|Posted by Kelsy on March 27, 2020 at 10:00 PM|
A Super Mario Sunshine 100% Completion Review by: Kelsy, SuperGirlKels Medeiros
Playtime: 24 Hours
Console: Nintendo Gamecube
Year of Release: 2002
When the Gamecube arrived to the world in 2001, it was the first time ever that no one seemed to have cared about Nintendo. The past 5 years delivered new experiences from new competion such as Sony, SEGA, and now Microsoft in the year 2000. Nintendo was no longer "cool" after the Nintendo 64, and were pressured to show what they got in to keep the cool kids, while introducing Nintendo to a new generation. They messed up. Greatly. When the Nintendo Gamecube was presented, it was a purple box with a handle in which you can hold like a lunch box... so it was marketed. When games were shown, none of them seemed to be traditional Nintendo games... but more of.... spinoffs? Luigi's Mansion was the star, Super Smash Bros. Melee stole the show, while ZELDA was introduced as a cartoon shift. The light, and small Nintendo Gamecube wasn't attractive to many hardcore gamers. The most important thing that was missing... was... Mario. Within every Nintendo console release, there has been Mario right there at launch day, or very close after release. Gamecube showed no signs of Mario anywhere, and no 3D Mario for the matter... which everyone was waiting for after the game changing Super Mario 64. As the sales of PS2, and Xbox grew and SEGA put up the flag and surrendered in 2001... Nintendo needed to step up the game as they were losing sales. Those who owned a Gamecube, loved it and it quickly became everyone's favourite console of all time... including mine! But they needed Mario... to sell the system , for what it is and the opportunities waiting for players around the world. Incoming the announcement for Super Mario Sunshine... the next 3D adventure, and sequel to Super Mario 64. The graphics were perfect and introduced Mario in a whole new environment... the problem?... what the heck was that thing on his back? and why did he need it at all times?.... the game showed to be gimicky, and reactions from fans were mixed... this mixed reaction still comes around to date. Some love it calling it a 3D classic, while others think it is known to be one of the worst Mario games of all time.. especially to 100% complete. After you guys voted for this game, it was time that I took my turn against it and would give my throughts to see if this was truly a savior for Nintendo back in 2002, or if it was another missed opportunity.
Typically, Mario never really has an in-depth story. But Super Mario Sunshine attempts to change it up big time! You're not saving Peach for once which is super nice... and Bowser isn't the enemy...technically. Mario and the gang are headed to an island getaway for a vacation, apon arrival Mario notices some paint-like gue swallowing people and messing up parts of the airport. Mario to the rescue, he finds a new friend known as F.L.U.D.D , a watering pump robot created by E.GADD (hint hint) who helps him clean up the mess! As everyone celebrates Mario's good deed, he is soon arrested by the authorities. Confusion later gives answers as the court shows a perpatraitor, and look alike who has been running around the islands of Delfino, damaging properties and invading with paint and hazards. As Mario's punishment, he is sentenced to community service by cleaning up all the islands. FLUDD instead, sees this as an opportunity to find the look-alike: expose him, and bring him to justice. By the way did I mention? THERE IS VOICE ACTING IN A MARIO GAME. I know right!? There has never been voice acting, and even after Super Mario Sunshine there still isn't. Mario himself doesn't speak, but FLUDD, Bowser, Bowser JR, Peach and residents... EVEN TOAD all talk in the story line giving a depth, and personality to the story and characters!
GRAPHICS / SOUND EFFECTS / MUSIC
Graphics on Nintendo Gamecube are still some of my favourite styles to date. Everything is beautiful, colourful, and realistics. It really shows the next generation, and the direction of where Nintendo was going in the future graphics. Mario had personality all around him, and the environment was just as alive. Even the town's villagers were lively, unique and had their own voices. Mario shines, blinks, and makes steps you can't unhear when he runs around. You can even hear FLUDD on his back moving up and down as Mario is running around the islands. The game is super detailed, and the team at Nintendo fully utalizes and doesn't hold back in terms of originality. Delfino Plaza seemingly looks like Venice, Italy but has been completely revamped to look like a summer paradise getaway. Different "worlds" can be viewed from the main hub world in the distances, and looking up into the sky will create vibrance in the camera showing just how hot it is in the area. Water is clear, and reflective making it fun and gives curiosity to the player for exploration finding hidden items, and collectables. When characters speak, their mouths move just with what they're saying.. at this point in gaming, this is still very hard to achieve and Nintendo seems to have mastered it quite well with the first try on Mario. It brought the story alive, and really makes you feel apart of the adventure.
