As with Nintendo’s The Wind Waker, circa 2002 another of the Japanese developer’s efforts met with a strange reaction from gamers and media critics. Super Mario Sunshine endured mixed reviews and, for some time, a legacy of a pretty mediocre Mario adventure. What? Well, it’s excellent. And here’s why.
Super Mario Sunshine
Aptly hitting stores in the summer of 2002 on the GameCube, Nintendo took a new route with for Mario.
Nintendo legends Yoshiaki Koizumi and Kenta Usui directed the title, which ultra-industry legend (and Mario creator) Shigeru “Shigsy” Miyamoto producing.
The development team set out to try something new to shake up the formula – perfecting this creative pursuit in 2007 with Super Mario Galaxy.
Although it still shares many gameplay characteristics with its predecessor, Super Mario 64, it mixes up the formula through the introduction of FLUDD (Flash Liquidising Ultra Dousing Device).
It’s a robotic backpack that fires water everywhere. And Mario, incorrectly charged with vandalising the tropical Isle Delfino with ink, is ordered to clear the place up.
And with FLUDD to help, Mario can launch himself about the place with the devide acting as a kind of hovercraft type thing. You can see this in the lovely Sand Bird section below.
So, why the backlash? The FLUDD concept is certainly new – some thought gimmicky – but it adds a fun new dynamic to proceedings.
Others criticised the game’s camera, which we found to be largely fine. Given that some gamers will focus in on a minute detail they don’t like about a title and then blow it out of all proportions, we think that’s possibly what the issue was here.
As on revisiting Super Mario Sunshine we found yet another classic Mario adventure. It’s life-affirming, engaging, charming, and absolutely riveting – merging a new type of Mario experience alongside the more traditional elements.
That brilliant Koji Kondo soundtrack alone makes it all rather charming. You can’t help but grin and embrace the sunshine it brings into your life.
But this was the third best selling GameCube game, shifting many millions of units. As you’d expect for a Mario game.
It, perhaps, didn’t represent a grand shift away from Super Mario 64 – but that was on the way in the Mario Galaxy games. In the meantime, what remains is a glorious little number that we still love.
Finally, a mention to the groovy secret stages. To soothe the raging minds of Super Mario purists, Nintendo also made the wise decision to include various old school stages.
These feature that chirpy, lovely bit of music you can hear in the above video – and you’re FLUDDless. Some of these levels represent a real challenge to your gaming skills, as it’s entirely down to your prowess.