Mario Sunshine does not hold up

sweaty dungus

Thickened-up hunk
May 11, 2020
28
27
13
I spent part of the weekend fiddling around with Dolphin emulator and found myself momentarily hooked on Super Mario Sunshine. Right from the start, the game grabs you. There's something beautiful about Delfino Plaza as a hub world. That earworm of a theme song, the doofus Pianta inhabitants, the calming water surrounding you at every turn. It's refreshing to play a game confident enough to adhere to a contained scope, and this is where Sunshine excels.

But by time I get to Pinna Park, I come away feeling more or less the same as I when I first played it on original hardware: frustrated and unimpressed. As things drag on, it becomes apparent that Mario's movement isn't as satisfying as it should be. That the level design isn't on par with other 3D Mario games. That the FLUDD is nowhere near as intuitive as the game thinks it is. Something feels off. Sunshine never reaches the heights of Mario 64's exploratory wonder, much less the expertly crafted obstacle courses of Galaxy and onward.

I don't want to make this a scathing indictment of the game. It can be enjoyable, warts and all, but there is so much potential here for something greater. I want to explore an Isle Delfino crafted with the competency of modern 3D Mario games. If the remaster rumors are true, I would love to see a full re-imagining of Sunshine. The game straight up deserves it.
 
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TheBlondeBass

No longer virtual
Robot
May 10, 2020
71
96
18
Québec
Everyone's looking for something different from a Mario game -- I personally often replay Sunshine (almost as much as 64) and would rather replay it than the games from 3D Land onwards. Those are really some of the most interesting level themes in series history, and I find the levels some of the most interesting to explore. Even 64 falters on that front, with its late-game having many linear levels that make you traverse the same platforms six times in a row.

That being said, Odyssey's definitely got amazing controls, it would be nice to see older titles recreated with its fluidity.
 
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sweaty dungus

Thickened-up hunk
May 11, 2020
28
27
13
I find myself replaying Mario 64 and the Galaxy games most often. Odyssey is excellent, but as of now I have yet to revisit it. It’s a little too fresh in my mind.

Sunshine was always the black sheep for me. Really dig the locale, yet I can’t help but feel underwhelmed.
 

Roager

Rogue Ogre
May 11, 2020
41
46
18
I think part of it is that FLUDD interrupts your momentum and flow. Stopping to aim, detouring to swap nozzles, slowly hovering across long gaps.

Don't get me wrong, FLUDD isn't all bad. It's actually a pretty impressive way to expand 3d platforming, because you have more verticality now. But at his best, a Mario in motion has that whimsical bouncy feeling. Sunshine actually does a pretty good job creating it, but it's most concentrated in the FLUDDless challenges because there's nothing slow or fiddly.
 
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NSPillow

New member
Jun 8, 2020
20
16
3
I've never been able to get into Sunshine. I've always found it slow, I can't for the life of me get the hang of controlling FLUDD, and I just found the levels are chore to navigate. I'm glad some people love this game, I know a few, but I've never been one of them. Jak and Daxter came out around the same time and that game feels more like a Mario game to me than Sunshine ever did.
 
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sweaty dungus

Thickened-up hunk
May 11, 2020
28
27
13
I've never been able to get into Sunshine. I've always found it slow, I can't for the life of me get the hang of controlling FLUDD, and I just found the levels are chore to navigate. I'm glad some people love this game, I know a few, but I've never been one of them. Jak and Daxter came out around the same time and that game feels more like a Mario game to me than Sunshine ever did.
The original Jak and Daxter reminded me of Banjo-Kazooie more than anything. Love that game. Don't care for the edgy sequels, but Daxter on PSP is surprisingly good.
 

Boxman214

World's Okayest Chef
May 10, 2020
68
75
18
Huh. Not often I read negative opinions kmof this game.

I never played it myself. I really hope the remaster is real as I would love to give it a try. The FLUDD always looked weird to me though.
 

Sam

Village Idiot
May 17, 2020
20
34
13
Actually, loathe as I am to admit it, I agree.

Sunshine is a nostalgic favorite of mine, and the soundtrack is outta this world good (also I feel incredibly seen when Mario wears an aloha shirt), but overall it's a little ho-hum. FLUDD as a character, fun, but as a mechanic a bit of a mixed bag. Any traversal power-up other than the hovering one feels too one-off and useless, and as a "shooter" using him (her?) isn't awful, but nothing particularly exhilarating.

I would absolutely love to see a sequel though, because like you said it's a great world. Imagine if Nintendo were to follow-up the mini-sandboxes of Odyssey (which I grew to love) with a single, massive Isle Delfino?

But again, Kondo knocks it out with this one.
 

sweaty dungus

Thickened-up hunk
May 11, 2020
28
27
13
Actually, loathe as I am to admit it, I agree.

Sunshine is a nostalgic favorite of mine, and the soundtrack is outta this world good (also I feel incredibly seen when Mario wears an aloha shirt), but overall it's a little ho-hum. FLUDD as a character, fun, but as a mechanic a bit of a mixed bag. Any traversal power-up other than the hovering one feels too one-off and useless, and as a "shooter" using him (her?) isn't awful, but nothing particularly exhilarating.

I would absolutely love to see a sequel though, because like you said it's a great world. Imagine if Nintendo were to follow-up the mini-sandboxes of Odyssey (which I grew to love) with a single, massive Isle Delfino?

But again, Kondo knocks it out with this one.
da god Kondo
 
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Retrofraction

New member
May 20, 2020
17
21
3
Super Mario sunshine, it’s not a great Mario game. But it’s a great super Mario sunshine game.

Personally I don’t really like super Mario sunshine and it’s probably because for the most part it just feels like a half-baked Mario game as even the N64 game seem to have a certain level of polish that Super Mario sunshine seem to lack.

that said I cannot deny that a bunch of people enjoy the heck out of the physics mechanics that are brought in with the flood device, and I also really do like Delfino plaza but again to me galaxy was a lot better and just about every single aspect except for all the tact in pointer controls and force shake controls.

But then again for me perfection is super Mario 3-D Worlds, and a huge part of the super Mario fandom absolutely hates that game. Maybe it’s not a large part of the fandom but it’s more like a Giants part of the fandom that likes to make YouTube videos or twitch stream or speed run.
worlds, and a huge part of the super Mario fandom absolutely hates that game. And maybe it’s not a large part of the fandom but it’s more like a Giants part of the fandom that likes to make YouTube videos or twitch stream or speed run.

which again for me I love super Mario 3-D world because it is the perfect fusion of the adventures style and the2D games.

but yeah I really can’t hate on super Mario sunshine that much because for what it is it’s not that bad but I kind of couldn’t get over the voice acting which was really poor but yeah it was almost the one Mario game that felt like a sonic story.

But you know everyone likes zone different game so I totally get that people love this game and that’s totally cool
 

Nekro

Potential Magical Girl
Staff member
Robot
Feb 14, 2020
388
467
63
You know, I’ve still never played this game!

Kinda hoping it gets a Switch port, haha. Even if Odyssey now, to me, feels like 3D Mario totally perfected.

Then again, I also want to see Mario Galaxy on Switch, because I absolutely love those games still. And with a HD coat of paint, they’d still look legitimately gorgeous. Nintendo’s art direction for Galaxy has aged beautifully, and it’s only dragged down by the WiI hardware itself.