Nintendo Consoles

Nintendo Consoles

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Top Ten Favorite Gamecube Games: Number 7

Ahoy to my video gaming/"what is James up to today?" friends! I want to start this post by saying that I am going to start to space out my posts by about a day or so more than I had originally intended. Really, I need more time to play more games. No need to explain that any further, just imagine that I'm a busy guy. For example, I had a dentist appointment yesterday. Ill be about 3 days instead of 2 for a little while unless I have something else to talk about. Umm...that's it. Here is number 7!

7) Super Mario Sunshine

Well we all knew this was coming.

Okay let's talk about Italian plumbers. Super Mario Sunshine was Gamecube's answer to any fan of  the original Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64. Super Mario 64 was a career-changing move for Mario, raising the bar of the video gaming industry, and setting the video game standard (along with Nintendo 64's The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time) for the next 10+ years. So how was Gamecube prepared to continue Mario's hot-streak? By putting him in a hot and sunny resort! The resort's name was Isle Delfino. The dolphin-shaped island, during the game, acted as a hub from which Mario could access different levels and navigate them in order to retrieve Isle Delfino's sacred Shinesprites. Barring a lot of details, the more shinesprites that Mario collected, the more levels you gained access to. The more levels you had access to, the more opportunities Mario had to collect Shinesprites. Upon collecting a certain amount of Shinesprites, the door to the final boss opens, beat him, and you complete the game. Of course, that is a very simple explanation of this game. So as veteran Mario fanatics can tell, it is basically a very sunny Super Mario 64. Stars from SM64 = Shinesprites from SMS. The formula is exactly the same in both games, so how can one say that Super Mario Sunshine is NOT a carbon copy of Super Mario 64? Simple. One is on the Gamecube, and one is not. You see it is pretty god damn obvious that both games use the exact same concepts. However, I am not here to compare Mario 64 to Sunshine, because that isn't fair.

Really Super Mario Sunshine had a lot of great things to offer when it comes to the development of the 3D platforming idea. The first, most glaringly obvious change is the addition of your new friend F.L.U.D.D. This little guy is a jetpack that uses water propulsion to make Mario ascend for short periods of time. It also doubles as a hose used for cleaning, and it has a couple of upgrades, which are unlocked along the way called the Turbo Nozzle which makes Mario run really fast, and the Rocket Nozzle which shoots Mario like, 50,000 feet in the air instantly.  Mostly though, you use F.L.U.D.D. for his jetpack mode. The jetpack allows Mario's jump to pretty much be extended and controlled more easily. Being able to float around in the air for a second or two longer than normal greatly improves Mario's ability to navigate difficult levels. Mario's jumping ability featured in nearly every single one of his games is combined with your trusty jetpack's powers in order to solve the puzzles, defeat bosses, and explore the worlds of Isle Delfino in order to retrieve Shinesprites, working ever-closer to opening every world and finally, the door to the final boss.

Now we discuss the actual story. Don't worry, it's brief. Mario, Peach, and Toadsworth are going on a vacation but when they land, they discover a huge plant-like monster made out of mysterious goo. Mario claims FLUDD and defeats the monster, but gets thrown in jail and is told he will only be allowed out if he agrees to rid Isle Delfino of every other Goo Monster. Moreover, the filth of the Goo Monsters has caused the sacred Shinesprites to flee Isle Delfino and without them, the island's tourism industry will fail because Shinesprites are the island's source of light and power. AND FINALLY, the REAL culprit for these crimes is Bowser Jr. disguised as Mario. So there you go, you have a hero, a villain, a new powerup for the hero, and an objective- Use F.L.U.D.D. to thwart Bowser Jr.'s attempts to rid Isle Delfino of the Shinesprites........... Oh also, Peach gets kidnapped, but who cares?

The bulk of the action found in Super Mario Sunshine happens in the 10 different levels on Isle
Delfino. From each of the 10 levels, you can access 8 different missions. You could gain at least 1 Shinesprite from each mission in each level for a total of 80 Shinesprites + up to 24 more gained by trading Blue Coins to a merchant and even more for completing various other tasks around the Isle. All ten levels on Isle Delfino are vastly different from one another, offering new environments to explore with every level you unveil. Each level has a specific theme which varies from an amusement park to a hotel to a beach to a shipping harbor and more. All ten levels are bright and host catchy and fitting music from that famous Nintendo orchestra. The themes of each level relieve the game of much competitive gameplay, making sure that you experience new ideas from start to end, and anything that does repeat does so to contribute to the storyline. This, I forgive.

I guess I have developed a habit of closing with comments on the visual and aural pleasures of each game...well I wouldn't want to keep my fans unhappy. The game was based on light, or lack there of. You see, as Mario collects more Shinesprites, the dull and grey-looking Isle Delfino becomes brighter and more colorful. So when the game designers go out of their way in order to incorporate a feature in the game that depends on light, you'd better be damn sure that the visuals are going to be astonishing. Much like Mario Kart: Double Dash, this game's stage is taken by the colors. They all just pop. The water is cyan and the greens are so bright that they actually look delicious. And don't even get me freaking started on the music. I literally replay this game just to hear it! The songs are so well-composed and catchy. They compliment the environment of the game perfectly, which is usually pretty typical of Nintendo, but it doesn't make it any less awesome.

All in all, Super Mario Sunshine really does provide a great gaming experience. It is great to look at, not too difficult, and usually lasts a pretty long time. There are a lot of levels, but they don't all necessarily have to be completed in order to beat the game and despite their great quantity, no two ever feel exactly the same. Super Mario Sunshine is a fun Mario game with F.L.U.D.D. being an interesting spin, adding variety and refreshing concepts to the already unique Super Mario experience. And please, even though this game is bright and fun, remember to eventually get out in the real sunlight. I don't want my descriptions of these games to be the reason you all never leave the house...

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