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    rwcarter's Super Mario Sunshine (GC)

    [August 23, 2009 11:15:01 PM]

    First thing this time, when I got into the game, I ran around the island talking to as many people as I could. I thought more about what I wrote in my last entry, about how the citizens don't further the plot, and I wanted to prove myself wrong. Well unfortunately, all I did was bore myself with pointless filler dialog. So I am still of the opinion that the people in the game may as well be scenery.

    I first went to the area that I was last in, and followed the objective. It let me to a warp where my FLUDD was taken away and I had to navigate a puzzle. I failed at it, a lot, but eventually got to the end. The moral seemed to be patience; which I don't have much of, so I'd act too quickly, make a mistake, and fall to my death, over and over. Luckily the punishment for repeated deaths was very light; restarting the puzzle, or when my lives reached 0, restarting back to the main island (where I would then navigate back to the puzzle).

    After I finally completed the puzzle, I went to a new area that was pointed out to me in a cutscene. It was a new beach area that had some monsters that looked like disproportionate ducks. I quickly found out, by experience, that they flip Mario way up into the air (but do no damage). Here I found one exception to the previous paragraph; the citizens here look a bit like hermit crabs. They also have pointless dialog, but when you jump on their head, they retract into their shells. I had a lot of fun seeing how many I could get into their shells at one time (because they come back out after a short time).

    The actual gameplay in this new area was neat. I first had to uncover a sandcastle, which brought me to yet another of the puzzles, one that was much easier. The second objective was to climb on some mirror platforms and use a jump-and-pound mechanic to launch monsters off of the mirrors. This new mechanic was interesting and took some getting used to.

    Overall, this session was more fun than the last. Time flew by, and new mechanics and puzzles were introduced that kept the game interesting.


    One thing I forgot to mention, but that I discovered last session, is the Delfino Emergency Broadcast System. It's a marquee that scrolls along the bottom of the screen when you're in the main island, and gives a few sentences to aid in the story and in finding your objective. I just think it's something that I've never seen in another game, and it adds another storyline aspect, no matter how simple or boring it may be to some.

    I like the physics in the game. Besides kicking the spiky fruit around, and Mario's actions, I found a swing. I stood on the swing, used FLUDD to spray water, and the swing swung in the opposite direction of the blast. It was a neat mechanic, and I look forward to other similar mechanics involving physics like this.

    When playing the puzzle, I died a lot, and I like that there is very little punishment for dying. This is a major design decision for all games; how do you punish the player for dying? In this game, Mario has a number of lives. Each time I fell off the puzzle into nothingness and died, the count would decrease and I would only start over at the beginning of the puzzle. But when my lives reached 0, there was a "Game Over" screen, I'd hit "Continue", and Mario would end up back at the beginning of the main island with 4 lives. This way, there is some penalty for dying, in that you then have to run back to the sub-island (and back to the puzzle, in my case), but it's not so harsh that I lose progress. That, in my opinion, is the ideal death situation for all single player games.

    My girlfriend watched as I played this time, and she commented that the world has very bright colors. I definitely agree. After all, a game about sunshine should have bright colors, right? The art in the game is wonderful; not just the great 3D graphics, but the colors and the textures all work together and create an overall bright, happy mood that fits the idea of a tropical island vacation that Mario and crew are supposed to be on.

    Finally, something that hit me as I was playing: this is a game about cleaning up graffiti. And I always thought about it as just a neat mechanic, and a wacky idea that's so out-there, it works great as a game. But on a moral/cultural level, it's great that the game is about cleaning up a mess! Mario is framed for making the graffiti and goop mess all over the island, because the perpetrator resembles him, and he is sentenced to clean up his mess. This is all revealed in the beginning cutscene; and while FLUDD (which talks) says that his situation is "pitiable", Mario never complains. He gets right to cleaning up someone else's mess. This really sets a precedent in my mind; I never before saw this as an educational game, but it seems Mario can be a good role model for kids, to teach them that they should clean up their messes without complaints, and that graffiti is bad.
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    [August 23, 2009 06:20:08 PM]

    Super Mario Sunshine is a 3D platformer set on Isle Delfino, where a Mario look-alike has been coating the island in graffiti and goop. Assisted by FLUDD, the Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device, you must control Mario to wash off the vandalism and chase down the vandal. The goop covers and hides enemies, island citizens, and even whole buildings. Using Mario's moves and FLUDD's water, explore the entire island, defeat bosses, wash off the goop and defeat the perpetrator who has been making the mess!


    I got this game back in 2002, when it was the latest and greatest Gamecube creation from Microsoft. Its graphics still impress me, even today. The graphics (especially of the water) and the mechanics of the goop and water particles are still very impressive, even compared to today's latest games.

    One of the first things you see is the novel load screen. Rather than the typical menus, it has three typical Mario floating boxes labeled 1, 2 and 3, and you control Mario by moving left/right and jumping. When you jump up and hit a box, it selects that box to load.

    The start of the game has an expected cutscene, followed by a short walk to get accustomed to the controls and then more cutscenes to establish the plot. After that, however, you're left to do as you please on the island. It is never unclear what the next step in the game is, thanks to a cutscene after every major event, but you're never required to take that next step until you want to. I like these types of games, because I am more of an explorer type. I like casually wandering the island, talking to people, figuring out little fun minigames and other activities before going on my way.

    For example, there are a few fruit stands. You can pick up the fruit and carry it around, and throw it. If you throw it in the water, it disappears. When you throw it, it bounces against walls and the ground. One type of fruit cannot be picked up, but can be kicked like a soccer ball. So I had a lot of fun taking that fruit and kicking it around, trying to get it across bodies of water and up staircases and even onto roofs of houses. It's a challenge in the game that is not expressly stated, does not have a real objective or checkpoint, but I find fun to explore and play with, like a toy.

    But after actually getting to the storyline, I played through a couple stages, defeated a couple bosses... I very much enjoyed exploring the new stages, but the bosses were very easy. It may have been in part due to my past experience of the game (though I didn't remember too much), but I think it's more because the game seems aimed towards all ages, and it should start off easy and get harder as I progress. So in this case, I think the experience will improve in my next game session.

    One small note, from a game design perspective: I think the citizens of Isle Delfino should have been made more vital to the story. They stand in one spot, and when you run up to them and press B, they make a small sound effect and then display some text on the screen, usually funky dialog that has no significance to gameplay, like "Oh no! There's goop over there!" I enjoy games where the people actually have something interesting or witty to say, or where you can gain something from talking to them (an incentive to actually talk to them) but in this case, as far as I can tell, they may as well be scenery.

    So overall the game is as fun as I remember, and I look forward to the next session!
    add a comment Add comment

    rwcarter's Super Mario Sunshine (GC)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 23 August, 2009

    rwcarter's opinion and rating for this game

    A classic Mario game, with a great save-the-princess storyline and spectacular water graphics and mechanics for its time.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

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    See info on Super Mario Sunshine

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : Super Mario Sunshine (GC) by akhera (rating: 5)
    2 : Super Mario Sunshine (GC) by jp (rating: 4)
    3 : Super Mario Sunshine (GC) by Rhibecka (rating: 4)
    4 : Super Mario Sunshine (GC) by szahirieh (rating: 5)


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