Mario Sunshine had a very difficult task. It had to take the Mario Franchise onto Nintendo’s new console with a bang, and it had to be different. It couldn’t break the classic “Star collecting” method of Mario, but it had to have something different to Mario 64.
Maybe it was raining that day at Nintendo, because they decided to make water the next “big” thing in Mario.And with water comes beautiful sunsets and sprawling beaches. So, things are starting to come together. Lets. Go on a vacation. Because vacations mean hot weather and sunny beaches, with lots of water. But wait…what’s the one thing water is used for the most? Hmmm…that would be cleaning.Alright, so, here’s what we have.
Mario is going on a vacation for his next adventure so we can use a lot of water, and he’ll be cleaning…eh?
Yeah, that’s really what happens. Prepare to don your mop and overalls (Mario already has overalls) as you clean up not-so-sunny Isle Delfino.
Basically, some evil Mario has painted all over Isle Delfino, and it made the poor Shine’s (Stars) run away in fear of being painted on. It’s up to Mario to reclaim all of them, rescue the Princess who got herself kidnapped yet again, and beat Bowser and the newly introduced Bowser Jr.
Isle Delfino consists of a rather large hub, and 7 methods to get to worlds, where 10 shines hide in each different world. In order to have your final showdown with Bowser and his Son, you need to have cleared every world up to episode 7. Taking into account the shine you get at the very start of the game, that’s a bare minimum of 50 Shines to be collected.Along the way, you’ll probably pick up some spare Shines, but you’ll be facing Bowser when you’ve grabbed around 55 Shines.
That actually sounds pretty short, doesn’t it? But do not fear. The difficulty in this game is something you can marvel at, actually. Ranging from scenarios where you just spray a little bit of water and you get a shine, to some situations where you wish you could throw your controller out the window in sheer frustration. And to make it even better, some of those frustrating levels come earlier than you’d expect. (as early as your fourth shine if you don’t explore the different areas) This means that without a doubt, you won’t be finishing your Mario Sunshine anytime soon, ladies and gentlemen. You’ll be playing this for a fair few days before you come close to facing off with Bowser.
Even Yoshi pokes his face in, although he brings some new tricks and weaknesses to the table, but it helps to liven up the atmosphere. You’ll fight some huge bosses, uncover secrets, swim in lakes to collect red coins, and even roll watermelons around in Mario’s huge adventure.
For a Mario game that’s different to the others, and probably the hardest in the franchise, die-hard gamers should pick this one up without a doubt. If you’re just a casual gamer, stick to Galaxy and Galaxy 2, because there are some parts where even the best gamer will struggle.
Difficulty aside, the highlights here are the inclusion of the water. It isn’t just your stand “Jump on enemies to kill” style of Mario, it’s Mario with a little bit of thought, and a very unique playstyle. Ultimately, it’s still Mario, and the water doesn’t take away the best parts of Mario.