Super Mario Sunshine (2002) Review

Super Mario Sunshine is a 3D platfomer for the Nintendo Gamecube, it was directed by Yoshiaki Koizumi and Kenta Usui with producer credits for both Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka

Mario, Princess Peach and Toadsworth are all flying to the luxurious Island of Isle Delfino for some summer fun, relaxation and a well needed vacation after Mario’s past adventures.

Unfortunately a Mario impostor has covered the entire island in toxic slime and due to this Mario is mistaken for the criminal resulting in him being thrown into prison. Luckily he had previously picked up one of Professor E-Gadd’s inventions FLUDD, FLUDD is a water propelling device which has multiples functions and is able to remove the slime, Mario is eventually released and told that he must clean the entire Island before he can leave, this gives him plenty of opportunities to figure out who framed him and explore the entirety of Isle Delfino.

In the game you will travel to different areas of the Island which each hold a number of Shine Sprites (This games stars).

In order to receive these Shine Sprites you will have to complete various tasks ranging from basics such as collecting red coins and more complex tasks such as fighting ghosts, riding yoshi’s and even riding roller coasters !!

My favourite Shines in the game are from the second world you can access, there are two missions here where you can ride on squids to go fast across the water, this is really fun and not too difficult to control once you get the hang of things.

Another game play style worth mentioning here is when the game takes the FLUDD away, this goes back to basic Mario game play and its very challenging because you are now used to using FLUDD for practically everything, I can see some gamer’s being very frustrated with these sections because they are both difficult and visually differing to the rest of the game but personally for myself these are some of the highlights of Mario Sunshine.

Speaking of the worlds they are each so differently designed that I want to briefly discuss my thoughts on them.

The Hub World has its own Shine Sprites which you can collect as you unlock new peripherals for your FLUDD, the main layout is actually really good and minus two Sprites which are a pain to collect it had little flaws, the only issue I have is the awful plachinko mini game and the red coin mission which is requires you to navigate a Yoshi to an island using boats which you have no control over.

The first world you enter is Bianco Hills a really summery area that is powered by windmills and ruled by ferocious pirana plants. I really like this area its genuinely really well designed and a great place to get used to using Mario’s jumping mechanics and it also teaches the player the basics of FLUDD.

Next up is Ricco Harbor a water based level which requires players to quickly adapt to using FLUDD in order to explore the stage,I like this level but I do feel its really unfair at times especially so early on in the game, I love riding the squids but I hate the wind that knocks you off of the towers which are already challenging to balance on.

Gelato Beach is one of my least favourite areas of the game, it can be very creative when it comes to using water to control the sand and I also enjoy the general atmosphere of the level, the stage was not very well designed for the Shine Sprites it holds, examples of awful design would be the much hated sand bird stage and rolling the water melon, while the sand bird is a stage hidden within the Beach it is still extremely frustrating and does not work well with the games genuinely slippery control and the water melon mission is just ridiculously difficult as one hit and it get destroyed and the level is crawling with unfair enemy placements.

Pinna Park is easily the best part of the game, its a theme park which is really fun to explore and is one of the best areas to climb up really high to get some good views and appreciation for the game design. I love this part and I have no complaints.

Sienna Beach is an odd name considering that you hardly spend anytime in the beach part of the level and mostly explore an old hotel, the hotel is a pretty cool area its a little boring considering that most of it is locked from the player but what we do get is great, I really love finding the secret rooms and the Casino is a memorable part due to that really crazy fight with King Boo.

An area I always forget about before each play through of Sunshine is Noki Bay, this is another water based area and I don’t know why I never remember this because its one of my favourite places to visit. It is a really challenging level because when you first enter the entire water area is poisoned and will kill Mario fairly quickly, the level is very small but has some great details such as the use of seashells as decoration and buildings, there are a lot of well hidden secrets to find and the stage is designed in a way that makes it really fun to explore with little frustration, I love the colours used, there is a lot of dark blues and purples and other darker colours that each blend really well together and build great immersion.

