Reviewed on Game Cube


Reviewed By: Caleb Thiessen

Computer Platform: Game Cube
Produced by: Nintendo
Price Range: $51-60
Learning curve time: 31-60 mins.
Age level: All Ages
ESRB Rating: Everyone

Genre: Action/adventure
Christian Rating: 5 of 5
   (nothing offensive)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 4 of 5
   (barely present)
Adult Content: 5 of 5

"Super Mario 64" was a breakthrough game on the N64 and it stayed at the top of the heap even after classics such as “Banjo-kazooie” (and the sequel) and “Rayman 2: The Great Escape” were released. The Mario series has been known for being seriously fun and one wonders how long Nintendo can keep this up. There were resounding cries of joy when the public heard that Nintendo would be releasing their next big Mario title for the Gamecube. Did Mario live up to his name for this game? Certainly. Nintendo has another hit on their hands.

Finally it's time for a well-deserved vacation for Mario and the mushroom kingdoms' beautiful princess, Peach! But alas! When Mario and his pals arrive on Isle Delfino they are surprised to see it covered in a goopy paint-like substance. Not only is the island a mess but Mario is being blamed for it! He's thrown into prison and the court decides that if he wants to leave the island he must first clean it up! The rest of the story unfolds as you play, which is something that never happens in a Mario game!

Screenshot from 'Super Mario Sunshine'Mario is equipped with a back pack sprayer called FLUDD (Flash Liquidizer Ultra-Dousing Device) and with it he can spray away the goop covering the island. He can change nozzles too! There is the hover nozzle, the turbo nozzle and even a rocket nozzle! The way Nintendo implemented the sprayer is total genius--you can do giant rotating jumps while spraying and Mario becomes a human sprinkler as water flies around to the left and right. Of course there is all the jump and run action you'd expect from a Mario game and FLUDD just makes it more outrageous! The play control is very tight and you'll find that before you know it you'll be performing the various moves with ease. You may have a hard time with the camera though. It's basically up to you, the player, to control it instead of letting the game do it for you. This could be frustrating for a beginner but anyone should be able to figure it out with some practice.

Screenshot from 'Super Mario Sunshine'The graphics are top-notch, especially the water effects. If you move the camera under the water and look up out of it at the land around you, you'll be pretty shocked to see that it wobbles and ripples just like in real life! The draw-distance (how far you can see into the horizen at objects like houses and baddies or collectibles) is incredible. You can be on one side of the island and see a coin spinning on the other side--it's that good.

The sound is good: FLUDD clanks around when Mario runs, the sound of Mario's shoes on wood makes you wanna get up and tap-dance. It has all the “boinks”, “kabloops” and “dingle-da-dings” of a typical Mario game. Every level has it's own theme-song, each very vacation-oriented and jumpy. I especially like the original Mario song done acappela in the sub-worlds (better off not to be explained, but experienced).

There isn't much to say about offensive material, It's basically void of anything objectional. Although I find Peach's ditzy personality somewhat disturbing, I wish Nintendo would make her more intelligent. All in all it's another Nintendo masterpiece you'll want to play again and again.

Year of Release—2002

Positive—The game is great, but the camera is horrid. I'd say even worse than Super Mario 64. The camera does distract from gameplay, but not so much that this game shouldn't be in any 'cubers library. Also, there is one thing that Christians, may find offensive, and that is the use of magic. The Lord has really been convicting me of magic in games as of late, and while it is not extreme, I'm sorry, but the way, trying not to spoil the game, “evil mario” is revealed, is magical. It is not just a “costume”, that is shape-shifting to me. But would I recommend this game. Without hesitation, but very little reservation. My Ratings: [5/4]
   —Jeremy, age 22

Comments from Young People…

Positive—Good graphics and a really fun game to play. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Scott Beall, age 14

Positive—Nintendo has done it again! Mario Sunshine is another masterpiece in the Mario series. No doubt about it. You'll spend hours running around squirting everything with the Water Gun FLUDD. (I like squirting the people in town.). Your always looking for something to do to gain that next shine! And with such a bigger world than Super Mario 64 it's a good thing they made this game harder. I can tell you it's almost as hard as Mario's original NES games. But the hardness only adds to the experience. And yes it has nothing offensive to a christian. The first of Nintendo's big four (Mario Sunshine, Legend of Zelda, Metroid Prime, and Starfox Adventures.) has come, and now were waiting for the rest. This game was definitely worth the wait. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Markis Davis, age 13

Positive—This is one of the best Mario fan games. I beat this in a month. There is practically no violence, with the regular mario getting knocked onto his tush or getting shocked by electric goo near the last level. Besides, he sounds funny, he goes" oof", “brrrrb”,"whaooohhhh!", "HAHAhahaha!!!…" and on the last level with hot lava, he just sort of sinks when he loses a life. Some levels are a little hard, but with a little prayer, practice , and maybe a players guide or experienced gamer you'll master it. Over all, Its a clean, fun and funny average Mario game. I mean come on, Half the games for PS2, PS, Xbox, and Dreamcast have either nude/skimpy women, cursing, gore, and satanic themes. I recommend this for 9+ at the first 3 worlds, and older age for the harder farther worlds. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Kevin Brown, age 13

Positive—He's not golfing, playing tennis, or partying, it's just a good old action/adventure Super Mario game. My Ratings: [5/4]
   —Caleb Grimm, age 14

Positive—Super Mario Sunshine is a great game from Nintendo, and a good addition to the Mario franchise; but, frankly, it could have been a little bit better. The game can be very frustrating at times. This is, for the most part, due to bad camera angles. Fortunately, you are able to control the camera via the C-Stick, but the camera does also have a tendency to rotate on you right in the middle of a perilous situation. Also lending to the frustration level is some of the overall difficult level missions you will have to face, which may put you in some situations very hard to master or which may (in many cases) lead you to wander around for the longest time just trying to figure out what it is you really are supposed to do in the first place. This is not to dissuade anyone from trying the game, though, because Super Mario Sunshine really is a fun game that I would recommend in the library of any GC owner. My Ratings: [5/4]
   —Stephen Maiorana, age 17

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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