Super Mario Sunshine


I picked up Super Mario Sunshine this weekend!

Again Nintendo shows the way. Mario is full of stuff you haven't seen in other games. Liquid is everywhere. The water looks amazing. Enemies are covered with paint. You can get paint on yourself and on your friends.

Another thing that sticks out though. It's HARD!!!! I'm sure I'll get used to it but so far that's the thing that sticks out the most probably. The reason is you have this water pack that at the start can be used to hover for a short time or to hose things down like hosing the paint off walls or the the ground or hosing down enemies. The same button is uses for both function with another button switching whether you are in hose mode or hover mode. You often need to switch and you often forget which mode you are in so you take a jump, hit the button expecting to hover and realize you are in hose mode.

Another issue is to use it you press the R key. When you are hosing, if you press the R key all the way down you will stand still and can aim. If you press it only partly down you will continue to run hosing in front of you. It's great idea but it takes some getting used to. But like I said the more I play the more I get used to it. I'm sure it will become second nature soon.

One thing I noticed about Mario vs pretty much all other character action games.

Every Mario is different. What do I mean by that?

Well pretty much, since the original Mario Bros, every version of Mario has changed it's gameplay, what you do, what your main moves are, what you spend your time doing in every new version. That is not true of pretty much all other character action series.

For example on Sonic 1, 2 and 3 you run Sonic around collecting rings. The basic moves are jumping on the back of enemies while you are in a ball hitting them with your spikes. The other is crouching into a ball, revving up and spinning very fast. That same behavior is the main thing you do (other than run and jump) throughout the entire series. New levels in each game, new monsters, a few new bonus games but the main play never changed.

The same is true of the Crash Bandicoot series. You spin to break boxes. That's about it. Throughout the character action series, 1, 2, 3 and 5, 70% of your game play is exactly the same. All that's change is the locations and a few bonus games.

Gex is also similar. I'm sure there are other examples. Megaman for example although that's a shooting game.

Mario though, in each game has changed your basic movies to the point that each game is a new experience.

Obviously the games are well done just in general but I think one thing that keeps the series so strong is that constant change in basic moves. I don't remember if Sonic added a single move during the entire series. Crash added a few moves over his series but that basic play didn't change, 2 of the moves, body slam and burrowing never needed to be used. 70% to 80% of the time the game play was the same was the first Crash 1. Gex changed from 2d to 3d but I believe his basic move set stayed similar from #2 to #3. I haven't played the Rayman series.

Obviously it's risky to change something that was working. I wonder how Nintendo does it. Are they just geniuses or do they try many different things throwing many ideas away until the come up with something new in the basic move set that's fun.

Mario Sunshine Revisited