Super Mario Sunshine is my personal favorite game of all time. While even I can admit that is mostly due to nostalgia, it was the first game I’ve ever played after all, does Mario’s adventure on the GameCube still hold up today or should it stay in the past?
Let’s start off real quick with a plot synopsis. The Mario gang, consisting of Mario, Peach, Toadsworth, and a handful of other Toads, embark on a relaxing vacation to Isle Delfino. However, once they get there they realize that a shadow version of Mario, who is later revealed to be Bowser Jr, has stolen all the Shine Sprites and covered the whole island in goop. Mario finds FLUDD, a water jet pack but not before Shadow Mario can kidnap Peach. While this setup is still just Bowser kidnapping Peach the setting and other changes make this feel fresh compared to other Mario games previous, and even games after Sunshines release.
Sunshine controls great. In some areas, the controls do feel a little slippery but it doesn’t impact the experience much at all. FLUDD adds great new gameplay experiences that wouldn’t be possible any other way. It’s extremely satisfying to pull off slides through water into flips. My biggest issue with controls is the camera. It’s very rigid and sometimes obscures Mario.
The setting is amazing. Isle Delfino feels like a real tropical island that is truly lived in. Each level theme is very unique and brings something new to the table. Pinna Park is still one of my favorite locations in Nintendo’s history. The soundtrack is great across the entire game, one of my favorite soundtracks to listen to during summer. Lastly visually the game is beautiful, especially when you realize it was released in 2001. I remember being blown away by the water graphics.
While nostalgia may have had a role in me enjoying the game so much, even with that removed Super Mario Sunshine is a blast. I do believe it could benefit from an HD remake or even DLC in Super Mario Odyssey, but if you have a GameCube or Wii I 100% recommend to give Super Mario Sunshine a spin.