clear blue sky in an area known as Isle Delfino. This vivid description where Super Mario Sunshine takes place. Yep, this time Mario starts his journey in a tropical holiday oasis. But, not all is well as someone has framed Mario by making a ‘mess' of all the areas and it is up to him to clear not only his name, but all the levels he is to journey too as well. So how does this game stack up you ask, well, read on... Da Graphics: When I first heard that Mario was coming to the GameCube, visions of incredible textured landscapes and a flawless looking Mario danced through my head. Well upon playing the game for numerous hours the finished product was not exactly what I expected. Lets start of with the good. Mario himself has never looked better. Upon gazing at the GameCube version of the red-hatted plumber, I was most impressed with how well he was animated and he solid of a character he was. Princess Peach, Toadsworth and Toad look pretty good too. It seems that all the characters in Super Mario Sunshine have made the transition to the GameCube intact and looking good. As this game is set in a tropical paradise, water is a main theme and water never looked so good on the GameCube. Crystal blue and wet are words that come to mind. The rolling waves are so lifelike that you may get the urge to run out and rent a jet ski just to quell any urges you get. The draw distance is also worth mentioning too. If you explore your surroundings and get yourself to a high peak you can see all of what the game's area that will eventually become accessible. The distance that this game allows you to see eclipses one of my favorite next-generation platform games, Jak and Daxter. When gazing into the distance everything has shape and detail that you will clearly recognize what you are looking at. Finally, the colors used in this game have to be mentioned. As Mario is basically a breathing and living cartoon, the colors are so vibrant that they actually bring more life into this game. My wife was watching me play one night and out of the blue she complimented how bright and colorful the game was. Not that she is an expert but when my wife comments on anything when I am playing a game, to me it means that it stood out and the color definitely stands out. On the flip side though there is negative side to Super Mario Sunshine's looks, and that is in the texture department. The easiest way to describe the textures is that they are low quality and over simplified. Yep, harsh it may seem but true it is. I expected true to life grass, rock, trees and everything else, but Nintendo made sure that simple won out this time around. I don't know if it was the style of the game but many of the textures look like they came from the N64's graphics library. Regardless these textures don't overly take away from all the positives of the game and may help it in that it runs at a rock solid frame rate. Da Sound: Seven words: Typical Mario but in a tropical setting. Being that Mario is playing in the sun and surf this time around, the music has a tropical flavor to it and at times you feel like you should be in Jamaica and not on your couch in front of the television. Nintendo made sure to make use of the music as well to set the theme of the levels. Drastic changes in the tempo and sound of the music will help to set the mood when you are coming towards danger or the inevitable boss fight. Yep, music is used to perfection here and nothing less is to be expected. As for Mario, well...he sounds like Mario. He has a set amount of voice clips that play in response to certain actions, but there is nothing here that make him more real. The voices of the island villagers are just a bunch of garble that play as the text to what they are saying comes up on screen. It would have been nice to have numerous voices for all the NPC's that you come across. As for the rest of the sound package, it is pretty much a well wrapped up package. Sound effects are plenty from the clinking of your water pack to the various surfaces that you run across. The game also supports Dolby Pro Logic II but unfortunately I cannot comment on how it sounds and my receiver does not support that format (ed. note: time to upgrade receiver). Da Gameplay: Super Mario Sunshine plays pretty much like it's 64-bit predecessor and controlling Mario has never been easier. For the hardcore, there are many special moves that one can discover. You have your basic run, jump, flip, dive and butt stomp moves from before but what seems more evident this time around is the amount of combos that are available. Trust me, fool around with the controller and the basic moves available and you will discover a slew of new moves not mentioned in the instruction manual. What is new to Mario this time around is his ‘FLUDD'. In layman's terms this is his new waterpack. This is an essential tool in the battle against evil that Mario faces this time around. The FLUDD's most basic use is to clean up all the goop and graffiti that is strewn around Isle Delfino and the surrounding areas. But, the inclusion of other nozzles make's the FLUDD so much more useful. The Hover, Turbo and Rocket nozzles assist Mario to reach those hard to reach areas and help complete the tasks at hand. The inclusion of Mario's new toy adds further depth and charm to the game and makes exploring each and every level quite interesting to say the least. Super Mario Sunshine's main goal is to clean up all the levels you traverse while collecting Shines, the mystical power of Isle Delfino. During these quests you will also collect the standard gold coins as well as blue and red ones. All this collecting will eventually add up to an astounding 120 Shines. The game can be completed with a minimum of 50 shines but the added bonus of completing the game 100% will keep the hardcore going for sometime. Although this game has many positives and the gameplay is pretty well executed, there are some concerns worth mentioning. First off is the camera. 3D platform games always seem to struggle now and then with a functional camera and Super Mario Sunshine is no different. This is very evident when you have a lot of objects in the area (Pinna Park comes to mind) or when you are traversing the cliffs of Noki Bay. You are given control via the ‘C' stick but there are still areas that you will find yourself fighting your surroundings to get a good view. I do admit that the camera is much better than that of Super Mario 64 but there is still some work to be done to perfect it. Regardless, if you are willing to accept that you can only work with what you got, this should not hurt your gaming experience too much. The second and final complaint that I have is in the control itself and is broken into two points. Point ‘A' - Although the overall controle is quite tight to say the least, gamers will find themselves having to adjust to some of Mario's quirky habits. When landing a regular or FLUDD jump, Mario has this nasty habit of taking an extra step or two. I can count the number of times that my little buddy went over the edge of a landing platform due this extra step or two. Point ‘B' - controlling the FLUDD itself also takes some getting used to. What bothered me the most was that when aiming and spraying water, up is down and down is up. This leads me to question why couldn't they just have made up as up and down as down? The inverted control took some thinking to get used to (something I don't do too well during heated on-screen battles) but again; it was just an adjustment that had to be done. These complaints are just minor but it was my opinion that they had to be mentioned as they did manage to stick out in my mind. A final point worth mentioning is the length of the game. I have been playing for countless hours now and have still yet to finish the game at 100%. This game is definitely a challenge. You can complete the game with only 50 out of 120 shines collected but that would only be about half of the fun. To complete the game at 100% there are some hardcore moves that you will have to pull off. As well, there will be countless hours of exploration to find areas you didn't even know existed. Bottom line here is that the average or casual gamer will struggle to complete this game in it's entirety and even the hardcore will find it difficult at times. This game definitely gives one their money's worth. Da Conclusion: As much as I want too I cannot give this game a perfect score. The limited textures, minor control issues and lack of advancement from the last Super Mario game play a major role in my scoring. With the time between the N64 Mario, and the new and improved GameCube Mario, so much more could have been done. Regardless, Super Mario Sunshine is still a really, really good game. With that in mind I answer four very important questions: 1. Has the wait been worth it? I figure so. 2. Is it fun? Although sometimes frustrating, it is still a fun game that will bring a smile to your face. 3. Is it worth the admission price? The length and challenge will give even the most hardcore gamer a run for his money. 4. Should I buy it? Yep!


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