The adventure has been long-awaited and highly anticipated. "Super Mario Sunshine" is the first game starring our favorite plumber friend on the GameCube, AND
the first Mario game in six years. The expectations were high, and we're happy to say, they were fully met.
Overall, the game is quite challenging, and a bucket of fun. The ultimate goal of this game is to clear up our plumber friend's good name, as he has been accused of vandalizing an island vacation spot. Also, what would a Mario game be without the Princess getting kidnapped? Nothing. The world would probably stop spinning. So, there is a little bit of Princess rescuing action going on in the game, too. You get closer to your goals with every "Shine" you collect. "Shines" are earned by accomplishing specific tasks in specific worlds. These tasks range from collecting certain amounts of certain colored coins, to fighting mini-bosses, to jet skiing around on a squid. Yoshi provides some help in some of these tasks, which is a fun addition.
We have read several reviews stating either "We weren't impressed with the graphics, but we were impressed with the gameplay" or "We weren't impressed with the gameplay, but we were impressed with the graphics".
This says to us that people really need to calm down, stop analyzing these games as though they are political movements, and start looking at them as games. "Super Mario Sunshine" is a gem of a game, providing hours of fun and even hours of frustration. Yes, frustration.
But, what would a Mario game be without frustration? We couldn't agree more with what Lunabeanie Edgemaster had to say about the frustrating aspects of the game:
that sounds exactly like mario 64. but that was one of the good qualities of the game. you get all worked up and annoyed and the simplest jump or move becomes nearly impossible. so you throw the controller, shut off the system and do something else for a few hours. come back, and bam, you accomplish the task in the first or second try with unbelievable ease. i love it.
Of course, the game isn't all frustration...that would stink, but you will be tossing your controller around with some of the more difficult tasks. Be prepared for that.
We should mention that the controls for this game are great. Even the newly introduced water pack, or FLUDD, is beautifully incorporated into the controller with ease. A simple hit of the X-button changes the nozzle from a spraying forward mode (cleaning up messes and attacking) to a spraying the ground mode (hovering, jetting, and blasting up). The R-button works as the "trigger" for the jet pack, with the left control stick dealing with the aim.
In addition to the controls, the camera work in this game deserves applause. The right control stick moves the camera around Mario. If the camera is caught behind a building or if you're underground, the camera does a nice job with shadows indicating your location.
This game will be huge, as it deserves to be. It's pretty, it's poppy, and it's predictable. Everything a next generation Mario game should be. Nothing more, nothing less.