Super Mario Sunshine is the first true "Mario
" game release for the Nintendo GameCube
. Nintendo released the game in the United States
on August 27, 2002.
Super Mario Sunshine continues the tradition of Super Mario 64 in allowing Mario to roam in a 3D environment. The major differences between the game come in the gameplay, graphics and story. While it has been called "kiddy" for a new age game and "gay" for using the word Sunshine in the name, after a short time most players will drop both arguments.
Super Mario Sunshine's story starts with Mario, Princess Peach Toadstool, and a large group of Toadstools landing on Isle Delfino to get a nice vacation. Like many games the vacation never gets off as the island has had large amounts of graffiti by someone who is said to look like Mario. Mario finds a water system called FLUDD and proceeds to clean up the mess.
Instead of thanking Mario, he is jailed by Delfino's citizens. Mario then is found guilty of defacing the island and is sent to clean up the town. The FLUDD system helps out on this task as Mario finds the guilty party who looks like water shaped like Mario. The story doesn't take much time to experience as there is only a hand full of scenes though it is quite entertaining.
The story does have some twists but most of them have good surprises and would definitely be considered to be spoilers for players who have not started the game. Truth be told the story is somewhat light and could have used a little more work in the later game but it does contain more story then previous Mario games and the genre doesn't require a Shakespearian masterpiece to be a great game.
The gameplay in Super Mario Sunshine is similar to previous Mario games but use of the FLUDD system is crucial. Super Mario Sunshine is a standard 3d platformer. You move around the stage with jumps and attack, except you won't reach that far until you start to utilize the FLUDD system to allow you to float or fly around.
The FLUDD system is a backpack that contains water and helps Mario. It contains a water spray and three different attachments. The spray will shoot water around and clean up oil, graffiti, and other defacements. The attachments are the Hover Nozzle, Rocket Nozzle, and the Turbo Nozzle. The Hover Nozzle allows Mario to float or fly higher after jumps. It allows Mario to jump farther by floating or allows Mario to fly just high enough for some ledges. The Rocket Nozzle allows Mario to fly extremely high in a blast, it's usage is to find high places. The Turbo Nozzle allows Mario to travel faster. It isn't necessary for anything but does help when you want to go run long, flat distances.
The game requires Mario to acquire "shines". The shines are little star-like items. They are similar to stars only have six points with balls on two ends of them. The shines are able to be received through many tasks. Some tasks are to kill the bosses, others are to go through "old school" levels, which are jumping levels mostly in a 2d plane, and some others are a variety of tasks.
The graphics of Mario Sunshine will not be winning too many awards but they don't disappoint. The size of the levels can really be seen and the smallest detail can be seen. The levels are somewhat simplistic, but allow the player to be immersed in the game. Some levels, especially the the old school "secret" levels have simplistic objects, but for the secret levels they were meant to remind the player of the old NES games.
The bosses are all beautifully rendered. The creatures are all very well built. The sludge system does look good when you spray objects to clean up the mess. The main town is beautiful to look at and the game graphics starts off dull and as the game is played and more "shines" are collected the levels become brighter, but there is sunglasses to help you out if needed.
The sound system of Super Mario Sunshine is important to the game. The sounds and music should not be awful but also should be playful, and some what cute. The music is well done to allow the game not to be awful but again will not win awards. Some of the "secret" levels have remixes from the original Mario games and other levels have well made music.
The challenge of Super Mario Sunshine tends to vary. The first level of the game starts off simple. The begining segments can be accomplished while you barely have to use any moves other then jumping and spraying. You can progress and some of the "secret" levels are difficult, some of the regular game levels can only be called impossible. Some levels are skill and some levels just require patiences. The game is said to take about 60 hours to complete. This estimate is about right as the game is hard and a lot of fun to discover a lot of the secrets.
Depending on how you like the game and its elements this game has a lot or replayablity. This game is like Super Mario 64 where after a couple months of completing it you will want to play through the whole game again. The game is not one of the games you will want to instantly replay after you are finished but as it is a Mario game and well built you will want to play it a couple times through.
Perhaps the most important issue to mention about Super Mario Sunshine is that it is a fun game. The game is perhaps the best Mario game to date. The size of the levels and the discovery aspects allow the player to have a lot of fun. It is not for everyone but it is far from the "kiddie game" that people have called it before its release. It is enjoyable for all ages. Both for the young player looking for a fun game to play, as well as older gamers looking to remember Mario can enjoy this game.