Pinata Village is the final area before you head to the Volcano to fight Bowser, I hate this level because it is really boring, there is nothing special about it and while I think its interesting that it was developed with players being able to explore both the village and its underside the entire layout is just basic and nothing really stands out, I would argue that even the Shine Sprites here are not great, the only one I enjoy is when you have to drag the giant chain chomp into the hot springs but apart from that nothing else is memorable for me.

While exploring all of the Island you will primarily be using FLUDD who has four functions, shooting water, hovering, blasting water to move Mario at rapid speeds and the rocket allowing Mario to propel himself into the sky, these are all really easy to use but you will be mainly using the hover which is the most useful as it can come in handy to allow you to make tricky jumps.

Yoshi’s can be ridden in the game but they are hardly ever needed a very unusual choice was for them to spit out juice from their mouths, this juice can be used to remove a specific type of slime that can not be destroyed otherwise.

At this point we have covered most of the game but the last thing I want to touch on is the blue coins, these are hidden all over the game and the primary function is to sell them for more Shine Sprites, people do complain that these make up a large chunk of the Sprites in the game and is just lazy I think its done in a way that works well enough but I would be lying if I didn’t slightly agree with the statement.

The game may be a little flawed but you have to admit that the soundtrack is fantastic, its very simple I wont deny that, it even repeats music but with a different style and instruments but its done in such a clever and discreet way that it just works, the music fits perfectly and helps you get immersed in the really silly world of Isle Delfino.

So I know I have complained a fair bit here but I do feel this game is far from perfect, It’s buggy and the controls are not as great as they usually are and for the most part it feels unfinished but there must be something great about this game because I have replayed it every Summer since 2002. I think what this game does well is that it genuinely feels like a vacation, its so silly and charming that its hard not to put a smile on your face and I think for a lot people its nostalgic, it definitely is for me I got this game when it came out and I’ ve grown up with it since I was seven years old, back then I would have told you that this is one of the best Mario games ever made but now that I’m older and I review video games for a living I can see that its far from being a masterpiece for reasons I have stated previously. It’s a game that I would say is half amazing and half mediocre its a little bit of a mess but is also really fun, Mario Sunshine is probably the most difficult game in the series to rate because its hard to look past how much fun it is but then as reviewers we must look into It’s problems and it has a fair few so I think its only fair to give it a 6.5/10 and just enjoy for what it is, not the best Mario game but a great way to start the summer.

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Yoshi’s Crafted World (2019) Review

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Yoshi’s Crafted World is the eight installment in the Yoshi series of video games and it is the follow up to the Wii U game Yoshi’s Wooly World, it was developed by Good Feel and was published by Nintendo on the Nintendo Switch in March 2019.

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The Yoshi’s are living happily on Yoshi’s Island, a magical artifact called the sundream stone is beloved by the Yoshi’s. The artifact is filled with magical gems which can make someones dreams come true.

One unfortunate day the naughty baby Bowser and his henchman Kamek steal the sundream stone, the Yoshi’s try to stop the robbery which ends with the gems being scattered across the island, leaving the inhabating Yoshi’s to race baby Bowser and Kamek to collect the gems.

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The game play for the most part is your standard 2.5D platformer with regular Yoshi game play, your main goal is to get from beginning to end of each stage by eating enemies to turn them into eggs and then throwing those eggs to either kill other enemies or to find secrets and collect items, however there is a little more meat to this game which makes it stand out compared to previous titles.

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The biggest change in gameplay is that you can now revisit a level and go through it backwards allowing you to see items and scenery that you couldn’t see before, the main idea of these levels is that you need to find poochy’s missing puppies, every flipped level has three puppies to find and doing so will allow you get more smiley flowers.

Smiley flowers are hidden in the levels, the majority of them are very easy to find but some are much trickier, you need to collect these flowers in order to gain access to the various locations in the game.

