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Ugh, stop twitching
mario sunshine again
games Posted 2002-08-29 01:48:15 by Jim Crawford
I'm about thirty shines into it, so I'm still in the early-impression mode, but I think it's fantastic. I'm probably not going to write a review of it, even when I'm done, but here's a list of cool stuff:
  • “Secret” areas. These are linear, obstacle-course style mini-levels scattered around the game world that are very much in the spirit of 2d platformers. Some of these are extremely hard. Difficulty is something that I didn't really expect from this game.
  • The water looks great. Initially, I was a little disappointed about the graphical side of things, but I think that's because I was comparing it to Luigi's Mansion, which puts all of the GameCube's power into rendering a single room at a time, whereas in this game you can often see across nearly the entire level... and sometimes into other levels as well.
  • Yoshi (ridable). Actually, I haven't even seen him yet, but he's been in screenshots. I've been in five levels so far, mostly finished two, and I admire the design team's restraint... in comparison, Super Mario World shot its Yoshi-Wad in the first level.
  • Many other elements from earlier Mario games that didn't make it into Mario 64. For instance, the climbable fences from Super Mario World.
  • The camera is much improved over Mario 64. Mario is rendered as a silhouette when he's behind an obstacle. The camera can go through obstacles when it chooses to. On top of that, the camera movement code is also much better.
Some other notable differences from Mario 64:
  • Every level so far has at least one boss. Nice.
  • Punching and kicking are gone. So is crouching, which means no backflip or long jump. I miss those. The new way of going faster, which is hopping repeatedly on your belly, is just slightly ridiculous.
  • The wall jump is made much easier. They did this by making you start sliding slowly down a wall whenever you touch one in midair. I'm not quite sure that I approve.
  • Where are the goombas?!

For that matter, where's Luigi? I think the community made a big enough stink over his absence from Mario 64 that they'd've known better than to leave him out twice. Then again, maybe he only appears later on, like Yoshi.

In any case, Mario Sunshine is clearly an improvement over Mario 64. Something's bothering me, though... it seems like a simple equation: best_game_ever + incremental_improvement == new_best_game_ever; ... obvious, right? But I just don't feel that it's true. This seems like it should be a clue to me that maybe I'm not being totally objective about this whole “best game ever” thing.

This is not really so surprising, I guess. I rented and finished Mario 64 in early 1998. A few months later, I started getting this visceral urge to play it again. I put off buying it for six months, figuring it wouldn't be worth buying because I had already acquired all 120 stars, but eventually the impulse became too strong. I caved, and I haven't regretted it.

I'm considering now whether I should declare Mario Sunshine the new best game ever without really believing it, or start looking for flaws that would make it a worse game than Mario 64.


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Shine Get
Posted by Anonymous (Soiducked) on 2002-08-29 04:28:27
I miss the long jumps and hard wall jumps, too. I had totally forgotten about the punching and kicking, but now that you mention it, I miss those, too, and the crouching. But the game seems pretty good so far. The camera is a lot nicer, I agree, and I'm pretty pleased with the look of it (although the occasional 2-dimensional splashes and circular water patches do bug me.) I look forward to watching people play it more. (And maybe even playing myself!)
no subject
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-09-02 02:44:56
This is the best video game ever.
Posted by Jim Crawford on 2002-09-03 13:05:56
Oh, you!
I can't wait!
Posted by Anonymous (Anonymous) on 2002-09-14 12:00:49
I keep checking back, waiting anxiously, feverishly for the game to be released, but the countdown NEVER GETS TO ZERO!
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-09-14 12:02:08
It just changed from -16 to -17 as I posted that last message! You're taunting me!*#@\%$!!
re: No!!!
Posted by Jim Crawford on 2002-09-16 01:38:34
Sorry. August 27-28th, 2002 was the window of opportunity you had to buy Mario Sunshine, and now it's too late.

If you're lucky, though, you might be able to find it at your local Blockbuster. If you decide to "lose" the copy you rent, I'll never tell...
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