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Super Mario Sunshine

Preview By: Siou Choy

Developer:  Nintendo
Publisher:  Nintendo
Genre:  Platform
Est. Release:  8-26-02
Posted:  3-12-02
Updated:  4-3-02
Updated By:  Jared Black

Nintendo has released six new screenshots of Super Mario Sunshine in action.  These six new screens show Mario conversing with weird-looking NPCs, spraying water, hanging, facing off with an enemy, and more.

Also, Nintendo has posted the official storyline on it's website.  Straight from the source:

The storyline in Super Mario Sunshine is much different than what you might expect. This time, things are much more complicated than simply rescuing Princess Peach from Bowser. The adventure starts when Mario and Peach decide to take a well-deserved vacation to a beautiful island in a remote location. Since the island is perpetually sunny and inhabited by friendly locals, it seemed like the perfect choice at first.

In typical fashion, poor Mario never gets a chance to relax. When he arrives on the island, he notices ugly scribble marks covering the walls throughout the community. What's worse, the person responsible for the scribbling has disguised himself to look just like Mario!

Mario is falsely accused by the locals, so he decides to get to the bottom of things. Armed with a new water-pumping backpack, Mario sets out to clean up the scribbling and reveal the identity of the true villain.

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Every longtime Nintendo fan must have noticed: despite the fact that their bid in the next-gen stakes, the Gamecube, launched several months ago…something is missing. We’ve heard from Luigi but no Mario. Sure, he’s made some brief appearances in a few launch titles; but to date, there’s been no actual, bonafide Mario game. And for a company that survived one of the lamest systems ever to collect dust on retailer shelves solely on the dubious merits of the Pokemon and Mario franchises, that’s somewhat of a shock. But good news is on the horizon: those with a jones for bad pseudo-Italianate accents won’t have to suffer those nasty withdrawal symptoms for much longer. The rather fruity sounding Mario Sunshine (tentative title) is slated for a late summer release in Japan, with a North American release sure to follow.

In a sharp departure from the standard brightly lit fantasy playland backgrounding most every Mario game since the early days of the Nintendo, Mario Sunshine will shift its mise en scene to perhaps the most grim and foreboding place of all: suburbia. Rooftops, telephone wires and high rises pepper Mario’s world this time around. The backgrounds in Mario Sunshine are still bright and green, though somewhat far askance to what you’d expect, given at least a decade worth of cheesily ebullient and garishly lit Mario franchise entries. Huge, interactive levels should keep platform gamers happy, expanding greatly on what has become the standard for this sort of thing. In fact, rumor has it that the levels in Mario Sunshine are easily the largest found in any Mario game to date.

The majority of Mario’s moves from Mario 64 are back. As expected of a Mario game, Mario Sunshine will involve a ridiculous amount of jumping. Mario will be able to jump, triple jump, backflip sideways, run, slide, and bounce off the walls on demand; proving once and for all that he’s ready to take his place in corporate America.

In place of vegetables, shells, and POW Blocks for use as weapons, Mario will have to make do with items such as crates and barrels. In a doubtless criminally negligent disregard for the current water shortage, Mario will also sport a water squirting device to aid him in his (mis)adventures. A water meter can be seen to show just how much water Mario has left. The exact usage of this device is unknown at this time, although it’s speculated that it’ll be used to clean up various glops of paint strewn about the landscape.

Mario looks as best as a short, fat, bulbous nosed caricature can in Mario Sunshine, with a character model similar to that of Mario 64, but enhanced with a raised polygon count and fuller texture and taking full advantage of the expanded power of the Gamecube. There are even such unexpected nuances as the addition of facial expressions, allowing Mario to display emotion, real-time lighting and shadows. Even lens flares for a sun effect and reflections are all part and parcel of Mario’s new enhanced look and feel.

Hopefully we’ll learn more about Mario Sunshine soon.

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