After you beat a world you can go back through the stages to find specific items as part of a scavenger hunt and in this mode if you find the requested item you will given a new smiley flower, this is a lot of fun to do but it does get tedious after a while. I wish they gave you a checklist instead of making you replay each stage multiple times as it becomes a bit of drag after an hour or so of seeing the same scenery.

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Another collectible in the game are costumes, these can be purchased from gashapon machines in each world, every world has 10 unique costumes which can help Yoshi in tougher areas of the game.

You dont need to collect all of this extra stuff and I dont really think its worth the time unless you want the game to feel a little bit longer but I will say that compared to Wooly World the collection aspect of Crafted World is much more entertaining.

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The best part of the game for me has got to be its wonderfully creative visual style, everything in the game apart from a few enemies is made out of a craft whether its paper mache, origami, carpentry or even balloons everything is so charming its hard not to want to play the game just to see how creative the developers have been.

The soundtrack is nice to listen too and it fits the style of game, there isnt any really memorable tracks here but the simple melodies and the cute tunes helps to make the game feel more relaxing until the last hour or so of the campaign.

Yoshi’s Crafted World is a simple but brilliant game, it is a lot of fun and can be enjoyed by players of all ages. It has easy to learn controls, is a treat to look at and has plenty of content before and after fishing the main story. There is enough bonus stuff that it can easily double the length of the campaign. The only issue I have is the scavenger hunts you can do because as previously stated it gets boring to revisit the same stages constantly but with that in mind I would say that this is one of Yoshi’s greatest video games yet and it is well worth its price tag.

9.8/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Yoshi’s Crafted World

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Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo Switch) Review

Is this Mario’s greatest adventure to date?

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Usually I would just post a picture of a games cover art but in this rare occasion I wanted to show off the free Cappy hat you got for pre-ordering Mario Odyssey, Its pretty cool being able to wear your hat while playing the game I think its a great collectible for little kids and big kids too 😉

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Bowser and Peach are actually getting married and its up too Mario to stop Bowser and save the wedding but the only problem is that Bowser wins the fight and destroys Mario’s trusty hat which many fans know gives Mario most of his power, Bowser kicks Mario off his air ship to a mysterious land where he lays unconscious,defenseless and without his hat powerless so how can he save Peach this time?

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Meet Cappy a helpful Boo who Mario Meets in the cap kingdom a world filled with top hat inspired architecture, Bowser has stolen Cappy’s sister Tiara so he’s quick to turn himself into a replica of Mario’s hat in order to help Mario on his adventure.

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metro kingdomI have to say that this is the strangest Mario game I have ever played, its not a bad thing but its very different to its predecessors for one their are no power ups in the game but Mario has the ability to transform into most enemies and objects in the game by throwing Cappy at things, also the game adds a whole new wardrobe of outfits that Mario can purchase and wear throughout his adventure these new features are a nice change for the series and I hope that at least the outfits stay for future entries.

maxresdefault1He’s collected Stars, he’s collected Shine Sprites so we all knew it wouldn’t be long before Mario was collecting moons and this game has a whopping 999 for you to find and buy, most of them can be collected fairly quickly but they are well hidden, thankfully you can collect the majority of the moons in a kingdom in a single visit as Mario Odyssey takes away the need to revisit a level every time you want to collect a moon.

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For the majority of his games Mario has had very tight and responsive controls and the case isn’t much different for Super Mario Odyssey, I found the controls a little slippery at first but I soon got used to them, one issue with the game is that even though it has many control options available only the motion controls actually allow you do all of Mario’s moves, it really sucks because most people don’t care much for motion controls these days and it baffles me how this problem wasn’t fixed before shipping especially from a company such as Nintendo.

The music is an odd choice for a Super Mario game but it works extremely well, I find it has a jazzy beat to it and each soundtrack suits each world differently for example the forest world has a calm and natural feel to it while the city music is loud and upbeat and all of the different sounds give off the effect of a noisy and energetic place, although by far the best song in the game is “I’ll be your one up girl” which is sang by none other than Pauline from the Donkey Kong arcade game, to my knowledge its the first song in the series to use vocals and its a perfect fit for Mario’s adventure across the unusual world of Mario Odyssey.

