Leave No Game Untouched’s Super Mario Sunshine (Gamecube) Review

Seeing how I did the Zelda Wind Waker review I might as well do another GameCube review (while I can still remember playing the games), this time it’s a good old fashion Super Mario game, the third 3D game in the franchise. Super Mario Sunshine was an exciting game at the time, having the best graphics in the franchise when it was made, and of course new game play. Super Mario Sunshine also introduces a brand new environment to explore and have fun with. The new things put in this game are what make Super Mario Sunshine a wonderful.

The game starts off with a good old snappy story line; Mario decides to take a vacation with Princess Peach, Toadsworth and the other Toads to the tropical island “Isle Delphino”. The plane makes an emergency landing when they see that the airstrip is covered in this “paint like goop”. Mario then meats a machine called FLUDD (Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device). Mario uses FLUDD to clean up the goop until he’s arrested by the police, thinking that he’s the one that made the goop. Mario is then sentenced to clean the entire island which is covered in goop, with the help of FLUDD. Mario is told by FLUDD that because of the paint the island’s Shine Sprites are hidden and causing the island to be dark and gloomy, so Mario ends up collecting Shine Sprites which serve the same purpose as Stars in Super Mario 64 (I won’t go into detail from here). The plot was short and sweet which suits the Mario franchise and this game; it just wouldn’t have suited this game if the story was as mild as let’s say, Zelda games. Cut scenes were well made, they included voice acting, which is great, but seemed a bit weird. The rumble in the remote was synched with the cut scenes, so it made you feel like that you’re in the game.

The game play was unique because it included Mario wearing FLUDD on his back. With FLUDD’s help Mario can squirt water from FLUDD by pressing the R button and press it harder to squirt and hold. You can press the X button to switch FLUDD into the hover nozzle mode which allows Mario to float in mid air for a short time. Later on in the game Mario can unlock FLUDD’s other nozzles which do different things to help you in the game. When FLUDD’s water tank is empty, the player must find a body of water to refill the tank. FLUDD also provides tips for Mario. Water can be used to clean up the paint, there are different paints in the game that do different things, one will just mildly hurt Mario while another type will give a noticeable effect.  The Paint can also pollute water which makes your journey harder, as in most levels water can be found just about everywhere, as well as being pollution/graffiti the paint is the source of all the enemies in the game. Piranha plants can pop up from the goop out of nowhere and you can kill them. The Paint also holds giant Piranhas which serve as minibosses in the game. Yoshi can be obtained in the game too, when you ride Yoshi you can squirt juice out of his mouth to turn enemies into platforms and clean off the paint. Yoshi can eat enemies to kill them and he can also do the flutter jump, however, if Yoshi enters a body of water or runs out of juice in his juice gauge he will die, you can refill Yoshi’s  juice gauge (which gradually disappears through time) by eating fruit, Yoshi will change colour depending on the fruit he eats (If I go in any more detail in game play I might explode, but it’s similar to any other ordinary platformer Mario can jump, swim, and defeat his foes in numerous ways. The gameplay was excellent and heaps of fun in this game, there’s so much you can do in the game that it keeps you occupied and interested in finding all the collectables, such as well hidden blue coins which are used specifically for buying more Shine Sprites, the player can also talk to the residence of Isle Delphino who are the Piantas and Nokis. It’s also a lot of fun playing in an environment that wasn’t in any previous Mario games before; the new environment meant better game play.

The levels were well designed in this game, you have the Delphino Plaza in the game which serves as the hub and has the graphite portals to unlock to go to the next levels and it also has warp pipes which lead to special levels.  All the levels gave this game an optimum difficulty in my opinion, there were the courses where for example you couldn’t go this way and you couldn’t go that way so you had to find another way which was always fun and exciting. In every level there was one little secret level thing, where you must find your way to the entrance and then when you go inside Shadow Mario steals FLUDD and you end up in this strange dimension with obstacles everywhere, in these levels your timing has to be super since you don’t have FLUDD to get you to hover in case you make a bad jump. The levels had a good mixture of difficulty, obstacles, goofiness and of course awesomeness. There were however the mild and annoying bits in the levels, one example is in the casino where you were basically solving a puzzle by flipping the pieces on its right side to complete the picture, you couldn’t control how much water you squirted and which way it went very well so it could have taken a long and annoying time to finish. The other thing that was bad about the levels was some of the collectables, after you’ve done a lot of courses in the level, sometimes you just can’t be bothered getting the other stuff.

There was a great range of enemies and bosses in this game, each being unique, some that you can only defeat with Yoshi and some that you just love squashing and pushing away with water, other enemies you only see once or twice in the game and they usually unlock something. There was one thing that I really loved in this game, it was the piranha plants popping up from the goop surprisingly and this is one example of randomness and range of the enemies in this game, it’s great fun. The bosses were great in this game, some you had to spray with water to defeat them and others spraying water is just the first step to defeating them and others, spraying them with water doesn’t do anything so you have to find another way. Overall, the bosses and enemies were original and fun.

The controls in the game were great, you can use the control stick to move Mario, X to change FLUDD’s nozzles, R to squirt water A to jump and B to pick things up. What I liked about the controls is that you use just about every move in the game at least a few times, some games have a character needing only to use a technique once and I think that that’s very annoying in a game but Super Mario Sunshine handled that well. There is one thing that was mildly bad and that was the free look squirting, where you press Y (I think it was) and you can have a look around and squirt enemies too, it was useful in some levels but if you find another strategy then it becomes unnecessary. It can be forgiven though because it depends what environment you’re using it in (I’m looking at you casino puzzle thing).

The Soundtrack was good. What I liked about it was that it didn’t have that loud and annoying music that eventually makes you want to snap because you keep dying and hearing the start of the song over and over again. It was also true to its tropical theme that’s the other thing that I liked about it; even if you were indoors the music is still kind of tropical. So basically the soundtrack suited the game very well and I didn’t have any problem with it.

Overall the game was great; it was fun and well designed. The only things that I hated were the well hidden collectables, the “I can’t be bothered doing levels” and occasional unfair levels too. But pretty much everything in the game except those were perfect. Too bad after this game you could only ever see FLUDD as a cameo appearance and not a major character.

Overall Rating: 8.5/10 Unnamed Units

Written by JakovZord 27/1/11

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