Super Mario Sunshine
|Super Mario Sunshine|
North American box art depicting Mario and FLUDD
|Release date(s)||JP July 19, 2002
Super Mario Sunshine (スーパーマリオサンシャイン Sūpā Mario Sanshain?) is a platform video game developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development and published by Nintendo for the GameCube. It was released in Japan in July 2002, in North America in August 2002, and in Europe and Australia in October 2002. It is the second 3D Mario platformer, following Super Mario 64 in 1996. Super Mario Sunshine's successor is Super Mario Galaxy, which was released for the Wii in 2007.
The game takes place on the tropical Isle Delfino, where Mario, Toadsworth, Princess Peach, and five Toads are taking a vacation. A villain resembling Mario, known as Shadow Mario, vandalizes the entire island with graffiti and Mario gets blamed for the mess. Later on, Mario is ordered to clean up Isle Delfino, while saving Princess Peach from Shadow Mario. Mario cleans up the island with a device called FLUDD (Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device).
Super Mario Sunshine was very well received by reviewers. It sold over 5.5 million copies, and was the tenth best-selling game of 2002 in the United States. Due to the game's commercial success, it was re-released as a Player's Choice title in 2003.
Super Mario Sunshine shares many similar gameplay elements with its predecessor, Super Mario 64, whilst introducing various new gameplay features. Players control Mario as he tries to obtain 120 Shine Sprites in order to bring light back to Isle Defino and prove his innocence after an imposter steals the Shine Sprites and covers the island in toxic slime. Players start off in the hub world of Isle Delfino and access various worlds via portals which become available as the game progresses. Similar to collecting Stars in Super Mario 64, players obtain Shine Sprites by clearing various objectives given to Mario upon entering each stage, with more objectives unlocked in each level after clearing an existing one. There are also various hidden areas and challenges across Isle Delfino where more Shine Sprites can be obtained. Throughout the game, players may also find Blue Coins, which can be exchanged for more Shine Sprites.
In this game, Mario is joined by a robotic backpack named FLUDD (Flash Liquidizing Ultra Dousing Device), which uses the power of water to clean away slime and help Mario reach new places. Mario starts with two default nozzles for FLUDD, Spray and Hover, which he can quickly switch between. The Spray nozzle lets Mario squirt a stream of water which he can use to clean slime, attack enemies, and activate certain mechanisms. The Hover nozzle lets Mario hover in the air for a short period of time, allowing him to cross large gaps while simultaneously spraying things directly below him. As the game progresses, Mario unlocks two additional nozzles for FLUDD which can substituted with the Hover nozzle; the Rocket nozzle, which shoots Mario high up into the air; and the Turbo nozzle, which moves Mario at high speeds, allowing him to run across water and break into certain areas. Each of FLUDD's nozzles use water from its reserves, which can be refilled via water sources such as rivers or fountains. There are also some areas where FLUDD is taken away from Mario, forcing him to rely on his natural platforming abilities. At certain points in the game, Mario may come across an egg which hatches into a Yoshi after being brought a fruit it asks for. Yoshi can be ridden upon and can attack by spitting juice, which can clear certain obstacles that water cannot. Yoshi can also use its tongue to eat enemies or other pieces of fruit which change its color, depending on the type of fruit. Yoshi will disappear if it runs out of juice, which can be replenished by eating more fruit, or falls into deep water.
The game takes place on the tropical resort of Isle Delfino, which is shaped like a dolphin and comprises ten primary locations. The island is mainly inhabited by the races of the Piantas and Nokis. All the levels either have Piantas, Nokis or both. Delfino Plaza is Isle Delfino's largest city and the game's main hub.
