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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Video Game Connoisseur: Coming In 2005: Super Mario Rehab

Mario

Mario

Last week I may have given you the impression that Mario can do no wrong. That is not correct, Mario can do much wrong. Most of the time what starts as crap can turn to gold (the whole Paper Mario concept is an excellent example of this, a crappy idea that should have been shot down off the bat but ended up being pretty good). Super Mario Sunshine never should have been made. In short it sucks. However, some background history leading up to the game’s creation is needed to truly understand how much it sucks.

Every new Nintendo system, excluding the original Nintendo, has had a Mario game released simultaneously that comes with the system. Every other system cost a buttload of money and made you spend even more getting games, but Nintendo came with a game that not only showcased the capabilities of the new system but also tided over players until they had the money to buy another game. Gamecube, however, was the first time Nintendo released a system without a Mario game. Suddenly fans had to drop $300 to get a system and game rather than play the newest Mario to get a feel for the system. This was a dark day in console history. Nintendo attempted to remedy the problem by releasing Super Mario Sunshine, still no game came with the system and they were charging fans top dollar for their Mario fix.

Super Mario Sunshine borrows heavily (if not outright steals) from Super Mario 64 (the Mario game released with the Nintendo 64, the previous system). The plot of Super Mario 64 was that King Bowser was holding Princess Peach captive in her castle along with the castles’ 120 Stars. Mario had to go to different worlds (using the castle as a hub) to get the stars back to open up new worlds to save the Princess. In Super Mario Sunshine Mario and Peach are taking a well needed vacation on Isle Delfino. Unfortunately, when they get there they find out that a Mario look alike has covered the island in sludge and graffiti. Also the Islands 120 Shine Sprites are missing. After being arrested and convicted without a trial Mario is sentenced to community service, it’s now up to you to clean up the island and get the shine sprites back. Helping you is a talking water sprinkler strapped to your back named FLUDD. Like in Super Mario 64 the island serves as a hub and you have to jump into different patches of graffiti to travel to different worlds to find the Shine Sprites. The story gets more ludicrous from there. Within in the first quarter of the game the Mario look alike kidnaps Peach (no surprise there). The look alike turns out to be a bowser-like child in disguise who claims to be Bowser and Peach’s love child.

The game’s controls are difficult to master, adding to the difficulty is a camera that changes angles exactly when you don’t want it to making the game very annoying. Luck plays an absolutely critical role in getting anywhere. To put it bluntly the learning curve here is a right angle. The story is ridiculous and much of the game’s style (and having to collect 120 objects in the exact same manner as the last game) feels unoriginal. While the game is visually beautiful and colorful it’s important to remember that looks are skin deep. This game is a good example of how not to make a Mario game. I think it’s finally time to send Mario to drug rehab.

John Kane III is the Photography Editor of The Mass Media, All opinions expressed in this column are solely his own. If you think Stupor Mario Sunshine was a great game argue with him and he at [email protected] and he might respond in the next column.