Super Mario Sunshine Review
Super Mario Sunshine Review On Gamecube

Super Mario Sunshine opens with Mario and his buddies escaping from the daily chores of Mushroom Kingdom, their destination is the paradise island of Isle Delfino for a holiday. Mario's holiday doesn't last long as it seems that an impersonator of Mario has covered the island in graffiti and pollution. In the case of a mistaken identity Mario is sentenced to clean up the island with the help of his water cannon, Fludd. During Mario's adventures the princess is kidnapped, the graffiti will be washed away and there will be a large amount of shines to collect, the games equivalent of coins or stars.

Super Mario Sunshine has a lot to live up to with Super Mario 64 being an incredible game that defined the 3D platform genre and all other previous Mario's have also been outstanding. Immediately you can see that Nintendo has decided to play safe and not stray too far from the winning formula. The town square plays the same part in Super Mario Sunshine that the castle did to Super Mario 64, it's nicely detailed with various different entry points which will save you the hardship of walking great distances from one place to another. Sunshine also has a load of secrets to uncover during your adventures. In total there are seven levels to get your teeth into, with each level containing several objectives which does mean you will have to enter each level several times before you're finished. After completing each sub level (episode) you will acquire a shine.

There are a total of 120 "shines" but it is possible to finish the game with less than half this number. Level goals generally consist of solving problems which can be solved by shooting water in virtually every instance. Each episode starts with a quick debriefing on the level and its objectives. Some objectives are as simple as getting to an area and fighting a boss in order to win a prize. Making a return from Mario 64 are the red coin challenges. You will simply have to go and search for a certain number of these red coins. You will always have to find one red coin but some goals may have you looking round for coins within a time limit. Each level will have a goal which involves chasing around after the Mario impersonator while spraying him with the water cannon until he gives up and gives you a shine. There are a lot of goals that lead you into enclosed areas, this will trigger a short video clip of the impersonator stealing Mario's water cannon and making away with it. After this you will be faced with a kind of obstacle course that features floating and moving pieces of wood. Each one of these levels becomes more difficult as you progress through the game. These levels can be frustrating at times due to the nature of these levels and you will find that you will fall through solid objects and occasionally get stuck in walls. These technical problems are by far the most frustrating of the lot because you can be doing everything perfect until one of these bugs kicks in. Many of the goals are enjoyable but the hunting for red coin sections are just tedious and boring. You will also have to do a lot of back tracking through levels in order to complete them; you could have to backtrack up to seven times in some levels.
Thankfully the controls are very easy so you won't have any problems controlling Mario. Some of the moves seen in Mario 64 have been retained such as the triple jump. Mario's normal attacks have been replaced by the water cannon which has two nozzles. You can use the R trigger to spay the water a short distance and by pushing the trigger in only half way will let you spay while moving. The second nozzle lets you take off and hover in the air.

Super Mario Sunshine Review On Gamecube @ www.contactmusic.com

Super Mario Sunshine Review On Gamecube @ www.contactmusic.com
Super Mario Sunshine Review On Gamecube @ www.contactmusic.com
Super Mario Sunshine Review On Gamecube @ www.contactmusic.com
It's a good way of getting across gaps and making Mario jump higher. The water tank has a water pressure meter which will decrease while you are hovering, so you can't just hover until your water tank is empty.

As you progress through the game you will find other nozzles that can take the place of your hover nozzle. The rocket nozzle will blast you high into the air, but you can't hover. The propeller nozzle lets you launch yourself horizontally along the ground or water. Unfortunately this nozzle doesn't come into use much. You can also jump on Yoshi's back, although he is only useful for his ability to spit fruit juice all over the place. Yoshi is only required for one puzzle in the game but you can use him in some optional puzzles.

Apart from controlling Mario, you will have lots of work to do when it comes to controlling the camera. Many of Mario's simple tasks are made much more difficult as you have to keep track of the camera. The game is slow when it comes to auto correcting the camera angle when you change direction, as a result you will have to keep on top of the "C" stick in order to make sure you can see what you need to see. The camera does not like tight spots, so if you are controlling the camera in one of the games tight areas you will have to keep your finger on the "C" stick or the camera will rotate right back to the default position which can be very frustrating and inconvenient.

Graphically Super Mario Sunshine is excellent. The whole game has a great stylized look and it is sometimes technically good looking too. The game runs at a solid and smooth frame rate, the characters are very nicely modelled and coloured with some great animation. Generally the textures look good, but don't get too close as they will become blocky. Some sections of the game look very bland due to a bright sunshine effect which doesn't work very well. You will also find some sections of the island are noticeably less colourful and well created than others. One thing that does look good is the water effects seen in the surrounding sea and areas of water that you will come across, even the puddles left from the water cannon will create nice reflections.

Super Mario Sunshine Review On Gamecube @ www.contactmusic.com
Super Mario Sunshine Review On Gamecube @ www.contactmusic.com
Super Mario Sunshine Review On Gamecube @ www.contactmusic.com
Super Mario Sunshine Review On Gamecube @ www.contactmusic.com

Super Mario Sunshine features some voice over work that isn't terribly good. The characters as a whole have pretty mismatched voices, the princess sounds like some thick blond dizzy bimbo, Mario grunts a lot and the bad guys are all disappointing. The audio is better though Mario's shoes make some great noises as he walks and jumps through the game on different surfaces. Musically there is a reworked version of the classic Mario theme which plays during the obstacle levels, unfortunately none of the music really has anything to offer that makes it really stand out.

Super Mario Sunshine Review On Gamecube @ www.contactmusic.com
Super Mario Sunshine Review On Gamecube @ www.contactmusic.com

Whether they have been your bag or not Mario games have always been innovative and nothing short of a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately Super Mario Sunshine is having problems living up to such a great name, rather than being a pioneer Super Mario Sunshine is a follower deciding to take the safe route making sure not to upset anyone along the way. With taking this safe route that game does have some short comings and some of the levels can be quite frustrating even though they are quite easy and short. Some gamers will love the fact that Super Mario Sunshine hasn't deviated much from the older Super Mario 64, others might feel a bit disappointed that Nintendo haven't come up with something new and innovative like they have in the past. All this said there is no reason why you shouldn't go out and buy Super Mario Sunshine as it is a great game in its own right, just don't expect anything revolutionary.

8.0 out of 10

 



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