Mario sets out for Isle Delfino for a vacation with Princess Peach, and her long-time steward Toadsworth. Upon a rough plane landing at the island's airstrip, they find that the once-pristine island has been polluted and plastered with graffiti. As a result of this pollution, sun-shaped objects called "Shine Sprites", the island's sources of power, have disappeared, and the island is covered in a perpetual shadow. The culprit seen spreading the graffiti is disguised as Mario, who is named "Shadow Mario". To help with cleaning the airstrip, Mario finds FLUDD, a powerful water cannon which is toted like a backpack and is also created by Professor E. Gadd. Mario is promptly arrested after the player defeats a slime-covered Piranha Plant at the airstrip which makes the hole in the runway disappear and recovers a Shine Sprite, falsely accused of vandalizing the island. He is put on trial, however it turns out to be a mere kangaroo court where the judge immediately finds Mario guilty and orders him to clean up the graffiti and recover the Shine Sprites; he is forbidden from leaving the island until he does so. The next day, Mario begins his adventure to find a way to clear his name and locate the real criminal, while restoring tranquility and order to Isle Delfino.
After defeating another slime-covered Piranha Plant and rising a disappeared statue out of the ground, they see Shadow Mario on top of the statue for the first time who jumps off the statue, grabs Peach, and runs off with her. Mario chases him and takes him down and he creates a graffiti portal on the restored statue and escapes through it. Mario follows him through the portal that leads to Bianco Hills, one of the other areas of Isle Delfino where he defeats another slime-covered Piranha Plant and rises a disappeared cliff, some trees, and a section of a wall out of the ground and recovers another Shine Sprite. After defeating two more slime-covered Piranha Plants and restoring the disappeared boathouse and lighthouse that unlock portals from Delfino Plaza to two of Isle Delfino's other locations, Mario follows Shadow Mario, who has kidnapped Princess Peach, and has escaped on a Bowser-designed boat to Pinna Park, an amusement park located just off the coast of Isle Delfino's "tail". There, Mario defeats a huge Bowser robot being controlled by Shadow Mario which is called Mecha Bowser by firing water rockets at it on the roller coaster. It is then revealed that Shadow Mario's real identity is Bowser Jr., the youngest son of Bowser who wields a magic brush that creates graffiti and is also created by E. Gadd. Bowser Jr. turns the remains of Mecha Bowser into a hot air balloon and escapes again with Princess Peach, having been told by Bowser that Peach is his mother. When learning the truth, Peach is visually upset for a second. He is last seen heading for Corona Mountain, a volcano where Bowser is holding a family vacation of his own. After Mario continues to clean Isle Delfino, retrieving Shine Sprites, and defeats Bowser Jr., still disguised as Shadow Mario, at least once in all of the areas of the island, a flood falls upon Delfino Plaza, opening up a cave that leads into Corona Mountain that Shadow Mario disappears into. Mario enters the volcano, defeats Bowser and Bowser Jr. by flipping over the hot tub they are in and rescues the Princess. Mario and the Princess fall from the sky with Bowser and Bowser Jr. While the others are plummeting down, Princess Peach floats down to safety using her parasol. Princess Peach lands on an island beside Delfino Plaza on her feet, but on the same island, Mario gets his head stuck in the sand, but gets out. However, FLUDD becomes damaged during the battle with Bowser, supposedly beyond repair. The Shine Gate's power is restored and the Toads repair FLUDD shortly afterward and Mario, Peach and the others resume their vacation, while Bowser admits to his son that Peach was not really his mother. After the credits, if the player has collected less than all 120 shine sprites, a picture shows Il Piantissimo, a sprinter that Mario raced during the game, finding the brush that Bowser Jr. used to vandalize Isle Delfino. However, if the player has collected all 120 shine sprites, a picture of the entire cast with the words "Have a relaxing vacation" is displayed instead.
A sequel to Super Mario 64 had been in the works for several years; the cancelled games Super Mario 64 2 and Super Mario 128 were some ideas Nintendo had for a direct sequel. Super Mario Sunshine was first shown at Nintendo Space World 2001. The game was later shown again at E3 2002.