The music itself, is only fitting. Nintendo mixes their Mario jump man classics with new, unique and vacation style'd themes. Italian music is used a lot while mixing ragae and other genres together with Mario is fitting, and really makes you feel you are on vacation.... but Mario reminds you that you're not and that work is to be done! The hub world is jumpy, and lively getting you to move and inspire you to continue your adventure. It's the kind of music you would hear on vacation while walking through mall strips, looking for souvenirs as someone is playing the guitar in the background. While other worlds will display other tracks and melodies... but still complimenting the "vacation" theme. Music and Graphics were a complete step up, changing the way Mario is seen and shows the bold take on a new generation of Mario from Nintendo that I'm only proud of!
I'm going to make 2 separate paragraphs and takes on the level design, because in many ways it is revolutionary... but in others? It's flat out messy and horrifying for anyone to experience.
I'll start with the bad. Super Mario Sunshine's level design in worlds are unique, yet disapointing. The team had the right idea of creating worlds revolving around Vacation spots, and Mario mixed up. Keep in mind though, this is 3D gaming at it's early days and some ideas just may not plan out to be how it's imagined.. which is the case here. I don't know how to say it, but I did not enjoy more than 3 worlds in Super Mario Sunshine out of the 7. Random mazes in hotels are exhausting, and unnecissary. The camera doesn't agree with Mario for most of the time and controlling it is almost impossible creating a frustrating experience for most of the time. Wall jumping seems easy, but because of the camera and 3D perspective it's actually quite hard to keep him steady and not jumping off the sides. Most worlds involve climbling... lots of it. Which makes it very repetitive and discouraging especially when falling off from the top platforms because of controls or camera issues which I will get more into later. It's as if all the worlds are designed with the same goal, but a different paint skin besides the hotel which is more frustrating than any of the worlds combined. The 3 worlds I enjoyed involved no climbing, unique tasks , and fun environments which is what's expected from a Mario game that was unfortionately just not given here. Mario Sunshine agreely has the worst level design in any Mario game to date.
ON the bright side, the main hub world is the best hub world in any adventure, platformer period. It's iconic from music, to design, from climing and jumping from roof to roof. It's satisfying exploring in sewers, and jumping over islands and townfolk to get to where you need to be. There are narrow alley ways, waters to swim across, hidden islands and levels while bonus collectables are hidden in town shops, and tasks awaiting for Mario to accomplish. The hub world is massive... especially for 2002 and offers something at every turn weather its a shop for Mario, world to access, missions from town folk, buildings to jump from, and distances to explore. It's perfect at every angle and I wish more hub worlds would be inspired to study Mario Sunshine as a layout design that matches Venice, with fiction video game environments. The team also does a great job at creating worlds based on vacation hot spots such as a hotel, casino, beach, amusement parks and shopping strips. You really get a sense of this world that Mario is in and is visiting for vacation making you feel apart of the summer experience.
The goal in Super Mario Sunshine is simple, it is identical to Super Mario 64 that involves exploring the main world you are in for new missions in "worlds" and completing them, will unlock even more missions in other worlds! Does that make sense?... Mario travels from island to island completing 8 missions before challenging his duplicate as he gets closer to finding out the truth of his identity, and ways to stop his plans. While completing these missions, Shine Sprites which are the islands' main source of sunshine and symbol, are being collected along the way and restored back to where they belong to give energy, and life to the islands. There are 95 total shine sprites to collect through Missions, and 120 total after collecting blue coins which are the main collectables in this game. There are 240 Blue coins that are scattered around the hub world, and main worlds including certain missions in which must be collected and restored to the main shop back on Delfino Plaza (hub world). The main shop will trade you shine sprites for every 10 blue coins, in which will give you a total of 120 shine sprites to complete the game 100%. It's not that much to ask, honestly especially when having a guide. But dear god, I can't imagine those in 2002 that still had no internet and no guide having to explore every single part of each mission to be sure they did not miss anything. I'm sure thousands of hours were spent by kids everywhere who would cry themselves to sleep at night... Luckily though, I played this in 2020, and it was more than a joy to collect taking me around 5 hours total to collect all blue coins with the proper Youtube guides and you guys in the Twitch chat!
