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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Luigi’s Mansion 3 (2019) Review

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Luigi is back for his latest ghost hunt and this time he is ditching spooky mansions for a haunted hotel.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is the third instalment of the Luigi’s Mansion video game series, It was developed by Next Level Games and was published by Nintendo. The game was released for the Nintendo Switch on October 31st 2019.

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Luigi, Mario, Princess Peach and her Toads have all been invited to a high quality hotel called the High Rise Hotel of the Last Resort. Not long after checking into the hotel and settling down Luigi is woken up by Princess Peaches scream. The hotel has been transformed into a haunted ghost trap and Luigi soon discovers that all of his travelling companions have been turned into paintings by King Boo who is working closely with the Hotel Owner. After a swift escape from the ghoulish king Luigi has to travel to the top of the hotel to capture the spirits and rescue his brother and friends.

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The game is split into 17 areas, each area is a new floor of the hotel and each floor has a unique theme, environment and boss encounter, each floor of the hotel offers a different type of challenge which helps to spice up the game play, I wont go over all of the floors but my three favourites were the garden floor, the movie studio floor and dance floor.

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Boss ghosts with a lot of personality have been brought back for this game, the boss fights are all very challenging and a lot of fun, they reminded me of the portrait ghosts in the first game although they are no where near as creepy.

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Gooigi who was introduced in the Luigi’s Mansion 3DS remake has returned here as a major part of the game, players control both Luigi and Gooigi to solve puzzles and progress through the game, Luigi gets a new Plunger item in this game to pull and throw heavy items.

Also due to Gooigi’s flexibility he can walk through gates and drop through drains allowing him to access areas that regular Luigi can not get too.

One more ability added to the game was blasting your poltergust towards the ground to push Luigi into the air so that he can jump over some obstacles.

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In the game there are two collectables the first are gems which need some puzzle solving to find and the other are Boo’s who must be revealed with a black-light before being sucked up, both of these do bulk out the game-play however the rewards for getting them are not great.

The soundtrack was really forgettable in my opinion, I didn’t hate the music but none of it really stuck for me.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a great game, it is full of charm and has a lot of personality, this game introduced us too a new villain working along side King Boo which was a nice change of pace and now that the level based system from Luigi’s Mansion 2 is gone we are left with a combination of the first two games, this has the comedy and cartoony nature of the second game as well as the free exploration and realistic boss ghosts from the first game. I feel that this entry in the series adds so many new ideas but slightly lacks the creepy and dark atmosphere from the first game that I really love,  I miss the creepiness of the portrait ghosts and I would really love to see a darker game in the series again.

However I have to admit that this game is the best Luigi’s Mansion game yet and if this is how the future games are going to be then I can accept that.

8.4/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Luigi’s Mansion 3 for the Nintendo Switch

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Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga (GBA/3DS) Review

Mario is back and this time its an rpg?

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Mario and Luigi superstar saga was released in 2003 for the Game boy advance it was developed by a team called Alpha Dream and was produced by Nintendo, as mentioned the game is an RPG and was likely made due to the success of the first Paper Mario game, Super Star Saga was very popular after its release and is still a fan favourite to this day so it was of no surprise that a remake was made for the 3DS I am just surprised that the remake didn’t get released before this, so which version of the game is better?

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The plot between both games is exactly the same with the exception that the remake has an additional campaign.

An evil witch called Cackletta and her minion Fawful go to Princess Peaches Castle with a plan to steal the Princesses voice and replace it with explosives, a Toad travels to the home of Mario and Luigi informing the two brothers about what happened, when they both arrive they find Bowser who was hoping to Kidnap Princess Peach but decided against it after he noticed the Princesses rather dangerous new set of pipes, instead the Koopa King decides to team up with the Mario brothers in order to help Peach get her voice back meaning that he could kidnap her without risking the destruction of his castle.

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The Game play is where the differences really start to show and the 3DS version has gotten a lot of backlash due to the changes it has made, in both versions the battle system is turned based and as far as I am aware the way you fight is also the same, the brothers can both jump, hammer, use magic and perform combination attacks in order to defeat enemies, the 3DS version is slightly more lenient than the original as I found avoiding attacks and performing combos here a lot easier than I did back in the day, there is also an easy mode that can be switched too at anytime so the battle system isn’t too complicated for younger fans either.

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The game is also filled to the brim with puzzles that the brothers must solve when travelling across the games large map, not many stand out to me but one of my favourites is the mine cart game and the barrel matching game on the pirate ship.

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The visuals in the original game are outstanding, it’s full of exciting and explosive colours, the animations are beautiful not to mention impressive for a game of that era and the little touches help bring a lot of emotion and well timed comedy to the game, the remake while also beautiful doesn’t really push the 3DS to it’s full potential and it’s more of a nicer re skin of what we already had than anything new and unique however it’s still nice to look at and still helps the game maintain its charm and originality.

The music is fantastic, the game has a great soundtrack which varies between nice and cheerful music to scary and intense tracks and each help to build up the mood of the game

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The biggest new addition to the remake is Bowsers minions a brand new 6 hour long campaign, the game is not what you would expect, I wanted a full RPG experience but it’s more of a game that focuses on building an army and levelling up your troops, I personally don’t like this type of game style so the fact that I really couldn’t get into it does not mean that you won’t

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Mario and Luigi superstar saga is one of the best RPG’s you can buy it’s fun, easy enough to learn and it gives a whole new and interesting spin to the Mario universe, the remake adds a whole new campaign and a new coat for the visuals which makes it worth buying if you like the style of games such as age empires and star craft otherwise I wouldn’t spend money on the 3DS remake as this is the only massive bonus available, you can also purchase the original game through the Nintendo Eshop for much cheaper than the 3DS version, I love both versions of the game so it’s hard for me not to give both version a very high score but I think the 3DS remake beats the original by a nudge due to the additional content and clearer visuals.

The orginal game 9.4/10

The 3DS remake 9.6/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Mario and Luigi Super Star Saga for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance and the Nintendo 3DS.

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