The Plumber for Summer
With Labor Day approaching, the unofficial end to summer is closing in. Kids are back in school, the final barbeques are being completed, and the period of time of being able to wear white without some fashionistas scolding you is soon coming to an end. (Who thought of no white after Labor Day anyway?) Nonetheless, ten years ago, Super Mario Sunshine left the traditional scope of the Mushroom Kingdom and headed to uncharted territories, a tropical island full of new characters, enemies, and locales. A decade later, and are my memories of the game back in 2002 the same as my thoughts on the game now? Is Mario's vacation fun in the sun, or should he have just stuck to a "staycation?"
Every plumber deserves a vacation, and that is exactly what Mario, Peach, Mushroom Kingdom ambassador Toadsworth, and several Toads have decided to do. They land on the cozy shores of Isle Delfino only to find the island completely defaced with hazardous graffiti and "icky, paint-like goop." Little does Mario know that someone is impersonating the portly plumber, vandalizing the island, and framing him in the process. A pair of Delfino Island police officers take Mario into custody. With a swift slam of the gavel, the judge orders Mario to clean up the mess before our hero is able to leave the island. But no worries as Mario is not alone this time around. He teams up with a water-spraying backpack known as F.L.U.D.D. and with the device's help, plans to make Isle Delfino squeaky clean (because clean is better than dirty) and find out the villain behind Mario's framing. Unlike any other game in the series, Super Mario Sunshine employs complete voice acting for cutscenes. Whether you can appreciate the Saturday morning cartoon vibe displayed is a stance that I think I can say "your mileage may vary."
|The FMV here is quite charming.|
|The focus of Sunshine is the collection|
of all of these Shine Sprite spirits.
|Ricco Harbor provides some early platforming|
challenges for players to get their feet wet to.
|One of several special stages full of skill-based play.|
Mario by his lonesome has a plethora of moves in his acrobatic arsenal. For a pudgy plumber, this guy can move. He can dive, covering loads of ground in seconds. He can jump between two walls to reach higher destinations. He can back flip to gain greater height. He can ground pound, and do much more.
|You quickly learn that along with Pokeys and |
Cataquacks, the camera is also your enemy.
In addition to FLUDD, Mario can occasionally come across a Yoshi egg. By feeding the egg its desired fruit, a Yoshi will hatch from its imprisonment. Mario can ride the darling dinosaur, spraying juice at foes (some obstructions can only be cleared with Yoshi's spray), and other helpful feats. Unlike other games in the series, however, Yoshi will disappear immediately if it enters a deep body of water or runs out of juice.
|For the first time in 3D, Yoshi is here!|
|One of the worst episodes for dealing|
with the game's troublesome camera.
Super Mario Sunshine is a bounty of color. The worlds are vibrant, lush, and full of interesting details. The game tends to run at a steady framerate, but there are indeed moments where the game appears to be pushed to its limits and everything slows down to a tremendous chug. As for the sound, the voice acting is either take it or leave it. It is quite polarizing. Some will like it, some will hate it. I don't think there is much middle ground to be had for most people. On the side of the music, the genius composers at Nintendo once again provide some very catchy melodies like Delfino Square, Bianco Hills, Noki Bay, the a capella Super Mario Bros. theme in special stages, and the main boss theme. Overall, the presentation package of Sunshine pleases.
|Make a mecha mess out of Mecha Bowser.|
[SuperPhillip Says: 7.0/10]