Back to the gameplay, Mario is the same as ever while of course, having new tricks up his sleeve to welcome the new sequel. He can jump, high jump, wall jump, back flip, slide, reverse jump, spin jump and more. New features involve his new friend FLUDD that provides him powers to float in the air by spraying water underneath him, or can use him as a weapon. It's like playing super soaker with your friends, and you're spraying them with ice cold water (LOL). Mario can shoot water from FLUDD in front of him to tackle enemies, reveal secrets, create passage ways, shooting missiles, and to complete missions. As you use FLUDD though... you have to keep realistic, meaning that he will run out of water! Luckily though you're on an island with tons of water around you! In which, Mario can swim in and fill up FLUDD at any time. But always keeping an eye on how much water you have left is important or else.. you're not getting anywhere. This is the main part of Mario's gameplay, mastering how FLUDD works to get to where you need to go and defeating bosses. While all of this is super fun, it's flaud. Mario is much faster , using the physics engine from the new Gamecube processor. This isn't just Mario, but all Nintendo games are much quicker and you can see the difference compared from Super Smash Bros. Melee, and other games in the franchise after that. It's the same with Mario, Mario moves sharply and quickly which is great because the faster, the better for me! The problem is that damn camera. I brought it up before, but this really is the biggest issue in Mario Sunshine. It makes it hard to see, hard to control and the camera is kind of independant and wants to do what it wants to do. If you try to put it in a place, the game can freak out and potentially lock you in a corner where you can't see anything. You might be 50 Ft high and good luck, you're going to have to guess that next jump and hopefully not fall back to the first floor! Luckily, there is a shadow underneath Mario, and you can angle your landings and jumps with the shadow. It's never super consistent, but it can give you a great idea as to where to land, and head for when running and jumping. Mario for some reason is also incredibly slippery. He has huge hitstun and knockback when hit, and can cause you lots of lost lives just by getting hit once and flying to the other side of the map. It's pretty funny for the first few times, but gets really frustrating very quickly. The controls sometimes may also not respond when doing certain tricks with Mario such as reverse jumps, and spin jumps which can all be confused if mis inputing by just a few frames. Sometimes, certain jumps and timing is required and if you mess that up?... well game over for you. I've had many moments in my playthrough where I think the camera is perfectly straight, or that I'm landing somewhere or need to press a certain technique to get to where I need to be... and I just miserably fail for dozens of minutes. But even when I was so frustrated with all of this.... damn I didn't care. This game is damn fun.
Jumping around, exploring and taking on every new mission that is constantly different is so refreshing. It's so exciting to see Mario in new environments taking on the world, and cleaning messes away as he defeats his enemies over and over again. When things are working, damn this game is a masterpiece and mastering it gives you so much joy and sense of accomplishment. This game to complete was one of the most time consuming games to 100%, but it was so worth it. In every world and mission, Mario will always have new ways to play. Some are gimicky, but promises to be always fun. Some are mysterious and then there are the handful of missions that are of course.. just bad. Just horrible decisions that they must have decided on a very hyper-active day. The worst ones for me, involved Yoshi. Yoshi makes a huge debut in 3D here, but it isn't a good one... it's kind of like Silver in Sonic 06. Cool character, wrong game. I felt they didn't understand how Yoshi was to be played in the physics of Sunshine. He's unresponsive, and jumping with him sends you nowhere including his double jump. His only purpose is to eat, and spray ink replacing FLUDD but with fruit juice and the way to keep him with you, is to keep feeding him fruit. The Yoshi will change color depending on which fruit you eat. I felt. Yoshi was a complete waste, and was just there to make fans happy, but I think without him.. the game would have been much more simplified and enjoyable. Sometimes a lot is too much. What is amazing though are the powerups! As you advance during each world in Sunshine, you will unlock powerups for FLUDD to use such as the Rocket Nozel that sends Mario super high in the sky reaching buildings and areas he can't ever reach.. but it uses a lot of water! There's also the boost nozel that similarly to Sonic's boost in Unleashed, will send Mario at super speed using hydro jets of water coming out of FLUDD sending Mario forward allowing him to run on water, and collect secret collectables and access areas. There aren't many, but are different power ups to really change up missions and the way the game needs to be played!
over all, Mario has never accomplished so much and looked so good while doing it up to this point. Sunshine rewards you constantly for achieving all the way until the end when you collect all 120 shines and 240 blue coins... you get a nice completionist medal on your save file plus a thank you from Nintendo for playing the game while the island of delfino is restored, as bright as ever! It's pretty cool to see you start the game out in a dark world with not so much sunlight showing... but as you collect each shine sprite, you will notice every time that the worlds will get brighter and brighter just like the game itself!
ROAD TO 100%
- Complete the Main Story
- Collect all 95 Shine Sprites from each Mission + Secret Missions around the hub world / extra missions in each world
- Collect all 240 Blue Coins around the hub world, and each main world
- Submit all Blue Coins to the town trade shop
- Collect all 120 Shine Sprites
Total Playtime: 24 Hours
Super Mario Sunshine is the adventure game, and platformer for Nintendo Gamecube. It represents all that is Nintendo Gamecube from amazing graphics, to physics and processing power of the console while introducing gamers to a whole new generation of gaming. It's unique, fun, and full of content made for hours of gameplay. As Mario's second 3D outting, it's of course not perfect when comparing controls and camera bugs and issues, but luckily the adventure is made up through the gameplay experience and theme that Mario has never explored. It's a must play for any hardcore gamer looking for a challenge, while also for families to bond with and complete together everywhere.
+ Replay Value
+ Theme / Originality
+ Graphics / Music
- Level Design
- Slippery Controls
- Buggy Camera