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Super Mario Sunshine

Review By:  Andrew Joy

Developer:  Nintendo
Publisher:  Nintendo
# of Players:  1
Genre:  Platform
ESRB:  Everyone
Online:  No
Accessories:  Memory Card
Date Posted:  1-9-03

The long-awaited Mario title for the next generation of gaming comes at last.  Sunshine doesn't pull its punches in this all-out Mario game and it leaves Luigi back where he started (and to some, where he belongs), staring
as a second rate sidekick to Mario.  This is the game for everyone, whether you buy every game or pick and choose your titles carefully.

The game, which starts out with our hero and several familiar friends (Though suspiciously Luigi-free, sour grapes?) arrive at the luxurious
Island Delfino for some typical "fun in the sun" down time.  However, when Mario and company arrive the group is suddenly sent hurdling into a new Mario adventure, an adventure of epic proportions and non-stop fun.

The Mario series dazzles you with its graphics which, though you may not have really suspect it at first, have made a tremendous leap in quality since the days of 64.  That's not to mention the leaps and bounds from when the plumber first started.  Many of the classic Mario moves have been brought back, in full, for the game and all of them are integral to complete
the game.  In addition to the classics, Mario has also been equipped, in many ways, with a new set of techniques and tools.  Among these, the now famous F.L.U.D.D.  This hydro powered gadget, which is only one of the new gadgets many Nintendo characters are being overhauled to include, is an all-purpose, hydro-powered, Mario tool.  The tank on Mario's back, which has
a limited but refillable water supply, lends everything you could ever imagine to Mario, making him a force to be reckoned with.  Now Mario can over, be boosted along, and even shoot enemies.

Aside from the visual upgrade, the new techniques, and the new gadget at Mario's disposal, the game also totes an impressive line of characters to interact with.  In your quest for Shine Sprites (over 100 all together that you must collect!) and coins you can collect to buy the Shine Sprites, these diverse surroundings may lend to hours of play.   The island residents alone offer a myriad of quests to earn certain rewards time and time again, even if they are easily appeased characters, the tasks themselves can sometimes be a little challenging.  The locations in Sunshine can also be just as diverse as the many residents, with levels taking place everywhere from a harbor to a theme park.  If that alone wasn't enough, each world also has a seemingly infinite amount of quests to attend to.

The enemies in Mario Sunshine are also often familiar at times though some new ones, not to mention the heinous pollution everywhere, offer some new challenges.  Often times the enemies can be used to your advantage so be sure to not destroy them all quickly and take time to notice how they react to some of the things you can do.  Sunshine also offers a variety of obstacles that must be successfully completed in order to make it to a new area or simply earn Shine Sprites or other prizes.  Perhaps more challenging than one might originally expect from a Mario game, younger children or inexperienced gamers might not easily accomplish it, so know your skill level if you venture to purchase.

The controls in Mario sunshine can also present a bit of a problem, sometimes Mario may seems awkward to control or get precision aiming that
might be needed at times.  Despite all of this, a seasoned Mario veteran should be able to complete the game with no problem, tackling most of the obstacles, enemies, and even Mario, with little to no problem.


  • Classic Mario fun, techniques, and characters.  Lots of new ones too!
  • A vast game environment that will insure you won't be shelving Sunshine soon.
  • Enhanced visuals and other game elements rejuvenate the Mario franchise.


  • Sometimes twitchy controls.
  • The rapid, fast-paced gaming may cause you to get an unexpected reaction out of Mario.
  • The addition of FLUDD makes the game seem more like a spin-off than a sequel.  Does Mario have a future?

Final Verdict:

A great addition to your library and the Mario game series, it may very well be the reason to own a GameCube.  Unfortunately it may be too little too late for Nintendo, people have had time to look towards other new systems.  Had this been a launch title, there would have been more sales and loyal Nintendo fans.  The controls may be awkward at times, though if you wait it out and pay attention you can soon wield Mario like a professional.  Familiar elements, supporting cast and enemies will have you remembering why
you loved Mario in the first place.

If you are unsure about Mario, or never really cared for his original 64 3-D transformation in the first place, I recommend renting it, just to
see how you like it.  Mario fans, of course, will probably buy it regardless, though I would recommend that you rent it at least once to get a feel for the altered GameCube controls Mario uses now.

Overall Score: 9.0

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