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Super Mario odyssey is an epic edition to the Super Mario series and it takes Mario in a whole new direction, gone are the limited power ups, the graphics are the best the series has seen yet, the colors are eye popping and its the small details such as falling snow, dust blowing in the wind and grass moving to one side as you step through it which really helps immerse you into the experience,  the soundtrack is absolutely brilliant  as always and the controls while they are not best are easy enough to get used too, I wish the game had a hub world, I imagined New Donk City to be the hub while different shops would take you to each stage so I was disappointed when this wasn’t the case, but apart from this Super Mario Odyssey is an amazing game however I personally don’t think its the best game in the series but its definitely a close contender.

Super Mario Odyssey is the Mario game that you could only dream of but with a few  things missing and slightly slippery controls it doesn’t quite make a top score 9.6/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch

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Super Mario Bros (NES) Review

Super Mario Bros (NES) Review

I was flicking through my video game collection a few days ago and I came across a very nostalgic game from my childhood Super Mario Bros on the NES, now I gather everyone has heard of this game or has at least played it, Super Mario Bros was one of the very first NES released and is a beloved game among many fans but is it all it’s cracked up to be let’s find out in this review of Super Mario Bros. (Just to prewarn you this review will most likely be shorter than the others as the game is pretty basic in all aspects)

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In the game you take control of Mario an overweight Italian plumber who likes nothing more than taking magic mushrooms and eating plat life to gain powers (No he is not on drugs……….Or is he?) any way Mario has heard some tragic news and found out that the girl he has his heart set out for Princess Toadstool has been kidnapped by an evil turtle known as King Koopa (Bowser) Mario must adventure across the Mushroom Kingdom (ok what’s with all the mushroom quotes?) in search of the missing Princess and her kidnapper.

Game play and Graphics

There are three types of levels in the game the usual outdoor/ underground plat former levels, underwater swimming levels and Bowser’s many castles in the game, The game looks and plays great it has a nice colour palette for a game that came out in 1985 and Mario’s controls are tight and easy to learn, Mario moves and attacks in different ways depending on the level you are on and if you have found an item.

Items

Mushroom- If Mario eats the mushroom he will grow twice his size

Power Flower- Eating this flower will give Mario the power to shoot fire balls from his hands

Star Power- Eating this star will make Mario temporarily invincible

1UP Shroom- Eating this Mushroom will give the player an extra life (an extra life can also be obtained if the player collects 100 coins)

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The music in this game is great, It is both really fun to listen to and really easy to remember, one problem there is a total of 32 levels in this game but Nintendo only gave us three songs to listen to, these songs are great the only problem is that listening to the same music over and over again can get really annoying apart from that the music is awesome

Bosses

The Many Bowser’s

I guess you could say that there are 8 bosses in the game but does it really count if all the bosses are pretty much the same apart from little changes like a platform Mario can jump on or the fact that in the later levels Bowser will throw axes and for that reason alone I am not going to go into detail of each boss because you would just read the same thing over and over again, If you have fire power shoot him until he dies, if not jump over him or run under him and hit the Axe to chop down the bridge. I love Nintendo I understand that this is one of their first really popular games but could they really have not been more creative especially with the in game bosses (How about an explanation to how Bowser seems to survive every time I throw him into lava because I’m pretty sure he would die).

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Now I know I’ve done a little bit of bitching about this game but I’m not gonna lie even though I find these issues I still love it, It is one of those many video game titles which will live in my heart forever, I’m not going to tell you to buy the game because chances are you already own it whether it’s on the NES, DS, PC or anything else Super Mario Bros is a great game and it has my seal of improvement 8/10.  I hope you enjoyed this review of Super Mario Bros on the NES this is my opinion of the game if you respect my opinion I will respect yours.

Thanks for Reading this Raggle Fraggle Review

This review was written by Dan