In an interview about the development of Super Mario Sunshine with producer Takashi Tezuka and directors Yoshiaki Koizumi and Kenta Usui, it was mentioned that the game's development began with the idea of gameplay involving a water pump. However, at first the developers thought that the world was too daringly out of character with Mario. Therefore, they tried using a man-type character, but thought this was too odd and that "if there was a man next to Mario, there is a sense of incongruity." There were ten candidates for possible water nozzles, and FLUDD was chosen because of fitting in the game's setting, despite it not being one of the favorites. Some preliminary gun-like water nozzles were removed due to all the controversy in the United States. They also stated that several Yoshi features were omitted, such as Yoshi vomiting water fed to him.
Koji Kondo and Shinobu Tanaka composed the score to Super Mario Sunshine. The soundtrack features various arrangements of classic Mario tunes, including the underground music and the main stage music from the original Super Mario Bros. Super Mario Sunshine featured many of the usual voice actors for the various Nintendo characters. This is the first but only 3D Mario game which features full English voice acting in cutscenes. The voice cast consisted of Charles Martinet as Mario and Toadsworth, Jen Taylor as Princess Peach and Toad, Scott Burns as Bowser, and Dolores Rogers as Bowser Jr. Other voice actors included Kit Harris.
Super Mario Sunshine was commercially successful, having sold 5.5 million copies as of June 2006. In 2002, Super Mario Sunshine was the tenth best-selling game in the United States according to the NPD Group. It was re-released in 2003 as part of the Player's Choice line, a selection of games with high sales sold for a reduced price.
Super Mario Sunshine received critical acclaim by game reviewers. IGN praised the addition of the water backpack for improving the gameplay, and GameSpy commented on the "wide variety of moves and the beautifully constructed environments". The game received a perfect score from Nintendo Power, who commended the "superb graphics, excellent music, clever layouts, funny cinema scenes and ingenious puzzles".
GamePro also gave Super Mario Sunshine a perfect score, stating that the game was "a masterpiece of superior game design, infinite gameplay variety, creativity, and life." The American-based publication Game Informer said that the game is arguably "the best Mario game to date." ComputerAndVideoGames.com also mentioned the game is "better than Super Mario 64." The game placed 46th in Official Nintendo Magazine's 100 greatest Nintendo games of all time.
Some reviewers were critical towards certain aspects of the game. GameSpot's Jeff Gerstmann criticized the various additions, including FLUDD (the water backpack) and Yoshi, calling them "mere gimmicks." He also complained about the camera system. Regarding the voice acting, he stated that "Super Mario Sunshine's FMV also houses some of the lousiest voice-over work to be found on the GameCube. None of the voices fit particularly well. Princess Peach sounds too ditzy, Mario is limited to grunts and other nonverbal communications, and the game's bad guys are completely miscast and downright disappointing." Gerstmann felt that the game seemed somewhat unpolished and rushed, a sentiment shared by Matt Wales of ComputerAndVideoGames.com.
Super Mario Sunshine has introduced several elements which were carried over to subsequent Mario titles. This was the first game in the Mario series to introduce the Shine Sprites, which have appeared in later Mario titles such as Mario Kart DS. This was the first game in the Mario series which included Bowser Jr.. He has since appeared in New Super Mario Bros., Mario Kart Wii, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, New Super Mario Bros. U, Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Mario Galaxy 2, and in later Mario spin-off and sports games. The recurring character Petey Piranha, known as Boss Packun (ボスパックン?) in Japan, was also introduced, who has later appeared in a large number of Mario titles.
This game was the first Mario platformer game to be released for the Nintendo GameCube. It was also the first 3D Mario platformer which included the ability to ride Yoshi and to have him change colors. This feature reappeared in Super Mario Galaxy 2.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario uses FLUDD as a new special move; it is not added as an attack, as it just pushes opponents aside. Brawl also has the fighting stage Delfino Plaza, an almost-exact replica of Isle Delfino's capital city, with a platform carrying the fighters to any location of the stage on occasion. The original background music of Delfino Plaza occasionally plays on the stage, as well as the BGM for Ricco Harbor. The game also features several stickers based on artwork from Super Mario Sunshine.
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